By: Catherine Phillips, Students for Life of America’s 2012 Missionary for Lif
I’m standing here (well sitting, in reality), at the end of 9 weeks spent in DC working for the pro-life cause.
I’m wondering, how can I write a post that can justly put a concluding thought on this experience?
I’m realizing, that only a post about love will do it. So bear with me.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said during the fight for civil rights: “Whom you would change, you must first love. And they must know that you love them.”
By love here, I am not talking about the fleeting feeling. I’m talking the true, intense, know-it-when-you-experience type of love that desires the best for someone without expecting anything in return. As Aquinas defined it, love is “willing the good of the other.”
This conviction to “will the good of the other” is where being pro-life starts. We are against abortion because we will the good of all people. We will the good of pregnant women, knowing that abortion is never a choice that brings peace or solution to their crisis; we will the good of the unborn, recognizing their humanity and refusing to end their lives for the sake of our own; and we will the good of our friends both pro-life and pro-choice, wanting to spread the truth we have found in the message of life.
We know that abortion is not the answer to our society’s problems. What a woman in a crisis pregnancy needs is love and support; she needs to be empowered to continue living her life as she desires without submitting to an abortion, the killing of her child, as her best choice. The preborn that are not “wanted” children by their mothers do not need to be killed out of mercy; they need to be protected and cared for. And your compassionate friend concerned for social issues needs to keep probing the issues until she sees that supporting women and supporting abortion are inconsistent ideologies.
“Fear is easy, love is hard” is a lyric from a song by Jason Gray. I think this phrase applies perfectly to the pro-life movement. It’s arguably way easier to submit to an abortion out of fear than to courageously choose life in perhaps a situation more difficult than most of us could imagine. It’s easier to ignore the realities about abortion out of fear that we can’t make a difference, than to take action out of love and remain hopeful. It’s easier to shrink in fear than to defend being pro-life.
But being pro-life is rooted in love for the other, both the woman and the child. It is about reawakening our society to the rights of the preborn, and embracing, instead of rejecting, the sacredness of motherhood. And truly, our generation needs an awakening. We need to be convicted that the taking of over 3,000 lives every day is something to be concerned about.
A fellow Missionary, Anne, authored this statement: “I will not go back to coat hanger abortions. I will not stay here with no other choice but to abort my own child. I will go forward to a society where both I and my child receive full rights and respect.”
So what do I do from here, after a summer of pro-life activism?
I will go forward in love, despite any fear. I hope you will too.