In 1976, Linda Bird Francke, an avid proponent of abortion, reflected on her choice to kill her child…
I began to panic. Suddenly the rhetoric, the abortion marches I’d walked in, the telegrams sent to Albany to counteract the Friends of the Fetus, the Zero Population Growth buttons I’d worn, peeled away, and I was all alone with my microscopic baby. There were just the two of us there, and soon, because it was more convenient for me and my husband, there would be one again.
[How could I] so arbitrarily decide that this life shouldn’t be? ‘It’s not a life,’ my husband had argued, more to convince himself than me. ‘It’s a bunch of cells smaller than my fingernail.’ But any woman who has had children knows that certain feeling in her taut, swollen breasts, and that slight but constant ache in her uterus that signals the arrival of a life. Though I would march myself into blisters for a woman’s right to exercise the option of motherhood, I discovered there in the waiting room that I was not the modern woman I thought I was.
It certainly does make more sense not to be having a baby right now—we say that to each other all the time. But I have this ghost now. A very little ghost that only appears when I’m seeing something beautiful, like the full moon on the ocean last weekend. And the baby waves at me. And I wave back at the baby. ‘Of course, we have room,’ I cry to the ghost. ‘Of course we do.’
Abortion isn’t only a human atrocity, it’s a human tragedy. It not only robs another human being of their chance to be a mother or father, it robs those who commit this unjust act of the chance to mother and father the child they killed.
We will never know a world founded on a love for one another so long as we continue to believe that some lives matter less than ours. In honor of all those mothers who have sacrificed for their children, it’s time to declare that all humans deserve human rights and that those rights begin with the right to life.