Society hears about “abortion stigma” all the time in the media from abortion activists.
But rarely talked about is the stigma that young mothers face – especially those who choose life for their unborn babies while in college.
This week, Voices for the Voiceless, a Phoenix, Arizona pro-life organization, shared a woman’s story on its Facebook page that emphasizes the need to support mothers and babies in situations that the world views as less than ideal.
“When I moved to Ohio as a freshman I had plans for my life,” Veronica Caballero said. “I was supposed to have the whole college experience, be here for four years. Some time around junior year I was supposed to get engaged, so that my teenage sweetheart and I could get married right after I graduated and live happily ever after.”
Instead, Caballero said she moved back home after her first year of college, got married to her husband and prepared to welcome their first child.
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“When I think of what’s true, I know that that decision was the best decision of my life. I never once regret beginning my family or the timing in which it happened. Yet there I was, tempted to believe that I had chosen the lesser path because I wasn’t doing what was typical,” she wrote on her Instagram page.
Today, women are told to put off childbearing to “achieve their dreams”: travel the world, graduate from college, succeed in a career, buy a house, volunteer for a cause and make a difference in the world before having children.
The problem is that this prioritization of life goals has led to shame and stigma around young motherhood, whether unplanned or by choice, and many young women who get pregnant feel pressured to abort their unborn babies.
Caballero said she cried in 2019 when she watched several of her friends and sisters graduate. Meanwhile, she was at home taking care of her 1-year-old daughter and pregnant with her second.
“’Today I would’ve graduated…’ I thought to myself, tempted to believe that that would’ve been a greater achievement than what I was actually doing in my life at that point,” she continued.
Now, she said she knows that God had a better plan for her, her husband and their children.
“By no means was this the easy path, dedicating myself to my family has been hard work, but I’m honored [God] has called me to this,” she continued. “This is how we’ll change the world, through these girls and through our love. This is our greatest accomplishment.”
Today, Caballero is a college graduate and a Catholic author and blogger as well as a mother. She encouraged women to recognize that God’s plan for their lives is better than their own.
“There’s nothing you should ever be more proud of than doing the Lord’s will for your life, even if His plans look vastly different than those you had for yourself, even if you’re tempted to believe that you could do ‘better,’” she concluded. “His plans are greater than your wildest dreams.”