I recently found myself awake in the middle of the night thinking about abortion.
With a nursing baby, it’s quite usual for me to wake several times a night. Being middle-aged, it’s not unusual for me to have trouble sleeping on occasion. But, sadly, thinking about the horrors of abortion is not something I often do.
It’s not a pleasant thing to think about. But is that a reasonable excuse?
It’s so easy to disparage those living in Nazi Germany for not doing enough—or anything—to stop the Holocaust. How could so many ordinary people let such atrocities happen in their midst? True, the system became very tyrannical and it would take heroism to oppose it. But how could they let that regime take over their democratic country and get so powerful in the first place?
But am I in any position to criticize? In my own corner of the world, am I doing enough to stop the holocaust of innocents in my own community? Sure, the government has raised the stakes—I can’t peacefully block clinic doors and get arrested merely for a day anymore; now such peaceful civil disobedience could result in the loss of everything or years in jail. Paul’s words on how being single frees one up from such concerns comes to mind; I have to raise my children.
But even so, there are other avenues open to me. Besides praying, supporting pro-life organizations, educating myself and others, I can also participate in prayer protests. Right now, 40 Days for Life is underway in over 300 locations. This is a particularly powerful campaign, but I don’t have to limit my prayer to those 40-day periods. There are many groups who pray outside abortion clinics every Saturday year-round. I can also help pregnancy centers in a myriad of ways.
And the next few weeks offer a huge opportunity to make a difference. This year’s election is critical for many reasons. One may hear a lot about the economy, but the issue of abortion is more important. (Hitler, after all, did great things for the German economy.) During the next term, the President will very likely choose at least one new Supreme Court justice, which will impact the court’s balance one way or the other. Obamacare is already geared up to swell abortion, plus it gives the Administration tremendous leeway to expand it even further. The results of this election—not only for the White House but also in Congress—will likely amount to a watershed moment in our country.
It’s not enough to go and vote to protect the littlest little guys. We must also try to encourage others to do the same. I’m not only volunteering to educate voters and help get the vote out—something I’ve never done before—but also trying to get others to do the same.
Horrific as their plight is, it’s not just “little ones” (the meaning of fetus) who are affected. Both women and men suffer from post-abortion trauma. My friend and spiritual director, the late Fr. Blair Raum, was the head of Project Rachel in Baltimore and provided post-abortion counseling. He told me that, over and over again, these women would tell him, “The day I had my abortion was the day I entered hell.”
Many of them have been lied to; they were told that the fetus is just a “blob of tissue.” The vast majority of women who see their little ones via ultrasound see a baby not a blob, and choose not to abort. They’re lied to about the possible complications, only to find themselves bleeding from unintended wounds, or sterile, or with breast cancer years later; some of them die. There are emotional wounds as well; many post-abortive women become depressed, turn to alcohol or drugs, or even attempt suicide. Most relationships with the father don’t survive the abortion; subsequent relationships are also negatively affected.
A number of those who have left the abortion industry indicate that it is founded on deception. Dr. Bernard Nathanson admitted later that he lied before the Supreme Court during the Roe v. Wade proceedings, exponentially exaggerating the number of women who died in illegal abortions. Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” in that case, says now that she wasn’t even pregnant. Carol Everett, who owned several clinics, reports in her book Blood Money a whole system of lies in the business. Notably, she states that the reason behind getting contraceptives to young people is to produce unwanted pregnancies and provide clients for abortions, in other words, to keep the money rolling in. With regard to abortion, they lied about the fetus, they lied about the procedure, they lied about the risks. It was all about the money.
Planned Parenthood, in particular, has a vile foundation. Margaret Sanger admired Hitler, promoted eugenics, and founded PP in part to reduce the births of African Americans. Many maintain that racism is still intertwined with the organization, pointing to the fact that most of its clinics are located in minority neighborhoods.
While little ones are being ripped apart, limb by limb, in their mothers’ wombs, while mothers and fathers are suffering from post-abortion trauma syndrome, while I know all this, the surprising thing is that I can get any sleep at all.