Feb. 14, Feast of St. Valentine, bishop and martyr.
to know there is hope after abortion #ProjectRachel // a society that doesn't force them to choose freedom at the expense of their children // not to be murdered in the womb for being the wrong gender
I'm a one-issue voter. It's hard for me to imagine funneling energy into other issues if we can't first secure the right to life. Without life, all other rights are rendered obsolete. I believe that if a politician, public figure, or party endorses abortion, it's a deal-breaker. That said, the fight for life shouldn't end at birth. The sidewalk counselors oughtn't to wipe their hands of the women they just talked out of a permanent decision--praise be to God! That first, initial victory over death is only one of many, many more battles. The culture of death is called a culture because it permeates everything. It's in our attitudes, our visions of beauty, our food and clothing choices, our entertainment. Our work isn't done as soon as the innocent child is born alive. It should only have begun.
I have struggled in this culture of death. I was naive when I married, and almost certainly not ready (having nothing whatsoever to do with my actual age and everything to do with psychological maturity). I found myself pregnant three months later, after a very rocky initiation into real life. We had no work, no means of income, and no hope for either of those two things to change in the foreseeable future. People I loved and cared for, people whose opinions mattered to me, said all the right, "pro-life" things, but I could hear their internal head-shaking as loudly as if they were screaming at me. Acquaintances gave me sideways glances at Mass. My mother cried. I felt like an unwed-and-pregnant, teen-aged high school drop-out. Never mind that I had a Master's degree and was validly married in the Church.
It was my father--my stern, pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps father--who silenced all further woebegone what-might-have-beens with a single sword-like sentence: "We welcome all life in this house."
But that wasn't the end of hardship. I had terrible, day-long morning sickness. I lost weight. After two and half days of keeping nothing down, not even water, I was so weak and miserable I dragged myself to the emergency room to have anti-nausea meds pumped into my through an IV. When the sickness subsided, the preeclampsia set in.
When my baby was born, I suffered severe post-pardum depression; anemia; recurring UTI's; inexplicable and disabling body aches. My son never slept; my husband couldn't take care of him; my parents, whom we had moved in with, were overtaxed and overworked. They were frustrated with the added burdens. I was weak and exhausted and emotionally a wreck and without health insurance. My husband worked a minimum wage job part-time hours.
Fast forward two years. We moved into a tiny but affordable apartment. My husband managed fairly well at a better-paying job for a short period of time, the job the vocational rehabilitation department got for him. After six bounced checks; gasoline poured, libation-like, into the hour-and-a-half long one-way commute (I drove, my husband didn't have a license and we couldn't afford to add him to insurance) only to be told, "We're taking the day off today, go home;" and manipulating him into saying he was quitting so they didn't have to pay unemployment, my husband booked a one-way-ticket back to his home country. I worked a minimum wage job, and only just found a part-time something that paid a little better in September. My husband sends us money when he can.
Today, we are incredibly blessed. We have food, shelter, and happiness. It took us a long time to finally get here, but we did.
Yesterday, my little boy turned 3 years old. If society had it's way, he wouldn't be alive. Why is that? Why is it that it's easier for Planned Parenthood to grab a fistful of money and cut up a perfectly formed human being than it is for our communities to offer positive support, giving dignity to the whole woman, as well as her baby? What are we doing to make sure life is treated--before and after birth--as the sacred, worthwhile thing it is?
Whatever we do to improve the lives of all human beings, women included, it starts with the womb. Let's just make sure it doesn't end there.
". . . If we could see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse. . . But the influence of children goes further than its first trifling effort of remaking heaven and earth. It forces us actually to remodel our conduct in accordance with this revolutionary theory of the marvelousness of all things. We do actually treat talking in children as marvelous, walking in children as marvelous, common intelligence in children as marvelous. . . [and] that attitude towards children is right. It is our attitude towards grown up people that is wrong. . ."--G.K. Chesterton