Wednesday, May 22, 2019

We asked, you answered: why did you convert from being pro-choice to pro-life?

Original FB post here. At the time I started organizing these answers, there were about 200 comments.

Many people became pro-life because of their own pregnancy experiences:

Sasja: I was pro choice, and even against the gestation of embryos that showed signs of hereditary diseases or birth defects ... And then I fell in love when I first saw the beating heart of my 12 weeks into development unborn child—at that time nothing more than a blinking lo-res pixel on the ultrasound screen.

Myles: Having our first child and thinking we were going to lose him at one point during the pregnancy. Made it crystal clear.

Cassie: I was raised by a feminist mom to be pro-choice. I believed it was a "blob of tissue" until I was pregnant with my first child. When they handed me all the info on prenatal care and my "growing baby" I was like, "Wait what?" I pretty much changed my mind right then and there though it probably took me 3 or 4 more years to talk about my change of mind with friends and family.

Mandy: Seeing my 12 week old baby miscarriage.

Rachael: Pregnancy changed my mind. I had an unplanned pregnancy and I just felt different after that. It is hard to explain.

Heather: I was rather uncommitted either way, just not a problem I had to consider. Until I miscarried at 5 weeks. That was a life. I felt real loss, real grief. And the pro-abortion side tells me it's just a clump of cells. It wasn't. It mattered. It had meaning. I know that now.

I found myself getting pressured into abortions with both my kids by people in the healthcare and mental health services industry. Later on, I was told that I should have not even had kids if I had an intellectual disability. On top of that, my boyfriend wanted me to abort.
I made two appointments with PP who were actually fair saying I have to really want it. I dreamed my baby was being attacked by a large snake. I had to protect and defend my baby as her mother! That's when I knew I wasn't going through with it.
Things actually worked out for us. Section 8 gave us a home. When things went south with my relationships, there were shelters, I had a legal advocate and counselors, we always had enough food. Later on, we got a new apartment and thrived. Point being things were never as bad as things were painted.
I want to advocate for other women going through this. I want them to know the Truth that someone dies during an abortion and someone could be saved and things can turn out even when things are at their worst when they choose life!
I think when I was very young I didn’t give it much thought. Then gradually as Roe v. Wade was passed I thought more about it and my understanding of how the baby developed brought me to be pro-life. Lastly becoming a mom cemented it in me. Especially mother of a baby who died at 22/3 weeks gestation.

I still can’t reconcile how people can be sympathetic to that sort of loss and yet still think abortion is okay. Yet I know pro-choice folks who were very appropriate to me at that time and later when I lost three grandbabies. How do they say "I understand your loss is painful" but at the same time say it’s okay to take the life of a baby in the uterus? Is a baby at that stage valuable in one circumstance but not the other?
Rhonda: I was one that said I wouldn’t do it unless there was an extreme abnormality, but then our first pregnancy ended up being a partial molar pregnancy. Our baby died at 15 weeks and I had to deliver him. Watching my husband hold our fully formed baby and confirm his gender at this early stage did it for me. Doctors tried to comfort me with the fact that if he had survived he would have had severe problems. But to me the pain and emptiness I was feeling was worse than anything else I could imagine. It’s been 20 years and I still grieve that loss. And for people to dismiss his humanity cuts right through me.

Whitney: Incredibly, I used to be pro-choice even though I was given up for adoption as a baby. I thought it wasn't my business what other women did with their bodies. Changing my mind was a process. It started with seeing my daughter on an ultrasound. I knew then that I could never have an abortion and that she was a living person. It took years to break down the mental walls, though, before I became fully pro-life.

Phoebe: I was more of like its not my business, but I was not gonna go out and fight for choice either. Then I carried a child, a child I almost lost. I spent a week in a NICU and saw babies smaller than my hand. That was my turning point. A few years later I realized if I was pro-life I also needed to stop supporting the death penalty. That's my evolution.

