Ned and I went to see Les Miserables at the movies 2 weeks ago. He had read the book decades ago but I did not even know the story, just the music. I have wanted to see it forever, it seems.
I think I felt every emotion I have in those 3 hours. We both left profoundly effected and moved. I have listened to Anne Hathaway sing the title song a dozen times on u-tube trying to realize what I connect to so strongly. It finally occurred to me the verse “he took my childhood in his stride” is what I am thinking when I am seeing a client at BirthChoice who is very young and in an unintended pregnancy.
I have asked many of these 15 or 16 year olds “Was it worth it?” and EVERYONE I have asked has said “NO!” emphatically. They did it seeking love or to keep from losing their boyfriend, hoping for that dream. Suddenly, they are expecting and poof – their childhood is over and the dream is shattered unless he will be there for them. Now, some people believe that by getting rid of the “problem” pregnancy that these girls can go back to the dream and all is well. I learned of a manual used in a sex and health ed program for young girls that states “abortion can be a positive experience.” In my 3 years working with women who are post abortive I have never heard this claim. What I have heard is quite different. In the movie, Fantine has her child and although her life ends tragically, she saw her child as the good part worth huge sacrifices. The impact of that child Cossette’s life, no one could have imagined. Three days before I saw the movie I read a column in the newspaper by a female journalist who stated she felt guilty admitting it but she still loved the movie, even though she was hoping that in the movie version it would be modernized because of how the original story portrays women. She also stated we are lucky we are living in different times where woman don’t have to sacrifice for their children and aren’t expected to. Not knowing the story, my curiosity was piqued. After seeing the movie I was annoyed that I could not remember her name to quote her unbelievably ridiculous, selfish statements. That absurd thinking, that history needs to be told with a politically correct slant doesn’t make it historical anymore. How does someone develop such a mindset? She may dream a dream that things were different but wishing does not make it true. Nothing takes a childhood or part of a woman’s soul away more than abortion except a pregnancy from rape followed by an abortion – where there are two victims and two crimes. I have heard this direct from my clients: “I didn’t know… They didn’t tell me… I can’t sleep without nightmares anymore… I can’t have children now… they treated me like garbage… I would never do it again… The staff wouldn’t look me in the eyes…” We wouldn’t need post abortion retreats like Rachel’s Vineyard if abortion returned them to the dream and made things right.
So, I dream a dream where women are given all the facts and complete choices and understand the consequences from whoever they go to seeking support and information about what they can do about their situation. We try to do that at BirthChoice so the decision the woman makes will be positive and enhance her life, not make it worse or destroy it, or even possibly endanger it.
BirthChoice is there for support after the choice too – whatever it may be. And I have seen women who chose life bring their babies for us to see after they are born, proud and happy, and yes maybe tired. But they have another chance to dream the dream.