There is a universal truth felt deeply by every mom, found somewhere at the convergence of joy, pride, and heartbreak. The truth is our babies are not really our own. They are ours to raise, guide, care for and cherish—and above all, to love always—but they are unique persons, bearing the image of God, called to their own special purposes, and, though reflecting their parents in appearance and traits, created entirely different from anyone else.

As moms, we feel this truth profoundly from the moment we see their first tiny ultrasound picture, to when we feel their first fluttering kicks while they are nestled safely inside, to when we finally hold them in our arms the very first time, to that first act of defiance as a toddler, to when we wave goodbye at the kindergarten classroom, and to when we finally send them off to fulfill whatever calling God has on their lives.

I try to remember this as I hold my 4-month-old, knowing that it’s only for a little while that I am the source of all her needs. I try to remember this when my 2-year-old screams “don’t leave me” when all I did was walk down the stairs.

But this truth is never more obvious to me than when I am holding them both close, feeling the weight of this moment in history where Roe v. Wade may be overturned. They may actually grow up in a country without the shadow of Roe.

I think about how much I love them and what a privilege it is to be their mom. I think about how their lives were never mine to take. And I clutch them closer, grieving for the tiny lives who never had the chance to breathe their first breath.

Even if I hadn’t wanted them (and I did), even if I wasn’t ready to parent (I wasn’t; no one is), even if I didn’t feel I had enough resources to provide (and no mother does), or even if they had been diagnosed with a disability (and I was given several misdiagnoses before one of my daughters was born),  those girls deserve their own chance at life.

Their location in my womb did not make them any less of a human being than I am—or than any of us fortunate enough to be debating abortion today because we survived Roe’s deadly 49-year reign.

As I write this article with my infant sleeping by my side, I wonder how it is 2022 and this nation is still trying to convince women they need the “freedom” to snuff out the lives of their own children for some form of “women’s advancement.”

It’s painfully obvious now that the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade sold us a three-part bill of goods. Moms were told that their babies in the womb were somehow not persons—despite how we watch them grow inside us—until the day they appear out of the birth canal. Girls and women were told that in order to achieve success in America, they may need to end the lives of their own children, robbing them of the chance to become mothers.

And we were all told that the “right” to take lives not our own for the sake of “women’s advancement” was found somewhere in the “penumbras” of the Constitution.

It sounds ridiculous typing it out now.

For nearly 50 years, Roe v. Wade has been depriving millions of the youngest Americans of their right to life—mothers of the chance at motherhood—and the law of legitimate and rational meaning.

This Mother’s Day, the best gift would be for the Supreme Court to do what its leaked opinion hinted it would do—throw Roe on the ash heap of history where it belongs.

And what comes after Roe?

Imagine states—an entire nation, even—without abortion. Where each precious life is truly cherished. Where children are given the chance to breathe their first breath, and where moms and families are offered hope and healing—not death and darkness. A nation of life.

Can you see it? I can.

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