Lesli: I was because I was ignorant of how babies developed and what the procedure was actually like. Once I became pregnant, learned about fetal development and found out they have a heartbeat so early on my entire outlook on it changed. Then I read about the procedures themselves and became disgusted that I ever supported it.

Alexis: I've had two unplanned pregnancies. One when I was 17. Abortion was thrown around by others around me, but that wasn't an option. I was determined to raise that baby. Unfortunately she didn't survive and her heart stopped at 16 weeks. My second unplanned pregnancy was when I was 21. I JUST started my career as a paramedic and was not in a committed relationship. I had been on birth control since 18. Once again abortion was thrown around by others, and once again I wouldn't hear it. My beautiful daughter is now 8 years old; my husband and I (her father) have two more children together. We chose life with the odds stacked against us, and we are thriving. Not all stories are like mine. All these babies have a purpose and it is not right to kill them. Abortion is legalized genocide.

Karen: I was. I saw my child on ultrasound and realized she was a child. I expected to see a blob, not a baby sucking her thumb, at 20 weeks gestation. I knew then I'd been lied to and was furious.

For others it was their experiences with abortion itself (or abortion providers) that changed their minds:

Valerie: I was raised pro-life, but became pro-choice in adulthood. It wasn’t until the devastation of my own abortion that I realized those pro-lifers really knew what they were talking about.

Autumn: Working in an abortion clinic changed my mind. It took time.

Monique: I was pro-choice just not for me. Then I had an unexpected pregnancy and went to Planned Parenthood to confirm. They pushed me to not tell anyone and have an abortion. The more I resisted, the more aggressive they got. I literally had to run out of the office. She's 7 now, I'm married to her dad, and just thinking about the possibility of not having our little family is crushing. Abortion hurts women and most are coerced into it.

Rachel: My best friend was 17 when she became pregnant. I went with her for the pregnancy test at PP. She was scared but wanted to keep the baby. Her parents and boyfriend pushed her to terminate. Our state had a mandatory ultrasound and 48-hour waiting period; she shared the ultrasound photo with me. It was not a clump of cells. We could see the head, the defined jaw and chin, a small arm. She wanted to refuse. Her parents sedated her and forced her to go in for the termination. She had a total breakdown. In the months that came she drank, did drugs, became self-destructive. She later killed herself. Every time I hear someone say "clump of cells" and "not human," I think back to an ultrasound photo from 1996.

For some it was increased knowledge of biology:

Lauren: Me. #1 Science; recognizing that's a human in the early part of the human life cycle and we shouldn't kill humans. I can't reason out of that fact.

Jackie: I’m liberal so being pro-choice came with the territory, but I'm also a professor and I’ve been teaching Anatomy & Physiology since 2002. When I started teaching an advanced Human Physiology class in 2008, something huge shifted inside of me. I can't teach about the wonders of development and ignore the wonders of development. I'm also inherently a tree-hugger and can’t handle it when trees and animals are harmed and the cognitive dissonance started breaking.

I was pro-choice for many years. I finally found it too exhausting trying to justify abortion while also supporting my values in science, equality, non-violence, and non-discrimination.
The science doesn't lie. It's a scientific fact of biology that life begins right after the fusion of the two cells, where our unique human genetic makeup now exists, with our own individual DNA.
Every pro-choice person (including me once) tries to say this may be what happens to the cells but it's not "alive." Which is ridiculous! I was that once. A zygote. We all were.
So if I wasn't "alive" then, then how am I here now? That's when I changed. I can't deny the science.
No human should lose their only chance to experience this physical conscious life as we are enjoying, simply because we ignored the reproduction process that's been happening for thousands of years, and don't want to take responsibility for our actions.
Andrew: I used to think that it was nobody's business. I was against abortion being funded publicly but if people wanted to pay for their abortion procedures I thought that was fine. But then I read about and started to think about when human life begins and biologically speaking it starts at conception and saying it begins somewhere after that is to impose your scientifically unfounded beliefs. And if that is a human life you cannot kill it just because it inconveniences you.

