Today is the March for Life in Washington, DC. The news seems focused on Trump’s wall and larger immigration policy and on his meeting with British PM Theresa May. We’ll see how much coverage the march receives.
“Abortion rights” is about emotion, I think. There are no logical, rational justifications for abortion. No one who knows and is willing to admit the reality of biology and human growth and development seriously argues that the one in the womb is not a human life, and that abortion, then, is the willful destruction of innocent human life. As such, abortion is justified on the basis of emotional measures, such as need, personal empowerment, and escape. The argument seems to have shifted to the notion of “personhood,” which is disheartening and disturbing because, of course, if “personhood” can be denied the one in the womb based on certain subjective criteria, then it can be denied those outside the womb as well. No one becomes safe. Whether the dignity of one’s life will be respected becomes a question of who’s in power and whether or not those in power choose to respect any particular person’s inherent, intrinsic dignity. Yours. Mine. His. Hers.
I’m convinced that most women who have abortions are genuinely convinced they have no other options. As Frederica Mathewes-Green wrote, “No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg.” To go through something as horrible as an abortion, a woman must feel she has no other option. As pro-lifers, we must be committed to creating other options. The “abortion rights” side of this debate is not invested in creating other options for women caught in the trap. For them, gnawing off one’s own leg in order to escape seems a reasonable, if not the only reasonable, option. Having convinced themselves that this particular pregnancy, this child, represents a trap, escapes makes perfect sense. The Pro-Life Movement needs to do two things, I think. We need to counter and overcome the rhetoric that the child in her womb somehow represents a trap, a threat, to the mother’s life and well-being. And we have to create realistic options for women who are caught, or see themselves as caught, in tremendously difficult circumstances. The realities that would lead a woman to consider abortion, to consider killing her own child, must be extreme, indeed.
Contrary to the obvious false rhetoric that pro-lifers are concerned only about children while they’re in the womb, there are resources for women who are pregnant and tempted by abortion, or even being forced into abortion by the father of her child, or by her family or his family. Two institutions committed to creating options for such women in Knoxville include Catholic Charities and the Hope Resource Center. These institutions are highly supported by the pro-life community, so they have resources and provide real options.
Catholic Charities, 119 Dameron Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37917; 865-971-3570.
Hope Resource Center, 2700 Painter Ave., Knoxville, TN 37919; 865-236-0350.
Read “Why Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense,” by Frederica Mathewes-Green. Her reflection on how she converted from pro-“abortion rights” to pro-life is eloquent and powerful.
“Many years ago I wrote something in an essay about abortion, and I was surprised that the line got picked up and frequently quoted. I’ve seen it in both pro-life and pro-choice contexts, so it appears to be something both sides agree on. I wrote, “No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg.” Strange, isn’t it, that both pro-choice and pro-life people agree that is true? Abortion is a horrible and harrowing experience. That women choose it so frequently shows how much worse continuing a pregnancy can be. Essentially, we’ve agreed to surgically alter women so that they can get along in a man’s world. And then expect them to be grateful for it. Nobody wants to have an abortion. And if nobody wants to have an abortion, why are women doing it, 2,800 times a day? If women doing something 2,800 times daily that they don’t want to do, this is not liberation we’ve won. We are colluding in a strange new form of oppression.” Frederica Mathewes-Green
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.