by Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL President
Truth is so rare that it is delightful to tell it. - Emily Dickinson
Getting to tell one story with a happy ending feels like a luxury this week; that there are two such items to share today, both involving long-time MCFL members, is a blessing indeed.
A few days ago, I received an email from my friend Jerry. The subject line: “Baby Myles Saved.” Since his birth a few months ago, I’d seen Jerry’s grandson on Facebook enough to feel like I knew him! Yet, as is often the case with social media, photos don’t tell all, and, as I read Jerry’s email, I realized that Myles’ story wasn’t just about the birth of a baby, but about his mother learning a truth that saved his life.
It is a privilege to share the family’s “unplanned” experience with you. Before you read it below, watch this Live Action piece. (You can skip the ads.)
In just a few days, Veronica’s story has been viewed well over a half million times.
Jerry, his wife, Maggie, and Veronica shared additional details about their experience with me this week, and our discussion revealed truths about what it’s like for a teenage girl to face pregnancy in Massachusetts.
Current state law requires one parent to provide consent before a minor undergoes an abortion. (If the ROE Act passes, a girl as young as 12 could legally obtain an abortion without a parent, or any adult other than clinic staff, knowing about it.) I asked Jerry and Maggie, “As a 16-year-old, how accessible was abortion to Veronica?” “Obviously, we weren't informed when Veronica went [to Planned Parenthood],” they said. “We asked her, and she said no one there mentioned her age. We don't think that law is being followed.”
Veronica agreed. “When I went to Planned Parenthood there was no adult or parent with me,” she said. “The woman I talked to knew my age, and it did not seem to be a problem for me to get an abortion.”
“What do you remember about the clinic?” I asked. “I was expecting to be given more resources and options, but it felt like they were just mainly focused on abortion," Veronica said. One worker told her, "It isn't a baby yet," a comment Veronica says haunts her today.
In spite of the difficult memories of being alone at Planned Parenthood, she says, “Every day, when I wake up to Myles’ smiling face, I am so thankful that I made the decision I did. My life would be very empty without him. He gives me purpose.”
Knowing Jerry and Maggie have been MCFL members for over 30 years, I asked why they’ve supported our mission for so long. They said that MCFL helps “to expose the truth of what abortion is, its consequences and what the support services are.” They urged us to do even more “to help those who need support, especially teenage girls.”
Veronica agreed, saying, “I think many people my age are confused based on what society tells us, which is that a woman having an abortion should have that right because it is her body. I believe if there was more evidence out there about what abortion really does and how it hurts women, and also more outreach to people my age, there would be fewer pro-choice people,” she said.
Jerry and Maggie underscored deeply-held values that have prompted them to support MCFL’s mission, “We strongly believe in the value of every human life, especially the unborn. We feel the organization’s budget, compared to that of, say, Planned Parenthood, is worthy of, and greatly in need of, all we can do.”
Finally, I asked Veronica why she thinks her story on Live Action is generating such widespread engagement. “I think people are seeing that, even in difficult situations, there is always good,” she explained. “They see my son and his life and how precious he is, and know that no one should be able to take the right to life away from him.”
Join the #SaveBabyMyles Summer Campaign with MCFL.
Myrna's story is like most of our stories: we're only an arm-length away from miracles -- and needs.
Share a video or well-crafted image every week this summer like the video above that saved Baby Myles life.
You can find more resources for videos, images, and articles on our blog
Pledge to join the #SaveBabyMyles Campaign here.