42% of Catholics leave the church due to its teaching on abortion.  39% reject the idea of abortion according to a recent study by Rev. Andrew Greeley.
I wasn’t always pro-life.  I was from an era that when you got pregnant you just went and had an abortion.  I remember watching a soap opera during those days when one of the characters was struggling with the possibility of being pregnant by a man other than her husband.  Of course she was going to have an abortion.  It was that simple.  Or was it?
That’s what we did then.  That’s what was expected.  It was called choice.  I was spared that particular experience, but I knew women who went that route.  I worked with a woman in the early 70’s that was going to a particular clinic every three months to abort yet another child.  Finally the clinic told her not to come back … till 1990!  Years later another woman confided in me that she had several abortions during that time and she grieved to this day for those children she lost.  It was one of many things we didn’t expect during that time.  Grief.  Loss.  Guilt.
When I became pregnant with my second son, our oldest son was four months old.  I don’t recommend this.  I was devastated to say the least.  My husband and I were at Mass and we were asked to bring up the gifts.  I barely made it to the altar and back because I was so emotional, but when I knelt down in the pew, it occurred to me what a gift this child was … and is.
When my husband and I were pregnant with our third child, the doctor had put on my chart “Advanced Maternal Age.”  I was 38.  I wanted to slap him!  Because of that I was scheduled for a test to see if the baby had one of 2500 diseases or abnormalities.  As my husband and I watched our 9 week old baby on the ultra-sound (a perfectly formed baby) the one hand began to wave back and forth for a few minutes.  Neither I or my husband said anything until we left the office, but we both realized that our baby was waving at us.  It was a moment neither of us has ever forgotten.  Later the test also revealed we were to have our first girl.  Our daughter had already perfected the “queen’s wave.”
It took three pregnancies, but I finally had the light bulb, aha, fireworks moment.  Life.  Three healthy, amazing people that uniquely belong to my husband and me.  What would are lives have been like if we had done the unthinkable?
     “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

                                                                                     – Mother Teresa

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