By Kim, WSFT member
No one speaks for all women on these issues. Women Speak For Themselves.
When I was 19, I was pro-choice. I was a promiscuous college girl who found herself pregnant. I was terrified. The Sisters of Life helped me come out of a continued life of despair, and they, or other religious groups, can do the same for other young women who might need this kind of help. Here’s why I hope also that religious groups and individuals like Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Woods, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and the numerous universities, charities and businesses are allowed to continue to be their witness of belief in life and faith.
The year I found myself pregnant was 1978. My thoughts led to abortion. I remember thinking this “new” law is so great; just what I need to get my life back on track. No one had to know. I kept it all to myself. In my shame, over the “situation,” I decided to confide in only one girlfriend. She drove me to the clinic. I went through the procedure and my life was forever changed. I began a downward spiral from sorority college girl to a life on drugs. My soul was wounded by the murder of my baby. I did not realize it then. I did not let my mind dwell upon it. Instead, I pacified my mind with drugs.
After marrying, I became pregnant again. This second pregnancy changed my life dramatically. I came out of my self-inflicted drugged, downward spiral and focused on my baby. God had given me a second chance! This baby saved my life!
After divorcing her dad, (he wanted to continue the drug lifestyle), I began my journey into single motherhood. I finished my college degree, met a man who was truly right for me,, married and began anew. We were very focused on our family and wanted to pursue faith. My husband, a cradle Catholic, sponsored me as I entered into RCIA. I became Catholic in 1986. We had two children, bringing our total to five between us.
The issue of contraception was very real. I admittedly, did not have a full grasp on the Catholic teachings on being open to life. I did consult a Sister and a priest. They both advised me to ‘ “let my conscience be my guide.” Since we had five children, I was convinced that God was OK with me having a tubal ligation.
As my husband and I continued to grow in our faith, I realized the beauty in the Church’s teachings on life and family. At age thirty-seven, I had the reversal. Almost four years later, I gave birth to my fourth child, a son, who I knew was a true gift from God. Then, ate age forty two, I had a daughter! God is SO good!
These two miracle babies were so much more than I deserved, but I am eternally grateful for God’s mercy. Having them changed our entire family dynamic for the better. I cannot imagine my life without these children. It also makes me realize the loss of that first child.
The scar of that abortion is still very real. I think of the frightened, self-centered nineteen year old girl that I was and I am sad. I’m sad that she ran to a clinic for answers to a very personal situation that she viewed only as a problem. I’m sad that she was offered no counseling. I’m sad that she let fear overtake her. I’m sad that she chose to hide her situation from the baby’s father and from her family. It is sad she felt like those were her only options.
Thanks to the Sisters for Life healing retreats, I have found peace. I have learned to forgive myself and to trust in God’s mercy.
This isn’t about taking away a woman’s right to choose contraception, it is about letting those with deeply held beliefs and a different approach to “women’s health” have a voice in the public square. It is about giving women like me a place to find hope, healing, and peace.
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