Photo: Sandra Seitamaa via Unsplash
In January of 2010, Belle had been dating a man from work and found out she was pregnant. Belle knew she would keep her baby from the beginning, but when she told him that her mind was made up, the father was far from supportive.
During this uncertain time, another woman that Belle worked with became pregnant by the same man. This woman, however, chose to have an abortion. Finding this out only strengthened Belle’s resolve to keep her baby.
However, after the other woman chose abortion, the father of Belle’s baby became increasingly angered by her decision to choose life. Belle says that she knew that an abortion would not improve anything in her life—it wouldn’t fix any of her hardships, nor would it solve any of the issues with the baby’s father. Despite the baby’s father pushing for an abortion and having violent crimes in his past, Belle would not let the circumstances of her pregnancy determine her baby’s future.
“This kid could be the next president, right? He could be something amazing. And even if he’s not, he could just be somebody who helps someone. I don’t want to stop him from becoming somebody,” Belle whispered angrily on the phone in a grocery store, during another argument about the pregnancy. She walked in a different aisle, trying to keep her voice down because her father still wasn’t aware of what was going on.
“You don’t know what the kid’s going to be,” said the father of the baby.
“You’re right. I don’t, but you don’t either,” she argued back, ending the discussion.
“All that went through my head is this baby is going to be somebody, … whether he’s going to be amazing or not,” Belle told me.
When Belle was five months pregnant, the father continued to push abortion and began to threaten violence towards her and the baby. With the help of her father, Belle decided to leave California and move to another state for safety. Thanks to a distant family relation, she settled in a new place.
Belle had her baby boy in September 2010, and her life changed for the better. Belle admits that if she had stayed in California and had an abortion, she would have remained on a dangerous path of destructive habits and associating with bad influences. With her focus now on raising her son, Darwin, Belle began living a better life.
Having a baby didn’t mean that Belle lost all her passions and dreams. Quite the opposite, her son became her driving force to attend school and pursue a career in order to provide. She achieved old goals with a new determination that she may not have been able to find, had she not found strength through being a single mother. Belle had been interested in science and, once back in school, became more specifically interested in microbiology.
“I’ve thought about where I would be if I’d made other choices. Would I have even finished my degree?” Belle wondered to me.
She did get her degree and Darwin attended daycare. She got by with student loans and loving service from people around her.
Belle has many stories of help being offered to her. Local people from church groups were always there for her when she needed anything.
“I always had help, and I’ve always been blessed with good people in my life,” Belle told me, telling stories about acts of service that helped her, from meals to a car. There is always help for struggling mothers.
Belle finished her degree and found a job at a lab, where she performs tests on medical supplies. Her job became very demanding during the COVID-19 pandemic. When schools were closed because of COVID-19, Darwin’s daycare also closed. This left Belle was in a bind, but help came her way again. Darwin always had a safe place to go while she worked.
“Just to see the person he’s becoming, I’m so proud of him,” Belle says of her son, who is now 10 years old and thriving. Darwin is an incredibly smart and gifted kid. It has been noted by many adults that Darwin is extremely polite, respectful, and creative. He has not been held back in life and has many friends and opportunities. He and Belle are incredibly close and share a wonderful bond.
“When I look back at baby pictures, everyone says he looked like me, but I see his dad. Even though his dad has made me angry, and I don’t like him, it’s different. I have no hatred for Darwin, I love my kid. I don’t look at him and see his dad’s mistakes, I just see him as his own person that happens to look like his father,” Belle said when we spoke.
One of the most telling parts to Belle’s story is a contrast seen within her own family. Belle has two older sisters and one younger. Two of Belle’s sisters have had abortions, and each have detailed how the regret continues to eat at them, even years after the procedures. Belle’s younger sister had an abortion at nineteen and has since had issues with drugs and alcohol. Her older sister was married with two boys already and, with her husband, decided to abort their third child. This decision has since weighed heavily on their relationship.
Belle has not once regretted her choice and only sees all the wonderful outcomes that have come from her decision to choose life. She still has challenges, but having her son by her side through everything is her greatest comfort. Belle especially has felt this strength from her son as he has grown older and they can enjoy more together and build their relationship. For any woman struggling with the life-changing decision of whether to choose life or abortion, Belle says that keeping the baby is worth it, and we agree. There is a strong pro-life community ready to devote their time and resources to helping mothers and their children succeed.
“You won’t regret keeping a baby,” Belle said.
If you are struggling with an unplanned pregnancy, we are here for you. Visit pregnancychoiceutah.org to see the resources that we offer. If you are able, please consider donating so we can empower moms like Belle to choose life for their children.