As a working mom and attorney fighting for life, my children’s faces are a poignant reminder of why I and countless others have spent decades working to save the lives of the unborn and uplift mothers.
Recently, I had the privilege of attending the Federalist Society’s annual conference with my 2-year-old daughter. While stunning on the red carpet and the life of the party, she wasn’t particularly interested in the nuanced legal discussions. However, opportunities like these allow me to show her what Mom does. As she grows, I pray she begins to understand why her pro-life mom works long hours, travels frequently, and spends many a late Spring morning refreshing the SCOTUSblog site.
I relish demonstrating to my children as a working mom how important their lives are to me. I do this by spending every working hour actively defending the most fundamental right of all. A right that the abortion industry has tried so hard to convince us doesn’t exist.
The Wake of Roe v. Wade
In the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision last year that overturned Roe v. Wade, America has a fresh opportunity to defend the lives of the unborn. Now we can support women in ways that truly empower them and allow them to flourish.
As far as the law is concerned, this is straightforward. As much as we can, pro-life advocates will continue to encourage states to adopt more protections for unborn children, recognizing their God-given humanity and dignity. That work is well underway.
But we also must make new efforts to change our culture. We must reach the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens. So that not only will abortion be made illegal, but it will become unthinkable.
My Baby OR My Career?
One of the most harmful lies our culture has peddled to women is that they must choose between motherhood and a fulfilling career. That’s a false choice. One designed to pit mother against child and convince the mother that her baby stands between her and happiness.
Mothers can pursue successful professional careers while raising healthy families. Finding balance being a working mom will always be a challenge, but that goes with any path in life we choose. Our most challenging work is often the most rewarding.
Watching my children grow is enjoying every bit of laughter and joy they bring to my husband and me. This reminds me daily that millions of women have been deprived of this blessing. They’ve been lied to by the abortion industry and generations of activists claiming to fight for “liberation.”
But “liberate” women from what? From one of God’s greatest blessings—one that gives our lives purpose and meaning. Again, abortion advocates frame the interests of women and children as conflicting. As we advocate for life in statehouses, courthouses, and in the culture, let’s remember that defending the right to life includes supporting working moms. We are freeing them to embrace both their children and the work they’ve been called to do.
And our children see where our priorities lie and the depth of our commitment. Recently, my husband asked my 4-year-old son, “What does mommy do for work?” We thought he would say, “She’s a lawyer.” Instead, he said, “She helps babies be born.”
As pro-life Americans, our goal and prayer is that more and more children will be proud of their hardworking moms and the beautiful sacrifice that only a mom can make.
Denise Harle, Senior Counsel, Director of Center for Life, Alliance Defending Freedom