Fired From Her Job Because She Was Pregnant, My Mother Could Have Aborted Me. But…

Opinion   |   Maria Gallagher   |   Aug 28, 2017   |   1:10PM   |   Washington, DC

When my mother was dying of cancer and could no longer live in her rented house, I had to begin the difficult task of removing a life’s worth of posessions from a home she had lived in for nearly 30 years.

I quickly determined that the most pressing need was to rescue the family photographs that documented her life with my father, my sister, and me.

Among those cherished pictures was my official “baby portrait.” This was my first photo–the one that introduced me to the world.

When I look at that picture now, I think of the drama behind it. My mother unexpectedly became pregnant shortly after her wedding. At the time of her pregnancy, my father was out of work, and the financial situation was bleak–so bleak, in fact, that she did not tell him that another mouth to feed had arrived in her womb.

My mother was fired from her job as a medical secretary because she was pregnant–an occurrence, she later told me, that was not uncommon in those days.

As a result, my mother had literally nothing to hold onto–except for hope.

She courageously gave birth, with my father, who had no obstetric experience, delivering me, in one of the bedrooms of their two bedroom apartment.

When the odds were stacked against her, when she faced ridicule from those who believed she had been irresponsible in getting pregnant, she chose life for her child.

The debt I owed her could never be repaid.

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So I choose to pay it forward, to do whatever I can to help struggling mothers and their preborn babies celebrate the miracle of life.

And I think often of the strong and determined woman who let nothing stand in the way of her first child having a chance at life.

Perhaps this week you can offer encouragement and praise to a mother who defied expectations and criticism and made a critical life-affirming decision for herself and her child. These women are the true superheroes in our midst. Note: Maria Gallagher is the Legislative Director and Political Action Committee Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and she has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.