I Stand for Life

  • Elizabeth Riley
  • 02/16/2017

On Saturday, January 21st large groups of women wearing pink caps marched in Washington DC and in other cities across the world.  The women held signs saying “equality,” “human rights,” “defend dignity,” “women are people,” and the ever-popular catch phrase: “Here’s to strong women. May we know them.  May we be them. May we raise them.”  Despite these inspiring slogans, since day one, the Women’s March on Washington’s purpose was to advocate for abortion. These aren’t my words, one of the march’s organizers said “If you want to come to the march you are coming with the understanding that you respect a woman’s right to choose.”  The fact of the matter is that this demonstration was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the abortion movement.


Certainly the vast majority of women who were involved in the march are adamantly pro-abortion, but sadly there were many women who unintentionally lent their voice to abortion when they were there to simply speak out against a party or a person or some other issue.  The abortion movement is hijacking women’s voices—all in the name of “choice” and "equality."  Many women were initially drawn to the movement for its grass roots origin to support womanhood and to call for respect.  But these women unintentionally surrendered their voices to abortion advocates holding the microphone. 


To me, pro-abortion is anti-woman because abortion robs women of the most special and unique thing we can give: human life. In the name of independence, strength, and equal rights, the abortion movement strips from women the God-given dignity we were each born possessing.  Ironically, the women I know personally who have had abortions do not wear their act as a badge of honor or pride.  In fact, these women wrestle tremendous guilt and deep remorse for ending the lives of their unborn.


When they found themselves in an unwanted pregnancy, instead of being received with open arms and given support, comfort, and care, or even an opportunity to hear their baby’s heartbeat (the very sound of life), they were guided to treat human life in a casual way—all in the name of choice and convenience.  These women are precious people, and my heart aches for them.  In most cases these women were very young, alone, and scared. And years later, they still grieve for their loss and wrestle with the realization that they had the power to give life--and death.  These women struggle mightily to feel peace and forgiveness.


The abortion movement should not fool women into thinking that abortion and women’s values are synonymous because they are not.  I despise the fact that the abortion movement tries to propagate that women who support abortion are strong, and women who believe that babies have a right to life are somehow weak.  Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here’s to strong women.  May we know them.


 I know many strong women.  These women contribute and create at home and in their communities.  I admire these women for unique reasons.  Each is different from one another.  In her own way, each improves the world and leads others to goodness.  The more closely I know these women's stories, the more heroic they are to me.  They overcome.  They face hard things and don't allow difficulty to keep them down.  Their strength of character is their true defining attribute.  They choose life.


My sister, Sarah Jane Jennings, is among these strong, special women.  Six years ago she became pregnant with triplets.  She and her husband had recently relocated to Northern California for her husband to attend dental school.  Anticipating that she would need help taking care of herself during the high-risk pregnancy, she returned to live with her mother-in-law in Utah while her husband continued with school in California.  Every action she took was to care for the new life within her.  But at 23 weeks and 4 days (within the abortion limit in about half of the states), she went into labor and delivered her three babies:  Dalton James Jennings (1.5 pounds), Samuel Hunter Jennings (1.9 pounds), and Drew Oliver Jennings (1.1 pounds).  I was present during the emergency cesarean while her husband flew from California to Utah as quickly as possible.  As I sat by Sarah’s head as she gave birth—praying with her--all I could think about was her strength and the strength of so many women who give so much through their pure love and compassion.


Sarah fought for her boys and sadly lost Dalton James soon after birth.  But her other two sons are now strong, healthy, vibrant, intelligent 5 1/2 year-olds.  It wasn't until her sons' one year-old follow up at the University of California San Fransisco that she found out had she stayed in California to deliver her babies they all would have died.  The hospital would have simply set her babies aside as they gasped for life--eventually suffocating alone--because they were under 24 weeks.  Sarah fought for life.  Here's to strong women.  May we know them.   

Here’s to strong women.  May we be them.
Strong women are women who are willing to do hard things—even if they do them alone.  These women choose compassion over convenience.  Among the strong are the birth mothers, who after bearing the pains of childbirth, deliver babies safely again into the hands of adoptive parents.  I admire these women.  These women usually stand in isolation through their pregnancies, but they always stand steadfastly for life.  They are the often unknown champions who first gave life and then guaranteed it for the adopted children who are thriving in many of our families.  These women had the courage and compassion to carry and bear children they would never know, but who they valiantly protected. Here's to strong women.  May we be them.


Here’s to strong women.  May we raise them.
No one should have the power to determine if an unborn baby is fit for life outside the womb.  While I do not have a daughter, I do have two sons.  Two sons who I would die to save, and two sons who I am doing my best to live for, and to teach and guide and raise.  The first of my sons was born with a life-threatening birth defect.  The ultrasound technician and doctors detected the birth defect midway through my pregnancy.  We were shocked, saddened and worried.  My husband and I prayed that the little life within me would be ok.  Sadly health care practitioners suggested that they could screen my baby to give me “pregnancy management options."  They were suggesting that they could give me more information about my baby so I could make the determination of whether to terminate my pregnancy.  The suggestion sickened me.  I cherished my vulnerable baby no matter how complicated his defect.  Nearly six years later, my son is healthy and thriving (with almost too much energy).  To think that there are babies out there--boys and girls alike--with complicated defects and great potential who will not have the opportunity to continue living breaks my heart.  Here's to strong women.  May we raise them.

I loved watching the March For Life held across the country on Friday,  January 27th and yesterday.  Seeing so many people vocally standing up for the rights of unborn babies—those who cannot speak for themselves—fills me with hope for the future of our society.  May we be wise and reject the political semantics and propagandists who seek to redefine womanhood and demean that which is sacred to us.  And may we be courageous and fight valiantly for the unborn--who are the most vulnerable among us.  Here's to strong women.  May we stand with them.

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