A Billings teenager became pregnant four years after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, allowed women to have an abortion.
In 1977, Laurie Hughes was 15 and chose to have her baby.
Hughes wrote about her experience in a book, “Choose Zoe.”
“What a gift,” Hughes said. “To to see this little child and be able to help her and mold her and love her. I’ve had her with me almost every day. Even though she’s 41, she’s still in my town and to see her purpose in life. She wouldn’t be here if I chose abortion.”
Hughes daughter Arica Henry-Ports is now 41.
“We were raised here at Holy Rosary (church) and Central (high school),” Hughes said. “I was raised with Christian values so for me, I would’ve not considered abortion. “
Hughes released her book “Choose Zoe” in September.
“Zoe, that’s the Greek word for life in the Bible that Jesus came to give us,” Hughes said. “It’s a full life. It’s a life where we can feel vibrant and alive.”
“I’m very proud of my mom,” Henry-Ports said. “To use difficult circumstances to share what some women wouldn’t want to talk about. And similar for myself, I found courage to share more about learning the hard way, you know the impact of abortion. “
Henry-Ports had an abortion at the age of 17.
“I also learned the difficult side of loss through the choice of choosing abortion, “ Henry-Ports said.
She is the director a pregnancy clinic and gives women information they need to make a decision.
“I lost a child,” she said. “That’s a real thing. There’s a sense of loss. I made a decision that I now don’t believe was the best decision for me.”
“ You know she’s the young lady she is today because she was given that chance,” Hughes said. “She was given that chance to live. I’m really proud of her. “
Hughes sees hope and life, as she looks at her grandchildren.
“When you abort, you also abort a lot of happiness and joy in your family because you’re saying no to a blessing of generations,” Hughes said. “And there’s nothing like a little grandchild running up to you. They love you like no other and as life beats you down a little bit, they’re that life source and make you feel alive.”
“I have seen both sides in conclusion,” Huges said. “And I always have to side on the side of life. Choosing that Zoe life for yourself and for your child.”
Hughes and Henry-Ports live in northern California and work at pregnancy clinics.
For her book, Laurie uses the name Laura Lynn Hughes.