Roe v. Wade, and the lullabye my mother taught me

Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9

Confession: I’m not sure if I am reading all the dark stories on purpose, or if I am being unconsciously drawn to them because of where my heart is, or if I am walking with purpose through divine literary appointments.

It is difficult to write of abortion without being either gruesome or weepy. But if anyone has a right to try, it is Norma McCorvey. You may not know her by that name—she was called Jane Roe in the famous 1970’s legal case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in all fifty states.

She wrote I Am Roe in 1994 to celebrate abortion rights and to tell her life story, stripped of the lies on which her case was built. She wrote Won By Love only three years later, to recant her earlier beliefs and give glory to Jesus for healing and forgiving her.

I just read both. They are painful books, the first full of stories of abuse and despair, and the second uncovering the horrors of the pro-choice world. But they also made things clearer to me.

  • They clarified both sides of the abortion issue—why people fight for this right, and why they fight against it.
  • They clarified my own commitment to the holiness of human life, from conception on—and my commitment to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
  • They even clarified my own childhood, and the memories I have of my mother’s concern about abortion.

Roe v. Wade was decided in the first months of my mom’s married life. In the late eighties and early nineties when the legal battle resurfaced, she listened to Tilly by Frank Peretti, with tears dripping off her face. And she taught her children to sing a song called Lullabye for the Unborn.

Reading Norma McCorvey’s story reminded me of the song, and so I searched for it. I found the lyrics, just as I remembered them, but what I really wanted was a link to someone performing the music. I could not find one anywhere online—and so I decided to sing it myself.

I was more frightened than I look.

I wanted to sing it without mistakes, but I couldn’t.

And I offer it because Mr. Johnson’s message is worth hearing, even 36 years after he wrote it, and because all babies deserve life.

This post contains affiliate links.

If you could say one thing to the frightened mother of an unborn child, what would it be?

34 thoughts on “Roe v. Wade, and the lullabye my mother taught me

  1. This mother growing a sweet 24 week baby can’t watch the whole thing. Beautifully done! I want to come back and finish it some other day.

  2. What a touching song!!! And so very beautifully done! Thanks for singing and sharing it. I would like to learn it myself.

    What ONE thing would I tell a frightened mother of an unborn child!?!

    Song is powerful so I would perhaps direct her to this song. And then I would hope to talk more with her… offering hope and support and love.

    • Oh you poor girl. That’s the one I would NOT want to read again. May I recommend it only with a strong cup of coffee in one hand and an inspirational passage of Scripture in the other? 🙂

  3. hmmm… what would I say? I would likely take the educational approach first – talk to her about the baby’s development, direct her to community resources available to help her through the pregnancy and birth, as well as adoption services in the community if she is certain that she cannot raise the child. Just a few weeks ago, while walking in Toronto, I had a brief chat with a very pregnant woman, sitting cross-legged on the sidewalk, with a sign asking for money. We talked about our due dates, and her excitement about her baby girl, and I thought that it must take a remarkable inner bravery to carry a child knowing how little provision power one holds after it is born. I wonder how many moms choose abortion because they cannot bear the thought of their child suffering through a whole life of disempowerment… perhaps what they need most is hope for their unborn child – that others will fill their gaps. PS. The song is lovely, as are you and your mother. 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

  4. Shari thanks so much for your recording of the lullaby song. It opened up a place of healing in my heart that I hadn’t been able to find. I lost a baby through a miscarriage a few months ago, and though physically healed and am presently carrying another precious life, my heart still grieves. I had so much anger that God would allow loving parents to lose a child, when so many babies were aborted. It still makes me angry sometimes, but healing is happening, thank God. And I know He has a reason, even when this world is so crazy. Thank you for blessing and allowing yourself to be honest. God bless you and yours richly.

    • Thanks for what you said, Lori. It is hard to admit anger about God, but I was there too… and I praise Him for starting to heal you. Hugs to you and your unborn baby.

  5. Beautiful, Shari. And while I was trying to deal with tears, my daughter came running to see who was singing so beautifully. She was absolutely delighted. This morning she wailed when we watched a few videos of Julie Andrews singing. So you can smoke that in your pipe when you feel down about yourself.

    I don’t know what I would say to someone who is considering abortion. I remember working with someone who would have considered it, but then she miscarried. I think I would try to be there for her and go from there.

    • Haha! Well thanks for letting me know. If I ever decide to go into music in a big way, I will contact her to take care of the cheering. Little sweetie.

  6. Tears here too… There’s a lot going through my head right now, but no easy answers.
    You have a brave heart and a beautiful voice!

  7. About the mom considering abortion, I would want to tell her I love her, and I know a little about pregnancy bringing despair, though so very little compared to what she is facing. I would never choose to end a life, but carrying a child is a black time for me; and then I would tell her exactly how my tiny miscarried 13 week old boy looked in the palm of my hand, and hope I could describe him so beautifully that she would choose to give her child a safe place to grow.

  8. Oh, Shari,
    I cried all through your song. It is so touching. I don’t feel called to adoption but to a woman considering abortion I would immediately feel called if it could save one life. Blessings on you.

  9. Beautiful. I have similar recollections of TILLY by Frank Peretti and my mother was also very concerned about the issue of abortion. Our mothers would probably get along in some ways.

  10. Today as I walked to campus I began noticing messages scrawled on the sidewalk. “You are loved.” “Every life has value.” I was getting warm, fuzzy feelings and thought someone wanted to cheer up people, until I read more of the messages and realized they were pro-life statements. These messages stretched on for around 1.5 km, and I was fascinated by reading them and watching the responses of passersby. I overheard one ask another, “Are you pro-life or pro-choice?” I think, if nothing else, they started conversations, and the message of “you are loved” is essential to any conversation about abortion. Thank you for starting a conversation and for speaking up for those who do not have a voice in these conversations.

  11. When Charity was on her mission’s trip in Japan, her group was taken to one of the saddest sites. It was a shrine for the aborted babies of Japan. In Japan, it is considered so shameful to give up a child for adoption that it is almost unheard of. If you can not care for your child, it is considered better to abort them. But in the religion (Shinto, I believe) the belief is that you must not cease to pray for a dead loved one or they will cease to exist. So Mama’s bring little toys, bottles of formula and other baby related items to this shrine and pray for their aborted baby’s souls and then leave the item behind. I cried the night Charity shared that with me, and I have continued to cry every time I think of it. So much pain and so much sadness . . .

  12. I’ve listened to the song lullaby over and over. Thank you for being brave enough to sing and post it for us. Your voice is lovely, and your compassionate heart is really beautiful.

  13. Words of wisdom… it’s so easy to know it all in my head, but choosing life-all life!- every day is something I needed to be reminded of. Thank you! I love the song. Bless you for singing it. I want to learn it and teach it to my son as he grows older. (He’s 18 mo old.) I think this helped prepare my heart to FULLY enjoy each gift of life as our family grows.
    I’m new to the blog, but grateful to know that there’s good stuff here 😄

Add a comment