I have always been fascinated with the actress, model, spokeswoman, and author Brooke Shields. She has always seemed a compelling mix of wholesomeness and glamour, forthrightness and mystery.
An ‘80s icon, she defined beauty and elegance. She socialized with living legends such as pop star Michael Jackson and tennis great Andre Agassi. I even worked with a TV producer who, during his time as a piano accompanist, had worked with Shields on a musical number.
He said she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met.
From an outsider’s point of view, she seemed to live a charmed life. But it was not Cover Girl perfect—her marriage to Agassi ended in divorce and she battled post-partum depression, a struggle she courageously and, in her own inspiring way, revealed in her book Down Came the Rain.
Now the super celebrity is out with a new missive, There Was a Little Girl. In the interest of full disclosure, I have only read a sample so far, but I was especially struck by a passage about the drama that surrounded her life pre-birth.
Shields writes in her book that, when her mother became pregnant, her boyfriend did not appear ready to assume the role of father. She surmises that he told his own Dad, who in turn, decided to convince her mother to “terminate the pregnancy.” Her grandfather explained to her mother how an out-of-wedlock birth could jeopardize her father’s standing on the “Social Registry.” Her granddad even went so far as to give her mother money for the abortion (This was pre-Roe v. Wade).
Instead of visiting an abortionist, her mother went to an antique store and used the money to buy a coffee table.
Shields remarks that the table ironically became a favorite of hers, which she used to pull herself up from the floor as a toddler.
She writes, “The table saved my life and helped me to stand.”
It is hard to imagine the pop culture landscape without Brooke Shields. To think someone of such beauty and grace could have had her life ended before birth is so mind-boggling. Shields is a mother herself, so an entire family could easily have been swept away if her mother had chosen to cave into pressure and abort.
How many stars have been lost to abortion? You might think it’s impossible to count, but actually the number is more than 56 million. For every child who is aborted is a star in God’s galaxy—every single life has value and dignity.
We now just have one more beautiful face to remember as we contemplate the thin line between life and death in our world today.