Natalie Young (NY): I loved being pregnant. It was an amazing feeling…
David Young (DY): The ultrasound where we found out that there was something wrong was supposed to be the last thing before going in and delivering a beautiful baby boy. And the tech said, ’Uh oh.’ I remember them saying that it would be impossible for him to survive outside the womb, and that he would likely be brain dead. It was two horrible choices: having a third-term abortion or have to wait until the last month of pregnancy knowing that we were going to have to give birth to a baby who could not live…
DY: …it would have been torture…
NY: Within a couple of days we were on a plane to Wichita. I remember arriving at Dr. Tiller’s office and having all of these protesters outside. And I felt like this was the last place we wanted to be. I remember us meeting Dr. Tiller who was so kind and so sorry that we were there.
DY: He kept reminding us that nobody wanted to be there.
NY: And that it wasn’t our fault….
DY: …and that it wasn’t our fault…
NY: …which I kept needing to hear.
DY: He made sure that we knew he had kids of his own and grandkids of his own.
NY: And that he was a man of faith.
NY: And so to be able to connect in that way, I thought was really comforting.
DY: And I don’t even know if you know that everyday when we got back to the hotel and you were sleeping, Dr. Tiller called me — to check on you. While we both felt a sense of loss, I think we also felt a sense of gratitude that we could allow Elijah to rest in peace and not have to struggle.
NY: When I read about some person shooting Dr. Tiller, I totally freaked out.
DY: I think I was in my office. And you called me and told me. And I was stunned.
NY: I was so angry. And I thought about other couples who were probably there that week. What were they gonna do? How did that change their lives?
DY: There’s nothing about this experience that would fit on a picket sign or on a political campaign slogan. It’s way too complicated for that and every single person has their own unique story just like ours…
DY: …people he’s helped.
NY: I want him to be remembered as a compassionate and courageous man who was there to help people during the darkest times in their lives.
DY: He – he was so deeply needed by so many people.