I hesitated before writing this post. I have friends on polar opposite ends of the abortion spectrum, and I know how passionately you feel about the issue, whether for or against. I hope you can read this with an open mind and open heart. But then again, if you’re any friend of mine, I already know you will.
Recently, while driving down two-lanes in rural Kansas, I’ve seen two separate handmade billboards positioned in pastures facing the highway. One, I agree with, and one, I vehemently oppose. The first simply said:
Life – God’s Most Precious Gift
I absolutely believe this is a true statement. After having felt my daughters growing in me and seeing firsthand the miracle that is human life, there’s no fiber of my being that believes otherwise. But here’s the thing. I can’t explain why God would allow a rape victim to become impregnated, or why He allowed a baby to form in my Fallopian tube with no chance of survival. It’s growth caused my tube to tear, causing internal bleeding and an emergency surgery to save my life. I can’t answer these questions. And for that reason I know it’s not a black or white issue. And it should be treated with the utmost sensitivity and respect.
And the second:
Now, the verbiage of this sign was obviously hostile, but that’s not what bothered me. It was the picture. Or drawing, rather. It was a crude stick-figure baby, with limbs dismembered and splatters of blood all around. Now, I understand the point. To shock and awe. But really, who are you trying to reach? The woman who’s had an abortion and is too ashamed to tell her family? Hmm, your sign probably made her feel awesome. The teenage girl who doesn’t know where to turn? Hmm, she’ll probably be less likely to seek support from a Pro-Life pregnancy crisis center if she thinks that’s what you’re all about. To me, and this is just my opinion, it seemed to be someone’s misguided attempt to make themselves feel better about their own morality, rather than to actually make a positive impact.
But, this post isn’t about billboards. It’s about my brother. You see, although I consider myself Pro-Life, I often cringe when I see Pro-Life billboards, t-shirts and other materials? Why? Because I feel that not near enough effort has been put forth to save the BORN, and yet people will shake their fists and wave their signs to save the unborn. People will travel across the country by the thousands to March for Life. But, where was the march for his life? Where was the outrage, the sign-holding, the homemade billboards, the t-shirts, the shouting? The fervor is there. The passion is there. Just not for victims of clergy sexual abuse.
My brother’s life mattered, and so did the lives of the other five suicide victims his perpetrator molested. (And countless other victims.) They never should have been exposed to a pedophile priest. They never should have had to endure years of shame and guilt. They should be alive. They should be alive. If only ten percent of the effort of saving the unborn was put towards saving the born, the children who made it into this world, where would we be?
That’s all I have for now. I don’t want this to turn into a debate, but I feel like I needed to speak on behalf of the clergy-abuse survivor movement, who struggle with this issue. I’m not telling anyone where they should stand on abortion. But I should hope that if life is precious, all life is precious, then we can agree that children outside of the womb need protection, too.