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His Name Is Samuel

By Patricia Casey

Are my life circumstances important? Do the reasons for what I did matter? I made a legal choice to end his life. Without fear of criminal charges, I ordered his execution. I chose death for the innocent.

It seemed as if I’d moved on in my ordinary life without repercussions or regret. I seldom thought about the child or what I had done. It was over. I told myself I wasn’t a bad person. According to the doctor, it was only a blob of tissue.

Ten years later, as I studied for my bachelor’s degree, a picture in my biology textbook reached out, grabbed me, and taunted. Six weeks old, read the caption describing the embryo with a distinct heart and form. This was not a mere blob of tissue. 

Amidst my discomfort, I pressed forward quickly to return to my make-believe world. I couldn’t do anything about what I had done. I kept telling myself I was still a good person.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a nun. My favorite cousin frequently talked about God, but I was disappointed when she got pregnant before she was married. We were the same age, and she was supposed to be the good one. 

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