Thoughts on abortion
Yesterday, as I was getting my eyes checked out in preparation for my upcoming LASIK surgery tomorrow (again, prayers asked for btw), there was a march for life in DC and in other sites across the country. As usual, The Anchoress has a wonderful post discussing it along with numerous pictures showing the scope of the crowd.
While the media tends to diminish the numbers by saying “tens of thousands” usually (a technically true number but somewhat disceiving in scope), the correct number is about two hundred thousand plus. I haven’t been able to go the last two years mainly because I’ve been busy living the pro life movement in a sense. As a father, while I would love to go, I need to put my daughter’s health first. Last year, she was sick at this time and the Mrs. and I both agreed that the cold air wouldn’t be good for her. This year she was also sick, and the day was quite cold as well. Not to mention me having a doctor’s appointment, it meant that I was unable to go again. However I do make it a point to at least offer up a prayer for the people and for the souls of the children killed through abortion.
There are a couple of stories that I’ve found in the coverage that really speak to me in particular. For those of you unaware of my medical history, I was born in 1977 with an acute congenital heart condition called Pulmonary Stenosis. Basically, one of the valves in my heart wasn’t functioning properly, allowing blood to backwash into the system without being oxygenated by the lungs. As a consequence my heart had to pump extra hard to compensate and I was born with a severely enlarged heart. I had to have emergency open heart surgery at 3 days of age. Obviously I made it through, and I am now the father of an adorable little girl of my own. The thing is, I now wonder, if my family had been more aware of my condition before I was born, would the doctors have pressured my mother to abort me? In fact, how many other children out there had congenital heart defects that were detected and were subsequently aborted because of it?
I’m fortunate that my mother and father didn’t choose to abort me. And while I’ve caused them both enough grief throughout my life to give them grey hair galore I’m sure, I am eternally grateful to them for giving me life.
Abortion is a touchy subject here in the US. I have many many friends on both sides of the issue. And my views on it have also changed over time. I used to think it was something of a woman’s right to choose. But now I worry that all too often the pro-choice side of the political aisle believes that women who choose not to abort are in a sense not really pro-choice in a sense. I also fear that there are many out there who don’t realize that it is a choice. And that they can indeed choose life. They may feel pressured to abort because they feel they can’t offer the child a good life. Or that it will affect them negatively. And we need to help show them that they do not need to be afraid. They can and will be helped! While I know that there are countless charities out there for pregnant women in need, they aren’t getting the publicity they need to have in order to let these women who are thinking of abortion know they exist.
We need to move as a society towards making abortion something repugnant to society in general. Tim Muldoon, a Catholic theologian writes about how to bring this about. We need to start by educating our children about the joys of family, and by teaching them that parenthood is one of the most fulfilling vocations one can have. Show young men that fatherhood is a truly heroic role in society, help young women to realize that they have no need for random meaningless sex because it turns them into a mere object for another’s desires. We also need to really show that when an unexpected pregnancy occurs, that we as a society are there to help. That we will do everything we can to help the young mother out, from basic needs, to providing shelter, medical care, spiritual care, and encouraging them. So often we read that people abort because they are afraid. If we can take that fear away, by showing them we are there to help, we can help end abortion.
We must do more to help offer hope and love to those who are afraid of motherhood and might instead look to abortion as a solution. Think about it, pray about it, and then DO something about it. Even if it’s just to go to a local women’s clinic and donating a small box of books, or a blanket or anything. Put your faith into actions, it doesn’t have to be much, but if enough of us do small things, it adds up to a tremendous force for good.