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Iím That Girl Who Chose Life
Catholic Exchange ^ | June 14, 2013 | RAQUEL KATO

Posted on 06/15/2013 2:13:38 PM PDT by NYer

Sooo . . . I’m 22, and I’m a single mom, and I used to bethat girl who got pregnant.” After my crazy conversion story of scheduling an abortion, choosing life, choosing God, and choosing healing, I thought some of you might like an update as well as some insight on being pro-life. So, here it goes:

Yes, I chose life, and I gave birth to the most perfect little girl, AvaMarie Rose, on October 23, 2012 (right in the heart of “Respect Life Month” how perfect). She entered the world at 9:56 pm, weighing 6.8 lbs. and measuring 20 inches. She was, and still is, perfect in every way. I never knew how much I could love someone. It totally gives perspective on just how much God loves us.

I have been blessed with this beautiful girl, AvaMarie Rose, and I couldn’t be more in love. She is a constant reminder of how great God’s love is and how precious life is. “Ava” is a variation of Eve which means “life” and “Marie” is a variation of “Mary.” So, it is pretty apparent why I chose to combine those to create her name. It is the perfect representation of her story. She represents a choice of life, and I could not have done so without God’s perfect love, and without Mary’s perfect example of how to say “yes” to life. Mary had an “unplanned” pregnancy too; she had a choice as well. AvaMarie’s middle name, Rose, is after my own middle name, but it is also a beautiful representation of how beauty comes from imperfection, like a thorn bush producing roses.

This experience has given me so many countless blessings. Now that AvaMarie is already 7 months old, I have had some time to reflect on everything. First, I need to thank every person who prayed for me. I can’t tell you how much I felt your prayers covering me and protecting me throughout my entire journey. Because of your prayers and the support of my family and community, I was able to give birth to AvaMarie in October, graduate cum laude with my Bachelor’s in December, attend the FOCUS SEEK conference (with AvaMarie) in January, start working my job at the Pregnancy Resource Center in February, and now start pursuing my Master’s in School Counseling this June. Thank you. . .from the bottom of my heart.

Second, after going through this journey and now working at a Pregnancy Resource Center, I would like to give a little insight into the pro-life movement. Protecting and defending life is an all-encompassing call. It is not just about the babies, it is about their mothers, their fathers, and their families. Yes, people need to speak for the unborn when they don’t have a voice, but if that is the primary focus, we are completely missing the mark.

I only realized this after going through my unplanned pregnancy.

Keep in mind, the mother is the one who ultimately decides the fate of her child, so if we aren’t pursuing the healing, and genuine interest of her life, then we are utterly failing.

When we only focus on saving the life of the baby, we fail to acknowledge something very important, and that is that the mother’s life needs to be saved, too. Did we already forget that the very women who find themselves in unplanned pregnancies and who are considering abortion are very broken, afraid, and alone? They need some serious, genuine love and healing. Quite frankly, when there is all this hollering for the babies, the woman in the crisis thinks she is forgotten. She thinks everyone just cares about the baby; no one cares about her.

She is desperately crying out, “No one cares about how traumatically my life has changed, no one cares about my future, no one cares about my dreams, and no one cares about helping me!

We CANNOT forget about the mothers, fathers, and families of the unborn. They matter, too. They are the ones making decisions.

So how exactly can you be genuinely pro-life? I will speak on behalf of the mother, specifically, here.

I made a list of simple suggestions/ideas from the girl “who has been there” and as someone who works with these girls every day as an advisor at a Pregnancy Resource Center.

