I saw her tentatively step onto the New Mexico House Floor yesterday. A young woman who had a pro life message for the House Commerce and Public Affairs Committee. The debate was over a Parental Notification Bill that would require parents to at least know if their underage daughter was going to have an abortion.
She pushed one foot onto the floor and stepped back, as if the water were too cold and she wasn’t ready to dive. But then I saw a resolution cross her face. She squared her shoulders and walked to the line to testify on behalf of life.
There were other voices yesterday. Some who readily admitted they were not public speakers or had never addressed a group of Legislators. There were others whom you could tell did this all the time. It was, however, the first timers who caught my attention.
With quaking, quivering voices loaded with emotion they spoke. Amongst the voices some spoke of past regrets, some just hoped hardened hearts would hear. This young woman spoke of how she, as a Mother, would want to know of her daughter’s dilemma. How she would want to be there for her and help her through an unplanned pregnancy.
After the young woman used her two minutes…and a few more seconds…she walked off the House Floor. Others spoke for Life. A Father who, after hearing his young daughter speak, talked of how proud he was of her. Then, after a long pause, spoke of the children who were not there in the Chambers….a result of choice.
After he spoke, I saw the young woman coming back to find her seat. Walking slowly and trying to catch her breath as the weight of her words…and the occasion for them…started to crush her.
Grabbing her elbow and helping her walk the words tumbled out of my mouth, “I heard what you said. I am so proud of you. You did it….You spoke so eloquently…I am so proud of you”.
Disoriented by the architectural Rubic’s Cube that is the Roundhouse, I helped her find her way back to the Gallery. She was still struggling as we parted, “where was I sitting” she asked. I pointed the way and we parted company.
My thought afterwards were for her and all Voices For Life who joined us in the fray on the Floor yesterday. Wherever they had sat before, they were no longer sitting there. They had stepped onto the floor and fought for the first time. They poured their heart and soul into a two minute speech then walked away breathless.
Though the vote didn’t go our way, again. All I can say to the Body of Christ is, “I am proud of you….you did it and I am so very proud of you”.