A heartbreaking and inspiring testimony in USA Today from Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of Americans United for Life. The thing I love about this is that it reveals her wounded heart. I pray that those who read it do so with an open heart. There are so many women out there who need to hear this kind of story from a pro-life leader. We are all sinners. We stumble. We fall. But it shouldn’t stop us from reaching out to God and learning that all life is sacred.
And kudos to USA Today for running it.
I remember that week vividly. I was wearing my boyfriend’s oversize sweatshirt and tried to comfort my baby — and myself — as I walked around campus. I named her. And then walking through the doors of that abortion business, nothing felt right.
No information, no care, no compassion. I was still making up my mind, and I asked to view the ultrasound they performed to see how far along I was. The technician refused. It was against their policy. Nothing about that day restored my choice, my autonomy or my sense of empowerment. They were just stripped from me over and over. I aborted my first child that day. And that decision has been with me every day since.
In the years to come, I faced the challenges of timing and circumstances of conception that push hundreds of thousands of women to the abortion storefront each year. I did not grow up in an actively pro-life household and I was urged by family, friends and medical professionals, to seek an abortion with my next two children.
Thankfully, I chose life for my now-13-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son. They are loving, compassionate, full of energy, and a testament to the amazing things that can happen by choosing motherhood even when you’re scared.
While I was expecting my third child, my youngest daughter, one trip to the doctor’s office yielded news no mother wants to hear. I was told that my little girl was at a significantly elevated risk of a trisomy disorder, the most well-known of these being Down syndrome.
Over the past few years, some countries have claimed they have practically “eradicated” conditions like Down syndrome, but what they really mean is just aborting every child who is diagnosed with it. My doctor said I should consider abortion. I knew I could not. Hearing that suggestion was heartbreaking and appalling from the person I entrusted with my and my daughter’s medical care. But I did not change doctors; I wanted to provide a witness to the medical team of choosing life, even in the face of adversity.
Catherine Glenn Foster in Washington, D.C., in October 2018.
As it happens, after giving birth to my daughter, it was clear that the doctors had gotten it wrong with that early test. My curly-haired little girl was born healthy as could be, with no trisomy conditions. Fetal diagnoses and prognoses are not a guarantee, but many women may be directed towards abortion based on those results.
Strong women like Justice Amy Coney Barrett show us the perseverance and gratification that comes with being a mother to a child with special needs. These children deserve our love and care, not heartless, utilitarian eradication. Policymakers must focus time and resources on how to support mothers in challenging situations, and how to make the world a better and more welcoming place for all human beings.
Providing real alternatives to abortion is necessary to create a culture that allows for an understanding of motherhood that is inclusive of women’s hopes and dreams. No woman should be pressured to choose abortion. Women like Barrett remind us of what we are capable of without ending the lives of our unborn children.
Let’s support women, not push them towards the violence and neglect of abortion.
Thanks to Catherine Glenn Foster for sharing this.