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More Inadvertent Pro-Life Propaganda

The Washington Post is back at it, showing the hard beauty of parenthood.
(Photo by Grace Robertson/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Washington Post is back with another piece of inadvertent pro-life propaganda.

In the past few years, as states began to pass landmark legislation to protect unborn children, pro-abortion advocates have been casting about trying to find human interest stories about those who have been “harmed” by the birth of their once-unwanted children. Last summer, the Post profiled Brooke Alexander, who gave birth to twin girls as an 18 year old. Its first piece on Brooke’s family ran last June, right before the Dobbs decision came down, under the headline “This Texas teen wanted an abortion. She now has twins.” (The horror!)


Now, over a year later, the Post has a lengthy follow-up on Brooke’s life as a new mom. It is, in many ways, an admirable story of two young parents doing everything right and taking responsibility to provide for their (unexpected) children: Brooke married the girls’ father, Billy. He enlisted in the Air Force to support his family, and they since moved to Florida for his job. Brooke cares for the girls full time.

To be sure, Brooke and Billy have their challenges. From the Post story:

[Brooke’s] life quickly started to feel like an endless cycle of tasks, entirely predictable and stretching out into infinity. Cook lunch. Clean up. Play with the girls. Put the girls down for a nap. Change diapers. Cook dinner. Clean up. Repeat.

Billy, too, isn’t exactly thrilled about his day-to-day responsibilities:

It was Billy’s idea to join the military. He wasn’t excited about it, but he couldn’t see another way to support a wife and twins. Everyone in his life — his parents, his favorite teacher — told him it was the right thing to do. So Billy committed, marrying Brooke at the courthouse last summer and signing an Air Force enlistment contract that would keep him in uniform for the next six years.


But this is precisely what fatherhood and motherhood is all about. You sacrifice for your family. You make decisions not based on personal desire, but on the good of the family. Your fulfillment comes not from hobbies, or professional achievement, but from the infinitely more challenging and rewarding vocation of raising children. It’s certainly not easy.

Caroline Kitchener, the Post’s abortion reporter who wrote both pieces on Brooke and Billy, concedes that her initial story “was a Rorschach test, with each side of the abortion debate claiming the teenagers’ experiences as validation of their own views.” It strikes me, though, that this follow-up is the greater Rorschach test. The first piece was about abortion politics; the second is about how we define success and happiness.

There are plenty of moments throughout the piece where we see both Brooke and Billy’s relationship struggles, and their love for their twin daughters. It’s telling, though, that the Post concludes the piece with Brooke talking to a career coach, eager to begin working outside the home once more. The implication is that by pursuing professional advancement, Brooke will finally move beyond the many real challenges that a young married couple raising children face.

As always, country music says it best. Kenny Chesney’s hit song “There Goes My Life” is about a teenage couple experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, not unlike Brooke and Billy. The chorus sings:

There goes my life

There goes my future, my everything

Might as well kiss it all goodbye

Later in the song, after “a couple years of up all night, and a few thousand diapers later,” the chorus shifts:

There goes my life

There goes my future, my everything

“I love you, daddy, goodnight!”         

The unplanned daughter is now the father’s life. It’s a profound shift in perspective, and one the pro-abortion movement seems intent on avoiding. It’s the task of the pro-life movement to unequivocally reject the view that children can be an impediment to personal fulfillment and happiness—and support courageous couples like Billy and Brooke as they sacrifice for their daughters.