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'Unplanned' showing

Dear editor:

I was born in Little Rock on Feb. 1, 1973, just 10 days after the infamous Roe V. Wade was passed by the Supreme Court in our country, legalizing abortion. Being someone who is tuned in to dates and times, I always felt personally connected to Roe v. Wade because we arrived on the scene together.

I've never liked the idea that we have labeled camps "Pro-choice" and "Pro- life" as though you have to decide if you are one, or the other. Really? I am absolutely for choice and for life. I think most of us are. We are Americans, after all. We value freedom above most things, and who among us does not truly value life? I think the terms we use of Choice v. Life have done more harm than Roe v. Wade, and have effectively stifled both our understanding of the issue of abortion, and our need to engage each other in this important conversation. I am convinced that most Americans are both "Pro-choice" AND "Pro-life" and that those terms are not exclusive of the other.

Two years ago, I attended a prayer summit in Colorado Springs and I encountered people who have been praying since 1973 (my whole life!) for the end of abortion. I was challenged. I was humbled by their conviction and perseverance. I began to think about abortion a lot. I prayed and I Googled.

Facebook tracked my interests and introduced me to an organization based in Colorado Springs, "Save the Storks" who claim that more than 84 percent of post-abortive women felt having an abortion was their only option. Like they didn't have any other choice. If choice is the alternative to life, then what sense does that make?

I ordered Margaret Sanger's (founder of Planned Parenthood) autobiography and Norma McCorvey's (Jane Roe in Roe v Wade) book as well, so I could have a personal look into abortion before I attempted to wade through commentary and argument (all good -- my mother was an attorney and I love to hear a good argument! -- but I much prefer reading people's stories over people's opinions.)

Then I heard Abby Johnson in an interview and her story grabbed my attention. I bought her book, "Unplanned," and was blown away by her story. She was an ardent advocate for Planned Parenthood for eight years, starting as a volunteer with them while she was in college, and at the time she walked away, she was a clinic director. Abby Johnson marks herself as "ProWoman, ProChild, ProLife" and I believe she always has been. Her understanding of abortion is what has changed.

When I heard Abby's story had been made into a movie, I knew I wanted to see it. ... I believe "Unplanned" is powerful and compelling because it is Abby's real-life story, and not a fictitious script. "Unplanned" is Rated R. I've thought a lot about that. And I think the best R word for "Unplanned" is Reality. Abby Johnson's story brings us close to the reality of abortion. Which can be good for all of us, wherever we are on this issue. I am praying for healing in our country, for love and life and choice for all of us.

I believe Abby Johnson's story is so important, that I am inviting you to see Unplanned with me at 7 p.m. today, Behind the Mall. I've rented out the entire theater (399 seats) as my gift to you: free admission/love offering.

Kelly Shaddock

Hot Springs

Editorial on 04/09/2019

Print Headline: Tuesday's Letter to the Editor

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