I gazed at the photo, overwhelmed by the sight.

It was a picture of a precious newborn baby girl—a girl who could easily have not been here, were it not for a woman who was willing to reach out to a pregnant woman with love, compassion, and hope.

The girl’s mother had scheduled an abortion. Her baby girl is alive because the appointment was never kept. Why? The woman had changed her mind. Why? She’d been empowered to make a life-affirming decision by the support offered by another mother at a crucial juncture.

The photo captured the baby girl sleeping peacefully, unaware of the drama that led to her birth.

We often focus—and rightly so—on the number of abortions which take place in a given year. Nearly 900,000  unborn babies in the U.S. were not as fortunate as this little one.

But today I celebrate the lives that have been saved by courageous mothers who stared death in the face, said, “Not today,” and turned the other way. I salute these nameless moms who have braved the uncertainty represented by crisis and who gave birth in an act of personal and family triumph.

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I commend the people who have accompanied them along their journey, whether they be husbands or boyfriends, mothers or siblings, or strangers who become fast friends.

I applaud the pregnancy resource centers which supply the diapers and day care referrals, formula and friendship, to make the days brighter, the path easier.

Whenever a new child enters the world, it is cause for celebration. As the poet Carl Sandburg once wrote,A baby is Gods opinion that life should go on.”

Today, two days before Independence Day, let us think of mothers and babies and those who stand by them as the model of mutual interdependence. I am grateful for those who work tirelessly to ensure that mothers and their babies have a chance for their own photo shoots, with a lifetime of grace-filled times to follow.

LifeNews.com Note: Maria Gallagher is the Legislative Director and Political Action Committee Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and she has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.

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