This post may be a rambling series of thoughts as I am trying to unscramble a lot of emotions here. But, underneath them all, something keeps bugging me that it just isn't right.
Flash back to Wednesday morning, Rosary walk at the hospital, this is something I always go to, it is only half an hour and about five or six of us gather together to pray for those involved in abortion in the hospitals in front of us. Our prayer intention is specifically that those involved in the "culture of death" would be open to the grace of conversion and would turn and serve the "culture of life".
This Wednesday, we were joined by two couples from Digby who had come to find out what we do because they are going to start a Rosary walk outside the hospital in Kentville. This is impressive, because Digby is a three-hour drive away and I think it wonderful that they drove in the day before, stayed overnight, just to come and pray with us for half an hour. One man said, "when you want to start something, you have to go to someone who is already doing it, in order to find out how you should do it." Take a page out of his book, Julie.
After our prayer time, we stayed briefly to chat and one of the people said they had met with a priest the day before, who told these four people that there were NO abortions done at the Victoria General Hospital, that the only abortions done were at the Grace Maternity and at the IWK Children's Hospital. This is false information and, when I got home, I contacted the director of Campaign Life Coalition to let her know and to see how we should correct this well-meaning, but badly-informed priest. This set off a series of emails, including my contacting someone who works in the hospital who provided me with proof of abortions being done there along with names of people I could speak to. But the end result was that the priest got upset with us all, made the remark that it doesn't matter where the abortions are done, and that people don't like the pro-life groups because they are too "radical". He then related how he had spent the day with a 79-year-old woman who was dying and was telling him of her cynicism about God due to a life of rejection and sexual abuse. The priest concluded that abortion is not the only issue, there are many other issues that are crying out for attention. He then asked that his name be taken off our email newsletter list.
None of what he said can be denied. But what is niggling away at me is that this is how the "seamless garment" theology is transmitted to people; by making them feel that the pro-life cause should not be given more priority than other causes; that those who feel adamantly about "pro-life" issues are alienating people with their approach; that we should scale back and present ourselves in kinder terms in order to win converts.
Yes, we should be charitable, that is true. However, when we are asked to tone down our words or to soften our approach, I sense that what is going on is that the person really is uncomfortable with the issue of abortion and they are giving themselves an excuse for not getting involved.
Yes, there are many issues that call out for attention. However, the pro-life issue is not being presented anywhere by anyone except for those of us who are being called "too radical". Abortion is not being spoken about in our churches, our clergy and ministers are not addressing the topic, very few of our clergy will even attend a single pro-life event, even something as innocuous as a fund-raising dinner. So, while the subject of clergy abuse is being spoken about in plenty of churches, while Development and Peace gets to make a presentation about poverty in the Third World, the pro-life cause is put on the back burner and kept mum.
People seem to think that, by simply saying pro-lifers are too radical and that there are other issues, they have somehow done their bit for pro-life. They think that the personal conviction that life is sacred is enough; and that anyone who wants to do more is just dragging this issue out yet again, when nothing can be done about it. And so, once again, the pro-life issue is shelved and those who shelve it actually think they have given it enough attention.
I used to think like that; while being pro-life in thought, I didn't give too much more attention to it and didn't really want to attend any pro-life events. And I am not saying that everyone has to. People are called to different things and I really do believe that you should work on that which captures your heart; otherwise your efforts and enthusiasm will wane and what is the point of that?
But even those who don't want to espouse the cause of pro-life should pay attention to some effects of the abortion holocaust upon our society. Because abortion has and is affecting all of us, even if we don't know it.
I have heard abortion compared to the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Who could have foretold the effects of that single event? Did anyone anticipate the radioactive fall-out that would affect people for generations to come? Did anyone realise how many people would die long painful deaths from cancers caused by the explosion and that would entail providing medical care for those people?
The same is true for abortion. We are only beginning to see that the act of abortion itself is only the tip of the iceberg. Psychologists are admitting that women are scarred in many ways, not just physical, from abortion; that many women come to them as patients who would not be there if they had not had abortions. Many women are now dependent upon drugs to control depression, to curb insomnia, to control mood swings; the numbers of women dependent upon drugs after abortion is staggering. And then there is suicide. How many women have killed themselves because they simply could not forgive themselves for having an abortion? Is their death even recognized as being attributable to that abortion? How many women have subsequent premature babies because of the abortion they had earlier? How many women cannot conceive now because of an abortion?
The list goes on and on; the children of post-abortive women suffer from their mother's act as well; Dr. Philip Ney calls this the "survivor syndrome"; children often feel guilty that they are alive, when their brother or sister was not given that opportunity.
What is this costing our medical system? If we knew the financial cost of the effects of abortion, surely governments would not be so eager to fund abortion in the first place. And there is the demographic issue: in countries where we are not even replacing ourselves with children, abortion is killing off entire cultures.
So, for those who think that abortion is just one issue like other just causes, I would challenge them to think a little deeper. The mushroom cloud of the abortion holocaust hangs over our society, unseen by most, yet it is wreaking damage upon absolutely everyone, because it is undermining the very soul of our society.
Abortion is the cutting edge, the initial wedge, for "the new ethic." It is the tip of the iceberg, in the proposed revision of what it means to be human. Despite all the rhetoric about abortion being a matter of private morality, it has far-reaching public impliciations. If what we are interested in is a stop-gap measure, then abortion seems reasonable. If what we desire are results, then abortion seems like an answer. But it is an option that does not exist in a vacuum, for it involves the sacrifice of not only the unborn child but a way of life, an entire ethic. As with the seamless robe of Christ, to unloose but one thread of its fabric is to evenually unloose it all.- Who Broke the Baby, by Jean Staker Garton, 1998
Picture taken from There are No Sunglasses
Just because we can't see the effects of abortion, does not mean they are not there.