Stacy McBride Wilson at March for Life 2018

TRANSCRIPT:

I feel so honoured today that I get to share my story and my encounter with abortion. I want to start by sharing a poem I wrote about my daughter. It's called She's the Girl.

She's the girl who says, "Hey mom, let me cook dinner tonight."
The girl who taught herself how to play violin, ukulele, guitar and sing and almost brings me to tears with the ability I never knew she had.

She's the girl who I'm sure is part mermaid and loves the ocean and looks free and so at home in the water.
She's the girl who grabs her surfboard, paddles out the back between sets and drops in on monster sets that make me shiver.
She even calls me a wuss when I refuse to follow out fearlessly behind her.

She's the one who loves a good, silly selfie with her Mum, makes funny videos, and is a total expert at Snapchat.
She's the girl who let's me wake her up early, before school just so we can have a brekkie beach date.
She's the girl who has a wicked sense of humour, always looks for the good and is so very kind and courageous.
She's the kind of girl who loves snuggling up, watching Seinfeld with me just because she knows it's my favourite.

She's the girl who knows more about any animal that I know and spends her spare time researching weird and wonderful animal facts just so she can share her passion with others.
She's the girl who cares deeply about the earth and will pick up any rubbish she sees on her own volition.What 13 year old girl does that?

She's the girl with twinkly eyes that make it look like her whole body is smiling, and oh man, oh man does she have an epic smile.
She's the girl who wants to make a difference in the world around her and I know one day, she will be a mega world changer. The girl with so much wisdom in such a young body and inspires me to a better person every single day.

But she's the girl who almost never existed. She's the girl I thought I would be better to be rid of, the girl I was encouraged to terminate because my life would be better the way, without her.
She's the girl I was so close to giving up on.
She's the girl that other people thought would be such a burden in my life, but she's been nothing but, a blessing.

She's the girl who turned my upside down, out of control world, right side up and made me a better person, the girl who I feel so grateful for every single day and grateful that I get to be her Mum. Me, I get to be her Mum.

She's the girl who I just love to be around at times and when I'm sitting close to her, it brings me so close to tears every time I think about how close I was to not having her in my life and how close I was to choosing to end her little life before it had even begun.
She's the girl where there aren't words to describe the depth of love I have for her, the girl I can not imagine my life without.

She's my girl; she's Katie.

When I found out I was pregnant at 16, it wasn't exactly how I expected to finish my final year of high school. Shock, fear, panic, and shame gripped me. This couldn't be happening. I'd only been with my boyfriend for four months.

The few people I had told that I was pregnant encouraged me that abortion was the best option, my boyfriend, his parents, my closest girlfriends, and the school nurse. So I looked up a few places online, booked in the one that could fit me in the soonest. I was already 18 weeks pregnant and I knew abortion's weren't performed after 20 weeks, so I had to get it done, really fast, before I missed the cutoff.

Then I had to tell my parents.

That was the worst, but with matters already settled in my mind and heart, I told them I was going to have an abortion and was already booked in for a few days time. Although they were against abortion, they said they would support me whatever my decision was and the outcome after that.

When I booked in for the abortion, I could already feel Katie moving inside of me. How I disconnected from this fact, I still don't know. The fear, the panic, the shame, I guess. We drove down from my small country town three hours away to the big city of Brisbane in the middle of the night for my appointment the next day. I was in utter torment; I couldn't sleep at all that night.

Walking into the abortion clinic was one of the worst moments of my life. I felt so overwhelmed and so ashamed. I wanted this all to be over really quickly.

As I sat in with the doctor for the pre-screens, she asked me some brief questions and did the scan. She turned to me and said, "Okay, everything looks fine, are you ready?"

Everything looks fine? Everything looks fine? What does that mean? What was I doing?

I told her I wanted to see the scan. I asked her if I could. She agreed and turned the screen to me and there she was. Katie, 19 weeks, sucking her thumb. And I was about to terminate her. I was about five minutes away from going through with it.

I drew on every bit of courage I had, which in that moment didn't feel like very much, and told the doctor I didn't want to go through with it. To say that things were easy from that moment onwards would be telling a lie, but the huge wave of peace in the depths of my being far outweighed the challenges.

During my pregnancy, I completed year 12 and then went on to complete not just one, but two university degrees in education. I also have numerous other vocational qualifications in health and fitness and at the moment, I have my own health and wellness business.

I'm also happily married and the three of us, my daughter, Katie, my husband, Dom, and I, we're just alike, three peas in the pod. Just a perfect fit. Truly life is so very sweet.

I love everything about my life and I wouldn't change a thing.

When I found myself in a crisis pregnancy, it may have seemed like my life was over, but in fact, my life and the life of another had only just begun. As I said before, I can't imagine my life without Katie. And when I do, when I think back to how close I was to ending her life and not having her, it brings me to tears.

I don't know how many times I had to gather myself writing this today. All this stuff and the goodness that was put inside her from the moment she was conceived, no matter how she was conceived, from that moment of conception, she was a life with purpose with a personality and with so many gifts and talents and abilities and I am so grateful that the world doesn't miss out on the beauty and flavour that my Katie girl adds to it.

Thank you.