With a looming Supreme Court decision on Roe V. Wade, I feel as if it’s time to talk about my daughter and how she enforced our 100 percent pro-life stance.
In 2016, my wife Ashley and I were ecstatic when we found out that we were expecting our fourth child. We had always wanted a large family and knew that God had placed this baby into our family for a reason. Our three boys had all been born during our Army travels and we were so excited to be having a baby at home in Michigan. We expected this pregnancy to be no different than the others. However due to my wife’s “advanced maternal age” of 35, our midwife insisted we were seen by a specialist and requested we had a complete ultrasound done before 15 weeks. I will never forget that appointment at Hurley. We once again got to experience hearing our child’s heartbeat and saw the baby’s face on the screen. The ultrasound tech shared with us the news that we were expecting a little girl and with three boys at home we were thrilled. However, after our ultrasound we were pulled into a small room with two doctors as they wanted to share with us their concerns.
The doctors informed us that due to being 35 our pregnancy had many more “risks” than our previous pregnancies and pushed us to consider testing. We had always previously declined testing because in our eyes it didn’t matter. We understand other parents wanting to test to be medically aware of issues, however to us testing was not necessary. It wouldn’t change our decisions in this pregnancy. Even though we voiced these opinions to the doctors, they disagreed and continued to push. For them, testing was necessary so that we could “make the decision on whether or not to have a fourth child.” The doctors actually said those words to both of us and it was heart wrenching. Ashley and I were so offended that we immediately declined any further input from these doctors and let our midwife know that we would not be pushing for any further testing. I cannot and will not subscribe to the idea that any life is worth less due to any sort of abnormality or disability.
We had Paisley in 2016 and she was perfect in every way, yet we discovered soon after birth that there were some medical concerns and she was diagnosed with William’s Syndrome. This is a genetic condition that is present at birth and it only affects one in every 10,000 people. Paisley is missing 26-28 genes on her seventh chromosome. It’s a very random and rare occurrence. Yet, if you have had the pleasure of meeting Paisley you would see that she lights up a room. She has been the best addition to our family. We love her unconditionally as any parent should love their children. It’s disgusting to us that in modern times, people would even consider killing a child because there is a risk of special needs.
As many of you know, I am running for State Representative. Of the myriad of reasons I am running, one of those is for Paisley and William’s syndrome. I would not be where I am today without her. In fact, one of the reasons President Trump endorsed me was my steadfast commitment to advocating for all special needs children. I promise that as your state rep, I will continue to introduce and pass pro-life legislation and help to assist special needs families to get the education and rights that they deserve. For our family, finding the medical resources for a condition that is extremely rare has been overwhelming at times and we want other families to know of the resources that are out there.
I hope the court overturns Roe v. Wade. It breaks my heart to hear the abortion statistics in the state of Michigan. As a Christian, I believe that life begins at conception and that we must protect all life, born and unborn. Every time I look at my daughter, I am reminded of why we must continue this fight.