Living in Two Worlds
ving in two worlds has taken on a new meaning for me the past six and a half years. It began the day my first child, a son, was stillborn at full-term. The experience forced me to live with half my heart in Heaven and the other half on earth. When my second son was born two years later, the dichotomy of my reality was overwhelming, but time has given me a new perspective; while I continue to live in two worlds, I have learned to live more fully and with more attention to the power of life around me, in general.
This, too, is my approach when asked how I, an avid pro-life supporter, function as a graduate student at a liberal university where I am also a Bender Scholar for 2018-2019 for my interest in feminist/women’s studies.
To answer this query, I must first explain my pro-life beliefs. I am steadfast in my belief that not only does life begin at conception, but life is sacred to every individual both born and unborn. Ultimately, it is easy to be a pro-life feminist in a pro-choice environment because I am dedicated to understanding, communicating and advocating with an unwavering commitment to life from womb to tomb. I do not believe my responsibility as an advocate for life ends once a child is born.
My commitment to life extends beyond hearing a child’s first outcry announcing, “World, I am here!” and includes surrounding the mother, father and family with support, understanding and whole-body care. Perhaps this simple, fundamental part of what I believe is the basis for my ability to be at ease in a community primarily comprised of pro-choice advocates. The challenge, for me, is to find the most effective and meaningful way to bring together the two worlds in which I exist.
As a pro-life human, who is also a woman and a mother, I strive to listen with my heart to the beliefs and concerns of others; sometimes, their assessment of the pro-life movement is not wrong. Many who claim to be pro-life simply want to ensure a child is born and they seem to disappear when the difficult work of support begins.
This is where I think we, as a community that proclaims to revere life, must rise to the challenge of hope for a better future for us all. To do so, we must first listen and love with open minds and open hearts. By supporting better health care for women of all backgrounds and incomes, by facilitating well-managed systems for both adoption and foster care, by striving to change the mindset of our children that the responsibility for an unborn child’s welfare does not rest solely upon the shoulders of the pregnant mother, but also upon the shoulders of the father, and by engaging in loving and meaningful discourse with those who do not agree with our viewpoint we increase the likelihood of reducing the number of abortions in our community.