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Category Archives: Misconceptions

Why I Value Life by Laura Karr

My heart breaks when I hear stories of abortions. It breaks for the precious life that was ended before it ever was given a chance to behold the wonders of this Earth. It breaks for the mother who, through whatever circumstances she must have endured – whether painful or selfish, has chosen to end a life. It breaks for a world whose heart has become so hardened that it feels nothing when it hears these stories.

The 3 “Plus Signs” that changed my life

When I was in high school, I was a very judgmental person. It was not until I grew much older and wiser that I realized that I have no justification for judging others – as I myself am far from perfect. I remember a conversation I had with my best friend one day on the way to a track meet. We were sitting in the back of the bus having our normal conversations about life, boys, running – all the things that were important to us then – when she told me how she read that if you were to get pregnant, you could make yourself abort the baby by using a coat hanger. I was appalled by this suggestion and I told her, in my most judgmental and vindictive voice, that I could never forgive her if she had an abortion. Today, I am still a little horrified. I am horrified that a woman would ever have to feel so desperate that she would risk her very life to end a pregnancy in such a dangerous way. Most of all, though, I am ashamed and discouraged by the arrogance and foolishness that led me to believe that forgiveness was mine to give or withhold.

Today, I believe myself to be a very open-minded and inquisitive individual. When I say I have an open mind, understand this: My mind is not easily changed. Rather, it is like a room with wide open doors. The doors are left open so that ideas can flow into them freely, easily heard and seriously considered. The doors remain open so that ideas that pass serious inspection may remain but ideas that do not carry their own weight with the tests I put them up against can be rejected. When I say that I am open minded, I am not saying that I am easily swayed, but instead, that I am willing to hear the stories, thoughts, ideas, and beliefs of others and give them serious consideration. Because of this, I have, over the past few years, been privileged to be part of many educational conversations with friends and family who pose clear opposition to my own beliefs.

In one such conversation, I was told that until I could imagine a situation in which I

A love letter filled with grace, love and peace – where I gather wisdom

would choose to have an abortion, I could never understand why another woman might. At this moment in time, I cannot imagine a situation where that would be my choice. That being said: I have never been raped. I have never been a victim of incest. I have never been alone and pregnant – scared, depressed, anxious and without anybody to turn to. I have never been carrying a child with a congenital disease that might cause them to die in the womb or, possibly even worse yet, after living a short but very painful life outside the womb. I have never been faced with the possibility of my own death if I were to proceed with a pregnancy, whether through physical complications or emotional ones. I have never faced anything but joyful anticipation of the precious life I was carrying. I do not know what makes a woman choose an abortion. I do not know the pain she may feel before and/or after her decision. I do not know anything about her or her choice. I cannot judge her for the decision she will make.

I value life – all life. I value the life of every woman who has ever stared at that powerful piece of plastic that can change the whole world with a simple plus sign. I value her life whether she has stared at it with joy or with fear, dread, or anger. She is no less important than the child that she is carrying. She is also no more important than the child she is carrying. I value the unborn child.

After carrying three precious lives into this world, I can honestly say that I believe that what is inside a pregnant woman is not a simple “lump of cells,” but a child. Some may say that I am biased in my opinion because I allowed those cells to form into the precious children I hold in my arms. They may be right – but more likely, they are wrong. Each of my children has proven to be very different – both since their birth and during their development before birth. One child would roll, one would kick, and the first one hardly did much of anything at all unless I prompted her by pushing on one side or the other of my belly. They haven’t changed much since then. My son is a wild child – kicking, climbing, and tackling life however he sees fit. My second daughter can hardly sit still, wallowing around the room – on the couch, off the couch, on the chair, back to the floor – whenever we sit down to watch a movie. But my first child – she could sit for what seems like forever just observing clouds or flowers. From long before they took their first breath on their own, I knew them. They were somebody then, and they are somebody now.

I have spent much time thinking about a situation where I might choose an abortion – and I can only come up with one. That one situation is this: I would have to give up faith in my God. This is not because I believe that if I chose an abortion He would turn His back on me. No, it is quite the opposite. In fact, were I to ever choose an abortion, it would have to be because I turned my back on Him. In my faith, I believe that there is nothing too big for my God to handle and there is nothing set in stone that He cannot change. I value life, because my God values life – all life. He values our lives so much that He would die for us, and forgive us for everything we have done. When I said it is not my place to judge or to forgive, that is because I have finally learned that I cannot even touch the extent to which God loves Life. There are those who would claim that they are acting in the name of God when they attack abortion clinics. They are liars. Every life is valuable.

