By Laura Echevarria, Director of Communications and Press Secretary
With school just getting back into session in Northern Virginia, it reminds me of what happened once when I was driving home after picking up my son from school. I noticed the car next to ours had a purple and white “pro-choice” bumper sticker on the driver’s side. Where I live, it’s always a little bit of a surprise to see these bumper stickers because our county leans conservative.
But, even more surprising, was the “baby on board” sign that waved gently back and forth in the rear window—also on the driver’s side.
The messages could not have been more opposite. On the one hand, as a fellow driver, the “baby on board” sign was supposed to alert me to pay closer attention to this other driver’s car—that I needed to give her extra distance when following or, if I passed her, I needed to be careful and not cut too quickly or sharply in front of her.
On the other hand, her “pro-choice” bumper sticker gave no such considerations to the unborn child. It made me wonder if the child strapped in the car seat was her first child from her first pregnancy and if her “pro-choice” bumper sticker was only a not terribly well thought philosophical statement. Or was the child a lucky survivor of someone who’d previously carried that statement into lethal practice?
Put more directly, was this woman pregnant before? Did her belief in “choice” culminate in the deaths of her first child–or even her second?
I have seen cars carry bumpers stickers that have contradicting philosophies—such as the gasoline-powered car with the bumper sticker arguing for no more fossil fuel—but, in this instance, the dichotomy runs much deeper and has more real-life (or death) impact.
We in the pro-life movement are often accused of not caring for a baby after he or she has been born but that’s not true. Anyone who has any understanding of the pro-life movement knows this.
Instead, when pro-abortion groups argue that we don’t care, they are projecting their attitude and behavior onto us: it is they who don’t care. They don’t care about the baby before he or she is born. Increasingly, they argue that a child born who survives an abortion should be allowed to die unattended.
Ironically, the child I picked up from school is one of our sons with autism. Peter has the communication skills of a 4 or 5-year old and will always live with us. And, after my husband and I are gone, his sister will likely act as his guardian and look after his needs.
I couldn’t help but notice the juxtaposition of my son sitting in a car only a few feet away from a driver who, if there were a prenatal test for autism, would likely have recommended an abortion.
(Currently, there is no prenatal test for autism, but I recently read that at one in vitro fertilization center in England, it is the most requested test for couples seeking to “screen embryos.”)
But when I am with my children—and as a mom of children with special needs—I must give the beliefs of those who would not welcome my children in life the respect those beliefs deserve.
Instead of continuing to dwell on the pro-abortion philosophy of the woman in the next car, I took Peter to get his favorite snack and asked him what he did at school:
I did math and added fractions.
I ate my lunch—a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, fish [shaped] crackers, and apple juice.
And then he laughed and played with the motorized seat in the car and grinned at himself in the visor mirror.
I couldn’t be happier.