National Right to Life
Hollywood has produced many super stars over the years. However, few remain at the top for as long as did Gloria Swanson, the super star of Hollywood’s golden era. For sixty years she was a headliner and when, in 1983, she died of a heart attack, she was preparing for the starring role in a Broadway play.
She was married six times and had three children, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. While media accounts of her life featured the glamor and glory of her international career, the most significant account of her life went unmentioned by everyone except Gloria Swanson herself.
In her 1980 autobiography, Swanson on Swanson. she began and ended with her remorse over taking the life of her unborn child. It was for her the most consequential act of her existence and her greatest regret.
“Nothing,” she wrote, “in the whole world is worth a baby. I realized that as soon as it was too late, and I have never stopped blaming myself. Even if Syd Grauman built me an Arch of Triumph in California as colossal as the one in Paris, it would always have a tomb under it, the tomb of an unborn baby who had picked Henri and me for parents and who was now dead.”
The abortion was ancient history. It had occurred decades earlier. It wasn’t as if she had been unmarried then or had had an ugly back alley abortion. It wasn’t as if she didn’t have other children, which she did, before and after the abortion.
But none, she said, could replace the aborted child whom, she said, had spoken to her innermost being on the way to the elegant office of the prominent surgeon who was to end that baby’s life.
“‘Don’t do this,’ the child said to me. The voice was inside me. It was the voice of my unborn child. I tried not to listen. ‘I know you hear me,’ the voice said. Listen to me. I want to live.”
Gloria Swanson was to hear that voice for 60 years until the day she died. She had had a rich and glamorous life but, she said, when she spelled out the price – the sacrifice of a child – it just wasn’t worth it.
Almost 60 million babies in the last 43 years have been aborted in the U.S. How many of their mothers have said that very same thing to themselves?
It just wasn’t worth it!