Last Wednesday I got a call from the White House while working at FIC’s office. Of all the things I assumed I’d be doing that day, receiving an invitation to meet the President of the United States was not on my list. It’s funny how life can be full of unexpected surprises. One moment I was sitting at my desk and the next day I was sitting in front of President Trump on a couch in the Oval Office.
I was invited to the White House to tell my story of my mother’s scheduled abortion appt. at Mt. Siani hospital in Hartford, CT and her decision to walk out. I went along with my friend Melissa Ohden who survived a late-term abortion after a nurse saw her breathing on the floor and rushed her to the NICU. We were joined by young people and their parents who had the option to chose abortion because of various medical reasons but refused to. It was a truly remarkable group of people.
Days prior on February 11th, I shared my story in testimony before the Public Health Committee in opposition to H.B. 7070- a bill attacking CT pregnancy resource centers. Last Monday and into early Tuesday, I spent 16 hours at the Legislative Office Building for the public hearing on H.B. 7070. I along with my boss and pregnancy center leaders, listened to hours worth of testimony from people who mischaracterized the work of pregnancy centers. This is the second Public Health Committee hearing in two years for bills that accuse centers of false advertising. Pregnancy centers have existed for close to thirty years in CT and not a single client has filed a complaint against them for false advertising or harm of any sort. The attacks against them originated from pro-abortion radical groups such as NARAL Pro-Choice CT and some of their endorsed elected officials. After an exhausting day fighting lies against the pregnancy centers, a surprise White House invitation was a welcome gift.
Today as we celebrate President’s day, I want to share three thoughts I had during my visit to the White House.
1. President Trump is sincerely disturbed over late-term abortion: During our time in the Oval Office, the President made a conference call to pro-life leaders across the country. He expressed his disapproval of the NY late-term abortion law and the Governor of Virginia’s comments approving of infanticide. Before the phone call, President Trump reminded us of the words he spoke about abortion during a debate with Hillary Clinton. You may remember President Trump talking about late-term abortions and babies being ripped out of the womb just prior to birth. Tragically, the very thing he spoke of before becoming President is increasingly being normalized across the country.
2. President Trump has some amazing pro-life staffers: I had the pleasure of meeting people who work with the President daily and are grateful to do so. President Trump’s staffers met with us, listened to our concerns and were interested in our work. I talked about our work at FIC defending CT pregnancy centers from politically motivated attacks and discriminatory bills. It was refreshing to be heard and encouraging to see the President has powerful, pro-life people working with him. Kellyanne Conway was in the room with us and a staffer shared how she’ll do things to display her pro-life views, like wearing precious feet lapel pins when she speaks at events.
3. President Trump values prayer: During our visit with the President, we were joined by one of his spiritual advisors, Pastor Paula White. My friend and fellow pro-life advocate Alveda King was also with us in the room. Before we met with President Trump and afterward we had a time of prayer with Pastor Paula. I also heard hopeful stories from staffers about the President’s heart for prayer and how he willingly receives prayer from others. It takes humility to recognize your need for prayer and vulnerability to depend on someone bigger than yourself. A continual prayer of mine for President Trump and past Presidents is that they would seek God and his wisdom for how to rule the nation.
It’s remarkable to think that my mom walked out of her abortion appt. which allowed me to walk into the White House. As a black woman, I’m especially grateful to have visited the White House during Black History Month. Many people sacrificed greatly so I can enjoy the blessings of freedom and civil rights. I’m committed to fighting for humans, born and unborn, to have equal rights. As I shared at the White House, without the right to life we have no other right.
You don’t have to go to D.C. in order to make a difference. There’s a fight right here in Connecticut and we need your help. Please contact your legislators and State Senators as the Public Health Committee debates on whether or not to push H.B. 7070 forward. Let them know you oppose this bill. Follow the Family Institute of Connecticut Facebook page and the Connecticut Pregnancy Care Coalition page for up to date information.