Yesterday, Aubrey and I joined the 2012 March for Life. We hadn’t known it was happening until we were at church on Sunday and heard about it. Decided that since we were in D.C., it would be crazy not to attend.
It was cold and rainy, so we weren’t sure how many people would show up. Well, the crowd filled half the Mall, I think. Young and old, male and female, of all religious persuasions or none. People gathered to Occupy Washington and to tell our political leaders that all life matters. Both of us were delighted to find so many calm people, people who simply care about life. There were ranters, of course, and those who insisted on banging the “baby killer” drums, but most were quietly intent on making their views known simply by dint of being there.
For me, it isn’t “simply” about abortion. It’s about speaking for the voiceless and the marginalized. For now it is the unborn, but it is also becoming a matter of speaking for the aged and the ill and the injured (think Terry Schiavo). Right now, it is choice in our nation. But, in other nations, it is no longer choice. In the Netherlands, the doctors can decide whether a child lives or not, regardless of the parents’ desires. (I’ve done numerous articles for the Catholic press on this topic; it’s scary as hell.)
I’m passionate about life, and about each individual’s right to life, whatever age. I was stunned to hear yesterday that in the 39 years that abortion has been legal in this country, some 50-55 MILLION lives have been ended. Now, not all of those pregnancies were due to rape or incest or some other bellwether cause touted by those who are in favor. And with the birth control available today, I’m simply stymied why so many unwanted pregnancies occur. And when they do, that the women don’t understand that there are groups waiting to help them through and after the pregnancy, helping them to raise the child or to put the child up for adoption. There are so many options besides abortion. Not enough yet, I’ll admit. For example, colleges and universities must expand their options for unmarried mothers, through daycare and work options. These programs are in place, but not everywhere. We must support the women who opt to have their babies.
But again, I’m not advocating for outlawing abortion. I accept that in some cases it may be necessary. But I am wholeheartedly advocating for control and limitation of when a child can be aborted. And I don’t want my tax dollars to fund the taking of life, here or in other countries (and yes, we do fund it in other countries). And I vehemently support educating young women on the REALITY of abortion, and its toll on them later in life. I’ve interviewed many women who made that choice, and then dealt with the hell of their decision, sometimes decades later. And I feel for the men who have no say in the decision, and their pain.
And today, we must consider the end of life issue. Now, in a couple of states in the U.S., it is a choice if you want to end your life with a doctor’s help. But how soon will that become the doctor’s decision? This isn’t sci-fi, it’s reality. How soon before we are no longer aiding society, but have become a drag on it (through age or illness or injury), and the decision is made for us that our life is no longer worthwhile?
I was stunned yesterday, again, when I learned that some 40 percent of abortions are performed on African American women. In inner cities, that number climbs to 60 percent. My skin crawled when I thought about how Margaret Sanger (one of the founders of Planned Parenthood) would be so pleased to know that her plan had worked. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Do some research. Find out who Margaret Sanger was, what she stood for. It’ll make your hair stand on end. This is genocide. Voluntary genocide. Correct me if I’m wrong.
These are the reasons I walked yesterday. And the entire time, as I stood and walked with Aubrey, I was aware that two of my best friends in life are Aubrey and Scott, my daughter and son. How do you explain that possibility to a scared young woman who is frightened about facing the prospect of raising a child alone?