NRL News

The Empty Rocking Chair

by | Mar 13, 2015

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Editor’s note. This appeared in the March digital edition of National Right to Life News. This story, and all the great content of the current 39-page issue, can be accessed at

rockingchairrereI celebrate a birthday this month–not that unusual, especially where I work. Five staff members celebrate birthdays in the month of March.

When I gaze back on the tapestry of my life, my favorite birthday scene is when I was seven years old. I remember great excitement waiting in my room, as my mother readied her party preparations. I had high hopes for my presents that year, and my parents did not disappoint.

The best gift I received was a petite white rocking chair with gold accents. I loved chairs that swiveled, spun, or rocked, so this was a godsend. I outgrew the chair quickly, but I kept dolls and stuffed animals in my seat when I no longer occupied it. That rocking chair became the symbol of my greatest birthday ever.

I had a little sister whom I adored, and you would have thought, in generosity of spirit, I would have passed the rocking chair down to her. But, although our mother always stressed the benefits of sharing, it somehow did not get passed on to the next child. It was always my chair.

For my mother, that little rocking chair was synonymous with me. No one–cute cuddly teddy bears notwithstanding–could take my place in that chair.

And so it is with all of us–no one can really take our place. Other people may occupy our former houses and desks–but no one can assume your place in your family, your neighborhood, and your workplace. You may have successors, but no real replacements, since you are a unique individual.

And that is why abortion is so unjust. It takes a life that cannot be repeated. And it is a tragedy not only for the person killed, but for the family she would have been born into and all the various people who would have crossed her path. It is an impoverishment of our nation, a searing of our country’s soul.

If we built one little rocking chair for each child who never got to see a seventh birthday because of abortion, our landscapes would be filled with more than 57 million empty chairs.

Empty chairs…empty houses..empty lives. Every single abortion changes the world. And not for the better.

Categories: Abortion
Tags: abortion