Life began badly for Anna.
“I was awakened to things no child should when I was between the ages of five and eight, so that played a huge part in being promiscuous from a really early age,” she shares.
Anna was sexually abused by her stepfather.
“That changed the course of my life because I was always seeking guys’ approval.”
You walk into the clinic and take a seat beside your boyfriend.
Three other women are seated in the cramped waiting room, one with her mother.
A stack of magazines sits untouched.
There is no music.
The four women waiting for an abortion that day are deathly silent. They look at the floor, at their hands, at the walls. The hush amplifies the voice of the receptionist as she makes phone calls. When a doctor strides in and tells her that appointments must be cancelled that day, his voice is as clear as a heartbeat. Those waiting lean in.
“I was scared to tell people I was pregnant.”
Lucy sits comfortably beside Evie who is asleep, nestled against her hip. The blonde-haired toddler will be two in June. Lucy contentedly strokes her daughter’s hair and begins to share candidly about how she came to be a mother at the age of 16.
“I was finishing year 10 at Queechy High School,” she says.
That’s when she first had suspicions that her expanding belly was more than a bit of bloating. Still, the softly spoken teen stayed tight-lipped until her stepfather noticed the changes and bought her a pregnancy test.
“I already knew what the result would be – I was 19 weeks pregnant!” Lucy laughs.
The night of Rachel’s 16th birthday was the first she slept rough on a park bench in Launceston.
It was winter. None of her family called. Her boyfriend said she was a “Slut!” and pushed her out the door.
Sweet 16, it was not.
Rachel slept rough for a week before she started exchanging sex for a place to sleep.
How did it get this bad?
Amber Elizabeth Rose died last week. Quickly. Invisibly. Tragically. She hadn’t even reached her birth date. The newspapers reported the devastating news of the murder-suicide in the rural town of Biddeston near Toowoomba. They reported three deaths – Kris-Deann Sharpley, her seven-year-old son Jackson and her father Derek. Amber was not in the headcount. Her life was not counted. Over and over it was reported that Kris-Deann was “heavily pregnant”, that she was on maternity leave awaiting the birth of her daughter, that she had chosen her name and was sharing the excitement with her son Jackson. But no one counted Amber’s life. Before her death Kris-Deann, a nurse, told her family how Jackson spent time chatting to his baby sister through her bulging belly. He kissed her and told her he was her big brother, that he was boss! On Facebook, Kris-Deann shared a photo montage under the words “My Beautiful Children”. The two photos were of her son and a 3D ultrasound image of her unborn daughter. In curling script beneath were their names; …
This is a work of fiction that I wrote a while back. I feel rather vulnerable sharing it with you – for many reasons. Firstly, I don’t write a lot of fiction! And while I call it ‘fiction’ there are elements of truth embedded. You might be able to pick them. It’s also based on the topic closest to my heart: how immensely precious life is. I would be so grateful for any constructive feedback xxx TWELVE WEEKS Blood runs black beneath the nib hovering at Allira’s wrist. Jim smoothes the design on its scrap of paper before pressing back into flesh. He’s a redhead with blue-green eyes, freckled skin and a half-hearted goatee. The acrid whiff of cigarette smoke loiters at his teeth – he was drawing on a rolly at the shop’s steps when Allira arrived. He took his time to finish before walking in to set up. Allira sat on the couch to wait, gaping at the framed sketches of skulls, bare-breasted women and taloned creatures. The music was angry. Finally, Jim …
Babies. They begin as a ‘zygote’, are dubbed an ’embryo’ at around two weeks before assuming the title of ‘fetus’ at 8 weeks. If they die before 20 weeks it’s called a ‘miscarriage’ and thereafter, a ‘stillbirth’. Technicalities. Because a mother knows her baby to be life from go to whoa, and a baby’s death is painful whatever the doctors call it. Anja’s son died in the womb at 17 weeks. Here, she courageously shares his short story and the reality that “a baby’s a baby, all the time”, in her words. A This Little Life story. (Please note, this story includes a photo of Anja’s son, born at 17 weeks) “In late October 2009 we were thrilled to discover that we were expecting a baby. We had experienced a previous early pregnancy miscarriage, but figured we were in the clear as, by the time I saw those two pink lines, we were already past the point of our previous loss. As excited ‘first time’ parents we announced our pregnancy creatively to our family, I …
Did you know that the sperm carries the architectural drawings for a baby’s first home? One of America’s most prominent forensic specialists, Frederick T. Zugibe (1928-2013) – who has so many letters after his name that I’d do my word limit with them alone – wrote about it in his paper The Code for Human Life. “Recent studies show that the membranes that enclose the conceptus is derived from information encoded in the spermatozoa which provides for separation of the conceptus from the mother otherwise the mother’s immune system would destroy the conceptus.” Capiche? If you can get past the medical jargon, you will see that this is a rather lyrical illustration of the male role in family: that of security and provision. It made me think of the Emily’s Voice ad running at the moment. Teen boy meets teen girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Girl falls pregnant. What next? “I had to man-up and take responsibility,” the young dad says. The line sounds rather foreign in a culture that elevates a woman’s …
In a gobsmacking analysis of Australian causes of death, Emily’s Voice CEO Paul O’Rourke has revealed that abortion claims the lives of more Australians than cancer, heart disease, drowning, suicide, homicide and motor vehicle accidents put together. “Each year in Australia, an estimated 96,000 children are lost as a result of surgical and chemical abortions. That’s 263 Aussie kids a day; an average-sized primary school,” he said. The breakdown is 80,000 surgical abortions and 16,000 chemical* abortions, which equates to around 3,000 more than the combined annual deaths of what is usually reported as our nation’s biggest killers: Homicides: 250 Drowning: 300 Motor vehicle accidents: 1,193 Suicide: 2,535 Cancer: 42,844 Heart disease: 45,600 Total: 92,722 Sadly, the government has not seen the importance of collecting abortion figures. South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory are the only jurisdictions that count abortions. These figures, combined with Medicare claims for first and second trimester abortions, and hospital records, are where we land at a figure for surgical abortions in Australia. …
Doctors are not gods. I’ll say it again, doctors are not gods. They get it wrong and all too often their prognosis allows no room for the extraordinary. This was the barrier that would have prevented Chercara and Tim from raising a family of their own. Chercara shares how faith and a deep-seated value of life raised hope in her heart, not for one miracle, but two. A This Little Life story… “I have six children but can only hold two of them in my arms. If I was to heed the advice of many of the doctors and nurses responsible for my antenatal care, I wouldn’t even have these, my two beautiful boys. Losing our first baby was not only one of the hardest things for me and hubby Tim to endure but it made me lose faith in the medical system. I met Tim when I was 18 – it was ‘love at first sight’. Within a month we were dating, another month and he asked me to marry him and a month …