Proposition 1 will be detrimental to women in California who deserve not shame and discouragement, but support, empowerment and encouragement when facing an unplanned pregnancy. When an ad campaign, paid by California taxpayers, targets women—notably in areas near universities and where minorities reside—you are telling women they are not capable of carrying a child, being a mother, or even giving them the chance to consider an adoption.
A woman in Orange County, back in the late 1960s, was married, had four small boys, and found herself in an unplanned pregnancy after having a one-night stand with another man. She felt her only option was to drive to Mexico and abort the baby.
During that two-hour drive south, she had time to reflect on her options. By the time she reached the abortion clinic she had made the choice to choose adoption for her unwanted baby. She knew the baby would be wanted by someone.
I am that unwanted baby girl.
My life began in Santa Ana because my birth mother made the choice for life.
My adopted parents were hardworking immigrants. My adopted father was a plumber, a proud member of UA582 Union Pipe Trades for over 60 years. He passed away this last March at the age of 96, and I was blessed to be his daughter.
This unwanted baby girl, almost aborted, has made a difference in the state of California as a tax paying, law abiding citizen, a successful marketing executive (25 years in education, tech and retail), a loyal friend to many, a mentor to young women and a foster/adoptive parent to at-risk children and teenagers. Today, I serve as CEO of the national non-profit organization Save the Storks. Our mission is to create a story of hope and empowerment for every woman facing an unplanned pregnancy.
If Proposition 1 passes, it will be yet another setback for women. Why? Because millions of women who made the choice for abortion deal with depression, anxiety and addictions. Post-abortive women are 155% more likely to commit suicide. (CBS News coverage of British Journal of Psychiatry research study, Sept 11, 2011)
Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry have hidden the truth about abortion. Pro-mom organizations who truly care about women, their physical, mental and emotional health, their futures and their families often go unrecognized for the life-affirming programs and services they provide. California has incredible rescue missions, pregnancy clinics, wraparound services, foster family agencies and ministries that empower women when facing an unplanned pregnancy. When a woman doesn’t feel ready or capable of being a mother, these organizations step in to help her be a parent, or find parents who will adopt her child.
Please, consider sharing the choice for motherhood and the choice for adoption when you speak to women. And make sure you have all the facts and statistics. Women I personally know have reported that they were rushed into an abortion by workers at clinics. They regretted their decision after. This is not just my opinion or anecdotal: according to Support After Abortion, 22 million people are currently hurting after their abortion experiences.
Women in California deserve better, and their preborn children deserve better.
Diane Hornsby Ferraro
CEO, Save the Storks
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