Veronica has always had a love for art. When she was given a sketchbook in second grade, it became an outlet for her to express herself as she battled depression.
“I drew in my book every day. I drew my daydreams, my fears, my pain. I found that other people responded positively to my drawings and it felt amazing to see the positive reactions from others.”
Now, as an artist, drawing is still a way to express herself through the art she creates. Family is important to Veronica and a large portion of the art she creates is unique family portraits. “My children are works of art,” Veronica says of her family — and she has a total of 11 beautiful works of art!
“After my 7th [child] I asked the doctor to tie my tubes, but she talked me out of it! I don't think I really believed I'd have more. Finally, I just decided that every one of my kids has added something unique to our family and I no longer have any desire to limit my family size. Creating new life is amazing.”
However, Veronica had not always had this positive view of new life. It was not until her early 20s when she truly identified as pro-life. Before that, Veronica had a fairly indifferent view of abortion.
“I used to say ‘I'd never get an abortion but I don't care what other people do’. The truth is, I really didn't care. I knew that the unborn were human but I didn't put much thought into them having rights.”
One day, a man Veronica was debating with online asked her, “What about the baby’s choice?” She laughed off his comment at the time but a seed had been planted. Not long after this, Veronica had a dream that changed the way she viewed the humanity of the preborn.
“One night I had a dream that I was a spirit and I flew into a room, and in the room was a conveyor belt full of these tiny fetus-like creatures. The conveyor stopped and a tall man with brown hair and a long white lab coat came over and picked up one of the tiny creatures. Rather than simply observing, it was as if I became linked to the creature emotionally, like an empath. I could not hear words, but I could feel its feelings. So when the man picked up the creature it instantly became curious. There was this feeling of peace, comfort, contentment. and even love. The man in the white coat placed the fetus onto a metal tray. Curiouser (sic) the creature was, and yet it felt so much trust, so much love, almost like it believed the man was its mother. The man returned with a scalpel and began sawing the limbs off the tiny creature! Starting with the arms. At this point there was this intense feeling of fear, panic, sadness, and yet still love. Almost as if it was feeling ‘I love you, why are you hurting me?’ The feeling was intense yet brief, because shortly afterward the creature died, the scene faded to black, and I woke up in tears.”
After this dream, the question, “What about the baby’s choice?” truly sunk in and she stopped viewing abortion solely as a woman’s problem and started recognizing the suffering of the preborn.
“By sitting back and saying ‘not my problem,’ we are no better than those who shrugged off the actions of the Nazis.”
Abortion is a human rights violation which affects each and every one of us. When we devalue life in one stage, we devalue all life. It is the duty of every human being to stand up for the life of every human being.
Veronica now uses her love of art to celebrate family and life.
“I want you to understand that I'm not perfect by any means. I swear too much and some mornings, like this morning, we have banana splits for breakfast. I let the kids play in the dirt and I don't break up every fight. I have my days where I feel touched out and want to be left alone, just like everyone else. Sometimes it's messy and sometimes it's hard but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.”
People can order their own unique family portrait or other custom project by contacting Veronica on her artist page on Facebook. “Knowing that I can bring so much joy to other people is something that makes me feel incredibly proud.”
Photo Credit: Veronica Merrit's Facebook page. This is an piece of art she donated to HDI for our pro-life basket auction!
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.