07 March, 2006

My Abortion Story

Their mother died in a fire, so the older sister could no longer afford to pay for the younger sister's school. So she wired the train fare and had the 14 year old girl come west to help on the farm. They had been born 9 years apart and had little in common.

One of the things they had in common was the older sister's husband. Whether he raped the girl or joined in consensual sex with her is one of those lost details. Although I suspect it may have been a little bit of both. Young girls who have no place else to go are often well aware of the cost of keeping a roof over their head. Especially when they are young girls who have been sickly their entire lives.

There was a doctor in town who would treat anyone regardless of their ability to pay. They may have asked her to abort the children (there would be three) but she would have refused. She was the daughter of Armenian refugees and took her faith in God and her hippocratic oath very seriously. She was also, as luck would have it, infertile. When the first boy was born on Christmas Eve, the doctor took him home with her to raise as her own. She named him Robert.

Two years later the young girl found herself in the same predicament--this time it was made worse by the fact that she had tuberculosis. She struggled through her illness to give birth to another boy, this time on Halloween. Again the eccentric Armenian doctor took the baby home with her, to grow up along side his brother. She named him David.

Robert is my uncle. David is my father. The two Graces are the women who were both strong enough to make it possible for me to be here. Grace Heal made the choice to carry her babies to term. Grace Beshgetoor Boyer Green made the choice to take the responsibility for the children whose lives she helped bring into the world.

Were it not for the two Graces there would not be my father who has helped literally hundreds of thousands of people through his work with the law and his charity.

Whenever I think of abortion my models are the two Graces. My story wouldn't be sufficient without either one of them. It's tempting to only remember the younger Grace who didn't abort the child. But I think it is as important to remember the other Grace--the one who used her gifts of medicine and opportunity to nuture the children whose birth she encouraged.

I'm trying to not worry so much about the law, but to instead model myself after Grace.


At 5:03 PM, March 07, 2006, Blogger Amy said...

wow. again, beautiful.

At 5:23 PM, March 07, 2006, Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

Ahhh, that's beautiful, Kat. Things like this is what makes the abortion issue SO freaking cloudy to me. Thank you so much for sharing.

At 7:03 PM, March 07, 2006, Anonymous glendean said...

Nice story Katherine.

At 7:38 PM, March 07, 2006, Blogger Malia said...

Thank you for sharing that Kat. The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways.

At 9:11 PM, March 07, 2006, Anonymous Bob K said...


The world wouldn't be as nice a place were you not here in it. So we also are graced by the courageous decision made by your two Graces.

Bob Krumm

At 9:39 PM, March 07, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Things like this make abortion very cloudy for me.

Thanks for all the nice things you all have said. And thank you, Bob, for adding a nice coda to the story. ;-p

Yes, Malia, the Lord works in mysterious ways....but He also has a sense of fun.

The name of the woman who gave my father up for adoption was "Grace Katherine". Of all things. My family didn't know this until I was 25 years old.

Up until my mom was in labour my name was going to be "Deborah". But she was reading a book called "Katherine" and decided at the last minute that would be a prettier name. I kinda think that maybe God also meant for it to be a tribute to my other grandmother as well.


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