  1. Volunteer at or financially support Pregnancy Resource Centers. These are places that offer FREE services like pregnancy tests and ultrasounds to women as well as counseling. They typically offer parenting classes and provide real life resources for women who choose life. They are actively working to help the woman and her family before, during, and after the birth of her child.
  2. Offer up your home to single women who are pregnant and may need a safe haven. Some girls that choose life are kicked out of their own homes, or they are so ashamed and embarrassed that they need a safe place to be during their pregnancy.
  3. If you are capable . . . look into adoption. The girls that cannot raise their children because of their circumstances or finances need good families to entrust their children to if we want them to choose life. Pray about this and see if you are called to adoption.
  4. Change the language! A big reason women are choosing abortion is simply because they are afraid of what people will think or say if they find out they got pregnant. (This was my biggest fear!) We can combat this by creating a culture of life instead of death and gossip. Instead of saying “Did you hear who got pregnant?” say “Did you hear who chose life?” Wow . . . what a different way to approach the same topic. One is gossip driven, and one is life affirming and compassionate.
  5. Another simple thing to do is compliment pregnant women. Often times if a woman appears to be young, pregnant, and without a ring on her finger, she gets stares. Those stares are cruel. So, instead of staring, tell her how beautiful she looks. Single, unmarried pregnant women are not affirmed enough on their worth, which is why it is so challenging to choose life. One day when I was at the library I saw a young pregnant girl, and I wrote her a little note stating how beautiful she was and how great it was that she chose life and slipped it to her. Just little things like that.
  6. If you are parents . . . when you have “the talk” with your daughter, explicitly tell her something like this, “I hope you are never in this situation, but you NEED to know that if you ever found yourself pregnant, we will still LOVE YOU and will do everything we can to support you, don’t ever be afraid that we won’t be there for you if that happens.” You can change around the wording, but the point is to explicitly tell her that if she finds herself pregnant you will support her and LOVE her. I “knew” that was the case with my parents, but they never explicitly said that, so the devil planted seeds of doubt and made me question whether or not they would support me . . . and when you doubt that, it makes it so much easier to rationalize an abortion.
  7. Support women who choose life by throwing them baby showers! My friends and family threw me showers, and it was the most touching thing that has ever happened to me. I have never felt soooo loved. It brings me to tears even thinking about it. Showering these women with love is the best way to offer them healing (not to mention helping them out with many of the expenses babies bring).
  8. Offer to babysit! Single moms need help!!! If we are pro-life we need to help moms by offering childcare so they can work, or finish school to provide for their family and get back on their feet. I know if my family didn’t help me with watching AvaMarie, I would not have been able to graduate college and consequently would not have a career.
  9. One of the biggest tips is to seek out the single moms and affirm and encourage them. I often find myself so busy with work and motherhood, that I’m too exhausted to really invest in myself or to even maintain friendships. When my friends call me up, or even just text me words of encouragement it means the world. It lets me know I’m not forgotten.
  10. Finally . . . PRAY. Prayer is what changes hearts. Sometimes what we say or do means nothing if we are not praying.

I know this seems entirely “mother focused” but imagine if we coupled these actions with the pro-life discussion about the baby. Women would stop getting abortions because they would know they are supported and loved!!! They would realize that choosing life is just as much about themas it is about the baby.

I’ve seen and experienced the FEAR of being judged and unloved as the primary factor in abortion. These tips would hopefully eliminate that fear.

If we are to fight for the unborn, we are to fight for the mothers just as much!

I’m so thankful for all of those who fought for me. By saving me, you also saved my daughter, and we are eternally grateful.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: abortion
My name is Raquel. I am able to love only because God loved me first. I've made my share of mistakes and experienced brokenness, but when you let God in, he makes all things beautiful. I love reading, bonfires, s'mores, basketball, and rocking babies to sleep. I have also started a blog: Story of a Rose.
1 posted on 06/15/2013 2:13:38 PM PDT by NYer
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To: wagglebee; little jeremiah; narses

Ping!


2 posted on 06/15/2013 2:14:07 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Wow, I choked up reading this story.

GLORY BE TO GOD!!

Thank you Raquel for that BEAUTIFUL story! May God continue to abundantly bless you for the testimony you are to His love and mercy and grace.


3 posted on 06/15/2013 2:18:46 PM PDT by Westbrook (Children do not divide your love, they multiply it.)
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To: NYer

I appreciate her story, and that she chose life for her baby. I will get flamed, but here goes. Where is the dad? Are they going to get married? Is he involved in the baby’s life at all? Had she considered giving the baby up for adoption, assuming that she has chosen to struggle as a single mother?

I appreciate that she gave her baby life, but, what are the chances she will be just another single mother statistic?


