dear cecile richards
by Kaitlyn Mason
Dear Cecile Richards,
I realize that I’m a complete stranger to you. But I’ve seen you in magazines and on TV, and when I see you, I think to myself, “Wow, she has beautiful eyes.” When I see you, I think, “You know, she and I actually have a lot in common.”
We are both women. We are both married. We both have three children. We both have expressed that our children are the center of our lives. We are both driven. We are both hard working. We are both stubborn. We both speak from our hearts.
Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, I believe that we share common passions. We both love our families and seek to change the world, particularly for all women and families. I’ve heard people villainize your efforts, but I’m a Catholic, so I can relate. I truly believe that we share a common passion of wanting what’s best for women and families.
We have different ideas about how to best support women and families, sure. But that’s to be expected, isn’t it? After all, your eyes have seen different things than mine. We were raised by different parents, in different communities, and in different schools. We were shaped by different unique life experiences. Your childhood, from what I’ve read, involved democratic ideas, feminist principles, and political masterminds. My childhood involved republican ideas, a strong Catholic heritage, and deeply rooted, unwavering ideas about moral principles. Hence, it’s no surprise we have different ideas about how to make the world a better place.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where some people resort to shaming, name-calling, and even gun violence to achieve their idealistic end. I want you to know right off the bat that I do not support these actions. This is an area where I’m certain we agree.
You mentioned once that when politicians argue and shout about abortion, they’re talking about you and millions of other women around the country. For the record, I’ve never been a politician, and I really don’t want to shout. Furthermore, I have an appreciation for the courage and confidence it undoubtedly takes for you to share your personal story with the world.
So I want to whisper.
I want to whisper something that is on my heart, or rather, something that is the very essence of my heart and the very essence of my being. I want to whisper about the beauty of womanhood. I want to whisper about the common thread that holds us all together as women and as sisters.
The beauty of womanhood lies in our service.
It lies in our service to other women, to children, to men, to mankind, to womankind, to absolutely everyone. Women’s service and women’s love is literally what makes the world go around. Human life would literally cease to exist on the face of this planet if it weren’t for women choosing to selflessly give their lives for others. I’m not just referring to pregnancy. Men need us! Women need us! Children need us!
Perhaps no form of service is more profound than that of a mother – one who welcomes another within her very self.
I am not just referring to natural pregnancy, but rather to motherhood in its many beautiful and varied forms.
I am speaking of motherhood through adoption, motherhood through pregnancy and birth, and even motherhood through spiritual association with another human soul entrusted to our care, or under our professional or personal leadership.
As women, we have the beautiful ability to draw people close to us, and the amazing ability to carry life within us both physically and spiritually within our hearts.
I didn’t understand this until I became pregnant. I didn’t understand that the beauty of womanhood lies in our service to one another. But isn’t this also the essence of and the beauty of humanity? Our service to one another?
Undeniably, some women do not regret their abortions, while others do. Yet, I do know that many women would have chosen to give birth if they had received love and support during their unintended or undesired pregnancy. I feel we have an obligation to do everything we can to love and support women in these situations.
Because honestly, how in the world is a woman supposed to joyfully accept a child into her life when she is being abused? How is a woman supposed to joyfully accept a child into her life when she works multiple jobs and can barely afford to feed herself and other children? How is a woman supposed to joyfully accept a child into her life when the child is conceived through rape or incest? How is a woman supposed to joyfully accept a child into her life when she is faced with a medical crisis or severe diagnosis for her or the child? How is a woman supposed to joyfully accept a child into her life when she knows the child’s father will have limited to zero involvement in the child’s life? How is a woman supposed to joyfully accept another child into her family when she really doesn’t even want to have another child?
The answer? Well certainly they can’t do it alone! They need support! And specifically the support of other women is paramount.
Let’s provide real love and support, real help, real encouragement, real resources – whatever it takes – to treat each woman one at a time with the utmost care, meeting her individual needs to provide her with an actual opportunity to choose to welcome a child into her life.
Because if a woman is pregnant, she deserves a real opportunity to choose to give birth to the child. Doesn’t she? She deserves a real opportunity to joyfully accept her pregnancy.
Shame on the rest of us if we do not provide her with the love and support she needs to consider birth for her child.
So I want to whisper: what if?
What if we can create a network so huge that we can offer love, support, resources, baby showers, hope, shelter, community, medical care, and mercy to every single woman experiencing an unintended or undesired pregnancy so she can joyfully carry the baby to term?
What if we focus on giving each woman tools and resources she needs to truly become free of any burdens, hurdles, or unhealthy situations in her life, giving her space and ability to consider joyfully accepting her pregnancy?
What if an embryo truly is a life? Then many on this earth are victims of a terrible lie, and many are serving to propagate this lie.
What if there is a God who loves you and I both unfathomably and with an unconditional, merciful love? Then mercy is waiting for us. For all of us.
I realize that if you were to really step back and consider the what if about whether your beliefs on abortion are off, you would have to consider… what if abortion is terminating the life of a child? And in that same big swallow, you’d have to consider what if I terminated the life of my own child?
That would be a lot to consider. And unfortunately, some would judge you for this, sure. But I do not stand in judgement of you. I am not your judge. Fortunately for all of us, the person who is the judge is super awesome, kind and merciful… and He also happens to be omnipotent, which is kinda’ awesome, too.
We are all desperately in need of mercy and grace.
So please know that should you choose to entertain this whisper of a what if, that mercy is waiting.
The most beautiful mercy is waiting for all of us.
Peace be with you!