Anti-abortion advocates listen to various speakers during the Emergency Pro-Life Rally for New Mexico in Las Cruces, N.M., on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. Credit: Meg Potter / The Las Cruces Sun News via AP

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Much has been written and debated on the topic of abortion. I send my letter today not to debate, but rather to encourage.

I am a mom of twin boys who are now five years old. They are healthy and thriving. Yet, they began life in the worst of ways. Due to life-threatening complications, the boys were born at 26 weeks via emergency C-section. Both weighed less than 1.5 pounds. Thanks to the prayers of many and the incredible NICU staff at the Northern Light hospital in Bangor, the boys improved daily and left the hospital three months later.

As I think back to my very difficult pregnancy and those three long months immediately after, I can still remember the physical pain, the emotional turmoil, and the countless decisions my husband and I had to make. One decision never considered was the termination of my pregnancy.

Today, I look at my boys sitting nearby as I write this letter. They are fun, funny, precious boys. What a joy to raise them. What a privilege to get to watch them grow up.

To other women who may read this letter while facing a difficult pregnancy — for any reason — may I offer hope and encouragement. There is help. There are options. There are many wonderful pregnancy centers that would love to help you as you progress in your pregnancy.  No matter what emotions or challenges you face now, the joy of giving birth to a beautiful new life is worth it all.

Karen Mallory