I was raised Catholic and taught from an early age and in the wake of Roe v. Wade, that life begins at conception. Naturally this meant that abortion was murder so of course it should be illegal. This belief influenced how I voted for the first time at 18 and later in my early 20s. I once attended a NOW meeting for a college class and found the experience extremely distasteful as the entire 2 hours was focused on pro-choice issues. To me “pro-choice” was just a euphemism for “pro-abortion” and an excuse for women to be selfish.
When I was 27 I read Heartbeat by Danielle Steel. The heroine, Adrian, is married to Steven. They are a successful couple, each with a fulfilling career, a beautiful home and a happy life. Despite the fact that they have decided to not have children, Adrian finds herself unexpectedly pregnant one day. She tells Steven and he insists that she terminate the pregnancy. She refuses so Steven leaves her. Adrian then meets Bill, the hero of the story, and the romance proceeds much in the way you would expect.
Many reading this book might see it has having a pro-life message, and a pretty common troupe for a romance novel. Danielle Steel describes her writing process as being highly focused. She spends hours each day, doing little else, and becomes hyper focused on each book she writes. I like to think this is because she pours her truth into each book. Sharing your truth with the world in a truly authentic way helps others see their own truth. However, each person’s truth looks different on the outside. The key, and this is the struggle the world faces, is learning to live with the various different faces of truth.
Danielle Steel poured her truth into Heartbeat and by doing so she helped me see mine. Instead of seeing Adrian’s husband Steven as an evil monster who wants to kill babies, I saw him as the pentacle of choice. He insisted that Adrian do what he wanted while Adrian realized she had a choice. Adrian was the one who was pregnant. Adrian was the one who felt life in her body. Adrian was the one in charge and Adrian chose to have her baby, husband or not. It was this book, Heartbeat, this book that contained Danielle Steel’s truth which on its face was saying “abortion is wrong,” this book helped me understand that being pro-choice means exactly that: choice.
I felt like I had a burden lifted when I came to this realization. It was one of the first times I can remember seeing things click together in my mind and having clarity. Helping others clear things up in their own minds is why I need to continue to write. I need to write my truth because truth makes the world a better place.