Once Upon a Time I Ran
“Hello Abby, any news on that baby yet? If not, you can join us for the March for life on Sunday. That will for sure get things started.”
I couldn't help but laugh as I listened to the voicemail from an elderly lady from church. She is hands down the most pro-life woman I have ever met! For as long as I can remember, she has been advocating for babies and their right to life. I have childhood memories of marching at the Minnesota State capital with this woman as our fearless leader. Now, 15 years later, she is still leading the charge by rallying up a crew of people to march on the capitol steps. This happens every year on the anniversary of Roe Vs. Wade, January 22. The date that legalized the right to abortion in the United States.
The abortion controversy is a heavy topic for many people. “What about the rape victims?’ “Is it really fair to the child if they are severely disabled?” “Children cost money; she is already living below the poverty line as it is.” These are all valid points, but wouldn’t you agree that a life is a life?
I have always said that I was pro-life, I have always voted pro-life but that is as far as my pro-life advocacy went. I avoided tough conversations and was very surface level about my opinion, avoiding conflict at all cost.
But about a year ago I took a deeper plunge into the pro-life movement. I agreed to pray at the local Planned Parenthood for an hour a week during the 40-days for life campaign. This hour was spent walking in front of the building and praying for an end to abortion. Taking a stance by publicly showing I was pro-life felt empowering. Regardless of the aggressive honks and middle fingers that were received, I was quick to sign up for another shift this past fall. This time, I was walking with a bright yellow “Pray for the end of Abortion” sign and rockin’ a baby bump!
There is a heartbreaking parallel between our current abortion crisis and the massacre of the Holy Innocents just after the birth of Jesus. Shortly after the visit of the Magi in the Gospel of Matthew, King Herod orders an execution of all male children who are two years of age or younger and live in the vicinity of Bethlehem. It was a clear and selfish motive to destroy the chance of a new ruler taking over. After the Magi inquired where to find the Newborn Baby King they did not report back to Herod where to find Him.
Jesus survived this horrific incident because of a message that Joseph received during a dream. He took his family and fled to Egypt. This was the second sorrow that pierced Mary’s heart. A dangerous journey to a foreign land and a deep fear of the unknown.
Meanwhile, there was a horrific cry as parents witnessed their innocent child being slain. The unbearable grief crept its way throughout all of Bethlehem. Those poor babies never got a chance to experience life to its fullest.
It is those same martyrs who welcome the souls of the aborted babies into heaven. It is those same babies that were killed all of those years ago that intercede for the voiceless babies whose lives are taken before they are born today.
Father and maker of all, you adorn all creation with splendor and beauty, and fashion human lives in your image and likeness. Awaken in every heart reverence for the work of your hands, and renew among your people a readiness to nurture and sustain your precious gift of life. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.*
*Respect Life Novena Prayer. Typically prayed from January 20-January 29.
Until next time, your sister in Christ,