Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The March For Life

I wrote this two years ago (I can't believe this blog is already that old!).  On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the tragic Roe vs. Wade decision which legalized abortion in this country, I am re-posting it today.  I added a few minor updates.


This Friday is the date of the March For Life in Washington, D.C. I've only been able to participate a few times, but I always find it a rewarding experience. I don't like going so much to "show my support" for the pro-life cause, as to be spiritually refreshed by it (a selfish motivation, perhaps). It's so easy to get depressed when everyone you meet and everything you see in the news or Hollywood is just more reinforcement for the beliefs of the Culture of Death. At the March for Life, I'm always reminded that there are still many people fighting the good fight, and promoting Truth. That I'm not, afterall, alone.

There is no way I could attend this year. Even though I don't have the usual obligations of school or work, I have my little ones to take care of. I used to think it would be really awesome to bring children on the March. And maybe it will be - one day. But there are so many difficulties involved in bringing them when they are so young. We'd have to ride together on a charter bus with one of the local church groups. Would I bring the car seat? How would I manage with them alone?  Could I even bring a stroller on the bus? Then there's the freezing weather to contend with (it's under 10° in Pittsburgh right now!) - I really don't want to have my babies outside for hours. And what happens when Stella gets hungry? I can't just nurse her during the March. Naptimes would be skipped, everyone would be miserable and crying.  So unfortunately, it just isn't going to work again this year. 

Recently, I've come across some powerful posts/articles about abortion. Like this and this. [these articles are now two years old, but the links still work, and they are still worth reading]

With these things in mind, it spurred me to start a conversation with a friend about abortion. This person is a devout Catholic, and I remarked that he did not seem to get that "fired up" about about the issue, which surprised me. He responded with: "Yeah, of course abortion is wrong and terrible, but - I hate to say it - what can you do about it? People are still going to get abortions. You have to face it that the culture is heading down a path of corruption. It's going to keep getting worse, and there's nothing you can do. It would be like trying to stop a freight train. I think at this point, we basically are just waiting for the Second Coming."

Whoa, now. My response was this: "It may be true. Maybe things ARE just getting worse and worse. But I have to believe that the very thing Satan hopes for us to do is say, 'well, there's nothing I can do to change things. So I'm just going to do nothing.'"

It takes a certain kind of person to be able to change culture in a big or sweeping way - to influence many, and help change hearts. And I think very few are called by God to do that. But that doesn't mean that the rest of us don't have a responsibility as well. I continued my response by saying, "If what we're doing is waiting for the Second Coming, then we need to be as prepared as possible, and help others to be prepared. No, I'm probably not going to be able to effect much change to the culture, but I can do my very best to raise my children to know and love God. And I can share Truth with other people in my life, in hopes that it will maybe help them in some small way to get closer to God."

He went on to say that abortion wasn't as black and white as people make it seem. That most people who get abortions truly don't believe that it's a person, so for them, it might not represent as grave an offense.

My thoughts on that comment....Well, first of all, it is a person, and whether or not someone accepts that fact, abortion still constitutes a serious EVIL, and it needs to be stopped. Even if someone could receive an abortion free from all culpability (They were mentally unstable, and unaware of their actions, let's say) - even though they may not be actually committing a sin themselves (and let's say their method of abortion was self-induced - by taking some sort of drug - so as to remove the abortionist from this equation), it is still WRONG. Always.

Also, I really don't believe that most people truly think an unborn child is not a person. This is so maddenly obvious when you just hear the language that people use when referring to that child, dependent solely on whether or not it is WANTED. Those who have an unplanned, unexpected, and unwanted pregnancy refer to the baby as a "clump of cells," "pregnancy tissue," "embryo" or "fetus." They talk about not being ready to be a parent and how it would be unfair to carry "it" to term (this one really gets to me. What would be unfair is not giving your child a chance at life in the first place). They talk only about the woman's life and how it will be forever changed - in a negative way - if she has a baby.

