Friday, January 21, 2011

A Tale of One Baby and Many Babies

Today is NARAL's Blog for Choice Day, celebrating the upcoming 38th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

I'm blogging for choice today, too--the choice for life.

I originally posted the following on January 22nd, 2004. Today I re-post it to participate in "Ask Them What They Mean When They Say Choice" Day.


January 22nd--A Day to Mourn

(originally posted January 22nd, 2004)

When I was a junior in high school, I was delighted to hear that my older sister was pregnant with her third child. I adored my nieces, Shelly and Stephanie, and was looking forward to another little niece or nephew.

My sister gave birth that January to a beautiful little baby girl, and named her Deborah Leigh. But as perfect as Deborah looked, it quickly became obvious that something was wrong. Deborah's little heart was incomplete, and she died within a week of her birth.

I will never forget the car trip from East Texas to West Texas for the funeral of a baby girl. I will never forget seeing that beautiful little girl in the dainty little dress her father had bought for her to wear home from the hospital. I will never forget hearing my brother-in-law cry in the middle of the night for a daughter that would never grow up, or hearing my sister sob for her baby.

Time does heal, and less than a year after Deborah's death, my sister was blessed with another little girl. My niece Cynthia Anne is grown up now, married and has her own babies.

But every year around this time, my sister experiences a season of sadness as she mourns the baby that never grew up.

We were talking about it just the other day. "It's hard to believe it's been 31 years now," Beverly said softly. "She died on January 22nd, 1973."

"January 22, 1973? Beverly...that's the day the Supreme Court Roe versus Wade decision legalized abortion!"

My sister had never connected the two events. We were both struck with the irony. She still grieves the death of a baby on that day...the day that paved the way for millions of mothers to end the lives of their babies voluntarily.

Ironic, indeed.

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