Raised Catholic, I always believed, was taught, and felt abortion was an evil. I never understood that anyone would ever refute the claim that life was such a valuable gift. Since I had never truly been involved with anyone who felt differently, I lived in a blissful world where every life was respected. Attending only parochial school, I truly was not immersed into the ways of the world until I was well into high school.
Upon hearing others’ opinions as I grew, I was bewildered how others did not share the same viewpoints on babies that I did. I could not grasp how anyone would not value a life, no matter how old or young. However in being a very shy only child that never had to argue my viewpoint with anyone and believing others only had the best of intentions, the idea of opposing someone felt uncharacteristic.
Over time I learned to listen, sympathize for, and pray for those whose opinions were different than mine, but never speak up. On the other hand, unknowingly, I feel I was being prepared inwardly. Slowly I was being led to my defining moment: a moment where I was called to be strong and push out of my comfort zone — into a new beginning.
That time began with a mountain of internal pain, grief, loneliness, and feelings I never wish anyone to feel. As I lay in a hospital bed at 26 weeks pregnant with my first child, the doctors were preparing me to deliver him early. Despite the pain associated, his life must continue, his life was worth it — no matter what it did to me. I felt him move inside me and regardless of my own feelings, I was willing to allow the doctors to do whatever they could to stop my contractions.
It was in that time that I slowly became ready, ready to stand up and promote a cause. Discovering his neuro-developmental special need at 3 years of age a whole new chapter unraveled as I began advocating first to my family and then to the world for all special-needs children for every moment of their natural lives.
It was in the time that I felt that I was about to lose a child that I became strong. It was in the time that I believed I could not go on without his presence that my skin thickened. When I felt so distraught to discover that he was not developing typically and feeling as if I was bearing too much, I became strong. Regardless of how I felt about me and my needs, I moved forward for his presence. I did not succumb to the despair, hurt, isolation, and desperation — I rose above to find my voice. I changed every ounce of my life to become who I needed to be for that child.
Yet when it comes to the women who believe they are so strong that they are able to see no evil in ending a life, bypassing the scientific evidence behind a growing human life, I feel extremely distraught. These women who believe they are strong enough to state that they feel nothing and swallow the reality of the act that they are committing is heartbreaking to me. Nevertheless, it seems there continues to be, with each passing year, more and more women who find no fault in thinking more about themselves than another person.
Regardless of if you want the child, believe the child is a child, or are happy you are pregnant — I fail to see how that is a justification for an abortion. Every women is capably strong enough to give 9 months of their life, a relatively short time period in comparison to its totality, no matter how trying for another. Another part of themselves, growing within, a being conceived irrelevantly of their own choice — by an act of creation. A creation that is in the world well over 2,600,000 seconds, 60,000 minutes, 40 days, or 6 weeks’ time before a women even has a thought of being pregnant.
Lying in that hospital bed, I swallowed all of the pain that I was feeling and fought for that life growing within, and if I had to do it all over again, I would without a thought, despite his un-apparent special needs, because that is what it means to be a strong woman. A strong woman will sacrifice her life for another — regardless of the cause.
Copyright 2017 Janele Hoerner
About the author: Janele Hoerner is the author of Loving the Soul Beneath the Autism: An Interior Analysis of the Impact a Special Needs Child Bestows upon the Family. She believes her son is the greatest gift that she has ever received and wishes to help all individuals to be selfless by the presence of special needs individuals in our community. She lives with her husband and their five children, two of which are on the Autism Spectrum, in central Pennsylvania. Visit Janele’s website and Facebook page to learn more about her work.