Being that this Thursday is January 22—the 42nd anniversary of Roe v Wade—I told myself that I’d use this week’s post to talk about abortion.
Easier said than done. It’s hard to write about abortion without feeling like you are just adding to the noise—saying things that have already been said a million times, playing into stereotypes, etc. But it’s a topic that needs to be talked about. Especially as followers of Christ, we have an obligation to speak up for those least among us who cannot speak for themselves; and we need to be unafraid to speak the truth lovingly to those who might otherwise never hear it.
So after a lot of prayer and thinking, I decided that this week I’d just share with you all a bit about what I’ve learned from my experience within “the pro-life movement.”
1. I’ve learned that if you’re going to talk about abortion, it is absolutely imperative to speak from a place of genuine love for whomever you are speaking to. As Saint John Bosco put it: “It’s not enough to love, people have to feel they are loved.”
Something to keep in mind whenever talking to anyone about abortion: it has been said that as many as one in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime. Whether that stat is accurate or not, it is a good practice when you are speaking with someone to consider the possibility that she (or he), or someone very close to her has been personally impacted by abortion. So always, always speak with love and compassion.
2. As someone who has joined with groups in prayer outside of abortion clinics in both the San Diego and Dallas areas, I will say I have never encountered anything resembling the reports you’ll read on sites like Buzzfeed or The Huffington Post about angry mobs of “anti-choicers” harassing clinic workers and patients. The majority of us are there to pray not much higher than a whisper, and may occasionally sing a hymn. One or two people are there as “sidewalk counselors,” who calmly engage those going into the clinics in conversation, sharing literature and just lovingly letting them know they have better options available to them than abortion. It’s all very calm and non-confrontational. [But don’t take my word for it, you can check it out for yourself by signing up for 40 Days for Life].
3. I can’t make it to the clinic on a regular basis to pray. And there’s not always an organized march or protest going on to take part in. But something I can do on a daily basis is pray for the end to abortion. It’s something my husband and I do every night when we offer our family rosary. Admittedly, praying for the same thing night after night can feel monotonous, or even unfruitful at times. But I believe that God hears our prayers, and so we continually offer them for the end to abortion, and for abortion-minded women and men to not give into despair. Which brings me to the final thing I have learned…
4. God is working. Even when we don’t see it, God is working. And we need never despair, because the battle has already been won. With abortion as with every struggle we face in this life, all we need to do is continually offer it over to the one who has already conquered death. He will lead us into His Victory.