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Life, A Car Ride and an Unexpected Choice

 
A few weeks ago, I had an epiphany – a slap-me-up-side-of-the-head “this is how I’ve been doing things all my life and now I find an easier way” moment. I’ve let it become a life lesson, and so, of course, I have to share.
 
I take my granddaughter to school every morning. She’s 15. I tell her we all have crosses to bear. Hers is a pretty chipper-in-the-morning grandma who doesn’t know when to be quiet. Mine is a 15-year-old non-morning-appreciating passenger, who doesn’t talk at all during the commute, but sighs well and wishes her grandmother would make better radio program choices.
 
We’ve worked it out. I drive without saying much soothing myself with the understanding she is not a morning person. She puts on her makeup and endures the ride.
 
But the other morning, as I backed out of her driveway, there was a mosquito in the car. I slapped at it, but it found safety in the farthest angle of the windshield, well beyond my reach. I swatted at it at the stop sign; at the red light in the school zone on 29th; at the light at 29th and Bryant; the light by Walmart; and again at the light where 29th crosses Paint Rock Road.
 
Each stop, because of my increased frustration, I intensified the swatting process and I don’t know if I’m a bad swatter or it was a particularly adept mosquito, but I don’t think I ever got close. At the red light at 29thand Chadbourne as I was reaching down to find papers or something to extend my reach, my granddaughter, without uttering a word, rolled down the window and out flew the mosquito. 
 
She resumed putting on her mascara. My mouth fell open. Not once in all that way had it occurred to me there might be a better and easier way for fixing the problem that would leave all of us happy and two of us rid of the mosquito. But for all my swatting and flailing, I don’t think it occurred to her to ask me why I didn’t just roll down the window.
 
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So I am affected by this. Now I try to think as I go around doing what I do if maybe there’s a window I haven’t considered.
 
OK, we’re going to make a bit of a leap here. Stay with me if you can.
 
Earlier this month, the Pregnancy Help Center in San Angelo held its annual fundraising dinner and, coincidentally, celebrated its 25 years of service in San Angelo. 
 
It was a lovely dinner and 650 supporters were there for the grand, happy celebration. The Pregnancy Help Center, according to its brochure does not receive state or federal funding, but is sustained through a reliance on “God and the good people of the Concho Valley” who provide financial service.
 
Each year, some 4,000 women in this area are provided a variety of supportive services, from free pregnancy testing and counsel on options; referrals for medical, adoption and social services; and provisions for clothing and supplies for mother and child as available.
 
Tweet This: #abortion may not be going away, but God keeps providing *another* way. #prolife
 
I was touched by center executive director Sandra Franke’s introductory remarks. “We are there to rescue babies from abortion, and we are there to help post-abortive women pick up the pieces to start again,” she said.
 
But later in the program, when the keynote speaker Melinda DelaHoyde, who has a long affiliation with the national grass roots pregnancy help center movement, gave her remarks, it occurred to me that since 1973, when the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade and a subsidiary case making abortion legal, a lot of people concerned with women’s rights – and children’s lives – had been swatting furiously at elusive mosquitoes. These centers with a multitude of volunteers and a minimum of resources have dedicated time, money, love, care and prayer to open windows for women who more than likely had the panicked-thought they didn’t have a choice, but had to make a decision.
 
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Abortion is a polarizing, party-separating topic in this country’s politics. But as DelaHoyde pointed out, it has been legal since 1973. And regardless of who is president, or who sits on the Supreme Court, she said, “God has made a way.” After 43 years, DelaHoyde said (and I agree) abortion is not going away. Neither – we must believe – will grace, compassion, healing or hope. Communication is the window that needs to open. Human life has value, not just at birth, but for long after. 
Candace Cooksey Fulton is a freelance writer and newspaper columnist, who lives in San Angelo, Texas. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. This column was originally published Oct. 20, 2016, in the San Angelo Standard-Times and is reprinted with permission.