Responding to Tough Questions: “If my sibling lived, I wouldn’t exist.”

14 Jul Responding to Tough Questions: “If my sibling lived, I wouldn’t exist.”

The prompt this week was: “Write a letter to a friend who identifies as Pro-Choice and has also lost an older sibling to abortion, responding to their question, ‘How can you say that my sibling should have lived when that could mean that I wouldn’t exist?'”

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Francesca, SFLI Summer Intern

Dear friend,

I am so sorry for your loss. I’m trying to imagine what is going through your mind right now. Abortion is a difficult topic to discuss. Thanks for being willing to talk about it. I hope I can help!

The fact that your parents brought this up to you shows me that they think it is an important subject and you are mature enough to understand this situation. It is great that your parents are comfortable discussing these things with you.

I am also glad that you are willing to discuss the possibility of another sibling in your life. Many people would brush this news off and thought it was just a fact of life, or maybe not have understood that the baby was a sibling.

The thought of your sibling living might spark the idea that maybe you might not have existed if they were here. It is okay! Think of it more like living with another sibling that you could have shared your life with.

This sibling did exist, he or she just never had the opportunity to experience the outside world. You do not have to think about it like your parents chose you over them.  Having a missing sibling does not make you less important. You ARE important. I love you, your friends love you, your parents love you, no matter what.

I encourage you to not feel guilty that you are here and your sibling is not. You may think about the “what-ifs” but what is done is done. Your life is meaningful. You can dignify your sibling’s life by living your own life to the fullest. Your parents love you. Just as parents love all their children, finding out that you had another sibling does not mean your parents love you less. Your parents’ mistake do not define you.

The decision also does not define your parents. We might not know the whole story. Maybe your parents were in tough circumstances. Your mother might have been young and did not know what to do. Your parents also might find it hard to discuss. They might even feel guilty for the decision. I know this is hard and will take a long time to accept.

I understand that this time can be really confusing and scary. If I were in this position I would most likely ask my parents more about the situation they were in. I know that asking them can be nerve racking, but it might help understand what they were going through.

What would help me most if I were in your shoes would be to pray about it. I am not sure how religious you are, but sometimes when I find myself in situations where I do not know where to turn, I pray. Talking to your lost sibling might also help with finding peace. 

I am glad to see that you understand that an abortion still constitutes a child. I know that a part of you must believe that life is sacred given your question on life. If you want to discuss this more just let me know! I am here for you.



Francesca is a summer intern with Students for Life of Illinois. She studies Community Health with a concentration in Health Care Planning and Administration with the plans of Dental School at the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign.