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When I was in college, I knew that I was a conservative. I have to admit, I had such little life experience that I couldn’t always form strong arguments for my convictions. As young adults, we often need to apply a hypothetical thought, “if this happened to me, I think this is how I’d react…” During my college years, I was friends with a spectrum of liberals and conservatives, all trying to figure out why we believed what we did.
One of the biggest hot topics then, and today, was abortion. As an 18-year-old, I had never given much thought to what I would do if I was in a situation of unwanted pregnancy, life-threatening pregnancy, or non-viable pregnancy. I did not have the real world experience, but I had my convictions. They were not always popular, but I was firm in my pro-life stance. I was often asked what I would do if faced with one of the aforementioned situations, and I thought I knew myself well enough to know that I would remain pro-life in all of them.
Fast forward nine years, and I was married with a little girl on the way. It was the absolute best time of my life, and I loved every second of it. Until it was almost all taken away.
At 29 weeks pregnant, I experienced a perforation of my intestines due to Crohn’s Disease. This caused infectious fluid to leak into my body and it began to shut down my organs. The only way to possibly save me and the baby was abdominal surgery. They didn’t know what they would find and my pregnancy complicated things 100-fold. Within a few hours of arriving to the hospital, I was being wheeled off to the O.R. with surgeons, neonatologists and others explaining my choices, rights and possible outcomes to me and my husband. In that moment, I asked all of them to save her if they had to make a choice. I literally signed my life away, and said goodbye to my tearful husband.
Praising God, I woke up the next day in ICU. I successfully had surgery and was miraculously still pregnant. God works miracles, and my little girl did not experience any pain or discomfort. Even though surgery was successful, it took a toll on my body. Two weeks later, I gave birth to a beautiful four pound girl. She spent over a month in the NICU, but was incredibly healthy and strong for her gestational age.
Two years later, I have a spunky, independent and sweet toddler. I often think back to my years in college, pondering if I’d act in the way I believed I should. Sure, there are things I’ve educated myself on and either changed my opinion or resolved to keep it, however, my pro-life stance has strengthened for me as I became a mom. I trusted God and knew that asking the doctors to save her was the answer for me. Giving birth at only 31 weeks, I expected some sort of alien baby to greet me the way the pro-abortion crowd describes unborn children. She was far from “a clump of cells” – she was pink, chubby (yes, even at four pounds!), breathing on her own, and and full of light and laughter.
I was often reluctant to share my stance before becoming a mom, which is something I regret. Just because you have not experienced something firsthand, does not mean that you are not allowed to have an opinion on it. Do your research, reflect on the “what-if,” and remember that you know yourself better than others. These tips will help you form a solid basis for any debate, and allow you to have constructive conversations.
As conservatives, we often pay more attention to foreign policy, economics and the free market. Yet, our stance on social issues is important too, as this is how many younger generations determine their vote. It is crucial for you to not only have a voice on these issues, but take time to develop a thoughtful response. I always knew I was pro-life, and becoming a mom in the way I did only solidified my belief.