Remembering Maya on International Women’s Day 

A few weeks ago, I was writing another blog and looking for a quote about resilience. Whilst searching, I happened to come across this quote by a lady called Maya Angelou:

We may encounter defeats, but we must not be defeated

This felt incredibly relevant to us as it feels like the prolife movement has suffered quite a number of defeats in recent years. Sadly, I’d never heard of Maya Angelou and so I thought I’d do a google search and see what I could discover. All too often when I do this, I’m usually disappointed to find a strong female voice who is also hard-core pro-choice. I was grateful and relieved to find out that this is not the case for Maya. Not only that, but she also has an amazing story which shows just how incredible a role model she is. I decided there and then that I would save this story for International Women’s day and use it to celebrate this incredible international woman.  

Born in St Louis, Missouri in the late 1920s Maya was pregnant at the age of 16. Even in today’s world over 50% of girls in this situation have an abortion and although abortion wasn’t legal at that time, given the era, the culture and her circumstances, the temptation would have been there. However, Maya says

Oh, no. No. I knew there was somebody inside me. So I decided to keep the baby

I’d thoroughly recommend reading her own account of her experience at the embedded link, where she beautifully describes the blessings her son brought to her life saying:

Having my son brought out the best in me and enlarged my life

Maya had many careers and experiences throughout her life, including working for civil rights alongside Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X. Eventually she became a poet, singer and memoirist known for such works as ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ and ‘On the Pulse of Morning’ which was read at the inauguration of President Clinton. The more I read about this amazing woman, the more I’m impressed by how inspirational she was. However, I’ve managed to pick three quotes that I feel really speak to the work we do at Life.  

The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible

To me, this sums up our education programme. I know it is possible to reach people’s hearts as I see it every time I deliver a school talk; I can see the shift in their thinking the more we discuss it.  

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you

which is where our counselling and skilled listening services are so vital.   

We are only as blind as we want to be

Sadly I feel there are many people in our society that want or feel the need to be blind to life in the womb. To recognise it for what it is may be too painful, or too much of an obstacle for them. However, the positive alternatives that Life provide offer real help and support and can truly make all things possible.  

Therefore, to repeat Maya’s sentiment, on this International Women’s Day celebrating the theme ‘I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights’; at Life, we will not be defeated in defending all generations of human life and we will not be defeated in continuing to offer help and support so that women don’t have to choose abortion and can, instead, be empowered to choose life.  

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One person is talking about Remembering Maya on International Women’s Day 

  1. Susan says:

    thank you so much for reminding me about Maya. I saw a film about her last year. She was an amazing and talented woman, and lived to a great age.
    The other woman I would like to remember (unfortunately I cant remember her name) is the one who died in a taxi after having an abortion at one of the London centres, a couple of years ago. The courts failed to prosecute anyone saying that it wasn't in the public interest. What a disgrace!

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