by Mike Gibbons

 

I was 12 years old when I found out my mother had been adopted. I was raised in a religious, pro-life household, but I was 12 years old when my pro-life convictions were truly forged in steel.

As I learned the story, my mother was the product of what we now call a crisis pregnancy. And yet through the grace of God, my mother’s biological mother gave her newborn child up for adoption. My grandparents provided my mother with a loving, nurturing home, and it was in her adoptive home where she learned the values of love, charity, hard work, and dedication to family that she passed along to us.

I am not a politician, but I’m learning that politics can be a brutal, vicious arena where craven political opportunists seize on any and every opportunity to mischaracterize their opponents. And so it has been heartbreaking to see my deeply-held belief in the sanctity of life taken out of context and twisted in the cause of political gain.

I am a man of deep, personal faith, and I am 100 percent pro-life. I was raised in the Catholic Church, educated in Catholic schools, and remain active in my church to this day. My daughter became involved in the pro-life movement while at Magnificat High School, and I served as the president of the Magnificat Father’s Club, driving her and her classmates to rallies and volunteer events. Over the years, I have given my own time and donated tens of thousands of dollars to crisis pregnancy centers.

Throughout my time as an advocate for life, I have believed that not only must we change the laws, but also the hearts of young women facing crisis pregnancies. Someone convinced my own biological grandmother to choose life for my mother. Someone spoke to her and changed her heart.

I am here by the grace of God, the miracle of life, and that conversation long, long ago.

We must end abortion in America. We must defund Planned Parenthood, ensure no taxpayer dollars are ever used to fund abortions, and outlaw the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. I have pledged to only vote to confirm pro-life Justices to the Supreme Court, and I am optimistic that we will repeal Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood.

But that is only the start. We must foster a culture of life. We must speak passionately in defense of the defenseless and be the voice for the voiceless. We need to encourage adoption and streamline the process. We need to throw our arms around young women facing crisis pregnancies. We need to show them love, understanding, and support. We need to help them talk to their parents, their pastors, and their priests. We must change their hearts with our faith, our words, and our deeds.

My mother was ashamed that she was adopted. Were she alive today, she would not want me to tell her story. The culture of the time ostracized young women. But someone stood up, spoke out, and saved my mother’s life. I have dedicated my life to the cause.

This is a rough-and-tumble campaign, but in the end, the voters get the final say.

I ask every pro-life voter to look beyond the sound bites and the petty attacks. Look into our life stories. Look into our hearts. Then make your decision.

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Mike Gibbons is a United States Senate Republican candidate in Ohio.
Photo “Mike Gibbons” by Mike Gibbons.