my pro-life reason Zachary Hale, Life in Oregon reader Salem

I’m pro-life because I’m optimistic about the resilience of the human spirit.

Some years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to work with and mentor young mothers. We were young parents at the time and still figuring parenting out ourselves (in fact, we still are). We saw clearly that the decision to choose life for a child is to embrace years of struggle. Following through with an unplanned pregnancy is no trivial decision, even in the best of circumstances.

These young mothers we worked with had to figure out not only how to care for and nurture a new soul but also finish school, find a job and maintain a home in the process — all things that are hard enough even in a stable husband-wife relationship. They were signing up for years of social, physical and mental challenges.

We saw firsthand that things didn’t get easier after the child was born. We witnessed the struggle, tears, exhaustion, frustration, uncertainty and self-doubt. However, we also experienced the joy, laughter, love, delight and pride they experienced in discovering that they were capable of being good mothers. They were capable of overcoming the obstacles, they could solve problems, and they were growing and becoming stronger even in the midst of the hardships.

Both history and our personal lives are crammed full of examples of humans overcoming humble beginnings and impossible odds. These are the stories we love the most. We feel the most fulfilled by facing our giants, not by running away or burying them.

Both sides of the abortion debate are compassionate. Many pro-choicers carry an abundance of concern for the well-being of the pregnant mother, and pro-lifers are protectors of the unborn as well as the mother. But they differ in outlook. One predicts doom and gloom for the mother and child, and the other, while never denying the difficulties, clings to hope.

Why am I pro-life? Because I’ve seen that mothers are capable of overcoming great obstacles. Because abortion wins a battle but loses a war. Because life is worth living even with struggle. Because humans don’t have to be victims to their circumstances. Because at the end of our lives, they’re worth it all.

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