By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
Freedom. A cherished word. A sacred right.
The older I get, the more I value freedom and the more I desire others to know true freedom.
I desire it particularly for women who find themselves facing an unexpected pregnancy.
Those who do not feel free to choose life. Those who feel coerced by the baby’s father, or parents, or friends.
Those who feel stifled by society’s lingering stigma regarding unplanned pregnancies and adoption.
Those who feel imprisoned by fear of an unknown future.
Those held hostage by an abusive relationship.
And those whose vulnerability is preyed upon and exploited, trapped into ending their own child’s life.
Two-thirds of post-abortive women report feeling explicitly or implicitly forced into abortion.
That is not freedom.
We must set them free.
We must embrace every opportunity to help women be free to choose life.
Free to protect the child within their womb, even those deemed “imperfect,” or not perfectly timed.
Free to parent a child or free to lovingly place him for adoption.
Free to pursue their dreams, even in the midst of pregnancy or parenting.
When we empower women, whether through our laws, our words, our material support, or whatever is needed to walk with them on their journey, we offer them true freedom. We give them what they need to make the best choice possible for themselves and their child. That choice can never be death.
I am so grateful that my own family gave me the freedom to choose life when I was just 18 years old.
My mother, relieved that I did not have a terminal illness, assured me we could deal with a baby.
My oldest brother, a new father himself, told me that all babies, at all times, are a blessing.
My youngest brother embraced me and thanked me for not getting an abortion.
Does not every young woman deserve such support so that they have the freedom to choose life?
As we celebrate our many freedoms, let us renew our commitment to giving every human being, without qualification, the freedom to live first and foremost, for without life, no other freedoms can exist.