The question is on Facebook, splashed across the fronts of newspapers, and crackling through on the radio--just like last year and the year before that and the year before that, every media outlet is asking the question: what about the children? I’ve come to realize that that particular question isn’t going anywhere.
The evening was comfortably warm. The heat of the day had subsided and a breeze blew through our back yard. We sat around the fire with friends. Some of the kids roasted marshmallows while others played frisbee. Since my three-year old needed a bathroom, I took her inside. She chatted about the fun she was having with “fwiends” but when we opened the door to go back outside, she suddenly stopped. “Mom!” she said, her voice full of awe. “It’s almost night time!” I followed her gaze. The trees had turned to silhouettes, the sky a purplish blue. “Look at the staws!” she pointed.
Two days ago, I was standing across from a high school in Calgary, holding a sign showing a 10-week old pre-born child, pulled apart in an abortion. A young man was crossing the street but at such an angle that I needed to overextend my reach, offering my brochure, as I projected my voice, “Hey, what do you think about abortion?”
It is my sincere hope that you never need to read this. If you are walking with a friend who is facing an unplanned pregnancy and trying to communicate truth to her heart, I pray that she chooses life for her baby. Everything in me longs for the day when all pre-born children are safe and our culture sees abortion for what it truly is: an unthinkable act of violence.
There are countless myths about abortion that are being presented as facts every single day. The more often they're repeated, the more people will believe them to be truth. For example, pro-life friends have messaged me links to studies that seem to say (but don't) that less women die when abortion is legal. The confusion is understandable. Often, unless one analyzes the study, a certain point seems to be proven, at least at first glance.
I was not expecting to be emotional during my usual Friday morning lecture. Most of the time the class is interesting, and I am more often reaching into my backpack for another pen to take notes rather than a Kleenex pack to dab my cheeks. Instead of a lesson on pathophysiological disorders of pregnancy or neonatal assessment, our professor spoke on the sensitive topic of perinatal loss.
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared October as National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. He was driven by the void of acknowledgement in our society when a baby passes away:
One thing you realize while doing pro-life work is that everyone you encounter seems deeply wounded. The visceral reality of abortion brought to light tends to dredge up pain—pain that existed already, but in many cases was pushed down and kept quiet.
“You think I’m a demon,” one woman said to me after revealing she’d had an abortion, her voice on the verge of cracking. She turned and walked briskly away before I could finish saying, “No, I don’t.” Please come back, I wanted to say to her. You are not a demon. I’m sorry you’re in pain.
Toronto, ON. Earlier this year the Trudeau government announced that organizations with pro-life views would not be eligible for grant funding from the Canada Summer Jobs program, saying it would find a mechanism to punish citizens unless they agreed with the government’s social ideologies. This announcement was followed by denying the applications of a number of pro-life organizations on the false basis of “budget” concerns.
Have you been given this scenario to justify abortion before?
“What about a baby whose mother is addicted to crack cocaine and will be born with an addiction to crack? Would you rather that baby suffer horribly and have a terrible life?”
How do you respond? Usually, I reply with something like the following: