The anniversary of Roe v. Wade has passed us by, the March for Life is over, but the work is not done.
There are still the crisis pregnancies. There are still the mothers not sure if they can take care of the babies in their wombs. There are still the couples using abortifacient contraceptives. There are still the women not willing to make the physical sacrifices of being pregnant, but choosing to act in a way that will bring new human life into existence nonetheless. There are still lonely mothers in need of support from others. The fear and worry surrounding pregnancy that has led to legalized abortion is still rampant in our nation, even though deep down inside we all know that abortion ends a human life.
The March for Life is a beautiful thing. It reminds our nation of the tragedy of millions of lives lost through abortion. It reminds our political leaders that our nation needs to stop the legal murder of the unborn. And in some cases it might change peoples’ hearts or give them the courage to speak up for a cause they have never been able to before. But the real work of the pro-life movement happens during the rest of the year…
There is a growing feeling among pro-life Catholic Millennials that those segments of the pro-life movement that focus just on law have failed to see and do what will really save lives. Having all been born since Roe v. Wade, we have lived all our lives with the reality of legal abortion. Many of us spent countless hours of our youth praying outside abortion clinics, being yelled at by passing drivers, being scorned by the media, but not afraid to be persecuted for our defense of life. We have heard from our earliest days that Pope Saint John Paul II told us, “Do not be afraid!” So we have been brave in our defense of truth and life issues, and we are not afraid to continue to face persecution.
With the way the 2016 presidential election is going, things really do seem bleak when it comes to the direction of our country’s political future. Catholics are wondering is there any viable option of whom to vote for for president this autumn. My conscience will not let me vote for any of the two major parties. Neither likely candidate is worth the risk for my soul.
So, what is left for us? What can we do? I think the best analogy is that of a hobbit waiting on the edge of a battle that he cannot escape. He looks up at his friend the wizard, and asks if there is any hope.
There never was much hope, and there is just a fool’s hope now.
And I am ready to do something that seems foolish in the eyes of the world, because there is nothing I really can do beyond that.
That baby is my two month old T when he was 9 weeks gestation.
I have a confession to make: I have not watched any of the Planned Parenthood sting operation videos. I read the contents in detail of the first video and I went cold all over. I did not want to watch that. And each video gets worse. They say there are 8 more, and I wonder, can it get worse than it has?
But I also have another confession. I am guilty of losing hope that peoples’ hearts will change, that our country will stop the slaughtering of its unborn.
We made it to the early daily Mass yesterday morning, and the first reading from Numbers struck me. God told the Israelites that He was giving them a land flowing with milk and honey. So, they go and scout it out. The scouts come back and are completely without hope. There are giants living in this promised land. There is no way that they can ever live there. They will probably die before defeating those giants.
The abortion industry and Planned Parenthood have been giants in my life, big bad, unbeatable giants. Sure, we can get a mother to change her mind on occasion, but it is always going to be on the sly, outside the yellow painted line on the sidewalk. Since I was a child I have been praying for the end of abortion, outside clinics and everyday in my list of intentions.
When the Israelites gave up hope in God’s promises, they were given 40 years exile.
We have been wandering in the legal desert for over 40 years, and babies are still dying and it is easy to give up hope. (And to clarify, I do not think that we legal abortion is punishment for our lack of hope; I think that it is easy to lose hope when evil is going on for so long.)
So, when these videos first started coming out, I have not been at all surprised by their content. But I have not been able to watch them. Merely the images of the murdered babies that accompany them have been horrific to view, making me feel sick and sorrowful. The written out descriptions of the content have been enough for me to know of the evil that I have known about since I was a little girl.
But I realized when I heard the doubts and hopelessness of the Israelites that by giving up on things ever changing, by losing hope, I am being just like them. So, I decided to try hoping again. It is okay to hope for good, even when the odds of things changing are slim. And I have never stopped praying for change. But maybe it is time to become more active again. Maybe it is time to take my family to pray outside the place where they slaughter babies again.
Maybe these videos really will make a difference. Maybe I should watch them. But I am not sure I want to; it is never nice to watch evil. But I do hope that curiosity will get the best of others, and they will watch and their hearts will change.