I just finished listening to the amazing testimony of Abby Johnson, a former director of a Planned Parenthood abortuary but now working for the pro-life cause. A couple of things have struck me from her story.
- She explained that she was raised Christian and considered herself pro-life. Yet, her faith didn’t seem too deeply implanted in her because she admits that she was easily convinced by the pro-choice rhetoric when she first went to a Planned Parenthood clinic. Once they gave her the spiel about wanting to reduce the number of abortions and making sure women didn’t die through illegal abortions, she swallowed it.
- Moreover, despite being “pro-life”, she actually had two abortions herself. She describes herself as being almost brain dead as she went through the experiences. She quite easily blocked out the questions and doubts, and just went along with it. She didn’t discuss it with friends or family. She didn’t give it much thought. She just called the abortuary and made an appointment, as if she was going to the hairdresser. Mind you, the second abortion was extremely painful physically and she suffered terribly for 8 weeks after the procedure. But she didn’t give it much thought beforehand.
When I heard these two factoids about her experience, I couldn’t help but think of all the nominal and lukewarm Christians out there. I’m sure that similar experiences have occurred millions of times over during the last 40 years throughout the world. Virtually all Christians call themselves pro-life, but when push comes to shove, many of them would still have an abortion if they had an unexpected pregnancy.
Tragic, but true. That’s the only way we can explain the huge number of abortions we are witnessing in countries with a Christian heritage. In Canada, you’d never, EVER make it to 100,000 abortions per year (about one-third of all pregnancies end in abortion) without having a substantial number of abortions among Christians, which represent some 77% of the population. That’s the reality.
Too many of our brethren are so uneducated about life issues or so lukewarm in their faith that they will not survive the assault of the devil if they are faced with an unplanned pregnancy. That’s why Socon or Bust is so adamant about Christians cleaning up their own act, especially within the Catholic Church. Do the math and you’ll reach the inescapable conclusion that Christians probably supply the majority of customers at abortion facilities. We could make a huge dent in the abortion numbers if we could only convert Christians. Imagine how many lives could be saved.
Aside from basic instruction on biology and the sacredness of life, the most important step in this direction consists in educating people about the sacredness of sex and the insanity of the contraceptive mentality. Abby Johnson mentioned several times that she was contracepting when she got those two unexpected pregnancies that led her to abort. I’m not surprised one iota. When you have the contraceptive mentality, abortion is a very tempting proposition, like an “undo” button for contraceptive failure. Why? Because the person contracepting is not open to conceiving a new life and is more prone to rebelling against God’s will if a pregnancy ensues. Let bishops with ears to hear listen!
Parents: you need to be extremely vigilant about how you raise your kids. Just like Abby, your kids could also be deceived by the pro-choice propaganda. You need to actively inquire about what your kids are learning at school each day. What classes are they taking? What are they being told? What are their textbooks? What assignments are they asked to do? If you’re on the ball, you’ll have a better chance of intercept any trash they’re being taught and get them back on the rails quickly.
One last thing. Abby gave her personal advice on the best way to do pro-life advocacy: we need a peaceful, prayerful, compassionate and merciful presence outside abortion facilities. We need to be physically present and visible. It makes a difference. She would know. The 40 Days for Life initiative does exactly that. It’s a real blessing for the pro-life movement. I understand that not everybody is comfortable with standing on a sidewalk and praying, but the Gospel is not meant to be comfortable. I used to feel embarrassed by it. But guess what? I got over it and got used to it. It’s not a big sacrifice in the end. An old Spanish proverb applies well in this case: The shadow of the cross is larger than the cross itself. In other words, your fears irrationally inflate the scale of the sacrifice that is actually required, to the point that you become paralyzed by fear. Be not afraid.
Abby also specified that there’s no room for anger and hatred on the sidewalk in front of an abortuary. There’s enough anger and hatred in the clinic, she says. What we need is a merciful and compassionate witness. Therein lies the key to converting expecting moms, clinic employees and unsuspecting passers-by who might get zapped by the grace of God.