Tomorrow many folks of many faiths will fill the streets of Washington, D.C. to raise awareness for unborn little ones in the 2017 March for Life. I realize the issue of abortion pushes emotional buttons, but here are my thoughts – again – and why I will be marching tomorrow in D.C. with them.
Imagine a world without Andrea Bocelli or Beethoven – what a dull place. No beautiful tenor’s voice melting your heart or truly great music (Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, one of the most amazing choral pieces ever, his 9th Symphony, his 5th, or, good grief, any of his music!) But despite potential birth defect challenges, their mothers chose life… as did mine (thankfully) & yours (obviously.)
Since January 22, 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe vs. Wade, however, many mothers & mothers-to-be have not chosen life. Thousands are marching for Life in Washington, DC to raise awareness of these little ones who are no more – an estimated 50 million over the past 44 years.
44 very long years for this issue to polarize & desensitize us to the real issues at stake: the human rights of little ones who can’t speak for themselves… and wise choices, responsibility, education, respect (of all shapes & sizes), and love.
Abortion is such a divisive issue. For some reason, it’s been easier for me to stand between soldiers shooting children in a conflict zone than to speak out on this. Kinda weird for an ‘in-your-face, hey soldier, can’t you see that’s a child you’re shooting?’ gal, but I have friends across the political spectrum & after working in the HIV/AIDS arena in Africa (saving lives) many dear colleagues have very differing views.
I respect their views. I’m so grateful for friendships & amazing work done together and I understand there are many issues at stake, especially women’s rights. I have supported women’s rights for eons, working many years in programs that empowered women in difficult places where few rights and little opportunity exist.
As an outspoken juggernaut working overseas in my 20s I asked the visiting male CEO of our large relief & development agency, “we are all about empowering women in our projects, why aren’t there more women National Directors & Vice Presidents?” (Not shy was I!)
As a university student, I thought women should decide and that there should be more education & prevention available, so women wouldn’t face such a heavy choice of life vs. death inside them. Then a friend and I memorized Psalm 139. Gradually, (it took a few years) those verses moved from recitation in the mind to the inner recesses of my heart.
“…For You created my inmost being, You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You for I am fearfully & wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works; and that my soul knows right well…”
…to a change of views, views for the most part privately held and not the kind of thing to march about. But a few years ago, Kathleen, a friend from church, encouraged me to participate in the March for Life.
What an amazing experience.
We started with a 6:30a.m. church service, then prayed our way on the buses up to D.C. where we joined thousands upon thousands of people: young, old, students (elementary – high school – university – grad school), pastors, priests, nuns, short-haired, long-haired guys, and folks from all over the country. There were Baptist church signs next to Knights of Columbus, folks singing, praying (lots of that going on all over.)
All raising voices for the voiceless Little Ones… so dear to the Heart of Jesus, so close to the heart of God, our Creator, the Giver of Life, & so close to the Heart of Mary. (Oops, tilt go the heads of my non-Catholic friends! But for sure, as the Mother of Jesus, go figure Little Ones are close to her Heart. She also asked Jesus to look after turning water into wine at a wedding feast, so she is more than, more than alright in my book.)
Mothers are little-life-generators. How noble to be a mother, not an easy job with diaper disasters, scraped knees, terrible teens and all that. Being a mama is tough. Kinda intimidating if you’re young, unmarried & pregnant.
My sister, Cindy, worked in a Crisis Pregnancy center years ago in a conservative area of North Carolina. Many gals from secular backgrounds were open to having their babies if they could figure out ways to support them, whereas girls from conservative Christian homes tended to choose abortion: “our families won’t understand.”
Egads! It’s not just laws that need changing!
Hearts need to change – (as always, mine 1st.) Maybe if we didn’t spend so much time judging, more young girls faced with this challenge might actually choose life.
I am so grateful to God for my Mama. After delivering my oldest sister, Shere, she almost died 9 hours later during toxemia convulsions. After 10 days of round-the-clock nurses she survived, but despite these challenges she went on to have 4 more little ones (since I am #4 of 5, glad she & Papa kept going! : )
Thank you, Mama, for your love & choosing life (5 times!)
Praying that God will transform hearts on Capitol Hill, in the White House, our State Houses, churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, schools, universities… the hearts of fathers, mothers & mothers-to-be… with love for the unborn, the Little Ones.
Imagine a world without Andrea Bocelli or Beethoven…
Imagine a world without me or you!
Grace, peace & LIFE (for the Little Ones!)
Here’s a thought-provoking quote from one of my heroes, Mother Teresa:
“We are talking of love of the child which is where love and peace must begin… I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?
How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child…. (Mother Teresa, 1994 National Prayer Breakfast address)
p.s.2. Here’s a video of Andrea Bocelli explaining the choice his mother made..