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The autopsy on the 2022 midterm elections is still underway, but many on the Right are asking an important question:
Why is abortion such a losing issue for Republicans?
Pro-life supporters lost five state ballot initiatives on Nov. 8, suffering defeats in California, Michigan, Virginia, Kentucky and Montana. Back in August, voters in Kansas defeated a state constitutional amendment that would have reaffirmed the fact that there is not a legal right to abortion in the state.
Riley Batura and his birth mom, Julianna, summer 2022. (Family photo)
Conservatives have statistics, logic and science on their side. So what’s going on? I believe they’re spending too much time focusing on the evils of abortion and not enough time promoting the alternative, which is adoption.
Saturday is National Adoption Day, an annual event designed to raise awareness of those waiting to find forever homes – and those whose lives have been spared and shaped by their new families.
Seventeen years ago, my birth mother had an important decision to make. She could choose abortion or adoption – death or life. I’m so glad that she chose life. Yet, I’m sure this was not an easy choice for her.
Baby Riley with his adoptive mother, Julie, left, and birth mom, Julianna, 2006. (Family photo)
She was young, in school, and had her whole future ahead of her. There was also a part of her that desperately wanted to raise me. However, she knew she couldn’t be both a mother and a father. I’ve been told that tears filled Julianna’s eyes and fell on me as she placed me in my parent’s arms.
As a direct result of this heroic decision, I have the ability to live and to pursue my dreams. Even better, I have had the opportunity to meet my biological family and to build relationships with many of them, including my birth mother.
People often view adoption as simply handing your child away to complete strangers, but this isn’t the reality. My birth mother chose to have an open adoption. This means that she was directly involved in the process of deciding who would raise me and she has continued to be in contact with me throughout my life. She seems to take every opportunity she has to be there for me.
Riley with his adoptive father, Paul, and two adopted brothers, Will and Alex (kneeling), summer 2022.
About eight months ago, I competed at a speech and debate tournament at Colorado Christian University. Coincidentally, my birth mother happened to be in town during the competition. Of all the things she could have done with her time, she chose to come and watch me as I debated and spoke.
This is just one example of the love she has shown me over the years. My relationship with her has been anything but distant, and I’m so thankful for that.
Julianna’s family has also embraced me. My biological grandparents treat my entire adopted family as if my parents and brothers were biologically related to them as well. Every time they give me a gift, they include my other siblings, which means the world to them and to me. I feel as if I have not one, but two families, both of which love me dearly.
Adoption might be seen by many in a negative light, but in reality, it leads to an abundance of love. Everyone in my adopted family has been impacted by the love of my biological family.
This past summer my parents and I attended a wedding in Denver for my birth mother’s niece. At the reception, Julianna warmly and lovingly introduced us to friends by saying, “This is my son, and these are his parents.” Although she chose adoption, she never stopped viewing me as her son.
All of us have an obligation to save the innocent lives ended by abortion. In order to achieve this, we must not only condemn death, but celebrate life. My birth mother, Julianna, is a perfect example of the bravery and courage it takes to choose adoption. We ought to recognize her, and all women who choose life, as the heroes they are.
Riley H. Batura is a senior in high school and enjoys competing in speech and debate tournaments.