Earlier this September, actor, writer, and comedian Andy Richter spoke at the “Sexy Beast” fundraiser for Planned Parenthood in L.A. During his speech, he shared his abortion story with the crowd.
“In 1992, my girlfriend and I were having a rough time. We’d been performing in a show together for a couple of years, but it had come to an end, and we found ourselves living apart. She was in New York City working three jobs; I was in Chicago jobless and sleeping on my mother’s couch. The strain of living apart, and the stress of being two young people attempting to make a living as performers and writers was really taking a toll on its relationship. So when she called me to tell me that she was pregnant, it was not exactly happy news.”
“Luckily for us Planned Parenthood existed,” Richter continued. “My girlfriend knew that she was not ready for motherhood, and I knew that I was in no way prepared to be a father. I drove from Chicago in my battered old Toyota pick-up to be with her when she went to Planned Parenthood to terminate her pregnancy. Her choice to get an abortion was a choice that she made with assuredness. She knew that she was doing the right thing for everyone involved. But I can’t say it was easy. She was sad, and I was sad, and it was sad. But to this day, I know that she will tell you that she made the right decision.”
What stuck out to me the most about Richter’s statement were the last few sentences. Richter acknowledged the difficulty involved in the decision to abort. The left is fighting as hard as they can to make abortion normal and widely accepted. At the core of the debate is the question, “Is this a clump of tissues, or is this a human life?” Even in the midst of Richter’s praise for abortion and for Planned Parenthood, he recognized that he and his then girlfriend were sad. Where did this sadness come from? It came from the fact that they were saying no to parenthood and saying no to a child.
The sadness didn’t seem to last too long, as Richter continued, “Planned Parenthood allowed my wife to make the decisions she needed to make in order to control her body and her health, and maintain her life and her future. And for that, I will be eternally grateful.”
Let’s be real, there’s rarely a good time to have a baby, because it will always involve sacrifice. If people waited until they were “ready” to have a child, they might be waiting forever. Waiting for a larger bank account, waiting to feel more settled in life, waiting to enjoy a career, etc. I completely understand that some circumstances are incredibly difficult to bring a child into, but much of life is responding to things out of our control. Many people seem to forget that abortion isn’t the only way “out” of an unplanned pregnancy. Adoption is an excellent plan for an unintended pregnancy. Birth moms have the ability to be intimately involved in the adoption process, and have almost total control over who ends up adopting their child. It’s an option that I highly encourage anyone considering abortion to look into.
Abortion is always an immensely personal topic for me to write about. I was born to a 19-year-old, unwed teenage girl, in a post-communist Eastern European country. The thought often enters my mind, “What if my mom had decided to terminate her pregnancy?” She didn’t choose to end her pregnancy, and I now have the ability to write these words, share my thoughts, and be an advocate for those little ones in the womb who can’t speak for themselves.
I’m eternally grateful that my birth mom chose me – even though she probably found herself in a similar situation as Richter and his wife.