A Letter to My Daughter

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Dearest daughter,

I wish you could hear me from my heavenly perch. There is so much I would say to you. If I had known your turmoil when you found out you were pregnant as a senior in college-engaged to your sweetheart, Bill-I never would have vociferously shamed your cousin who "had to get married." I would not have planted in your mind the notion that our entire clan would be "mortified" if such indescretion were to happen in our family. I did not know such fear would lead to a far greater disaster. If I had had the enlightened, loving perspective I have now, I would have welcomed the beautiful child you surely would have had. Instead, my values and your fear of my judgement drove you and Bill to seek an abortion. How horrifying the clandestine trip to West Virginia to an abortionist obstetrician must have been. The fear of illegal surgery in a clinic attached to the physician's home. And, then, awakening in the night to the sound of a baby crying. I am astonished there was no one in the clinic to comfort you or the baby left alone and away from anyone's hearing. The physician did not want his sleep interrupted by a baby's cry-or by you, if you had some discomfort. My heart aches when I think of your going to this newborn infant to rock and comfort him, just having had the abortion!

If only I could reach back in time to love you and welcome your baby. How might your life have been different? What sort of lovely child would have known the gift of life? She would now be a woman (perhaps) of 27, perhaps with children of her own-*your grandchildren. Your son of 24 would have had a sister. You would have known the joys and sorrows of rearing a daughter, helping her plan her wedding-perhaps take care of household chores and lovingly stay in the background her fLrst week home with her new baby so she could recuperate and breast feed peacefully.

These are joys I knew with you and are joys you will never know. Perhaps you would have been able to have other children, if your uterus had not been scraped. Perhaps you would not secretly ached and cry in pain for having committed this violent act against the life that was within you and for the loss you feel. Had you learned about horrors of abortion, perhaps you not only would have spared this life but you would have a beautiful daughter in your life now.

I pray that the energy of your loss will become energy of love for those facing this choice of life or death and for those others who faced it in the past and chose abortion. That you will share with others your passion for life; your knowledge of what an abortion is, your experience of loss and the psychological pain. The solution can be found in love-the love of family, community, friends, social services. There always is a place of love waiting for a new life. You just have to find it.

Your loving mother.


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Posted 9 Sep 2000.

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