Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

by Amanda S

May 31, 2022

It’s always difficult making a decision that will change your life – a big move, changing a job, going back to college. We rely on our friends to stand by us as we navigate the ups and downs of adulthood in our quest to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. That is the greatest of the inalienable rights we have as Americans. The pursuit of happiness. The ability to seek our own path and fulfill the destiny we’ve chosen for ourselves.

Life and liberty also stand the test of time as pillars of how every American hopes their personal journey unfolds,  and in many ways the people around us help bring those to fruition by providing support, guidance, a listening ear, love, understanding and friendship without judgment. This is the type of friend I have always strived to be, and it’s the reason that, while I personally have never made that choice and don’t know if I ever could, I have stood by many friends as they pursued their happiness, took control of their life and exercised their liberty to do what is best for them.

Furtive conversations in the waiting room anticipate the event. Am I doing the right thing? Will I regret this? After holding hands, hugs and support, I have then watched it turn into resolve. This is what is best. I can’t support a child right now. My life isn’t ready for this. This is the best choice I can make right now.

I have sat there waiting, sometimes for hours. The clinics I’ve been to make you turn in your keys; I can’t imagine leaving, and can’t fathom why they had to put that policy in place to begin with. I’ve helped friends to the door, helped them into my car, ready and waiting for them to lean on me for validation, support and comfort. Ready and waiting for a smile, a sigh of relief, that feeling of weight lifted. Never judging. It is their choice and I have always been there, as any friend should, to accept them and lift them up for it.

The very idea that someone cannot make this choice is un-American to the core. It goes against everything we value. Everything we have stood for. Life,  liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is also up to all of us to be that helping hand or listening ear for our friends in whatever manner they choose to pursue their happiness. Not to chastise, demonize and put down, but lift up, support and show them unconditional love.

I will likely never get an abortion, but I will never try to change someone’s mind if they feel like they need to. It is a deeply personal choice, one not without much internal debate, and it is the business of no one but the person going through with it and the people with whom they choose to share their journey. Access to these procedures is vital to the pursuit of happiness, and respect of that choice is vital to both life and liberty. I am an American who believes deeply in these ideals, and I will always be an ally for anyone needing an abortion and their right to receive one.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!