By Jonathon Van Maren
On October 11, USA Today published a hard-hitting editorial titled “I was in the pro-life movement. But then, widowed with 6 kids, I prepared for an abortion.” The piece was clearly intended to be both a rebuke to the pro-life movement as well as evidence that pro-lifers are primarily motivated by ignorance of real-world situations, and timed to sync up with the Amy Coney Barrett hearings, in which Roe v. Wade would predictably take center-stage.
The column, written by Shannon Dingle, is heartbreaking to read. On vacation with their six children last summer, her husband was killed in a freak accident at the beach after a wave knocked him over and broke his neck. Widowed with a young family, Dingle was grief-stricken and overwhelmed. And then she discovered that she was pregnant, with chronic health conditions that would complicate things further.
Her response was immediate: “I knew I couldn’t have this baby. I didn’t know how to be a single mom of six, so a seventh child was unthinkable, if I even survived the pregnancy. And my kids couldn’t lose another parent.”