4 posted on 06/15/2013 2:21:03 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: NYer
Be a be a big Sister to the future Mom then a Surrogate Grand Parent for the child.
5 posted on 06/15/2013 2:23:49 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: NYer

Bless you and AvaMarie. Praise GOD from whom all blessings flow!


6 posted on 06/15/2013 2:37:32 PM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (Jesus, Please Save America!)
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To: Dilbert San Diego
I will get flamed, but here goes. Where is the dad? Are they going to get married? Is he involved in the baby’s life at all? Had she considered giving the baby up for adoption, assuming that she has chosen to struggle as a single mother?

No flame here ... welcome to contemporary society! Today's youth are not only exposed to, but actively supported in having sex at an early age. Society no longer accepts any moral absolutes. One reaps what one sows. Fortunately, in this particular instance, the young woman chose life. Like many other children, this one will also grow up in a single parent family.

7 posted on 06/15/2013 2:37:41 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Yes, you make good points about contemporary society. I am grateful that she chose life for her baby, but was struck that she made no mention of the boyfriend or any role for him in the life of the baby. Unfortunately this is a social norm now.


8 posted on 06/15/2013 3:00:53 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: Dilbert San Diego
Unfortunately this is a social norm now.

And, sadly, it will grow worse. Several years ago, a young teen, conceived by a single woman through donor insemination, managed to find the donor's name. It is not unusual for adoptees (or donor children) to want to learn more about their biological parents. Good Morning America invited the young teen to "meet her father" on live tv. Excited, she agreed. The scenario was set up via telecommunications with a large monitor on the set. The young girl blushed as the video link was made and her "father" appeared, along with his wife and two young sons. The GMA hostette invited the young girl to pose her questions. The first one was: "Do you have large feet?" The man smiled as he admitted that indeed, he did have large feet. The young girl nodded in approval as the answer to how she came to have large feet was not answered. The questions and answers continued. Finally, the hostette asked the man: "Do you know if you have any other children from your "donations"? Once again the man smiled and acknowledged that, from what he had been told, there were more than 100 other children .... and, he hoped they did not plan on meeting him.

The effusive smile on that young girl's face, brought about by meeting her "dad", suddenly turned into a frown, as the reality of that statement struck home. She was no more important in his life than any of the other 99 children conceived through his sperm donations. Essentially, she was not "Daddy's little girl".

About ten years ago, British scientists realized that they could harvest eggs from aborted female fetuses. They viewed this as a response to infertility. Psychologists, at that time, tempered this discovery by recognizing that society was not yet emotionally prepared to deal with such a reproductive procedure. Imagine yourself as a teen, in search of your birth mother, only to learn that she had never been born. Ten years later, British scientists are now resurrecting this possibility, especially for homosexual couples.

Pope John XXVIII spoke against such methods EVANGELIUM VITAE. We must also speak out in defense of human life.

9 posted on 06/15/2013 3:32:26 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

misty at the first line.


10 posted on 06/15/2013 3:37:55 PM PDT by schm0e ("we are in the midst of a coup.")
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To: NYer; Dilbert San Diego
came to have large feet was not answered.

Should read "was now answered."

11 posted on 06/15/2013 3:49:55 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

What a precious little soul! So happy for the mother that she had a real conversion experience and that there are no regrets. What a message of hope!


12 posted on 06/15/2013 3:55:09 PM PDT by Shery (in APO Land)
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To: NYer

Well done, young lady!


13 posted on 06/15/2013 5:23:45 PM PDT by Standing Wolf
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To: NYer

One of my son-in-law’s friends recently became an unwed father. He’s an unabashed progressive and begged his GF to get an abortion but she refused. The baby was born last summer and shortly after that it was discovered that his GF had an intermittent drug problem that flared up again after the birth. She was eventually arrested and he is now the sole caretaker of his daughter.

He recently confessed to my daughter how grateful he was to her for supporting his GF in her decision to keep the baby. He cannot understand what he was thinking at the time because now he can’t imagine life without his little girl. He also thinks that if he was so wrong about abortion, he needs to start examining all of his other progressive ideas.

It’s amazing to see a liberal grow up before your very eyes, especially when life hits them in the face like a 2 x 4.


14 posted on 06/15/2013 5:36:31 PM PDT by Prince of Space (Be Breitbart, baby. LIFB.)
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