Linda and Garth Wood are pro life. They live in Yellowknife, a city of 18,000 in the North West Territories. Linda’s story, printed elsewhere in this issue, illustrates some key pro-life qualities.
A LIFE GIVING ATTITUDE is a philosophy of life, an approach to everyday living, not just something donned for pro-life week. Linda exhibited that when, despite being a high-risk mom, she rejected the amniocentesis-abortion “remedy”. She refused to accept the services of a pro-abortion doctor, and worked valiantly to protect her unborn child by getting the best medical attention she could. Then she went one step more and allowed her story to be reported “because I felt women needed to know they could demand pro-life choices.”
Being pro life involves being KNOWLEDGEABLE and taking decisions and actions based on that knowledge. It is not just a warm fuzzy feeling. Linda’s action was based on studies showing that providing abortions affects doctors in many negative ways. She brought that information, and more, to the hospital board.
POLITICAL SAVVY AND ASTUTENESS are important for pro lifers. When confronted with a hospital problem, Linda forced the hospital itself to deal with it. She challenged the board’s reasons for not having pro-life doctors and turned her request into a demand for equality and equal access. It was a fine example of using their own arguments to turn the tables.
A CLEAR FOCUS is important in pro life work, where there are so many related and intertwined issues that it is easy to dissipate energies trying to deal with them all. Linda stayed completely focused throughout and was very clear about the boundaries of the issue. She wanted proper care by a doctor who didn’t do abortions, and insisted that it was the hospital’s problem to solve.
PERSISTENCE is an essential pro-life trait, as Linda demonstrated. Once started on the road, she went the whole way, undaunted by the roadblocks, challenges and hostility.
Pro-life work often demands BRAVERY AND COURAGE in big and small matters. Linda took many risks and showed continuous courage. She was willing to accept new life, even if it was a high-risk pregnancy. To risk leaving herself without a doctor. To challenge the hospital board’s beliefs and practices. To accept the services of a pro-life surgeon rather than a pro-abortion obstetrician.
Highly sensitized to abortion-connected evils, often frustrated in their efforts to change things, some pro-lifers lash out at those who promote or support abortion. Linda’s account is an object lesson in being FIRM BUT POLITE, as when she told the first doctor, “I don’t think you need me as a patient to add stress to your life.”
This story also illustrates the enduring guideline and constant challenge: “Do the good that is needed, so that greater good can be done.”