A Catholic News Website reported that there were hundreds of thousands of people marching on Washington DC yesterday protesting the decision of the Supreme Court 38 years ago legalizing a woman’s right to choose. Politicians of course continue to spout their rhetoric with the intention, not of overturning Roe V Wade, but garnering votes to stay in office another 4 years. But the issue of abortion remains divisive within and without the halls of government and in the pews and pulpits of American churches.
I have a question and comment and then a suggestion.
What has 38 years of protesting, picketing, marches, bombing and blocking abortion clinics achieved? Answer…
the death of several abortion providing doctors, destruction of property, millions of dollars and thousands of hours spent in the legal system and in the organization of pro-life/pro-choice events, and the vilification and hatred of individuals/organizations fomenting on either side of the issue. And abortion is still legal with over a million abortions a year still happening in the US.
Is it time to rethink the strategy? Is it maybe time to stop talking, arguing, and hating and start to make a difference?
The church, as a whole is defined by those on the outside as haters and hypocrites. The marks of the Church; love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy are eclipsed by two social/cultural issues, abortion and homosexuality.
Perhaps it is time for pro-life and pro-choice adherents to put down their placards, tone down the vitriol and actually listen to each other. Maybe instead of wasting time, money, and energy, they can together with the intent of developing a plan to reduce significantly the number of abortions and to have in place real help for the girl/woman who decides to keep their baby.
Here is one suggestion. Why not develop a program for middle/high schools that teaches age appropriate sex education including a comprehensive look at both abstinence AND proper use of birth control methods? Helping teens become comfortable with their bodies, the topic of sex and talking frankly about the choices they make when it comes to sex, will help them to learn how to say no confidently and what to do to protect themselves if they say yes. This one thing in itself would reduce unwanted pregnancies and the number of abortions.
Unfortunately the need for abortion will always be with us. To outlaw it will not make it go away and babies and more women will continue to die. Now is the time to try something new. Now is the time to cooperate rather than continuing to castigate each other.