As to the fight for “Women’s Rights” – I do not know what the solution is. I want to live in a world without abortions, but I do not want to live in a world where, out of desperation, women are dying from botched attempts at abortions in their own homes or illegal, back-alley clinics. I do not know what will solve this problem.

Raising our children to scream, “Murderer” in the faces of those who would support abortions will not solve this problem. Maybe the best way to find a solution would be to stop all of the screaming, to sit down as women and start supporting each other. We should be helping each other through the difficult times – through the fears, the anxieties. We should be listening to each other’s stories with open minds. I have been told before, “if you don’t support abortions, then just don’t get one.” While that seems like a valid point, think of it like this: If people had stood by with that same mentality during the years of slavery, there never would have been the abolition. You would not stand by and watch an infant be brutalized, so if you are asking “pro-lifers” to back off and do nothing about abortion – because we believe with all our hearts that a “fetus” is a child – you are asking us to do just that. Often, though, I do not agree with the approaches taken by those who oppose abortion. We become so focused on the life of that child, that we forget how precious the life of its mother is as well. We must find a way to support each other so that abortion, while still a choice (because whether it is legal or illegal, it has always been and always will be an option) is the last option that a woman would ever need to consider.

Laura Karr is the mother of three amazing children. She is an aspiring poet with dreams of writing a novel but has taken a brief hiatus in order to write silly songs and crazy bedtime stories. She considers this to be a time of research as she re-examines life through the eyes of a child, but with the complex understanding of an adult.

She intends to spend the next few years of her life remembering her dreams and working towards them, but putting most of her focus on raising brilliant and loving children who will make a positive impact on their world.

Food for Thought, by Allie Rosnato

I love ProChoice Boys
I love ProChoice Girls

As a young girl, I believed abortion was an appropriate solution only if a woman was raped or could potentially die during child birth. All other circumstances I considered invalid. I thought if you were careless enough to have unprotected sex, the consequences fit the crime. This was before I knew and understood bodily autonomy. I can’t remember the exact moment I had a change of heart but I do know that it was acute and it was transformative, hurling me into a passionate desire to fight for women’s reproductive rights.

Last year I volunteered for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our job was to make our presence known by canvasing, getting petition signatures in support of Planned Parenthood, and holding a rally featuring elected officials and Planned Parenthood staff speakers, including president Cecile Richards. Through my work as a volunteer, I encountered people from all walks of life with differing opinions not only on abortion, but Planned Parenthood as well. Thinking back to the many conversations I had, I am amazed at the degree of misconceptions people have about unplanned pregnancies and abortions and the perceived goals and intentions of Planned Parenthood.
Women Are Watching

There are two moments I remember specifically from my work at the DNC. One I found incredibly disheartening and one that’s beauty nearly brought me to tears. I remember marching with other Planned Parenthood volunteers trying to get the word out about the rally we were holding that day. We were a sea of pink passing out flyers, giving directions, and many of us were carrying pink Planned Parenthood Action Fund posters that said “Women are Watching”. On the way to the rally, we passed a group of Pro Life protesters and I’ll never forget the little boy who looked me dead in the face and said, “Murderers!”

My heart sunk. A little boy, no older than 8 years old, just called me a murderer for supporting and raising awareness for an organization I feel is an advocate for what I believe in. Wasn’t he doing the same thing? Fighting for what he believed in? I had no choice but to shake it off and keep moving—keep pushing forward. I didn’t let it stop me.

On a happier note, later on in the midst of a pre-rally chant with all the Planned Parenthood volunteers and our recruited supporters, I was standing next to a man while we were chanting ,“Our body, our choice!” who with one hand cuffed around his mouth and the other balled into a fist thrusting towards the sky started chanting “Their body, their choice!”

I turned to him, eyes watering, and gave him a hug. That moment made up for my experience with the little boy from earlier. It is a moment I will always cherish and remember whenever I feel burnt out, disheartened, or discouraged.

My work with Planned Parenthood helped me further articulate my stance as Pro-Choice and understand  what the pro-choice movement is really all about, and that’s supporting and working towards preventing unwanted pregnancies, reducing abortion, promoting contraception, educating women and the youth, and providing women with the necessary resources to raise healthy, happy children.

Allie Rosnato is a student at the University of North Carolina where she is studying Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She considers herself a Golden Girls enthusiast, an unapologetic feminist, and prefers to take naps as often as possible.

When not in school, Allie resides in the Outer Banks where she kayaks, hang glides  and does her part to spread awareness for women’s rights. You can find her on Twitter HERE.