Congress Blog

They chose life: Why a story of hope and possibility should be one remembered this month

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

Behind every "choice" is a life and a story. Some of those lives end tragically and prematurely because the story ignores the promise and the hope in favor of the fear and despair. Sixty million lives of the unborn have ended prematurely since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision 47 years ago this week. But since the peak of 1.6 million abortions a year in 1990, hope has been winning over despair.

In the winter of 1996, a young couple went in for a regular prenatal check-up. They were excited, having recently learned the woman was pregnant with twins.

After what the couple thought was a routine sonogram, the doctor came back. His demeanor had changed, going from jovial to serious. The couple instantly became worried. The doctor let them know that he had identified the possibility of cystic fibrosis in one of the boys. This was bad news, but there were more tests needed.

Soon after the sonogram, the family headed to the genetic counselor to get more tests. The geneticist, like the doctor before him, seemed concerned. Their hearts fell as they heard the news, "Our tests indicate that they have a high risk for cystic fibrosis. If they are born - they would only survive for a few hours - if that. The expectation should be that they die on the operating table."

What came next made their stomachs churn. The doctor recommended termination - abortion - as the compassionate option. The couple said the first thing that came into their minds, "no." They walked out.

They chose instead the path of hope and possibility, putting their faith in the Almighty and in the power of love. Months later the boys were born healthy as can be given the high odds and low expectations. Twenty years later Manfred and Jonah are accomplished young men who have come a long way from that small sonogram room in Texas.

This story is personal to me - both of them joined my campaign team in 2018 and they literally wore out their shoes knocking doors. Jonah currently serves on my staff in our Washington, D.C. office, and Manfred heads up Young Conservatives of Texas. They - and their parents - are all decidedly pro-life.

Their story is one we should all remember this month, just like the story my wife and I shared three years ago in National Review: "A Mother's Love and the March That Matters." In that story, we recount the cold and sterile way in which our dear friend was told by her doctor to "terminate" her unborn son because of a scan... and how today he is a healthy blessing to us all, and my godson.

Today, thousands of individuals will march in Washington, D.C. for lives of the unborn. All who want to celebrate life are welcome, the heart of this movement is inherently inclusive. President Reagan once famously said, "I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born." The next time you hear someone argue that abortion is the best path, remember these dedicated, often young, and historically peaceful marchers as they inspire us to continue to stand for hope and the promise of life.

And, remember Jonah, Manfred, my godson and the millions like them who are experiencing life and blessed us all.

Chip Roy represents the 21st District in Texas.