My Conservative Christian Mom Made Me a Pro-Life Poster Child—Now, I’ve Had an Abortion

Photo Credit: kentoh/
‚At age 19, I dumped God, who had been the most significant romantic relationship of my life to that point.‘


In my conservative Christian family, we never talked about sex, but we talked a lot about babies: mostly alive, but also dead. As in, murdered. By doctors. (And also sin!)
Abortion was the big political-moral issue at home, thanks mainly to  Henry Morgentaler’s ongoing fight with the federal government of Canada (where I’m from) at the time.
In the early ’80s, my mom used to bring me to pro-life rallies as living proof of the superiority of childbirth (and the expense of babysitters). I mostly remember seas of flapping bell bottoms and windbreakers, and the grassy boulevard on which I tried my best to help assemble placards that I couldn’t read, but which were helpfully illustrated with poster-sized photos of curled up bloody fetuses, mass infant graves and big-headed sleeping vertebrates, tethered and floating in mysterious sacs.
More vivid are later memories of pro-life pamphlets wedged in with the rest of the home bathroom reading selections. Between the Reader’s Digests, Christian Archie comics, and  James Dobson magazines, were always a few color brochures, show and telling the development of a baby in the womb (my favorite weeks are still the lizard weeks).