• Janele Hoerner

NOT to Strong to Feel

On the heels of what is known as a Holiday for Mom’s, or Mother’s Day, I was awoken at 3:58 in the morning to a strong gust of wind vibrating the lunette window of my bedroom. Listening closely for a child’s soft cry out in the silence, knowing it was coming, I soon heard the rustling of the tiniest of my children, who was gently moving her little head back and forth. Beginning to cry out for comfort barely a few feet away from me, I walked towards her gentle calls. Knowing the windstorm would possibly wake more little ones, I walked with her little 15-pound body, slumped onto my chest, to the rocking chair underneath the rustling window.

As her eyes fell closed from just the pure awareness of my presence and accompanying heartbeat beneath my chest, I pulled up her blanket around both of us. I enjoyed the peaceful moments of hearing her breathe in the silence, as thoughts began to flood into my physically tired persona.

On account of an article I had mentally dissected moments after putting my five children to bed less than 8 hours before, my heart just sank as I thought of what my life would be like if any of my children’s eyes never again opened. Pulling my arms more tightly around my baby girl’s tiny body, I thought that the only physical relief I could think of amidst a child’s potential loss would be to have known that I was fully present to them until their last bodily movement.

However, that article described why this particular woman chose to end not a tiny group of cells’ existence, but a life she was acknowledging to be a 20-week, kicking and moving, baby girl–by the act of abortion. It was so heartbreaking on every end of the spectrum not just because I am strongly pro-life, but because this woman felt she had no other choice. The mother of this child in the article was explaining exactly why she was ending a pregnancy with a child who would be considered special needs upon birth. She was proclaiming to the world under the global recent hashtag #shoutyourabortion that abortion is okay and justifiable and should not be looked down upon regardless of the reason behind the decision.

This woman, who I believe probably considers herself to be a very strong woman, wholeheartedly believed that in order to spare herself, her husband, and her extended family the pain of carrying a special needs child and feeling distraught over her baby’s deformities, she had no other choice than to end her child’s life at just over 21 weeks pregnant.

Thousands of feelings, questions, and emotions poured into my mind for this woman and the life she in fact chose to end. A life that she made clear she was excited to welcome, a life she was beginning to find a name for with her husband — though upon the arrival of the information of her daughter’s disfigurements she could not go on with carrying. She admitted that she and her husband had the money to afford choices in their life and she was thankful that they did, but she was still choosing to end her child’s lifespan now, so that her own pain and her child’s pain would end rather than letting her baby’s life end naturally. Smiling in a picture after her “procedure” was over, she was just glad that her life was safe. She was smiling knowing that she had just aborted a child. My mind could not understand how she could be smiling while fully admitting and understanding that she just had just ended a life, a life she in fact wanted if “healthy!”

Feeling the tears fall slowly down my cheek, holding my own little girl, I felt great pain thinking about this woman’s words, as my own two boys with special needs slept just down the hallway. Slowly walking towards my bed, I ever-so-gently curled up next to my sleeping husband and with my daughter’s tiny fist clinging to my shirt, I gently cried myself to sleep. My tears were offered for all the women who believe they are too strong to feel the true effects of abortion, on a day that they should be happy to celebrate instead of suppress.

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