Editor: In 1973, the same year Roe versus Wade’s Abortion Act was passed, co-workers disclosed to me that they knew of a single woman who had already had one abortion, and was in the process of scheduling a second.
When I asked them why, they indicated that they believed the expectant mother was single, had no supporting family, church, job or benefits, and was not of sound mind since having taken the life of her first and only child at age 18.
In 1949, a single mother with no job, three young mouths to feed and having recently experienced her husband’s death, in the midst of severe loneliness and grief, becomes pregnant. Worse yet, she is left in a foreign city to fend for herself and her children. Somehow, she manages to struggle through the experience, remarries a former high-school sweetheart in 1951, and moves back into her small hometown to raise her family.
While these two stories share very similar circumstances at the start, their outcomes at the finish line are extremely different.
On Feb. 8, the 1949 single mother will turn 92. She is an amazing individual in stature, courage, grace and dignity, with a healthy respect for life and for countless others. During the last 64 years, I have come to know her from a much deeper and broader perspective as to her capabilities, commitment and maternal love. There is nothing she failed to sacrifice for any of the family members throughout their adolescence and well into their adulthood with their respective families, a beacon or measure for others to follow.
Isn’t it ironic then, that after all of this, she finds herself once again in the same dilemma – for she must now face the very same issues and questions of the unborn or soon to be aborted child.
When she can’t speak, eat or stand-up for herself and life is coming to an end or her life-sustaining functions begin to fail as they will for all of us who have been given the opportunity to travel life’s journey and all of the wonderful and unknown experiences it has to offer, who then will be best able to speak, care and take action on her behalf – if not for the unborn child.