Abortion Affects Us All
A friend from home became pregnant her freshman year of college. She didn't want to have a baby. It may have been the worst possible thing to happen to her. She started to starve herself and drank. She told me how she would throw herself on the ground and try to do violent things to hurt her baby. Her mom scheduled an abortion for her. She miscarried the day before her appointment. She told me that she feels like she killed her child. She's still in therapy today.
A friend's mom from home had two abortions. Her husband had left her and she had a problem with drinking. My friend would tell me how she'd have to comfort her mom at night. She would wake up crying. She had dreams of her children. They aged in the dreams. She had given them names. She has to see a therapist too.
A friend of the family had an abortion many years ago. She was happy with three children. It almost killed her. She had to lose her reproductive organs. She's out of therapy now, but the physical effects are lasting.
Two years ago, a college student in my home state had a baby. She hadn't told anyone she was pregnant, and what college student is ready to be a mom? She and her boyfriend strangled the baby. They were charged with second degree murder. I heard someone say the charge should have been practicing medicine without a license. He wasn't kidding.
I have, frequently, gotten the notion that people in the Right to Life movement are perceived as insensitive people, or that we want to force our morality upon others without any consideration of how it may affect their lives. I do not feel this is accurate. For one, abortion is as much an issue of morality as any sort of freedom. Abortion is the removal of the status of "person" from the unborn, and, in the case of partial birth abortions, even the partially unborn.
Removing "person" status is not a new concept. It was the basis of slavery. They weren't persons, but property. Can anyone remember the exploits of Hitler? He sought to remove the weak, the poor, the handicapped, the unproductive from society along with the Jews, blacks and religious. We now do so with ones likely to be poor, handicapped or weak, but we do it before they are born. We look back now and ask, "How could such things happen?" We only need to look around today.
Women are being exploited by abortion. In the stories I have mentioned, you can see situations where society would have frowned upon someone for having a baby. Political and social leaders have an interest in keeping people from increasing the population in poverty-stricken areas. There is often an intent to prevent suffering by ending the potential to suffer, but at the same time, the potential to live is lost. In addition, in most cases, abortion leaves at least one dead and one wounded.
For these reasons, I find myself compelled to try to be an active member in the Right to Life movement. I am not an eloquent writer, a greater thinker or an extreme sort of guy. I just do not want to be a part of a time like this, where a viable option is to end the life of one's child. I do not want be a part of the suffering that abortion has caused, but I am.
The ND RTL club wants to help fight abortion, but not through standing on a soap box and denouncing all non pro-life heathens to hell. We realize and try to comprehend the immense suffering and difficulties that may be and are suffered by mothers who abort children. Because of this, club activities are developed around prayer, service and education. The circumstances around abortion are often what is so hard. No one should turn to abortion because they believe it is her only choice.
Last year, we had Olivia Gans come to speak about post-abortion syndrome. Dr. Joel Brind discussed abortion and breast cancer. This year, continuing past services, we will send volunteers to the Women's Care Center, a local crisis pregnancy center, and donate money to support its clients. We will have a baby shower for a teen mother at Hannah's House in Mishawaka, home to pregnant teens/new mothers.
This year, we wanted to expand our club activities. The Feminists for Life Pregnancy Resources Forum, this month, will explore University policies on pregnant students and look into what help exists for students who are pregnant. A couple of excellent speakers will come. There is Dawn Kober, who attended a pro-choice march and then learned her parents tried to abort her, and Barbara Burlingham Brown, who does crisis pregnancy and adoption work for St. Joseph County Catholic Charities.
On our wish-list of things to do, we would like to babysit for children at the Center for the Homeless and for students with children, but both would require administrative approval and, more importantly, volunteers.
ND RTL also has many other pro-life service opportunities, from visiting to St. Joseph County hospice, to visiting prisons or participating in the Logan Center dance. There are educational opportunities in the annual March for Life, debate workshops, Cemetery of the Innocents and the Evangelium Vitae study group. In addition, many prayer ventures are sponsored by ND RTL, such as rosary, Stations of the Cross, Litany for Life and Mass.
But to do all these things, commitment is needed. It is easy to get caught up in being a student, a parent or a professional. But every day, 4,400 unborn babies do die. Many of their mothers become scarred. People will look back and ask how we could let this happen. Do something to be a part of what changes this.
Another friend from home is having her first child in January. She already has her first family video of her new baby. She knows that it's a baby girl, and saw her heart beating. There's even a part where it looks like she's sucking her thumb.
Tomorrow, she could walk into a clinic and have a "doctor" "terminate" her pregnancy. Maybe her fiancé broke up with her. Maybe she loses her job, or is scared she may. She might have just decided she's not ready for her life to change. Let us make sure that she always has someone to turn to, some other avenue. The baby will still have little fingers and little toes. And yes, the baby might have some bad habits, but if we allow her, she might grow out of them.
Mario Suarez is a senior computer science and government major and a member of Right to Life.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
All Viewpoint Stories for Tuesday, September 7, 1999