Self, Health And Wellness

I'm Pro-Life And Don't Deserve To Be Shamed For My Beliefs

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I'm Pro-Life And I Don't Deserve To Be Shamed For My Beliefs

Contrary to what social media will have you believe, there are women in the world who are pro-life and we don't deserve to be shamed for our beliefs. We have our reasons and stories just like you do.

The abortion debate will always come down to the much-debated question: When does human life begin? Thus, you already know why I'm pro-life. I'm pro-life because I firmly believe human life begins at conception.

With Alabama’s recent ban on abortion, the internet, social media and mom-blogs exploded with #youknowme stories of women who have had abortions in an effort to expose Alabama as a state that disrespects a woman’s autonomy and reproductive rights. But for those of us who believe life begins at conception, this isn't at all a reproductive or feminist issue at all.

Abortion is a debate that will never end. To many, it's much more than a question of life and death. There are tragic situations like incest, rape and a mother’s health that complicate the issue of abortion and result in passionate and emotional arguments from both sides.

RELATED: Can You Truly Be A Feminist If You're Pro-Life?

In the last few weeks, as I've scrolled through Facebook, Twitter, and my favorite news outlets, I've personally seen very little representation of the pro-life population. Some would believe it's because there just aren’t that many pro-life women out there but I think it's because most of us remain silent on the issue.

We're afraid to speak out because of the reaction to our beliefs. We're afraid we will be met with hostility, anger, and, in the case of Matthew Walsh, a conservative writer and blogger, multiple death threats and online commenters wishing rape upon his wife and children and telling him to commit suicide. This online vitriol is not okay.

While you may not agree with one's pro-life beliefs, it doesn't give humans the right to attack or shame pro-lifers for their stance. So, while women everywhere share their abortion stories via the #youknowme movement, I wanted to share the 'why' behind my beliefs in an attempt to encourage other pro-lifers to be brave and take a stand, too.

I am pro-life and here's what I want you to know:

1. It's a God thing.

I believe in God. I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school and church on Sundays. I was taught from a very young age to be pro-life. I always stated I was pro-life — but I wasn’t really sure why and probably couldn’t back it up with words, beliefs or an authentic passion. At the time, I was pro-life because I was expected to be.  

But then life and God taught me the most valuable lessons through a challenging, soul-breaking experience. I was a former alcoholic who hit a painful and very low bottom that involved losing everything: my job, my marriage, my kids, my license and sadly, all hope. I couldn't see how sobriety was an option for me as I drank vodka around the clock; I simply couldn't stop drinking despite every negative, heartbreaking consequence. One day, however, I surrendered. Today, I am almost six years sober and I look back on the darkest times of my life and know that they were always part of God's plan for me. I trust God and rely on His word through the written scripture.

Here's what God’s word tells me about abortion:

  • “God vowed to punish those who “ripped open the women with child.” (Amos 1:13)
  • “If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined... But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life.” (Exodus 21:22,23).
  • "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job, 1:21)

There are many more verses, too. In my world, God knows what He's doing. He uses evil for good. Bad things happen  but good things come from it. Humans and our free will interrupt God’s plan,but God forgives always. He loves murderers and rapists, and those who are pro-choice and pro-life. Everyday I strive to be more like God.

RELATED: My Mom And Sister Had Abortions — But I'm Pro-Life

2. It's also about life.

God and the bible are not the only reasons I'm pro-life. I believe that when a sperm fertilizes an egg and becomes a zygote, that's a human life because that zygote can’t live without its mother.

You may argue the zygote is simply an extension of a woman’s uterus, but I don't agree. A human being is defined by its DNA and at conception, a human being’s full DNA is present. It's not a cat. It's not almost human. It is a human.

If a human finds themselves on life support, do they become less of a human simply because they cannot survive on their own? Is their life now free to take by anyone who feels they're simply too much of a burden?

No. They're still a human. Their DNA tells us so. And so, it's not your uterus. It's not a reproductive right. It's a human life. It'ss a baby. And it's a miracle. 

3. I am not God.

I am not God and, therefore, what you do is none of my business. I don't intend to punish those who have abortions, nor do I judge a person based on his/her opinions about abortion. I will not defriend you if you're pro-choice and I will not scold you or talk badly about you behind your back.

I may share my beliefs with you and leave it at that, but it's not my job or duty, or even within my power, to change you or make you believe what I believe. I may pray for you but I will not throw stones. I am not God — and trust me, I don’t want to be.   

4. Pro-choice hypocrisy is real.

One of my biggest pro-choice frustrations is the pro-choice/miscarriage hypocrisy. Women who are extremely vocal and passionate about their pro-choice beliefs will argue abortion is a woman’s right because a zygote (or fetus) isn't a baby, but simply part of a woman’s uterus.

Yet these same women publicly mourn and grieve the loss of their zygote, or fetus when it's miscarried. These women call it a baby when they want the child and adamantly deny it's a baby if they choose to abort.

5. But what about rape?

I hope and pray to God I never have to find out what it is like to be impregnated by rape. I pray this never becomes a reality for me or anyone else.

But unfortunately, life is unpredictable and unfair and bad things happen to good people — even when it isn’t our fault at all. 

If I was raped and became pregnant, I would pray. I would pray and seek help from professionals and family and friends, and I would be scared and angry and bitter and traumatized.

I would consider my options and make the choice that felt the most right with me, my family and my God, but abortion wouldn't be considered — because to me it's murder.

RELATED: What It's Like To Have A Late-Term Abortion (From A Mom Who Doesn't Regret Her Abortion At All)

Suzanne Hayes is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Today's Parent, First For Women Magazine, The Girlfriend by AARP, Working Mother Magazine, and many more. Visit her on Twitter.