I recently wrote a blog titled “The War Against Crisis Pregnancy Centers Escalates” about the attacks on crisis pregnancy centers after the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision returning abortion law to the individual states was outrageously leaked.
Now that the final Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision is public, the violence against crisis pregnancy centers and churches has continued with few if any arrests.
However, now even pro-life individuals have been targeted.
For example, an 84-year-old pro-life volunteer was shot on Sept. 20 while going door-to-door in her community to talk about a ballot measure concerning abortion in Michigan. Thankfully, she is expected to recover.
Even more disturbing and over the last weekend, was the news that the FBI raided the home of a pro-life advocate Mark Houck and arrested him in front of his 7 crying children for the alleged crime of “Assaulting a Reproductive Health Care Provider”.
According to the National Review, Mrs. Houck “described an incident in which her husband ‘shoved’ a pro-abortion man away from his 12-year-old son after the man entered ‘the son’s personal space’ and refused to stop hurling ‘crude… inappropriate and disgusting’ comments at the Houcks.” The man did not sustain any injuries but did try to sue Houck. The charges were later dismissed.
WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO RESOLVE THE NATIONAL TURMOIL SURROUNDING ABORTION?
I was a young intensive care unit nurse when the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision came down in 1973. Like most people I knew, I was surprised and shocked when abortion was legalized. However, I quickly found that my medical colleagues were split on the issue, and I was vehemently attacked for being against abortion. I was even asked what I would do if I was raped and pregnant. When I replied that I would not have an abortion and would probably release the baby for adoption, I was ridiculed. Our formerly cohesive unit began to fray.
But I was professionally offended by the pro-life argument that legalizing abortion would lead to the legalization of infanticide and euthanasia.
It was one thing to deny the truth with an early and unobserved unborn baby, but it was quite another to imagine any doctor or nurse looking at a born human being and killing him or her.
But I was wrong.
As I wrote in my 2019 blog “Roe v. Wade’s Disastrous Impact on Medical Ethics”, personal and professional experiences opened my eyes to the truth.
I have seen the push for “choice” to expand to abortion for any reason up to birth, infanticide and medical discrimination against people with disabilities, including my own daughter who had Down Syndrome.
I wasn’t long until “choice” also became the heart of the “right to die” movement to include to include legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia, withdrawal of feedings from people with serious brain injuries whose “choice” was exercised by family members or doctors and even the voluntary stopping of eating and drinking (called VSED by the pro-death-choice group Compassion and Choices).
With VSED, Compassion & Choices maintains that:
“Many people struggle with the unrelieved suffering of a chronic or incurable and progressive disorder. Others may decide that they are simply “done” after eight or nine decades of a fully lived life. Free will and the ability to choose are cornerstones of maintaining one’s quality of life and dignity in their final days”. (All emphasis added)
I have long preferred the term “respect life” to “anti-abortion” because obviously we should respect the lives of all people at any age or stage of development.
But this doesn’t mean anger or vilification of others.
Over the years I have written, spoken, debated, etc. people who do not agree with the respect life philosophy, but I never became angry.
I also found that listening to and not judging others-especially people in crisis-was crucially important.
For example and many years ago, I ran into an acquaintance I will call Diane and I congratulated her on her obvious pregnancy.
I was stunned when she replied, “Don’t congratulate me yet. I might not be pregnant.”
Diane, the mother of a 5-year-old boy, went on to explain that she was awaiting the results of an amniocentesis and said, “I know what you went through with your daughter but I can’t give up my life like that. If this (the baby) is Downs, it’s gone.”
I reassured her that the test would almost surely show that her baby was ok, but I added that if the results were not what she expected I would like her to call me. I promised that I would give her any help she needed throughout the pregnancy and that my husband and I or even another couple would be willing to adopt her baby. She was surprised, as I later found out, both by my reaction and the information about adoption.
Diane gave birth to a healthy baby girl a few months later and ran up to me to apologize for her comments, saying that she probably would not have had an abortion anyway. But I understood her terrible anxiety. Society itself seems to have a rather schizophrenic attitude towards children with disabilities. Special Olympics is considered inspirational but Down’s Syndrome is too often seen as a tragedy.
Whether it is abortion or legalized assisted suicide, we must be prepared to help desperate people either personally and/or referring them to a crisis pregnancy center or suicide hotline.
Every life deserves to be respected.