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The Whisper

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May 2006

Planned Parenthood recently held a Mother’s Day abortion fundraiser. In a endorsement letter, mother-daughter actresses Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow suggested how to make an abortion donation more personal. “Tell your mom you’ve donated in her name. Or whisper it to your baby at bedtime. You’ll be making a gift to millions of mothers ⎯ to the future of our country. What a profound way to mark this day.”

From an abstract perspective, the “right to choose” has a nice ring to it. We all want rights. Choices, too. But the “right to choose” isn’t about an abstraction. It is about a reality ⎯ abortion, the taking of a human life. And the difference between abstraction and reality makes that whisper to a baby so intriguing, and so disturbing. It is because of words that may never be said aloud. Words that, on reflection, may be hard to admit to that baby or anyone else. Words that express the reality of pro-choice:

My baby, I gave money to support abortion because I believe in the right to choose. God gave you to me, it was my right to decide whether you lived or died. I had the right to reject you. Whether you ever saw the light of day, tasted your first banana, smiled, discovered that your toes could fit in your mouth, or said even a word, was completely my choice.

It was my right to choose whether you would have a chance to play with dolls and hug puppies, jump rope and pick flowers and feel the grass on your bare feet. Without my choice, you would not be able to go to school, bring home your artworks, make new friends, be on teams and act in plays, and even be the smartest kid in your class.

But for me, you would never see a waterfall or climb a mountain. You would never feel the sea washing up on your feel and watch the sun settle into bed below the horizon. You would never walk down a country road and see row after row of corn.

But for my choice, you would never know a high school basketball game or learn to drive a car. You would never know the excitement of a first date or the thrill of that first kiss from your first real boyfriend.

Unless I chose, you could not chose what you want to be, whether a teacher, or a nurse, a President, or even an actress. You could not learn what it means to struggle and what it also means to conquer. You could not fight injustice or cure disease. You could not befriend a lonely person or comfort a hurting heart.

You would not have the chance to grow old with a husband, to raise a new generation, to spoil a grandchild.

For although God is God, I am me. I believe that I had the right to consider my life and my circumstances as more important than yours. I had the right to choose. You are here, my baby, because I let you be here.

And I gave money hopeful that one day, you will also have that same right of choice. The right to reject the one whom God has given you. The choice of whether your unborn child will ever see the light of day.

But enough for now. The hour is late, and I must not disturb you. Pleasant dreams, my baby. Sleep well.

And grow.

Paul V. Esposito is a Catholic lawyer who writes on a variety of pro-life topics. He and his wife Kathy live in Elmhurst, Illinois, where they raise their six kids.

© Paul V. Esposito 2006. Culture of Life. Permission to copy and distribute for pro-life purposes is granted. Visit us on the web at

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