Pro-Faith, Pro-Family, Pro-Choice

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I pulled the mail out of my box at the church this morning. There were two envelopes with handwritten addresses on them. Neither had return addresses. One was nicely written the other looked like the hand had been in spasm with red pen in hand. The nicely written one was a thank you from a parishioner whose brother had died and I helped plan and conduct the memorial service. The other . . .

In the envelope was a torn up newspaper article from a local Cape Cod paper a week ago that quoted me about the war (surprise, I'm against it!). The quote was marked and there was a notation in the margins. Included in the envelope was a bumper sticker, " Be grateful your mother was Pro-life." OK, I hadn't had one of those kinds of mysterious envelopes in a while, years even. Into the garbage it went.

I had forgotten that today marks the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. An odd thing for me to forget as I am an activist for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. But there is so much going on in my life right now it had just slipped. It happens.

Whomever the troubled person was who felt the need to press her or his views upon me obviously does not know my mother. Back in the early 1950's my mother had two back alley abortions between my birth and the birth of my brother 2+ years later. They were horrid experiences for her and she never talks about them except to confirm that they happened. Fortunately for me, when birth control failed and I needed to find my way to a clinic, it was there. At a time in my life when I could not in any way, shape, or form bring a child into this world, it was there. It was legal. It was safe. It was a caring place for women in need. It also happened to house a facility for women who wanted to carry their fetuses to term and then give them up for adoption. That is what choice is about.

It was a hard decision to make. It is always a hard decision to make no matter how right it is. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. It changed my life. For the better. I doubt that I would be in ministry today had it not been for that choice that I was forced to make. Yes, there is a sad moment now and again when I think about the child I did not have, but I have no regrets. I also have great thanks for the brave and sensitive people who risk so much every day when they go to work so that others may exercise the same choice that I did.

To whomever sent me the bumper sticker, thank you for reminding me how supportive my mother is of my work to preserve a woman's right to choose.
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