Voices For Life

Voices for Life is an e-publication dedicated to informing and educating the public on pro-life and pro-family issues. We cover issues from conception until natural death, as well as all family life issues.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

How Does a Pro-Choice Feminist Become a Pro-Life Activist? Here’s My Story


By Maria Gallagher

How does it happen that a pro-choice feminist ends up changing her mind and working full-time in the pro-life movement?

While I cannot speak for every woman who’s done an about-face on the issue of abortion, I think my experience can be helpful in understanding how it can be that so many women who were once solidly in favor of the “right to an abortion” now passionately advocate for the right to life of the child in the womb.

I came to embrace the pro-choice philosophy based on the twin pillars of reasonability and convenience. I thought it was entirely reasonable that a woman should not be expected to bear a child she didn’t want. I also viewed it as terribly inconvenient to be pregnant when that had not been a woman’s desire. Abortions would happen anyway, I reasoned; therefore, they might as well be legal.

It is a curious paradox that, even though I viewed myself as well-informed on abortion (I became a part-time journalist during college and covered the abortion issue often), I was lacking many basic facts.

Prompted by a pro-life friend, I began perusing right-to-life literature. I was shocked. I had not known, for instance, that a heart starts beating 24 days after conception, or that brain waves can be detected 43 days after the unification of egg and sperm.

I was to the point of tears when I learned that, at 49 days post-conception, a preborn child resembles a little doll, with fingers, toes and ears. (This was not dissimilar to the “Aha” moment experienced by the main character in the film “Juno” when she learns that her unborn child has fingernails. The humanity of the preborn baby is a powerful argument against abortion.)

As a reporter, I had been led to believe by a spokeswoman from the abortion advocacy group NARAL that late-term abortions occurred only when the life of the mother was at stake. I subsequently learned that the real reasons behind partial-birth abortions could be far less convincing.


  1. God bless you for your journey to realize the humanity of the preborn.

    I was never for abortion...but I just didn't care. But my "radicalization" into pro life was when...I saw my 17 week old daughter SQUIRM in what seemed like pain from the ultrasound.

    Then, my pregnancy really became real to me. Had I lost her to miscarriage (or abortion) I would never have forgotten!

    Glad that she is now 25 years old.

    Praying now for the healing of all girls/women/males who are grieving the loss of their little one.

  2. I am a father of 5 & grandfather of 13. #13 was born Dec 24 so she is just a few days old. I remember ultrasounds when my wife was pregnant with our children. I could never make head nor tail of them back in the 70's & 80's. My last two grandchildren I could actually see their face in the ultrasound. I thank God for my children & grandchildren daily.