I was going to write a post speaking to all the young people I have spent time with this summer - I was going to talk to them about how important it is to build a relationship with Christ that does not just depend on a conference "high," but is a lasting, strong relationship.
I was going to do that, but it can wait for the moment because my heart is broken. My relationship with Christ has compelled me to take a stand against the greatest evil of our time. It seems almost trivial to write about anything with such a broken heart in the midst of the horrifying videos that have been released showing the inner-workings of Planned Parenthood.
I taught at an all-girls high school for two years. It was a place where I could not talk about abortion because so many of the young women believed that it is our right as women to abort a child we do not want - and they were not afraid to vehemently proclaim it. A discussion always turned into a heated and angry debate, with the pro-life students being belittled and forced into silence. It happens in our Catholic schools and Catholic churches all the time...people being silent about abortion because it is too much of a "hot-button" topic. Don't stir the pot, they say. Some people in the pews and desks are pro-choice, let's keep the peace and not mention it, they say.
I am done not mentioning it.
Many young women I have worked with (and millions of other Americans, for that matter) have been duped by our society into believing that the unborn are clumps of tissue- that if they are not wanted they can be killed - that if I am a woman I get to choose what to do with my body. Many of them believe these things because they have never seen the reality of abortion. My young students raised their voices from their desks about how pro-choice they are, then got angry when people held pro-life signs outside of our school, signs with pictures of aborted babies. How dare they, they would say. "Don't you see?" I wanted to ask them lovingly. When you say you are pro-choice, this is what you are saying you support. If you truly believe what you say you believe, these signs should not bother you in the least.
I have a continual deep sadness when I think about the confusion of these girls, sadness over conversations with people who have looked me in the face and told me that a fetus is "no less than a parasite on a woman's body," unthinkable sadness at the way our country lets this go on, turning a blind eye to this modern-day holocaust. My heart is broken over it all.
And today, I saw something I will never be able to unsee. A tiny little arm picked up by tweezers in the lab at Planned Parenthood. It is captured in the 5th video released by the Center for Medical Progress. It is something I never would have seen in real time if not for the valiant steps of the undercover investigators to go as far into Planned Parenthood as they did. Their bravery leaves me in awe. This investigator, posing as someone looking into purchasing aborted baby parts, stands around casually talking about the babies with the ladies working there. He asks if he can see any of the "specimens" (aborted babies), and the woman laughs and smiles.
"We had a really long day, and they're all mixed up together in a bag."
All these young souls, the unborn, precious children. Mixed up together in a bag like trash, then dumped into a Pyrex dish so the man can see all the pieces of them.
This is what I want to show all the confused people, young and old, who have told me that abortion is our right as women and forever should remain our right. This is what I want to show all the people who have told me that they are personally against abortion but that they feel they have no say in what other people do. We have a say in what other people do when the unborn are dismembered and thrown into trash bags, when they are sold for their lungs and their bones, when they are treated as money.
I want to show them these videos and talk to them. Face to face. Not over Twitter, or Facebook, and not in anger, contempt, or condemnation...but with love. I want to have loving conversations with anyone who is still pro-choice, who supports Planned Parenthood, who is on the fence about abortion, who was happy that the bill did not pass yesterday. I want to help their heart come to understand the reality of what is going on.
Not only do I want to talk with those who still support abortion, I desperately want to talk to the women right now considering abortion. I want to sit with them and love them and listen to them. I want to show them pictures of my friends who cannot conceive, who are doing everything they can to sacrifice and fund raise to be able to adopt any unwanted child. I want to help direct them to the countless pregnancy counseling centers all over America, where selfless people I know dedicate so much of their time and effort to doing everything they can for women who feel they cannot raise the child in their womb. I want to point them to the love and mercy of God. I want to help and but most days feel helpless in this fight to help these women come to know Christ and come to know the possibilities of incredible life and love apart from abortion.
And though I often feel helpless, I will continue to pray. I will continue to do my part in the fight against abortion. I will continue to speak up on the issue. I will not be belittled into silence. I will continue to teach young people that they were given a soul at the moment of their conception, that each individual life God painted into existence begins at that very moment. I will continue to teach young women of their dignity and self-worth, in hopes that when they do become pregnant, it is in the context of a loving and sacramental marriage - and if not, that they know the child within them has the same endless worth and dignity that they do.
What part can you play in helping raise awareness, in helping end the tragedy of abortion?
My prayer today is that God may bring all the souls involved in this great tragedy to deep conversion, and that He may help us act with great love and with steadfast conviction in this very important turning point for our country and in our world.