Saturday, January 22, 2005

Bloody anniversary

We've all lost so many to abortion. Brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins of all varieties. Our sons. Our daughters. Our own. We've suffered 32 years of the choice being to kill rather than to allow to live. You might not even know how many members of your family are missing. You might not know how many children of your friends are absent. You can walk through your parish, your workplace, or your local grocery store and estimate that nearly half of the women that you pass have had abortions.

How many of us mourn? How many relationships have splintered upon the rocky shores of our grief? How many relationships between women and their parents have been irreparably damaged by the parent's pressure to abort? How many boyfriends have felt justified in demanding an abortion of their girlfriends? How many women have decided to abort a child that they truly wanted because their spouses felt that another child would be one too many? How many of them grieve these losses daily, avoiding the newspapers and television lest yet another mention of the word, abortion, ruin what had been an otherwise good day?

The numbers are surely too high. As long as abortion remains an inexpensive legal way to avoid the consequences of our actions, there will be too many victims of abortion, women and children. As long as boyfriends and husbands feel justified in having sex with a woman and then demanding that she abort their child. As long as parents feel justified in demanding the murder of an inconvenient or embarrassing grandchild. As long as they can point to the law and say "This is okay. This is a *choice*. She is making the choice, after all. It's her fault." . . . women will remain the victims of an abortion culture.

Women are the victims. The pro-choice side will tell you that women are empowered and that is the pro-life's problem. They claim that pro-lifers want to keep women enslaved to fertility, that we are afraid of empowered women.

I am afraid of boyfriends, husbands, and parents who will pressure a woman to abort a child that she wishes to keep. I'm afraid that the numbers of women who "choose" because of these reasons are in the hundreds of thousands per year. It's no choice if you feel that you will be abandoned by your partner if you choose to bear your child. It's no choice if your parents are threatening to throw you out of the house. It's no choice, and it leaves hundreds of thousands of women per *year* with abiding pain and mental anguish.

So long as abortion is legal, these parents, boyfriends, employers, and spouses will feel justified in demanding that a woman abort her child. So long as it is legal, the women who are, indeed, victimized will remain victimized at such a rate that we now have millions of women around the nation who bear the scars of their grief in their hearts and minds. These women don't generally believe in an unrestricted right to abortion, do they? They know better than anyone that "safe, legal, and rare" is an impossibility.

Women need help to escape the culture of death which forces them to choose the option their partners and families want-- the elimination of the child. Please consider donating money to your local
crisis pregnancy center. If you need help, please call Catholic Charities: 1-800-CARE-002 and they will refer you to a local crisis pregnancy center. You do not need to be Catholic to call-- they will help you no matter your religious choices.

A pressured abortion is not a choice, it's violence against women. And it's more common than most people want to believe.

(Ed. The original "22 years" was a typo. It was not, in fact, me hoping that I had also had ten years taken off my age, making me a charming 21. Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for 14 months longer than I have been out of my mother's womb. In other circumstances, I might very well have been a victim of it.)