** I don’t know why Patheos is running this blog post today when it’s so old and I’ve written a lot of other things since I wrote this, including a lot of posts about my son and grieving the loss of his life by suicide. But they are. I need to edit and clarify some points on this post and I haven’t done so because my son’s suicide derailed my life. I will get to that ASAP though. I just wanted everyone reading this today to know that there are updated thoughts on this post. Also, if you go to the next one where I voted for Hillary, just know that I regret that choice. If I could go back to the voting booth I would have voted third party.
I used to be really involved in the Pro-life movement; I even worked in a Crisis Pregnancy Center where I worked with an amazing pro-life doctor and one of the holiest women that I know. It was a great job and I loved every minute that I spent talking to women who were scared that they couldn’t mother the children growing in their wombs. I loved seeing all that fear melt away when they saw the baby on the monitor during their sonogram. I loved seeing them feel cared for by a good doctor even though they had nothing to pay with. They were seen as valuable simply because they existed, not for any other reason.
I know a lot of wonderful people in the pro-life movement. People who give of their time, money and prayers to help women who feel like they aren’t strong enough to give their children a good life and who work night and day to save the lives of the unborn. I’ve seen the power of love in a sonogram room more times than I can count. Those moments gave me life as a person. I have no doubt in my mind that I am meant to help women in crisis pregnancies. I got pregnant at 16 and then was pregnant twice by a man who I knew was a drug addict while I was trying to support the children that I already had. My children are wonderful but also drive me bonkers on the regular, so I know that motherhood isn’t all sunshine and rainbows either.
But I’m not involved in the pro-life movement anymore. I feel amazingly thankful to Donald Trump for proving what I’ve thought for a while now: the pro-life movement is often objectified by the GOP as their own superPAC. There is an ugly side being in the pro-life movement. I never have liked Republicans, I’m Hispanic, it doesn’t’ really work out well for me when I’m told by people of a certain party to go back where I came from (that has happened multiple times in my life). I have also spent a lot of my life on food stamps and three of my four kids were born on Medicaid. If it had not been for that, they would not have been born because there was no way that I could afford health insurance. So when I began to get involved in laws that reduce abortion I automatically would get hives when I was surrounded by people saying I had to vote for Republicans or I would go to hell because I didn’t see anything fully pro-life in the Republican party. The first time that I saw Ted Cruz speak was a pro-life banquet and I couldn’t even stand to talk to him for 3 minutes because he was so fake. The way that I have heard Republican politicians talk about illegal immigrants, even children, has made me want to rip my hair out, but I kept my mouth shut because I really felt like I could be a part of change.
I gave up that idea when I walked into the Texas State Capital during Wendy Davis’ filibuster and was basically shunned by every pro-lifer in the seats around me because me and one of the pro-life celebrities don’t get along. Nobody wearing a blue shirt would really talk to me so I ended up talking to a pro-choice lady sitting next to me. It turned out to be a really great conversation.
That was the beginning of the end for me. I had personal issues going on in my family, but also I didn’t really like what I was seeing around me. I saw people who could do no wrong and if anyone questioned them then those people were shunned by everyone else. I saw people who had crowds bowing at their feet. I saw stories of crisis pregnancies exaggerated for the sake of a good story that would raise money. The first time that I saw that I thought maybe I was wrong but then the second time that I saw it; I realized that I wasn’t, and that really pissed me off, but I was too worried about what people would think about me if I asked, plus I wasn’t convinced that anyone would care.
Thanks to Donald Trump though, I no longer have to pretend that Republican is the only way to be pro-life. Because it’s not, and abortion is not the only pro-life issue that we should be concerned with.
I feel completely free from an obligation to go along with things that I disagree with. I don’t agree that just being against abortion makes a person pro-life. I don’t agree that someone who gets gleeful about the idea of bombing towns until they light up knowing that means dead women and children is pro-life. I don’t think that people who think it’s ok to put children in detention centers like cattle are pro-life. I don’t believe that not caring about jobs, the economy, the environment, the effects of war on human beings who back home alive but riddled with PTSD is being pro-life. I am no longer calling myself pro-life, I am Catholic.