The 4th annual Pro-life Women’s Conference, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, ended this past weekend. Hosted by former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, the conference was sold out with 800 attendees and dozens of sponsors in attendance. I was blessed to share my story on a panel with five other post-abortive women.
Before my abortion, I had a warped preconception about the character of pro-life women. Convinced they were all judgmental, self-righteous, and filled with little concern for my wellbeing, I preferred not to associate with them. I saw them as women who were misinformed, ultra-conservative, groveling at the feet of their husbands, women who had picket signs attached to their uteruses, carried fetal models in their purses at all times, and had no sense of style, including big, Texan hair.
I wanted nothing to do with them. The stereotype in my mind was a huge reason I chose to call myself pro-choice and eventually chose abortion. I didn’t want to talk like these women or dress like them. I certainly didn’t want their lifestyle. I didn’t want to ally with women who didn’t care about other women; I thought they were only concerned with indoctrinating women and echoing restrictive narratives given to them by men.
I became pro-life about five minutes after my baby was painfully sucked out of my body. That was over 20 years ago. I could’ve cared less at that point what the pro-life women looked like, smelled like, or talked like. I just knew that the pro-choice women who looked all cool in their bra-less halters and flat hair ruined my life with their bait-and-switch rhetoric. They baited me into a lie in minimizing the after-effects of the abortion experience, and then when I said, “Hey, what was that?” they grew silent and didn’t look so cool anymore.