You haven’t lived until you’ve seen game night at the Whitlock home. The one guiding unspoken rule is simple: He who yells the loudest wins.
The debate over Planned Parenthood is similar.
Over the past few months, there has been a tumult of boisterous voices dubbing the health care organization everything from murders to liberators. Whether or not you see Planned Parenthood as the devil incarnate or a modern-day Moses leading women out of the proverbial captivity of oppressed sexual health, depends on how you view abortion.
Over the past few days, pro-abortion activists have touted their support to this controversial issue by sharing why their choice to have an abortion has benefited their lives. Shocking stories are mixed with shocking confessions of guilt-free, not-looking-back-once women who had abortions years ago, all bearing the hashtag, #shoutyourabortion.
We live in a world that has the ability to metaphorically crucify those we deem worthy of it. The media — social and news — are constantly buzzing with some story of a mother or father who made a horrific choice to kill his or her child.
I have been haunted lately by the story of “Baby Doe,” and the recent findings in her tragic death. The mother of the young girl, 2-year-old Bella Bond, was charged as an accessory to murder after the fact, according to CNN.
No one in their right mind would agree that murdering a young, innocent child was an appropriate act. It would not be discussed in triumphant tones, decorated with words like “relief,” “freedom” or “guilt-free.”
Why then, do we paint abortion this way? Aren’t we committing the same act? Only this time, it’s murder to a fetus, something so tiny and helpless that it takes the life of another — a mother — to sustain it.
I don’t believe for a second that in this situation we can take one life without taking a part of the other. Both mother and child suffer when the fetus pays the ultimate sacrifice.
And don’t let those loud voices hidden behind #shoutyourabortion fool you. The statistics show just how psychologically devastating an abortion can be.
In case you’re not convinced, let’s take a look.
According to a study reported on afterabortion.org, psychological side effects from an abortion can be crippling for some women.
The study examines medical records of nearly 57,000 women in California who had abortions through Medicaid. The results showed that these women were 160 percent more likely than delivering women to be hospitalized for psychiatric treatment in the first three months following abortion or delivery.
An additional study of women taken eight weeks after their abortion shows that 44 percent complained of nervous disorders. Thirty-six percent had sleeping difficulties, 31 percent had regret about their decision to abort, and 11 percent had been prescribed psychotropic drugs by a physician, according to afterabortion.org.
A study in Canada also determined that women with a history of abortions are significantly more likely to use medical and psychiatric services, according to afterabortion.org.
I’m not naïve enough to say that abortions are not extremely difficult decisions. Often times, these life-altering choices are made out of necessity. But for women to proudly declare that they aborted their child because a baby would have interfered with their life, their career, their future — well, consider that the slap in the face heard ‘round the world by mothers and future mothers everywhere.
This argument isn’t about yelling the loudest. It isn’t about being right or winning. The topic of abortion is one that will continue to be debated for decades to come.
But for now, I will raise my voice and #shoutmymotherhood.
Motherhood too, is a choice. I choose it every day. I must consciously decide each day to make my daughter a top priority in my life. It requires sacrifice, patience and compromise.
But as I walk into her nursery each morning and her face splits into a giant, cheesy grin, I know that each minute I’m breathing, I’m breathing for her.
That sweet girl and her father are my life. They made me a mother. It’s hard, it’s challenging, but it’s one of the few things in my life that makes me more than I ever thought I could become.
So let’s honor our babes and future babes and shout for motherhood.