Thousands of pro-lifers showed up this year for National Celebrate Life Day, each bringing their own perspective to the movement, and one Students for Life Action Student Captain caught the media’s eye in particular — because her other title is Mom.
Kaylee Stockton had her sweet son with her that day while holding a sign that read, “This teen mom didn’t build her success off of murdering her child,” and her story captured attention as it encapsulates the purpose of the pro-life movement. Read below to learn more about her experience and how it has shaped her pro-life beliefs:
When I found out I was pregnant, I thought, “My life is over.” I was 18 and a recent high school graduate with no job, and no clue how I could raise a child. I had no doubt I wanted to parent, though.
Since I was already involved in the pro-life movement and my church donated to pregnancy resource centers (PRCs), I was familiar with my local PRC, booking an appointment before telling anyone. The center made it extremely clear they do not refer or commit abortions, only providing information on it.
When I went in, I took a pregnancy test and was given a paper with all options should it come back positive — this included parenting, adoption, and abortion. When I chose parenting, we talked about my support system, what I would need to be successful, etc.
The nurse confirmed I was pregnant, and they made sure I felt ok after hearing the news, offering to help me tell loved ones and scheduling an ultrasound for the following week. I left feeling empowered by the decision I had made.
When I texted my pro-life dad the news, he handled it better than expected but immediately began discussing finances and how difficult my life might become. My empowerment slowly turned to fear. My pro-choice mom thought I was lying at first and asked, “I’m pretty sure abortion is off the table, right?” When I explained I was keeping my baby, she let me know she’d support my decision.
My boyfriend didn’t have it so easy. I was told his parents thought I was faking it. This shocked me. I was sad and angry that my very real and scary experience meant nothing to them. I offered for them to attend my ultrasound appointment, but they weren’t interested.
I went to the appointment scared, alone, and nauseous. I was also riddled with fear, waiting for the results. When they turned the screen towards me, I could see a small, white dot flickering on the screen; they explained it was my baby’s heartbeat. Tears rolled down my face.
I felt less alone; pregnancy was no longer just an idea because I could see my baby. I was already so in love. I took ultrasound photos and a video of the baby’s heart beating. My boyfriend was incredibly interested in it and genuinely cared. His family wouldn’t look at it.
I immediately scheduled appointments with an OB-GYN and a pastor at my church, begging my boyfriend to attend both. At my church, they strongly encouraged me to choose adoption, despite being firm I was keeping my child. It felt weird, and as the sessions went on, it turned into pressure.
They weren’t the only people I was hearing these things from. From abortion supporters to Christians to self-proclaimed pro-lifers, I heard the same points: “You are too young. You will regret this decision. You can’t do this.”
I’ve debated many abortion supporters, and these statements sounded eerily similar; that women aren’t strong enough to raise a child whose conception was unplanned. The culture of death has such an influence on today’s society that everyone is captivated by the lies — even to the point of trying to talk a mother who wants to keep her child out of it.
I hid my doubts and fears because I knew the people who didn’t have faith in me would use it against me, but my doubts got stronger as the pregnancy continued. My dad decided his house would not be best to raise my child, but he’d help me out with bills for wherever I moved. The stress of moving and living by myself for the first time only increased my doubts.
The pressure to give my baby up was eventually picked up by my boyfriend. At the end of my first trimester, I got a text, stating that he no longer wanted a relationship. I was heartbroken, and the doubts completely outweighed every other emotion. I knew if there was any chance of raising my child, I needed to live closer to my mother. In less than 24 hours, I was on a road trip to move in across the street from her.
As my pregnancy continued, I felt lonelier. Every appointment, I saw women surrounded by their support systems. I was always alone. The closer I got to childbirth, the more I worried that I may have to give birth surrounded by strangers. My stress and emotional duress led to pregnancy complications.
At 22 weeks, I felt buried in doubts and looked into abortion. In Arizona at that time, abortion was legal up to 24 weeks gestation (around five and a half months). I genuinely considered it — I even scheduled an appointment.
However, my Christian and pro-life convictions made sure I never showed up. I knew my baby was alive, human, and it would be wrong to kill them. I also knew I was strong enough to do this. I decided I wouldn’t be bullied into doubt any longer. I cut off the people who poisoned my mind saying I might be better off not raising my child and had less serious complications following.
On June 17, 2022, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Hearing his cry sent me into tears, and for the first time since being pregnant, they were happy tears. He is the most precious baby and all that now mattered was him. Pregnancy wasn’t easy, but the reward is far greater than anything you can ever imagine.
I struggle with being able to tell many parts of this story. I used to feel as though the thoughts I had made my pro-life position invalid. I now know it’s the opposite. Pregnancy is beautiful and hard, and the baby’s life has value. No thought I had before changes that.
I look into the face of my baby and see the beautiful person that I carried in my body for all that time and know the true power that all women and mothers carry: strength. Women are stronger than what the culture of death will tells us. Women are stronger than abortion.
Share this post