After participating in and watching an ultrasound guided abortion (see my reflection of ‘The Ultrasound), Abby Johnson came to the realization that abortion is the taking of a human life, and that the unborn child involved in the abortion procedure is a victim to what she had considered only a procedure for many years. Even though what triggered Abby to recognize the horror of abortion wasn’t her faith but the visual witness of an abortion, she immediately incorporated her faith into the idea of abortion being wrong. At church she confessed her involvement in abortion and prayed for other’s eyes to be opened to the truth of what abortion is because she saw that pushing abortion on women was not caring for them.
Now for some time Abby had been struggling with the thought of abortion as being wrong/sinful while praying and while at church, but she justified her involvement as caring for women; or sometimes brushed the notion aside. After realizing that Planned Parenthood was in the market of making money by providing abortions, she saw that pushing abortions on pregnant women wasn’t caring for others. In contrast, Abby began to see true care for women in the kind support and peaceful demeanor of sidewalk counselors from Coalition for Life. Abby saw love in the nun who on her knees prayed and wept for the lives lost to abortion. This love is what our faith is. As Christian’s we are taught to love our neighbor. So what is the answer to whether or not hearts can be changed to understand abortion as wrong without Christ being the center of this conversation? While I believe that hearts can be changed based on science and facts alone, we should stand for life and walk in faith just by loving and caring for one another, and we can most certainly share that this love comes from Christ. Many hearts can still be changed by science, but more than likely someone is there to lovingly help present or guide you to the understanding and respecting the dignity of human life.
Now whether we boldly say we are Christians and pro-life or just base our pro-life stance on science we must treat others with an abundance of charitable love. One instance where I can tell you that love and faith are overflowing in pro-life work is outside of an abortion clinic in San Diego. Every day that abortions are performed at the Family Planning Associates off of Miramar Road, Helpers of God’s Precious Infants counsel men, women, and teenagers to protect the innocence of the unborn child and they share their love for Christ. They pray with these people that are seeking services at Family Planning Associates, and most of the people they counsel walk away with a smile and cradling a rosary in their hands. Every week I receive reports of at least two women who walked away from an appointment to take their child’s life. These sidewalk counselors see the woman walking into the abortion clinic as people just like them and they treat them lovingly, with dignity and respect, not like horrible people for considering an abortion.
“Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31