This I Believe

Tina - West Branch, Michigan
Entered on December 14, 2006

I Believe in Pro-life

Of all my beliefs, one that I am very passionate about is protecting the life of the unborn. You could label me as Pro-life. I believe God gives life, and only God can take it away. I don’t believe that a woman has the right to decide if her baby will live or die. But I wasn’t always this way. I was taught these core beliefs growing up; however, I was wishy-washy at best defending them. In fact, in high school two of my friends had abortions. Little did I know that I would experience something so profound, that it would force me to make a choice in what I believed, and it would then become an important part of who I am.

On July 4, 1982, my sister Kim was pregnant and sick with pneumonia. She went into premature labor at only 24 ½ weeks, and gave birth to a little girl weighing 2lbs 15oz and 16 1/2 inches long, named Stephanie Marie. She was sent up to the neo-natal ward and hooked up to life support. During the night Stephanie suffered a brain hemorrhage. The doctors told my sister that her baby would die shortly and asked if she wanted to take her off the machines to hold her. My sister’s husband called to have our family come to be with them during this time.

We arrived and were put into a small room. Kim’s husband sat on her left, I sat on her right, the rest of the family sat in chairs in a circle, and the doctor stood at the door. The nurse came in and placed Stephanie in Kim’s arms. She was beautiful. She looked like my sister. She had dark hair, with a little widow’s peak, full eyebrows, long dark eyelashes and a little button nose. When Kim unwrapped her blanket, we saw that Stephanie was perfectly formed. Her ten little fingers and toes had tiny nails.

I held out my pinky finger and she grasped it with her little hand. I watched her belly go up and down with each breath. The room was so quiet. We sat with tears rolling down our cheeks watching this small baby fight to live. With each breath, she clung on by a fragile thread. I watched her breathing grow slower and slower and her chest move less and less. As she took her last breath, she slowly released her grip on my finger. I watched her arm go limp and her chest no longer moved. The doctor whispered the time of death to the nurse. After just twenty-six hours of life, I watched my sister’s baby die in her arms.

Watching this, I realized that this baby could have legally been aborted. This was a perfectly formed baby, not a product of conception or a mass of tissue. I knew then that if the baby had a choice, it would choose life.