I have one memory from my women's studies class in college that will stay with me forever. It happened on January 22. As class was ending, a girl nearby looked at me and said, "Hey, if you want to come, we're all having cake on the lawn this afternoon to celebrate Roe v. Wade." I don't remember her name or what she looked like. I only remember how instantaneously disgusted I was in this short exchange.
Women celebrating the killing of innocent lives with celebratory cake. Is this the reality of the world I live in?
I was so stunned and confused by this offer I couldn't muster any sort of response as to why the killing of babies is not something to be rejoiced in. I could only utter, "I'm actually pro-life...so, no."
The years since this moment have gone on to make me more passionate about abortion, the dignity of all human life, and the greatness of the mission God has for every woman. I have spoken with too many teen girls who have been raised in a society that tells them that killing children is acceptable...they are raised to believe that it's just what we do.
Recently, I was at Franciscan University for a conference with the band. We were praying in the chapel on campus and as we walked outside of this chapel, we saw the Tomb of the Unborn, where the remains of seven aborted babies are buried. I was standing behind a friend as I heard him say, "Man. He would have been born a few months before me." I closer to the grave.
Agnes. January 21, 1989.
She pierces my heart immediately. I was born on July 28, 1989, about 6 months after Agnes was taken from this world. A flood of emotions comes over me, and I want to scream at the unfairness that I was given the opportunity to live and she wasn't.
The opportunity to live is a beautiful thing. This planet is full of so many beautiful places and so many fascinating people - we get to do things like make friends, sing songs, soak in sunsets, fall in love, swim in the ocean, ride bicycles, love people, and walk along the wonderful journey of life with Christ...all things Agnes was never given the opportunity to do.
And though my heart is overcome with sadness, I am angry in this moment. I am angry that our culture champions the fact that because Agnes was unwanted, she was allowed to be killed. I am angry that I get to live out the plan God has written for my life and she does not. I'm mad that she will never know the beauty of creation, the gift of laughter, the wild roller coaster of life's ups and downs, the beauty of friendship, and all those breathtaking moments in life that fill you with wonder and awe.
And I am mad that women who think they are having cake to celebrate women's reproductive rights are actually celebrating Agnes' death.
So as this week brings all my sadness and anger and bewilderment to the forefront of my thoughts and emotions, I pray as I always do...that the tragic injustice of the killing of innocent life will one day come to an end. We pray for the healing of the hearts and souls of all those here on Earth so deeply affected by abortion - mothers, fathers, and families. And in my own small way I will continue to press on and teach young women about their inherent dignity and the dignity of all so that one day, if they do become pregnant, married or unmarried, ideal situation or extremely difficult situation - they will choose to honor life and carry out the greatness of their mission as a woman. I can only teach, encourage, and love them and hope that, under their care of the care of another family aching for a child, they will give the baby inside of them the same gift you and I received - the opportunity to be dazzled by this life.