A teenage mother who made national headlines last year recently shared with Newsbusters why she chose life for her son and offered words of encouragement to those facing unplanned pregnancies.
Last year, Maddi Runkles, then 18, discovered she was pregnant.
At a pro-life rally last year outside the Capitol building, Runkles said that she briefly considered abortion “because I believed all the lies that Planned Parenthood told a girl like me, that you can’t do it, you can’t accomplish your dreams, your whole life is ruined [if you have a baby].”
But she said she realized, “I can’t think of anything less empowering than telling a woman she can’t do it.”
“I know it’s going to be hard to accomplish my dreams, but I get to have a little guy next to me, and we get to do it together,” Runkles said.
Her story made national headlines last year when Runkles’ small, private Christian school — Heritage Academy in Hagerstown, Maryland — barred her from participating in its June graduation ceremony because of her pregnancy. The pro-life group Students for Life of America threw her a graduation reception instead.
Runkles told TheBlaze last year that her parents and her church supported her decision to choose life when they learned of her pregnancy. She has since welcomed her son, Greyson.
What did Runkles say?
While participating in the 45th annual March for Life last week, Runkles, holding her son, said it’s “because of him I’m out here today.”
Asked what she would tell those facing unplanned pregnancies, Runkles said, “You can do it.”
“It’s not easy, but it really is worth it,” she said. “Don’t let anybody get you down. You can still go after your dreams, you’ll just have somebody following you. But it is all worth it.”
Runkles added, “Life is so precious, and I think it’s the one thing that we need to protect.”
“For the girls and the guys even, facing a crisis pregnancy, we need to have compassion and not make them feel like an abortion is better so they don’t face the judgment and the ridicule,” she continued. “So we just need to make sure that we’re showing them the love of Christ and I think that it will solve a lot of these problems.”
Runkles said she is currently taking college courses online.
“I would like to go into communications, major in communications, and maybe minor in counseling,” she said. “But I would like to eventually end up working with something like Students for Life, just helping girls and guys in my situation, fighting for life.”