This week, The Washington Post published a very lengthy exposé examining the real word impact of the Texas Heartbeat Bill, which took effect September 1, 2021.
It probably wasn’t The Post’s intention to reveal the positive pro-life impact of the law, which effectively outlawed abortion in the state after a preborn baby is six weeks old. But that’s what the article accomplishes.
The article tells the story of the law’s impact through the eyes of Brooke Alexander, an 18-year-old who recently gave birth to twins.
Brooke wasn’t planning on becoming a mother as a teenager. Her plans included continuing her work at Texas Roadhouse, attending class to get her real estate license, and earning enough money to take a trip to Hawaii.
But as The Post reports, Brooke discovered she was pregnant on August 29 – two days before the Heartbeat Bill was to take effect.
Brooke’s mom, dad and boyfriend all encouraged her, at least initially, to get an abortion.
After she found out she was pregnant, Brooke texted her dad, “We’re gonna see how far along it is. See if abortion is an option.”
“What’s the cutoff date,” he asked.
“They just passed a law today!!” Brooke responded, referring to the law which would take effect just two days later. “I believe it’s six weeks.”
“Fingers crossed????” her dad replied, referring to the termination of his own grandchild.
Brooke tried to schedule an appointment with a nearby abortionist, but the “clinic” had no open appointments prior to September 1, because “patients across the state [were] racing to get into clinics before the law came down.”
Instead, the next day, Brooke and her mom showed up at Pregnancy Center of the Coastal Bend, a pregnancy resource center, for an ultrasound.
Brooke marked down on an intake form that she was planning to get an abortion.
Then she and her mother received counseling from an advocate at the center, Angie Arnholt, who informed Brooke about the risks that can come with abortion: depression, nausea, breast cancer and infertility, heavy bleeding, and a punctured uterus among others.
Then, Arnholt took Brooke and her mom to the ultrasound room, where the ultrasound technician performed the ultrasound, gasped, and showed Brooke the screen. She had twins, both 12 weeks along.
At that moment, Brooke and her mom changed their minds.
“This is a miracle from the Lord. We are having these babies,” Brooke’s mom exclaimed at the time.
Now, Brooke’s children are four months old. Does she regret her choice to choose life for her newborn babies?
The thing Brooke most misses is her freedom. But on the other hand, Brooke has realized how much she’s gained by choosing life for her two daughters.
If one of her babies would start crying, The Post writes:
Brooke would pick up her daughter and hold her close, swaying from side to side, kissing the silky brown strands on the top of her head. Almost always, her baby would stop crying.
“I think they can smell me,” she said. “And that makes me feel so special.” Brooke knew the little things about her daughters that no one else would notice. Olivia had a higher-pitched cry. Kendall was harder to soothe. You could always tell when they were about to wake up, because they’d start to smile.
The article then examines whether becoming a mother has changed Brooke’s position on abortion.
Looking at her daughters, Brooke struggled to articulate her feelings on abortion. On one hand, she said, she absolutely believed that women should have the right to choose what’s best for their own lives. On the other, she knew that, without the Texas law, her babies might not be here.
“Who’s to say what I would have done if the law wasn’t in effect?” she said. “I don’t want to think about it.”
Note that her thoughts on abortion are no longer just conceptual. Now, her belief has been influenced by the birth of her own children – times two.
Brooke’s boyfriend, Billy, has since joined the U.S. Air Force to financially support Brooke and his two children. These babies have motivated Billy to step up and live a self-sacrificial life in support of his family.
And Brooke isn’t the only woman to choose not to abort her two preborn children following Texas’ Heartbeat Bill taking effect.
In the words of The Post:
Nearly 10 months into the Texas law, [women] have started having the babies they never planned to carry to term.
If The Post meant for that to be a negative sentence, they severely miscalculated.
To help Brooke and her family, a Go Fund Me page has been launched, and 1,111 people have donated $52,300 to help her.
Brooke summed up her new life as a mother of two babies for The Post:
“I can’t just really be free,” she said. “I guess that really sums it up. That’s a big thing that I really miss.” She sat silently for a while, Olivia’s hand wrapped around her finger. “It’s really scary thinking that I wouldn’t have them,” she said.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and looking for options, there are free, confidential services available:
- Click on MyChoiceNetwork.org and find a clinic nearby.
- Or visit OptionLine.org. They can chat, talk by calling 800-712-HELP (800-712-4357), or respond to text through “Helpline” sent to 313131 — at anytime.
You are not alone. Connect with caring, confidential professionals to get all of your options.
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Photo from The Washington Post.