Some people changed their minds after talking to pro-lifers:

Karen: A discussion with a pro-life person outside a Planned Parenthood in Washington D.C. At the time, I was assisting PP with political strategies. And thought I was doing so as a strike against the Patriarchy. This woman challenged me to read what the first feminists had to say about abortion. That led to more reading and finally the scales fell from my eyes.

Mike: I was pro-choice because of the media. Eddie Vedder was my hero and I took a lot of my social justice beliefs from him. Once I met pro-life people and started having open discussions about it, I realized I had no foundation to why I believed the government should not be involved in a woman's decision. Once you recognize a fetus as a human life, or even a potential human life, you can't stay pro-choice very long.

Heidi: I read Abby Johnson's book seven years ago. Completely changed my mind. I started educating myself and learning more about what abortion really was and how we can embrace life and protect it at its most vulnerable stage. How can we be a species that kills our young simply because it’s convenient?

Darinka: I thought I'd never do it, but I wouldn't dictate the choice to someone else. But then a friend asked me a simple question. "Why would you never do it?" And when I thought about it, I realized that it's for the same reasons nobody else should.

Kristin: I was pro-choice until a few years ago. A close pro-life family member was challenging my conscience with facts against abortion. I felt I had to strengthen my argument with facts too, so I went on a mission to educate myself with as much unbiased information as I could find. That journey led me to the truth, and the truth led me to becoming pro-life. I watched "The Silent Scream" and an interview with Dr. Levatino, and I was forever changed, and glad for it.

Abby: I started to change my mind when I held my own miscarried baby in my hands. I completely changed my mind when I read about Abby Johnson. If she could cross over to pro-life I could too and it didn't make me a hypocrite.

Ellen: I was heavily indoctrinated into everything hard left, including radical support for abortion, coming of age in a large east coast city government school environment. I was also raised Catholic, while my catechesis was... Not great... So that probably planted the seeds of a consistent view on the dignity of human life. As a young adult, I decided I was personally pro-life, but politically pro-choice (I didn't want to force my view on others). It was my then-boyfriend (now husband), who identified as atheist/agnostic at the time, who highlighted the logical inconsistency of my position; if I was against abortion personally, the fact that it was a human rights violation didn't change depending on who was committing it. Over the next few years, I formed a highly consistent life ethic—all human life, regardless of circumstances, from conception through natural death.

And, maybe surprisingly, some changed their minds after talking to pro-choicers:

Stephen: I met other pro-choicers, heard their arguments, tried to research some of them, and ended up finding a good number of fallacies or terrible ethics. Sooner or later I adopted into my moral philosophy that all humans have an intrinsic value, and abortion under any circumstances is incompatible with that philosophy.

Shelby: I used to be pro-choice as I believe that if you get rid of it before it has a heartbeat it isn't as bad. But what pushed me to just be pro-life is pro-choicers pushing for second and third trimester abortions. Acting like abortions are normal.

Cian: To an extent I still am pro-choice but what's driving me out of that camp is seeing the enthusiasm and wanting to terminate and display it as something that should be celebrated.

Stephanie: I was always an "Abortion is murder but..." thinker but the left's cultural shift from "Abortion is a necessary evil sometimes" to "celebrate your abortion" has prompted me to think "Abortion is murder." Period. I cannot be on board with the celebration of the murder of the most innocent for convenience's sake.

Katherine: Two things: (1) going to a sex week event in college and seeing pro-choice people misrepresent statistics. I thought "If we have the right argument, we shouldn’t need to lie and manipulate numbers." (2) I shadowed in a hospital and went through pages and pages of women's gynecological history, seeing that most of the women had at least one abortion. The prevalence was shocking. Then I came across a 24-year-old woman who had been pregnant ELEVEN times and had SEVEN abortions. THAT is the moment I completely switched to pro-life and realized abortion is completely abused and not "rare."

See more stories about conversion on FB here. Also check out this Twitter thread by a pro-choice woman explaining how her friends and family's experiences made her views on abortion "more cautious."

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