Publisher’s note: Franchetta Groves is a senior at the Catholic University of America in Washington. She is the campus marketing chair for the Network of Enlightened Women, a national organization of conservative college students, and is involved in a scholarship program the group runs. The opinions expressed here belong solely to the author of it.
(CNN) — In the coming days, the US Supreme Court could issue a decision annulling Roe vs. Wade, if we are to believe a draft decision leaked to the media several weeks ago.
Those who want the Roe vs. Wade hold believe that gives women choice and freedom.
Those of us who think differently, who fervently want Roe to be annulled, also want freedom for women. Only we want her for her unborn children too.
And if you believe, as I do, that life begins at conception, then you also know that all life, even newly formed, has inherent dignity and is worthy of protection.
When news broke last month that a draft decision annulling Roe had been leaked, I was very happy, but kept quiet. Students at the university I attend have a wide variety of opinions about abortion, and I didn’t want to say anything that would offend others. I also saw many women on social media expressing their desperation and outrage at what they say could be a loss of control over their bodies if Roe is overturned.
I understand the anguish that some women of my generation feel, but I do not share their opinion. In fact, as a young woman who opposes abortion, I look forward to a post-Roe America. And I know I’m in good company. In fact, according to one Gallup poll this year, 33% of American women are anti-abortion.
Based on the angry reactions of people on the abortion rights side following the leak of the draft ruling, I can only conclude that our society has failed women facing unplanned pregnancies.
It seems to me that we have created a culture in which women are not equipped with the information and resources they need to make the best decisions for themselves before and during pregnancy, decisions that would allow them to keep their unborn children.
Lacking access to the comprehensive and supportive care women need during pregnancy, many have mistakenly thought abortion was their only option.
That may be different in the world that comes after Roe. Anti-abortion advocates like myself want to create a more supportive culture for women that encourages them to reject abortion. When they do, they may not feel like they have given up a right, but rather that they have saved a life.
I have been able to see firsthand what a more caring culture can look like. During my senior year in high school, I raised funds for a pregnancy care center not far from my city, in Pennsylvania. I was able to learn how these pregnancy centers really accompany couples at every stage of pregnancy and parenthood.
According to recent news, several pregnancy centers have been attacked in the last days. It’s a shame, because this country will need them more than ever if Roe is overturned.
At my community pregnancy center, I learned how women can benefit from comprehensive prenatal care, even when their pregnancy is unplanned. I’m sure these types of clinics across the country will do the same as more women seek their services, giving expectant mothers the support and resources they need. And I deeply believe that when women truly realize all the options available to them, they will choose life.
I am against abortion for another reason: I have seen in my own family the beauty that can come from unexpected and unplanned pregnancies.
After the serious and almost fatal complications she had giving birth to me, my mother was told that she could not have any more children. A few years later, she became pregnant again.
My mother came under intense pressure from doctors and family members who told her that she should have an abortion. She visited doctor after doctor who did not want to attend to her case for fear of complications and instead advised her that abortion was her best option.
I shudder to think what would have happened if my mother had allowed herself to be pressured into terminating her pregnancy. Instead, she found a doctor who was willing to accept her as a patient, who respected her wish to keep her baby and helped her overcome the medical problems she was facing.
Every day I see the result of my mother’s difficult but wise decision when I see the loving face of my sister Isabella, who is only a few years younger than me. I am eternally grateful that my mother chose life for both of us. My mother’s bravery reminds me daily that life is beautiful and worthy of protection.
In this country, we have seen the pendulum swing from abortions “safe, legal and rare” to the practice normalized and even praised as a positive result. But abortion is not empowering. The courage of my mother and that of so many other women, that is empowerment.
As a college senior, I hope to have a full and rich professional life when I graduate before having a family of my own one day. I want to live in a society where a woman can have a child and continue her career. That empowers me.
I would also like to live in a culture that offers effective education so that women can make intelligent and wise decisions for their sexual health, that they have the necessary information to avoid the possible negative consequences of premature sexual intercourse. There needs to be better education about the risks of sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, and the emotional impacts of sex. That is also empowering.
I think abortion harms women. It allows men to escape the consequences of fathering a child and avoid the responsibilities of fatherhood. It undermines the beauty of motherhood and tells women that their children are an obstacle to their dreams and that life is not a blessing.
After Roe, I believe it will be possible for our nation to be one that does not judge women who become pregnant, but instead embraces them with love and compassion. And it must also be one that always protects human life and appreciates the intrinsic value of each being from the moment of conception.
Over the decades, this debate has been characterized by hostility and victimization on both the abortion rights and anti-abortion sides. Only honest dialogue can help heal a fractured culture that has so painfully betrayed women.
We will need that dialogue once Roe is gone, and the national conversation turns to how we can support those facing crisis pregnancies and their children.
As the future of this country is decided after Roe vs. Wade, I think a lot about how I should respond as an individual, regardless of the outcome when the high court finally makes its decision.
How can I support the women in my life who are facing an unexpected pregnancy? How can I engage with those who see the issue differently than I do to engage in a productive dialogue that allows me to grow and learn how to cultivate a society that is more supportive of women? I hope that the highest court in the country that decides this matter once and for all will allow me to find answers to these questions.
I am anxiously watching what is happening, and I hope that the Supreme Court recognizes the inherent dignity of all human life, and takes action to protect those in the womb, the most vulnerable in our society.