Commentary #119: Abortion

Image Credit: South OC Beaches

I’ve been through every single emotion since yesterday. On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court made a decision that has plunged the nation into darkness, fear, and uncertainty.

I’m rethinking everything about my own life, even though I do want to have children. I’ve always wanted to have children. But now, I’m not sure I want to bring a child or children into this world.

Many of you know that I was raised in the United Methodist Church. Overall, I had a good church experience. I was never abused or traumatized, nothing drastic like that.

At the same time, I was taught to not have sex before marriage. Abortion was frowned upon, but not even really mentioned or discussed.

However, I had to educate myself today on the stance of the church on abortion.

What is the UM position on abortion?

I am staunchly pro-choice. And one singular event made me that way.

I was a freshman in college at Longwood. I don’t remember which class it was, or which semester, but it was either the fall of 2007 or the spring of 2008.

An anti-abortion protest took place on campus, between the Student Union and Stubbs Hall. Our professor asked us to attend, to witness it. We could leave at any time, but we had to check in with our professor before we left. I think I lasted maybe 10-15 minutes tops. I felt like I was going to throw up on the grass.

The protestors had graphic photos on signs, poster board and foam board, with Bible verses. There was a man with one of those portable loudspeakers with a megaphone that made think of the protests of the Vietnam War. They quoted Scripture constantly. Most of these people were adults, older than us. I don’t remember how many there were.

I could barely walk after leaving the Student Union. I don’t remember much of that day after that. I was horrified.

I knew, from that day forward, that I was not going to support any of that.

This was when I was 19 years old, I turned 20 in the summer of 2008. I was very naïve. I was always the good girl, the goody-two-shoes. I wanted to be the perfect child for my parents, the good Christian girl who studied hard and got good grades.

I’m trying to unlearn so many things now. I’m grateful for various counselors and therapists.

That protest altered me forever. I continued to attend church, because that’s what I had always done, but that protest was burned into my memory.

Also in college, I was in a relationship that I thought was love. I was with John from July 2006 through July 2010. July 17th, just a few weeks from now, marks 12 years since I was able to escape from him. Alive.

Now, years later, I’m fully convinced that he wanted to get me pregnant, so that we needed to get married and he could control me forever. Coercive control is real.

I remember looking up Planned Parenthood for the first time in my life, incredibly afraid, sometime in 2009. It was one of the few times that John wasn’t watching me.

I’m fortunate that I didn’t get pregnant then. I refused to have sex with him for the first two years, because I wanted to save it for marriage. I thought we were going to get married. I still remember my mom’s face when I told her that we were thinking about getting married after graduation.

He controlled me sexually. He sexually assaulted me more than once. In early, 2009, he nearly raped me. Thankfully, I was able to get him to listen to the word “No,” finally, after screaming it over and over. Once wasn’t enough.

I’m so glad I was able to get out.

I’m so glad that I have a wonderful man in my life, Al, who supports me (and women) 200 percent.

Moving Forward

I’m ready to fight like hell.

I’m donating to Planned Parenthood.

I’m ready to vote, like tomorrow.

If you’re not registered to vote in the U.S., I beg you to do so!

I’m screaming. It might be from a keyboard right now, but I have a voice. And I’m not afraid anymore.

And to those in Washington, D.C., you just pissed off so many people.

I’m still a Christian. But I will always be pro-choice.


Bans Off Our Bodies

How to Register to Vote

Planned Parenthood


We Won’t Go Back

Women’s March

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #36: The 44 For Bill Movement


Image Credit: 44 for Bill

Dr. B. holds a special place in my heart. I only took one class with him during my time at Longwood. Sadly, he passed away at the age of 44 on September 9, 2012.

Every year, on September 9th, the #44forBill movement takes hold. The idea is to spread random acts of kindness throughout our communities, neighborhoods, and even our world.

From the 44 For Bill event page on Facebook:

“We are honoring Bill Stuart’s life by performing random acts of kindness to help others. September 9, 2016. Please join us.

Random acts of kindness are great because they can be anything, big or small, anonymous or credited, for someone you know or a stranger … the possibilities are endless.”

For me, I was at a loss this year. I wasn’t sure what to do for 2016.

In the past few years, this is a few of the things I’ve done on September 9th:

  • Paid it forward in the Starbucks drive-thru
  • Handed out individual candies with little notes of love and encouragement to strangers during the day
  • Written notes of encouragement to my co-workers and others in my office
  • Supported local school supply drives
  • Donated to a local diaper bank

So, in frustration and desperation, I turned to the good old Internet.

I was flooded with ideas – Literal information overload.

I really enjoyed writing notes of love and encouragement in the past, so I focused on that idea.

Here’s what I found:

After mulling my research, I decided to give to two organizations.

Throughout the day today:

  • I planned out 22 “Letters of Love” for Love For The Elderly
  • I planned out 22 letters for Operation Gratitude
  • I wrote 12 out of 44 letters in a span of a few hours tonight – My hand gave out!

This was the best $10.00 I ever spent – Markers and colorful paper!

The six of 22 letters for Operation Gratitude.

The six of 22 letters for Love for the Elderly.

I’m so excited about this!

As soon as the rest of the letters are finished, I’ll be sending these to their destinations!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