This post is controversial, point blank. You have the right to disagree on abortion and to respectfully share your views. Thank you.
October is Respect Life month. As a Catholic lifestyle blog, I knew that I want to share something related to this cause. I could quote facts and figures and we would all be rightfully horrified. For several reasons, that will not be our journey today. Instead I asked my dear friend Krista, Co-Director of Youth Programs at Louisiana Right to Life, to share from her life and line of work.
My name is Krista Corbello, and Alley is so dear to me. The day we met, we were both at a discernment holy hour, and spontaneously decided to Borden’s Ice Cream after. We then only called each other “Alleyfriend” and “Kristafriend” because, well, we decided that day that we would be friends! The rest is history!
When she asked me to write for her blog, I of course said yes!
One thing a lot of people know about me is that I love stories. Stories make up people’s lives. Because of my line of work in pro-life education, I hear and know a lot of people’s stories.
There was a woman who came to America to get a job so she could pursue a better life for her and her family. Her parents sacrificed a lot for her to go, so she was really meant to financially support her family back home, including her two younger sisters. With no family or friends in a country that wasn’t her own with a language that was her second, she truly felt like she was in a dark place when she found herself pregnant at twenty-five. All the people who are supposed to be there for you in times of need turned their backs on her.
Her family, who sacrificed so much for her, were very upset with the news. When she would mail pictures of herself pregnant to her parents, they would send them back ripped up or with X’s on her stomach. They bullied her to get an abortion.
We’ll disown you if you don’t.
Her boyfriend, unprepared for the responsibility of fatherhood, told her to “take care of it” too.
I’ll leave you if you don’t.
When I think of this woman in this situation, it’s especially difficult to see how people would consider this a “choice.”
Do this, or else.
This is a threat. A coercion. AKA not a free choice.
In the 1990s when she was pregnant, Planned Parenthood had a campaign out with the slogan, “Every Child A Wanted Child.” This, of course, creating the myth of the “unwanted child.” This woman, an immigrant, is the perfect candidate for an abortion since a disproportionate percent of abortions are performed on minority women. This child, was a perfect candidate for an abortion as well as an “unwanted child.” Unwanted by the father and the grandparents, this child would surely be a burden.
This child is going to suffer, why would you want to bring a child into a world without suffering? Without a father? Without loving grandparents? As a single mom?
This logic, of course, implying that it is better for a child to die than to suffer.
With all of these voices ringing in her head, this woman called an abortion clinic, only to hang up because as she says, “I had the fear of God.” She knew she was pregnant with child. Not a clump of cells, like they say.
She chose life for her child.
She chose life for me.
They were right about one thing. I suffered. It was difficult not knowing anything about your biological father as a child. There was always something deep down that wondered where my biological father was and why he didn’t try to find me. Even though my mom got married and I had a dad, I still wondered often.
From childhood feelings of sadness and wonder, high school feelings of resentment and college feelings of acceptance, I thought I would never meet my biological father
Abandonment wounds cut pretty deep, especially for fatherless children. Many statistics talk about children born in these situations being more likely to be a criminal (which some people use to try to justify abortions), but I was always a well-behaved child, but I had a deep need to people please, always attempting to earn the love of those around me (Subconsciously trying to prove to my biological father that I was someone worth knowing.)
I wrote a poem about how I felt during different stages of my life. This is the first stanza about my childhood.
I asked my mom about you
Ten facts for each year I’ve lived
Demanding ten facts as a gift
Young, naïve, hopeless for love
Wanting to share more than just blood
Like I said previously, I had many feelings of resentment in high school. Why have I still not met my father? Wasn’t he looking for me or something? Should I look for him? Here’s verse two of my poem.
Fast forward to 2008
Now you’re sixteen years too late
I’m now clouded by the darkness of your sin
Pain, anger, resentment set in
You’re a shadow I only know by name
I’ll show you one day
I met my biological father when I was twenty-two. He came to Louisiana twice, once in the beginning of May 2014 and again at my college graduation. I was able to start to get to know him as well as start our healing process.
Over two decades you haven’t been seen
Famous roles reversed, and I am the daughter
Of a wayward man, my prodigal father
Young, naïve, hearts do change
I’m not so sure in this case
Actions, not words, will make me believe
I forgive, not forget, and I can be freed
About a year and a half ago, I asked Rod (my father) if he was glad my mom didn’t abort me. He began to cry. Worried and feeling rather awkward, I didn’t press the subject. He told me he had an aborted child with the woman after my mother.
Working in the pro-life movement full time, I had a dozen resources for the two of them. I gave him everything I could think of in that moment. The next time I was alone and had time to think about the abortion, I was on an airplane (middle seat, mind you) and I started to ugly cry as we were taking off. (#SoThankful nobody turned to me to ask “Have you never flown before?”)
I thought about how 1/3 of my generation is lost to abortion. And how I know now that my sibling is part of that statistic. And why was it my sibling and not me? What would they have been like? What would their lives have been like? What would’ve been their stories? Survivor’s guilt. Depression. Confusion. The deepest pain I’ve ever faced.
For the next several months, I was not myself. Not joyful. Not singing or dancing. Friends would say, “I’m worried about you,” and I would reply, “You should be.” Even though I had no idea what I needed.
I started post-abortion healing called Project Rachel and eventually went to Rachel’s Vineyard. (Hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, honestly.) I experienced the start of a deep healing, and I was shown that my little sister (whom I named “MK”) was at peace, which gave me peace. I started to come up from the depression, and after a while my dearest friend said to me, “Hey, you laughed. I haven’t heard you laugh in a long time!”
And that’s when I knew I was stronger because of what I learned about my father and his abortion. That my sister and I have a spiritual connection and that she’s praying for me.
It deepened my pro-life ministry and heightened my pro-life education. I do what I do for my mom, who bravely chose life for me despite all odds and for my sister MK who was not so fortunate.
I know this was a long story, but I summed it up as much as possible, and I’m thankful you joined me for this long. I pray that my story is one of hope, healing, and understanding of the pro-life issue from many different perspectives.
Only by Grace!
Krista serves as the Youth Programs Co-Director at Louisiana Right to Life, focusing on youth pro-life education. Depending on who she’s talking to, she describes it as “teaching pro-life people how to not be weird,” “high school and college leadership,” or “working in bioethics” (with no context if she’s too tired to explain). She also enjoys making #kristaligraphy, singing and dancing in musicals, and performing at singer/songwriter nights. When she’s not being artsy, she’s probably a Disney princess at a birthday party or planning her next adventure across the world.
To get in touch with Krista, email kristarcorbello(at)gmail(dot)com.
For more on post abortion healing, visit Project Rachel.
For more on how to get involved in Pro-Life movement, visit National Right to Life or your local Right to Life organization.