I wanted to be the biggest, baddest pro-choice liberal in 1993. I adored Miss Hillary, and wanted to go to Wellesley like she had. I wished I could have protested Vietnam. Seen Woodstock in a VW bus. Been a flower child. And I daydreamed about studying law like Hillary. And being pro-choice.
I was a freshman in high school and a fan of The Real World: San Francisco at the time. Pedro and Puck were fighting every week, and for the first time, I saw AIDS up close. But, it would be Rachel Campos who I would seek to emulate.
Rachel Campos became my biggest hero. I tried to fight it with every fiber of my being, but I couldn't help but adore the pro-life Republican.
At the very same time, something unexpected happened that would change my political leanings forever. "Baby Sarah" survived an attempted abortion by Dr. Tiller in Kansas.
During the attempted abortion, Baby Sarah turned away from the needle. So instead of injecting the lethal drug into Baby Sarah's heart, Tiller injected it into the side of her head. This left her alive but blind. The trauma caused her mother to deliver early. Baby Sarah was born in the parking lot at Wesley Medical Center where hospital staff left her to die. A day later she was still alive. A hospital employee took pity on her, and she was adopted a few hours later by the Brown family. Baby Sarah died a few years later due to complications caused by the attempted abortion.
I kept trying to fight my Rachel Campos complex over the years. Each time it stared me in the face that I was a Republican masquerading as a rebellious left wing liberal, I tried to bravely run with the liberal agenda. I discredited the idea of voting on the single issue of abortion by telling myself that Al Gore would save our planet. That John Kerry understood the Vietnam veterans more than Bush ever could. That Hillary's health care plan wasn't so bad.
But, I kept coming back to Baby Sarah.
Those big puppy dog brown eyes begging Dr. Tiller to just slow down. Breathe in life. Just soak it in.
And then I forced myself to do the impossible. Be uncool.
Vote solely on abortion. Solely on abortion. With every election that became my goal. My duty.
Sometimes, we have a small baby shower for a teen mom who is changing her entire life for that growing baby bump.
Other times, a girl walks in beet red, almost hyperventilating with fear of the unknown. She walks out an hour later with a smile on her face, knowing that she now has support. That she can do this.
If only Dr. Tiller.
If only you had stopped counting the millions in earnings for just one second. If only you had stopped thinking you were so powerful with that perfect record of never killing the mother, as you carried out pre-meditated murder. If only you had considered the fact that you only performed 1 medically necessary emergency abortion out of 2289.
If only you had stopped and looked for those precious smiles in the mom-to-be. The ones that light up the room at Hope Clinic.