Maya Angelou pro-life

UPDATE 7:45p: An abortion proponent on Twitter sent me a link to a 2008 Daily News story, wherein Angelou said she supported abortion. So between 1994 and then she tragically “evolved,” as President Obama would say. Angelou chose life and reaped many blessings from it, but she ultimately did not wish the same blessings on other mothers and babies.

9:32a: Yesterday, when news broke that author and poet Maya Angelou had passed away at age 86, liberal feminists began pouring in tributes (also see example above and below).

angelou_inauguration_2Baring my ignorance here, I only knew of Angelou as having been selected to deliver a poem at Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration (right). That’s all I thought I needed to know about her.

But reading a tribute to Angelou by Red State’s Erick Erickson this morning led me to the revelation that Maya Angelou courageously chose life after discovering she was pregnant at the age of 16:

I was scared to pieces. Back then, if you had money, there were some girls who got abortions, but I couldn’t deal with that idea. Oh, no. No. I knew there was somebody inside me. So I decided to keep the baby.

Angelou went on to raise her little boy (pictured together, below right), even though times were tough:

I’m telling you that the best decision I ever made was keeping that baby! Yes, absolutely. Guy was a delight from the start - so good, so bright, and I can’t imagine my life without him.

At 17 I got a job as a cook and later as a nightclub waitress. I found a room with cooking privileges, because I was a woman with a baby and needed my own place. My mother, who had a 14-room house, looked at me as if I was crazy! She said, “Remember this: You can always come home.” She kept that door open. And every time life kicked me in the belly, I would go home for a few weeks.

I struggled, sure. We lived hand-to-mouth, but it was really heart-to-hand. Guy had love and laughter and a lot of good reading and poetry as a child. Having my son brought out the best in me and enlarged my life. Whatever he missed, he himself is a great father today. He was once asked what it was like growing up in Maya Angelou’s shadow, and he said, “I always thought I was in her light.”

Years later, when I was married, I wanted to have more children, but I couldn’t conceive. Isn’t it wonderful that I had a child at 16? Praise God!”

Maya Angelou and son GuyNow, I admire Angelou. Whatever her politics were, she chose life, then beautifully put into writing the blessings of her choice.

I also have quickly grown to admire Angelou’s mother, from whom there are lessons to be learned on how to gracefully embrace a situation in which many of we parents find ourselves.

Angelou’s pregnancy, subsequent life struggles, and son certainly enriched her mind, heart, soul, and creative expression, perhaps this?

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.

Or this?

Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.

Learning about Angelou’s history today has humbled me, serving as a reminder not to prejudge anyone, which is easy to do in the world in which pro-life activists function.

Maya Angelou pro-life

National Review has posted an anti-abortion statement Angelou signed on to in the 1990s.

[Inauguration photo via; mother and son photo via Huffington Post]

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