My name is Melinda. And I am alive.
This blog didn’t just spring from nothing. At this moment you’re reading words that I wrote. This blog is full of them, full of my thoughts. You may agree with some, or many, or even none of them, but you can’t deny that they are here. If for no other reason than you are aware of my words, you know that I exist.
And you have no right to do anything to change that fact. I see no reason any of you would ever be given that right, and, with one exception, no one ever has. For several months in 1973, one young woman, still in high school, held the legal right to end my life. She had never seen me. I could not speak to her. But it was up to her whether I lived or died. A vocal segment of society told her, and the Supreme Court affirmed, that it was her right to choose. But I had no say. As a result of a choice she had already made, I grew inside her body, completely dependent and powerless. I had no way to even speak in defense of my own right to live. But even then I was one-of-a-kind, the only me there could ever be. My unique DNA had been established when egg and sperm combined. No one else would ever have the distinct whorl of my fingerprints or the same flecks in the exact shade of green of my eyes. No one else could have my voice or my thoughts. But, according to the law, I was unnecessary. The Supreme Court denied the reality of my existence.
In April, my legal status changed as the next stage of my life began. Doctors and nurses began fighting for my life. Because they could see me, hear me, touch me, hold me, they were obligated to help me. I needed them. Their knowledge, experience, and equipment. I was still dependent on others for survival, but these others were now bound by their oath to do no harm. My little body fought to do what it had been doing for months, hidden from their sight – I fought to live.
Nine days later, my life outside the hospital began as I was taken home as the daughter of Nancy and Glen. I was dependent on two new people. They had waited a long time for me. As time went by, I became less and less dependent. Eventually I became responsible to bring a unique individual into the world. His name is Jonathan. He was followed by a younger brother named Joel and a sister named Nora.
According to the law of our land, we didn’t need to be here. But we are. Life isn’t always easy or pleasant, and I haven’t always used the time with which I have been blessed in the best ways I could have, but, regardless of the law, no one should have had the right to deny me my right to live it.
Thank you, Sherry, for not terminating your pregnancy. Thank you for not terminating me.