But as soon as someone finds themself pregnant intentionally [and this is usually how it works these days. It's all very carefully planned out. After years of using birth control, partying and "having fun," getting to know yourself, getting to know your spouse (which really, you should have done before you married him or her), accumulating the little luxuries and the money you think you need, taking expensive vacations.... Then it's thought, "Now it's time for me to have a kid. I DESERVE to have a child. This is my RIGHT, and I will use whatever means possible to GET one."], the language used is different. Now they are pregnant with a baby, and expect congratulations for getting that way. They are "expecting." They start thinking of themselves as a mom, a dad. It would, of course, be weird and impersonal, to call it now a fetus. They change to a language of personhood, because - as soon as a child is wanted - most people DO truly think of it as a person. It kills me that our legal system can sentence criminals for double homicides when they kill a pregnant woman (okay, so the baby WAS a person. "homo" = man, "cide" = to kill), and then allow abortions simultaneously (so wait....Killing people is okay...if it's the mom who chooses to do it? or...baby's aren't actually people, like you just said? Huh?).

We can't give up the fight. Even when it seems hopeless.
When the world around us is going to crap.
We need to remember that we already know Who will win in the end.

But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children.  For behold, the days shall come, wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck. (Lk 23:28-29)

And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.” (Gn 4:10)


  1. When my children were little, I prayed for the safety and witness of those who were able to attend the March for Life. I also offered to babysit for someone who wanted to go. You are making the right choice staying home with your wee ones.

  2. Why are Catholics so intent on spreading their strong beliefs over all mankind....you don't cover your hair and many religious people think it's unholy to show your hair. You eat meat, yet other religions forbid it. If you're not going to adhere to the beliefs of all religions, why should you be spreading the beliefs of your specific religion? Abortion is evil to YOU. Not to me. I hope women in your country can maintain the freedoms of bodily choice that they have. No church should be able to tell a non-member what is right or wrong for them. Wasn't your country founded on the idea of a separation of church and government?

    1. I don't have the time to respond fully to everything in your statement, since it would basically be the length of a book. But let me just try to touch on some of your points briefly.

      "Why are Catholics so intent on spreading their strong beliefs"?
      We believe our religion is objectively true, and that we have a responsibility to teach this truth to others.

      "...you don't cover your hair and many religious people think it's unholy to show your hair. You eat meat, yet other religions forbid it."
      I'm not sure what point you are trying to make.

      "If you're not going to adhere to the beliefs of all religions, why should you be spreading the beliefs of your specific religion?"
      This doesn't make sense to me. I don't see how it's possible to hold mutually exclusive beliefs simultaneously.

      Catholics believe that there is such a thing as objective morality: some things are true, whether you are Catholic or not. The ethical impermissibility of abortion is one of these things. Saying it is wrong is a statement of an objective fact. It is always wrong to take an innocent human life - this applies to all people at all times.

      "Wasn't your country founded on the idea of a separation of church and government?"
      Yes it was. I'm not completely sure what this has to do with this discussion, though. If you are implying that the government should make no laws forbidding abortion because this is merely a "religious idea", then I refer you to my response above. All governments should have laws to protect innocent humans, because part of the proper role of government is to protect rights; the most fundamental right is the right to life.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I've often wondered why people who are "pro-choice" have the right to force their beliefs on others. Yes it is legal in this country to have an abortion if you want one. If someone is truly "pro-choice" then they should not be bothered if I decide to carry my pregnancy to term and raise my child rather than ridiculing me for not availing myself of an abortion. My daughter and I have both experienced this within the last several months. In New Jersey legislation has been introduced that physicians must offer a woman the option of having an ultrasound prior to deciding to have an abortion. Those who are "pro-choice" raised their voices in anger and dismay. The legislation says the physicians have to offer the ultrasound. The legislation does not say that the woman has to have one. What are "pro-choice" advocates afraid of? What's wrong with making an informed decision?