“Why do you think we haven’t had a woman as president yet?” First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton asked her guest over their lunch at the White House. The little woman sitting at table with Mrs. Clinton did not hesitate in her reply.“Because she has probably been aborted,” said Mother Teresa.(1)
Whether this story that was first brought to the public in 2009 is fact or fiction, the implications are still valid. I don’t think I was the only one who was pretty disappointed in our ultimate choices for president this past year. When you think about the millions of Americans that have been aborted (58 million) you have to wonder who or what are we missing? Presidents that would lead us, scientists that would cure us, innovators that would come up with that robot that will clean my whole house in one second (this is what my daughter thought I should ask Santa for! She saw no need to confine one’s wish list to things that currently exist, after all the elves can make anything, right!?)
Perhaps that is too dreamy. It is much more personal than that. In the book entitled, 40 Days for Life, authors Shawn Carney and David Bereit tell the true story of a man that kept vigil at his father’s deathbed. His father was overcome with emotion and gratitude for his eldest son’s presence. The father went on to tell his son for the first time, the story of when his son was an unexpected pregnancy and how he took care of things- by convincing his mother to get an abortion. He dropped her off and that was that. But she had a change of heart and he did the honorable thing and married her not completely convinced this was the best decision. And there he lay at death’s door, none of his other children around, but his eldest. He was so sorry for his past weakness, but so thankful that his wife was so strong, and that she had been able to see what he couldn’t at the time.
That young man was a Knight of Columbus and spearheaded the “Knight Shift” of the very first “40 Days for Life” a 24-hours a day prayer vigil outside of Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas. After 7 years of peaceful vigils that location shut down and is one of 75 abortion centers that have closed in conjunction with 40 Days for Life prayer vigils over the past 10 years.
I have heard pro-choice advocates imply that a woman’s decision to kill her baby doesn’t affect anyone else. But to think that abortion only affects the child and mother simply can’t be true. Approximately every 30 seconds another American dies via abortion. That one was someone’s future husband, someone’s future teacher, someone’s future hospice nurse. As Pocahontas sang in the Colors of the Wind, “And we are all connected to each other, in a circle, in a hoop, that never ends. How high does the sycamore grow? If you cut it down, then you’ll never know.” Ah, I just watched the video on YouTube and it takes me back to childhood, fun fact did you know Mel Gibson is the voice of John Smith?
This year, I am once again honored to be able to participate in the Rose Procession at St. Mark’s Catholic Church. We try our best to find a person born in each year since the passage of Roe v Wade in 1973 to carry a rose single file to the front of the church as a tribute to the lives lost through abortion. The first year, I was struck by how personal it was.
“I felt like I was carrying that rose for a friend. A friend I never got to meet or know. She and I never got to meet for margaritas, we never got to train for a half marathon together, we never got to laugh over the long version of the story when Mommy tasted baby poop, or cry together in silence, but not the awkward kind.” ~Regular Joan
I honored her life by giving her a name (Sara Elaine) and I also honor her life annually ever since by simply walking with a rose for her on Sanctity of Life Sunday- January 22nd. But it isn’t just her that’s missing. It is her legacy. She would have likely had a husband and kids and someday grandkids; she would have made hundreds of ripples in the world, touching countless lives in ways unknown. This year I am helping to organize the procession, and a young mom asked if it is okay to have a toddler in arms. I of course said, “Yes.” She represents the lives lost, and her child represents the millions of lost legacies.
Lives lost, that is a nice way to put it. Not entirely accurate though is it? In abortion the lives of the unborn are taken. Abortion is an evil act of murder if you don’t want to mince words. Of course this isn’t to imply that those who promote and participate in it are evil, they are just blinded by evil. They are the lost ones if you will, and the lost need our continued prayers and respectful dialogue.
Currently the Republicans (and a few pro-life democrats) in Congress are making moves to DEFUND Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider that receives $540 million dollars annually from taxpayers. It is stomach-turning to know that through my taxes I am forced to violate my conscience and support the intentional killing of our most innocent ones. When this legislature passes it will feel like the Cubs winning the World Series all over again. I may have to fly the ‘W’ flag to celebrate the win for religious freedom. The money is being reallocated to thousands of Federally Qualified Health Centers that will offer all the services that PP offers and more (except abortion). The American people won’t tolerate being forced to support abortion giants anymore. Especially, when those abortion giants give presidential candidates 30 million dollars. I think that is what was underestimated by the pundits in the Trump win- how many people care about the lives of the unborn, religious freedom and conscience rights.
I would like to close with a great little excerpt from Trent Horn’s book “Persuasive Pro-Life.”
“It’s fine to tolerate things that merely irritate us, such as a screaming baby on an airplane. Tolerance doesn’t mean approval, acceptance, or even indifference. To tolerate something means that we are willing to allow the thing that bothers us to exist. Tolerating a screaming baby on an airplane means that we won’t demand that the baby be moved to the cargo hold of the plane. While it’s okay to tolerate nuisances, it’s wrong to tolerate grave evils. We may tolerate a crying baby, but we should never tolerate a baby being molested by someone [or tortured].
If pro-lifers merely disliked abortion in the same way they dislike other nuisances, then it would make sense to tolerate abortion. This is the thinking behind the pro-choice slogan, ‘Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one!’ However, abortion is not a nuisance to be disliked but an act of evil that dismembers tiny human beings. It must be stopped. To pro-life advocates, this slogan is as silly as saying, ‘Don’t like slavery? Don’t have a slave! [But let me have mine]’.”
If you would like to organize a rose procession at your church or event let me know if I can help in any way. It really is a pretty simple, yet powerful tribute.