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“I Can Do It!,” Jennifer’s Story, Part 2

by | Jun 22, 2012

By Carol Tobias,
National Right to Life President

NRLC President Carol Tobias [photo credit: Elizabeth Spillman]

“I can do it!” These words started our discussion yesterday. We know that they represent an empowered woman, boldly asserting that she can accomplish what so many others say she cannot.  Other women have dared to say these words before, when it came to attending college, to voting, to leading corporations and nations.  Now, more and more women say these words again, on another defining issue of our lives.

For decades, the cultural elites have told us that women can’t be mothers and still succeed in the world.  As we noted yesterday, if a young woman finds out she is pregnant, these elites would say she should be especially grateful that in 1973, seven men on the U.S. Supreme Court gave them a “choice.”

But there are brave young women in this country who, every day, reject this idea that abortion is somehow the “cure” for their pregnancy. They know that, regardless of what friends, counselors, boyfriends, and even their own parents tell them, abortion is not going to make things “better.” If anything, it will make their lives worse.

We talked about one such young woman yesterday.  At age 15, Jennifer found out she was pregnant. Her boyfriend encouraged her to have an abortion. So did her parents. So did her counselor who warned Jennifer that without an abortion, she would be miserable, would never finish school, and would spend her life on welfare. But Jennifer knew better.

“I knew that in order for me to grow, I would have to accept any challenges and never back down…And I was ready. I was ready to defend [my baby] at all costs.”

Jennifer’s determination won, and her story ends happily. As she reports:

“Only July 17, 1992, I gave birth to a big, beautiful, healthy baby boy. From the minute he was born, my parents and I forgot what we were fighting about, and they gave back to me all the support and love I was craving.”

Jennifer found that she was stronger than she had ever imagined: “I look at my son now, and I’m glad that I was stubborn and refused abortion. I’m glad he’s here, with me, and that I can pass along the lesson to him that my parents forgot to pass on to me: that life is precious.”

Jennifer went on to finish school and became successful in her career at a nonprofit organization here in Washington.

So many times, Jennifer must have looked at herself in the mirror and repeated those words, “I can do it.” So many times she must have declared to everyone who said she was stupid to think she could be a good mother and not ruin her life, “I can do it.”

And so it seems that if women really want to assert our independence, to feel liberated, victorious, and proud about what they have done with their lives, perhaps the permanent high-stakes decision that they make for themselves and their children will be to refuse the abortion; to refuse to resort to violence against their children; to resist the overwhelming messages we all hear about how abortion is the only sensible option.

Women empower themselves by choosing life. They boldly protect the vulnerable child within who so many others see as nothing. They state confidently that we can be good mothers and  succeed in every other way. They know they will be just as intelligent and talented after giving birth as there were before, perhaps even more so. Strain and sacrifice many mark the road ahead for mothers, but so will pride, joy, satisfaction and love.

We know that women deserve better than abortion.

Can we stand up to all those who say otherwise?

Yes. We can. Because we know women are stronger than everyone thinks.

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