Last year, the Washington Post’s Caroline Kitchener profiled a teenage couple who had twins after Texas’ heartbeat abortion law went into effect. The article ran days before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, supposedly heralding the oppressive new regime women would suffer under with abortion restrictions.
But, as Kitchener wrote in a follow-up on the family, published last week, the original story acted as a “Rorschach test, with each side of the abortion debate claiming the teenagers’ experiences as validation of their own views.”
Her follow-up piece tells a similar story: For a reader who opposes abortion, it’s hard to see how this profile of a young family, despite their difficulties, reads as anything other than apologetically pro-life.
After 18-year-old Brooke Alexander got pregnant in 2021, she and her boyfriend, Billy High, decided to get married and raise the twins together.
“At first, he wanted her to get an abortion,” Kitchener writes. “But he wasn’t going to push.”
When Brooke went to a crisis pregnancy center, she found out she was 12 weeks pregnant (six weeks past the legal cut-off, and, Kitchener doesn’t mention, at the end of the first trimester, a time when a majority of Americans agree that abortion should be illegal).
Instead, Kitchener writes as if Brooke was tricked into seeing the humanity of her unborn babies.
Because the abortion clinic Brooke called had no open slots, Kitchener writes, she “got an ultrasound at a local crisis pregnancy center, not knowing that it was an antiabortion organization. There, employees told her she was 12 weeks along—far enough into her pregnancy, they said, that the babies had ‘heartbeats.’”
(The idea that a heartbeat deserves quotation marks, or the rebrand “fetal cardiac activity,” is a favorite tactic of pro-abortion activists.)
Today, Brooke stays home with the twin girls while her husband works his military job to support the family. Their life is far from easy, but if they had chosen to go out of state for an abortion . . . ?
“I can’t even think of it that way now,” Brooke said. “Those are our babies, and they’re people.”
Kitchener calls the Highs “an early example of a family compelled into existence by an abortion ban,” but the abortion ban didn’t compel them into existence; the pregnancy did. There are many stories like theirs; CNN recently lamented the huge uptick in live births—nearly 10,000—after the Texas abortion ban passed. How is this not good news?
Initially, no one in Brooke’s life was positive toward her pregnancy; not her boyfriend, not her mom, not her dad. But after she and her mom saw the babies on the ultrasound, they were both certain of the right choice.
What this pair of articles really shows is the impact of a pro-life pregnancy center, which was able to provide knowledge and resources to a young woman in need, who is now committed to raising her two little girls.
Author Leah Libresco Sargeant called the latest article “a vivid individual portrait of what the Turnaway study found in aggregate.” The Turnaway study, a survey of about 1,000 women conducted by a pro-abortion group, found that “moms who miss an abortion take a huge financial/stability hit, but tend not to regret the child,” Sargeant explains.
In other words, unexpected pregnancy can often lead to difficulties, but that doesn’t mean that abortion is the solution. Brooke and Billy’s story is not a cautionary tale but a powerful picture of parents’ sacrificial love—and the support networks necessary to help them along the way.