By Christine Saah
Dignity never has to be earned, but we can easily lose sight of what it means to have dignity. I know firsthand how a lack of dignity can make you feel worthless. It takes a lot to overcome this, but it's completely possible to see that all life matters.
Throughout my childhood, I never felt wanted or accepted. Both of my parents were addicts and my mother almost aborted me. The fact that I survived is a miracle in itself. It was always difficult to think that I shouldn't have made it. It didn't help that my mom was unable to care for me and my dad died when I was 13. My wonderful grandparents raised me, but I couldn't see that my life mattered. I was even told that I was a mistake and merely a product of drugs and alcohol. It hurts me to write these words, but I always felt like I had no value because of the choices my parents made.
Despite my negative self-image, I tried to earn worth through my actions. I had to be perfect in sports, school, and all the elements of my life that I could control. I used every ounce of my being to try to earn something I never had to earn in the first place.
In college, I learned about the pro-life movement, but couldn't get myself to support it fully. I hesitated because I wanted to be accepting of others. I always knew I would never get an abortion, but I felt that it was a personal decision. And I didn't think my personal stance should be forced upon others. Looking back now, I see the irony. I was a survivor of a potential abortion, and obviously that had consequences. I felt unworthy no matter what I did. I firmly believe it all goes back to the sense of abandonment I felt from the very beginning of my life and to all the times I was told I was a mistake. I knew that I never wanted this to happen to anyone else.
A mother who aborts her child is essentially saying: “I don't want you; you're a mistake and you have no dignity in my eyes. You're going to be too inconvenient.” If she has her child, but treats the child as an inconvenience, that mindset will wound and maybe even destroy the child. As I found through my personal experience, not everyone is called to raise their own children. I wouldn't have thrived staying with my birth mother, but I was blessed with the opportunity to thrive because someone else stepped in and offered me the home and the love that she could not give. There are many people out there with good hearts who want those same opportunities—to give a child love and a sense of dignity. But abortion takes that away.
I'm certainly not the perfect person, but I have developed a firm foundation in the knowledge that I have dignity. I can do so much in this world, and I'm thankful my mother kept me alive. My life is messy, but beautiful. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do with this gift of life, but I know one thing for certain: I want to make a difference.
I hope that by sharing my story I might encourage someone to think twice before ending a preborn baby’s life. I want everyone to realize that each and every child has dignity and deserves the chance to be born. Every single person is beautiful in the eyes of the Lord. We cannot take that away.
Christine Saah loves exploring this world one photo at a time! She studied psychology and theology at MSMU and hopes to help others in all her endeavors.