My Journey From the Organized Pro-Life Movement to Calling Myself Anti-Pro-Abortion
In 2004, I began my “dream job.” I was hired to work as a lobbyist with one of the biggest pro-life organizations in Texas. After being a volunteer for CareNet Pregnancy Center for a couple of years, I was excited about my future position and the opportunity to help young girls who found themselves facing a pregnancy. Everything went well for the first few months. I was able to meet with several legislators about our agenda while researching and helping write some of the language which is now found in Texas Family Code Section 33 (Notice of Abortion).
I enjoyed the work immensely. It was completely satisfying to be working on a bill that would require a 24-hour “cooling off” period to allow a woman time to think more about her decision, parental consent for minors seeking an abortion, and assessing criminal charges on child predators who wanted to conceal their crimes by taking a child across state lines to receive the procedure.
Although much of what we lobbied for did not pass, I was pleased that the measure at the top of my agenda did. We were successful in getting a 48-hour parental notification requirement for minors enacted. Though it did not have the same bite as parental consent, it was an excellent start and well overdue. I could not wait to see what the future held… and then I got pregnant.
My Exit From the Organized Pro-Life Movement
My pregnancy was a problem for the organization. I was downgraded from my regular lobbying duties to only researching, writing, and speaking at legislative committee meetings. Something did not feel right about this situation, and I started to ask more questions about what their stance was on other life issues. How did they feel about homelessness? What were their views on adoption? Had they personally ever consider adoption? How do you think we can help the hunger epidemic in our city? To my surprise- and dismay- I was told that they were only here to focus on one thing and that was someone else’s “problem.” At that moment, it hit me, they were about little more than the cause.
“The people should be more important than the movement.” Nicole
That was the moment I knew that my days in the organized pro-life movement were numbered. After being unceremoniously let go, because I could not be a lobbyist if I were a mother, I knew it was time to sever times. I could not be apart of a group that promotes life and then releases someone because they feel her motherhood will be a hinderance to advancing their cause. The hypocrisy of it all took my breath away.
I am well aware that we all have lanes in which we must travel. I know that everyone cannot tackle every part of the life issue. Nonetheless, I learned throughout my time with this Texas organization and my overall time in the organized pro-life movement, that most people were more about the process than the person, and I cannot abide by that.
Inconsistent Views on the Beginning of Life and Abortifacients versus Birth Control
Another reason I did not see eye-to-eye with those in the organized movement was because while they expressed strong opinions about when life begins when it comes to abortion or the use of abortifacients (i.e. Emergency Contraceptives), they would flip-flop when it came to their views on birth control. An abortifacient typically works in three ways: (1.) It stops a woman from ovulating, (2.) It prevents fertilization of an egg, (3.) It dispels a fertilized egg from the uterine lining. While the primary point of contention for most is number three, the organization I worked for focused upon all three. The problem with this line of thinking is that the same people who fight against abortifacients in the market use birth control pills that act in the same way as some of the medicines they are fighting.
Look at the fine print of your birth control of choice and read where it states the ingredients and how the product works. You will see the similarities. This being the case, it is disingenuous to fight against emergency contraceptives when you are currently ingesting something that has the same ingredients and works the same way. If you believe that these ingredients and working processes cause an abortion, why continue to use them instead of a natural method of birth control? Condoms do not count if you are of the ilk that says life is in the sperm. Condoms kill the life either through the spermicide or preventing it from living through the synthetic rubber.
Innocent Child Versus the Physical and Mental Health of the Woman
Moreover, another point of disagreement I had with the organized movement was the belief that the health of the woman does not matter, and if it did, it does not include her mental health. Is a child still innocent if the child is threatening the woman’s life? It’s too bad that this is not something left up to the mother to take to God, but for men (and a few women) making laws to say what is so. Along these lines, when did we become the moral authorities to say that mental health is so menial that it does not matter when it comes to this debate? I can look at Andrea Yates drowning her five children and see that mental health and motherhood is a real issue. I can refer to my battle with post-partum depression for more evidence. It is for these reasons that women and men should have taken this matter to God instead of placing it before man.
Abortion Should Not Be Legislated or Adjudicated
The crux of my problem with this topic is that it never should have been legislated. With people on both sides not knowing whether life starts before conception in the seed of the sperm, after conception, after fertilization of the egg, after implantation, after the internal organs start developing, at birth, and every other time that has been debated, who are we to decide? The bottom-line is that no one knows the answer but God. That being the case, this is a matter that should be between God, the woman, the man who impregnated her, and the physician. It should have never gotten this far.
Furthermore, it is not right to allow a judge to give a child permission to proceed with an abortion without parental notification. That is the case in Texas. If a child goes to court to have the parental notification requirement lifted, the court can have a Judicial Bypass hearing and decide the girl can have an abortion. The parents have no voice in the matter. Judges should not have this type of power over our families.
The Conclusion of the Matter
Today, my part in this pro-life world that addresses the abortion portion of the matter, centers around providing mental health services to girls and women who are considering abortion or have already had one. I also continue to lobby for laws that (a.) promote assisting and protecting young girls, (b.) do not interfere with a parents right to parent his or her child, and (c.) do not allow predators to take advantage of minors by taking them across state lines to get an abortion. I also will continue to fight against the pro-abortion movement that believes in abortion-on-demand and fights against any limits to the procedure.
Almost two decades after becoming apart of the pro-life versus pro-choice discourse, I now realize that much of this discussion is political fodder. The issue has morphed into a way for politicians on both sides to manipulate your emotions and get your vote. There has not been a great deal of legal movement on this topic in at least 20 years. Thus, those running on either platform are not really doing much about it when they get into office. Do not, therefore, be fooled by proclamations that they will make sweeping national changes to abortion laws. It is not likely to happen.
As we experience this political season, it is important to not only be informed but to know where you stand on an issue. Speaking as a follower of Christ, I encourage you to depend on your faith to help you make the right decision. Do not merely listen to the words of man or be driven by human thoughts.
To connect with me further, you may find me on Twitter at NowWithNicole.
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