Today, January 22, is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion across the country. There have been at least 56 million abortions since Roe. (1)
In Catholic churches, a special Mass is held for the unborn, called, “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.” And this weekend, pro-life rallies will be held throughout the country.
Probably no issue has troubled me more than this one; no issue has made me do a l80 like this one: from fervent abortion activist and clinic worker in my young adulthood to pro-life.
And, yet, I still struggle with this one because I understand the intense emotions on both sides. I realize how incredibly threatened, frightened, and angry women become when they envision abortion rights being limited.
You see, we live in a hook-up culture; we live in a world that teaches girls from a very young age that they must be sexually active as soon as they can, with experimentation and multiple partners mandatory.
Girls (and boys, for that matter) learn that it is normal to be promiscuous from a young age. They are programmed to believe that the more sexual they are, the more empowered. Conversely, being chaste means something is seriously wrong with them. Out here, youth are told that they must try both genders as well to truly be normal.
And we all know how important it is for young people to feel like everyone else. . .how difficult it is for them to be perceived as different than the pack. Even though many of our young don’t want to have sex, don’t feel ready for it, and feel scared and uncomfortable, many, if not most, give in to pressure from peers and the sex-obsessed media.
In college, things get even worse. Without the oversight of parents, these young people, unsupervised and left to their own devices, can spiral quickly out of control. Of course, none of this promiscuity stops post-graduation, as perpetual adolescence may go on and on well into one’s 30s.
This is where the passion around legalized abortion comes in, especially for the girls. They are pushed and groomed to be practically nymphomaniacs; they put themselves in high-risk situations, where alcohol and drugs are present and nonconsensual sex a possibility. Of course females think that it is completely unacceptable for society to rob them of their one way out of an unwanted pregnancy. Because they can’t easily say no to casual sex, their only “no,” is having an abortion.
Here’s the formula: a promiscuous society with rape as a real possibility equals the demand for abortion. A culture of throw-away relationships and easy divorce often leaves women on their own to survive. While I have become pro-life myself (having finally recognized that the “pregnancy tissue” vacuumed out is indeed a life, God’s creation), still I understand the desperation of women in this culture. Their bodies, minds, and spirits have been stripped of any dignity by the steady drumbeat of this lurid, twisted culture that they give their bodies to whomever.
In women’s minds, their only recourse when a random encounter or a casual relationship or a rape turns into a human being is fleeing to their local Planned Parenthood. Sadly, tragically, this is not going to change anytime soon.
Unless this culture evolves from a pornographic one that practically turns our females into prostitutes, desperate women will demand abortions. They will refuse to see that they are terminating a human life; and for some, they will see but refuse to even care. The life they are saving, they think, is their own.
(1) In defiance of federal mandates, the State of California has always refused to keep statistics on the number of abortions. So there are millions more abortions than the reported number.
There are many casualties when it comes to the tragedy of abortion. Let’s please all pray today for the children, but also the mothers and father and even grandparents impacted by the heartache of abortion. Let’s also pray for the clinic workers, who are exposed to horrifying, traumatizing scenes. (I know this first-hand, and the images are forever burned into my memory.)
Anyone who needs healing from abortion can contact Rachel’s Vineyard, a faith-based program. And remember that our amazing God of healing and mercy is always ready to forgive us and to welcome us home, no matter what we have done.
I’d like to end here with some lyrics from a 1970s-era song by Graham Parker that has always deeply affected me, called, “You Can’t Be Too Strong.” I’d also suggest listening to the song on Youtube. The anger and pain in Graham Parker’s voice haunting. (Be forewarned: the lyrics are disturbing.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVeR7VLLQc8
Did they tear it out with talons of steel
And give you a shot, so that you wouldn’t feel?
And wash it away as if it wasn’t real?
It’s just a mistake I won’t have to face
Don’t give it a name, don’t give it a place
Don’t give it a chance, it’s lucky in a way
It must have felt strange to find me inside you
I hadn’t intended to stay
If you want to keep it right, put it to sleep at night
Squeeze it until it could say
You can’t be too strong
You can’t be too strong. . .
You decide what’s wrong
Well I ain’t gonna cry, I’m gonna rejoice
And shout myself dry and go see the boys
They’ll laugh when I say I left it overseas
Yeah babe, I know it gets dark, down by Luna Park
But everybody else is squeezing out a spark
That happened in the heat, somewhere in the dark, in the dark
The doctor gets nervous completing the service
He’s all rubber gloves and no head
Yes, he fumbles the light switch, it’s just another minor hitch
Wishes to God he was dead
But you can’t be too strong
You can’t be too strong. . .
You decide what’s wrong
Can’t be too hard
Too tough, too rough
Too right, too wrong
And you can’t be too strong. . .