Rep. Chambers tells her story at the 2020 March for Life rally
During this year's March for Life rally at the Capitol, Rep. Kelly Chambers, R-Puyallup, shared how a personal decision she made as a teenager changed her life and saved the life of her daughter. Listen:
Full text of Rep. Chambers' speech:
Thank you to everyone for being here today and standing up for unborn children. This is an important issue and your presence means a lot.
This is my first term as a legislator. I've been running my businesses for 16 years and really didn't have plans to run for public office. But looking back, I can see there were many steps in my life that prepared me and led me to this point.
In the same vein, I never really saw myself as someone who would ever be addressing a group at a rally for life. But looking back at my experiences, I was being prepared to talk to you today.
I grew up in Tacoma and was raised in a church that opposed abortion.
[Outside of church] I was bombarded with messages all around me that in order to be a smart, informed, progressive woman, I had to be pro-choice and that was the only way to go – that life was disposable.
I regret I didn't place a high value on life.
I know there are many young women in our community who face an unintended pregnancy, and think abortion is their only option. I want to thank you for surrounding and supporting these young women, and showing them there are other options for them and their baby.
I had to face this dilemma as well.
When I was a sophomore in high school and just 16 years old, I got pregnant, and I was in no position to raise a child. I was still in school, I had a part time job – but I certainly didn't have enough money for a baby – my dad had gone to prison, and my mom was beyond angry with me.
The faith community I was raised in and taught would always be there for me completely shunned me. I knew I had disappointed so many people who believed in me, even my teachers.
But I had a can-do attitude, and I knew I would keep my baby and still achieve my goals of graduating from high school and becoming the first person in my family to go to college.
It was the best decision I could've made.
This path wasn't easy. It was a lot of hard work to be a single mom on welfare putting yourself through college, but I'm one of the most determined people you will ever meet.
I graduated from high school on time. I graduated from college in just over four years. And I have demonstrated to my daughter what discipline, hard work and persistence looks like.
But I couldn't stop there. I needed to break the cycle of poverty in our family. It was my goal that my daughter get through high school and college without being pregnant (or married!), and we reached that goal too.
I'm happy to share that my daughter, Ashton, graduated from WSU with a degree in Communications. She has a great job with the Seattle Mariners, and she turns 27 next month.
She is a beautiful, strong, confident and kind person, and I have a best friend in her.
Thank you for what you are standing for.
###Washington State House Republican Communications
Broadcast Coordinator: 360.786.7257