TIM MOSSER, HEAD VOLLEYBALL COACH
I read with great interest Olivia LePage’s article in the February 9, 2017 Concordian, “The difference between pro-life and anti-choice.” It reminded me of a true story that happened at Concordia.
Several years ago, a former player of mine came to visit me at my office. She was distraught because she was facing an unplanned pregnancy. I listened to her heart-wrenching story and assured her that she would have more than one choice. I asked her if she would like me to take her to First Choice Clinic in Fargo. She said yes. She found wonderful, caring people there who supported her and provided much needed physical, material, emotional and medical assistance during her pregnancy. She chose to keep her baby but had the option for adoption as well. A year or so after her beautiful baby was born she gave the testimony of her story at the First Choice Banquet in front of over 800 people. She spoke of how she found compassion and empathy from so many people including me and the people at First Choice Clinic. She stated that even though there were some difficult times during her pregnancy, she couldn’t imagine her life now without her child and was so happy she had decided to keep her baby.
Most of us would agree with many of the ideas that Ms. LePage shared in her column:
a. Pro-life means all life is sacred, not just unborn children.
b. A pregnant woman carries the miracle of life inside her womb.
c. Women don’t walk happily into abortion clinics knowing the life they carry will be extinguished.
d. We should practice compassion and empathy for every human life.
e. We should feed the hungry, clothe the poor, cure the sick and be sure everyone has access to affordable healthcare and education.
f. Love thy neighbor as thyself.
While most women facing an unplanned pregnancy are usually aware of the choice to abort their babies, as Ms. LePage stated, “no woman wants to have an abortion. We don’t walk happily into abortion clinics knowing the life we carry will be extinguished.” It must be a terribly agonizing choice for a woman to walk into an abortion facility and end the life of her unborn child. We need to lovingly walk with these women and show them that there are real choices that will affirm both their life and the life of the child within their womb. Ms. LePage further writes, “We want to choose life every time, but only if we can properly care for the life.” There are many resources available in our area and across the country that will help care for all mothers and their children, born and unborn. Wouldn’t it be loving to provide every woman with all the options, including those that would enable her to “choose life every time” knowing that the life could be properly cared for?
There are over a dozen local agencies and thousands nationwide that provide help for women facing unplanned pregnancies. Many of them work with adoption agencies as well should a mother decide that she is unable to care for her child. There are countless couples who cannot have children and welcome the gift of life that these mothers can provide. At St. Gianna’s Maternity Home near Grand Forks, women and their children can stay free of charge during their pregnancy and even after their child is born. The Perry Center is a residential maternity home in Fargo. First Choice Clinic in Fargo is one of almost 20 pregnancy help centers within 150 miles of Fargo-Moorhead. There is even a worldwide directory for pregnancy help at https://www. heartbeatservices.org/services-home/.
The day that student walked into my office, she had never heard of First Choice Clinic. What she experienced over the next months was the empathy, respect and compassion that she needed. She found that there were people right here in our community who love both the mother and her child. They did not judge her, but met her where she was at and provided the much-needed help and support so she could choose life for her baby.
I invite all of us to join together, explore all the resources that are available, and walk with these women who are facing unplanned pregnancies. Let’s help them see that we are people who love both mothers and children and enable them to make life-affirming choices.