[This post is published at Live Action News.]

In Portland, Oregon, in 1981, just eight short years after Roe vs. Wade passed, I was born to two fervent pro-life activists. 

Our home was the headquarters of traditional yet uncompromising pro-life advocacy. My father and his friend vigilantly interviewed those running for office and published the Voter’s Guide for Oregon Right to Life. My mother and her friends stood outside of local abortion clinics, attempting to make contact with women to help them see the value of the lives in their wombs. Then they threw them baby showers.

In high school and college, I wanted my turn fighting on the balance beam of life and death. But in my college town, there was (thankfully) no abortion clinic to protest. Where did I belong?

Then a troubling new theme emerged, which forced a new bent to my activism. I began to meet women who went through with abortion, but not because it was their choice. They were forced, one by an abusive boyfriend and another by unsupportive parents. 

The polarized abortion movements offered them no options either. They were either supposed to embrace with pride their right to an abortion, or slink into the shadows as a new accusation of “Murderer” hung over their heads. How are these real choices? 

During college I studied social work, and after a few years in the field, my advocacy continues to evolve. Today I find myself among one of the highest-stress populations: military families. Social workers are thoroughly trained to swallow personal opinions. But I know lives are stake here. 

In my work today, these five beliefs and actions serve as my guide:

1. I believe “Every woman wants to raise her child”. I realize this is not true in every circumstance, but this is the belief I operate under when talking with women sitting on the fence of abortion, adoption, or raising her child. The stories I’ve heard about women having abortions were nearly all out of fear and lack of options. But what if she had options? What if she felt supported? I believe in these conditions, most women want to raise their own child. 

Read the rest at Live Action News