Six years ago I was rudely surprised when a close friend, Martha, revealed her opposition to my pro-life views. I had sent a letter to her outlining my views, and it was then that she informed me that she not only disapproved, but even supported and had counselled women to have abortions.
I was stunned because Martha and I shared a Christian background and we often discussed scripture. For many months we conversed on the topic and in the end agreed to disagree.
For years the topic never again came up between us, but it was always an ‘elephant in the room.’ As a result, I found our conversations became superficial; we shared family news, vacations, health matters and of course the weather but we never revisited the fact that she agreed with a woman’s right to choose abortion.
That all changed one day when Martha’s older sister, Nora, received a phone call from a young woman who turned out to be a long lost daughter released to adoption many years before.
In the fall of 1979, when Nora was a third year university student, she discovered she was pregnant and sought advice from the university’s health care system. She was counselled first by a nurse, then by a doctor, and finally by a social worker. They all advised her that abortion would be her best option.
Nora was constantly reassured that the university would take care of everything, including the cost and any necessary deferral of assignments. Her boyfriend and her best friend advised her that having a baby at this time in her life would ruin her future.
Nora however was conflicted; she didn’t feel right about taking the life of a child conceived in love. Before the baby was born, Nora’s’ boyfriend found someone else but thankfully her best friend stood by and supported her throughout the decision making process. Ironically, this friend helped Nora with the arrangements for a private adoption with a couple living in Quebec City.
In 1980, Nora delivered a healthy baby girl and within days released her daughter to the adoptive parents.
In 2012, Nora’s adult daughter, who had been named Kathy, finally found her birth mom.
Kathy had been raised in a loving, nurturing home which had provided her with many opportunities. In fact, Kathy, who is perfectly bilingual, had grown up to become a talented specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Kathy had always been aware of her adoption, and consequently held strong pro-life views. Now that her existence had been revealed to her birth mother and members of her birth family, a family reunion was quickly arranged where everyone met and instantly fell in love with Dr. Kathy.
It was then that Martha called me to share the story. I remember struggling to keep up as Martha spewed out the details of the adoption. Martha cried as she told me all about her wonderful, brilliant, beautiful, amazing new found niece.
When Martha and I were on opposite sides of the pro-life divide, our friendship was definitely strained. Now that my friend has had a complete change of mind and heart about the value of unborn human life, I am pleased to report that Martha and I are on great terms and once again enjoy our friendship of old.