Merfish writes that her mom was 20, engaged to her dad, 21, both co-eds at Texas’ “public Ivy,” the University of Texas at Austin. My mother, Terry Cavnar French, was 18. She couldn’t afford to go to an elite college, and instead, lived at home and worked her way through the local commuter college, the University of Houston. She didn’t have a fiancé to lean on (the father was not in the picture), and was barely acknowledged by her dysfunctional parents. Her ninth month was spent at a home run by Catholic Charities.

Merfish writes that her parents, though about to graduate from college and marry, were simply not ready to be parents. They drove across states lines for an abortion. My mother wasn’t ready to be a parent either. She could have driven to another state, too. Instead, she drove to college, sitting in traffic every morning with the windows rolled down to try to beat the Houston heat in those pre-air conditioning days. Merfish writes that her parents were made to “feel like criminals” by the abortionist they visited. My mom was made to feel morning sickness-induced nausea from traffic fumes during her commute, often pulling to the side of the road to throw up and then back on the road to class.

Merfish writes with pride about her mom’s choice to kill her brother or sister because he or she was a few years early for her parents’ taste. Today, I’m writing with pride about my mom’s choice to save my brother’s life and give him a loving, intact family that could provide him the life he deserved.