Congresswoman Mia Love recently gave an interview on Fox Business where she answered one political question after another about ending taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, all the while wiping tears from her face.
Midway through the interview, she stopped. With eyes welled up, she vowed, “I’m a mother and a wife... first and foremost.”
That line and her tears – they stuck with me for days.
As a relatively new mother who still marvels over becoming one, I am sick at heart by the Planned Parenthood footage and wish I could undo what I’ve seen and heard.
But earlier this fall, on my Facebook newsfeed, I noticed post after post from peers defending Planned Parenthood.
Let’s embrace unborn life for what it is. Becoming pregnant is not either a gift, a blessing, welcome and timely or inconvenient, untimely, scary, and unwelcome. It is all these things.
After ten videos uncovering this group's horrific practices, I wondered: Why now are people jumping to defend this organization?
Then, I realized. Congress had voted that day to stop funding Planned Parenthood. Facebook commenters called Republicans like Senator Ted Cruz “anti-abortion loonies” or “women haters.
In a Facebook video, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said defunding Planned Parenthood was “spiteful, mean-spirited, and cruel.” A close relative “liked” it. An old friend wrote “Losers” under a story about Republicans wanting to defund. Another friend (from my Catholic school years, no less) shared the #StandwithPP petition on her wall.
The buying and selling of murdered little ones, on display for ten videos in a row, and… Planned Parenthood was still being defended?
How did it come to this?
It’s enough to make me feel as if I’m living in a parallel universe. I see my beautiful and boisterous little girls, ages three and one.
They are my life.
Then there are these other beautiful children, millions of them, around which nobody’s life will ever revolve. Hundreds whose bodies are being picked apart with tweezers in a glass pie dish at this moment. The videos prove it.
Did those who defended them watch the videos?
Regardless, the reality is that Planned Parenthood and its defenders are degrading motherhood as we know it.
Pregnancy, by nature, is irreversible. Nature intended for us ladies to have the capacity to bear life. Some may call it a burden, and of course it is. But this burden we bear is our truth as women.
It’s the same burden that the trees bear when the wind whips through their branches during an impending thunderstorm.
It’s the same burden the orangutan mother bears when she maintains physical contact with her baby for the entire first four months of its life -- never letting go even once!
It’s the same burden elephant mothers bear together when they rally in a herd and take turns watching each other’s children to ensure a newborn’s survival.
It’s the same burden your mother and her mother, and her mother, bore.
It is nature’s burden on us, women. And it’s beautiful.
I never could have imagined the burden of physically bringing children into the world and providing them, to my exhaustion, with my body’s own nourishment.
I also never could have imagined the reward of calling them my own.
Let’s embrace unborn life for what it is. Becoming pregnant is not either a gift, a blessing, welcome and timely or inconvenient, untimely, scary, and unwelcome.
It is all these things.
Abortion, by nature, is an affront to mothers. To conclude that the unborn should be terminated at will is to deny mothers their natural instinct and ability to protect and nurture young life.
And that’s not saying anything about our capacity to love.
Changing our perception of pregnancy starts with changing how we view motherhood. It will be the ultimate tip of the scales in favor of embracing the unborn.
Yes, this will be a steep climb in a dysfunctional society. Yet the simple everyday, and at times burdensome, acts of mothering my children the way nature intended -- it heals my heart and gives me a shred of hope.
The least we can do as mothers is to be testaments to these beautiful little burdens we’ve carried to term.
We should take pride in motherhood, first and foremost.