I got asked this morning by my son's preschool teacher (she's a nun and teaches 8th grade in the afternoon) if I could speak to her class before the March for Life. I was thrilled to be asked out of the blue because I LOVE talking to youth about life issues. In addition, my pro-life New Year's Resolution was to get into more schools and educate more students and staff on the issues! Then I got a another out-of-the-blue call from an educator at a charter school asking if I could come speak to her students! If that's not a sign from God, then I don't believe they exist!
My son's teacher approached me because in some of their talks about attending the March for Life, some students (apparently one girl in particular) claimed to be "very pro-choice." (DISCLAIMER: I absolutely loathe the term "pro-choice." It's misleading, distracting, and an outright lie within the context of abortion. But I will use it here in an attempt to be bit more merciful towards pre-teens who have been conditioned by the MTV culture.) So his teacher wanted me to give the kids some Catholic pro-life apologetics!
The second situation in the charter school, was nothing less than Divine intervention. The woman who called me spoke at our 40 Days for Life kick-off event this past fall, though she didn't remember me well (I don't organize that event). Deb* said she is filling in for a woman on pregnancy leave for an organization that works with and in schools in inner cities (she's not officially a school employee). She recently attended a staff meeting where teenage pregnancy was brought up and another administrator commented, "Oh then we better get Planned Parenthood in here." Grrr! It's so frustrating that PP is the go-to when teen pregnancy arises, even though our local crisis pregnancy center does a FABULOUS and positive curriculum on abstinence and human sexuality.
THANK GOD Deb happened to be there at that exact moment, because she immediately thought, "Not good...these kids need to hear the other side of the story -- the Truth." Ironically Deb's last day is Thursday! Who but God could have orchestrated something so serendipitous?!?
As I mentioned, I absolutely love talking to students about the pro-life issue. But it can often be a double-edged sword. It's in these situations that I can feel the Holy Spirit working through me more than ever. In fact, I often don't even feel like I'm the one formulating the words and thoughts in my head. Afterwards I often think back and realize it was almost like I was hovering over my own body, watching the Holy Spirit take over! It's the most amazing experience!
The other edge of that sword is the complete opposite end of the spectrum. The justifications that come from the kids in attempting to defend such a horrendous act are chilling. It's frightening what they pick up from the secular culture...even Catholic kids. And it stems from a striking lack of education. They unknowingly take up a hierarchical view that somehow they themselves are worthy of living on this earth and they're able to decide who else gets to and why.
Never was this more evident than when my organization sponsored a Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) last spring at our local university.
Justification #1: Abortion should be legal because some kids will inevitably have "crappy lives."
Well, Mr. Perfect Life, please enlighten us on what it's like to live such a privileged existence! And, by the way, who was it again that made you the arbiter of said "crappy lives," you white, affluent, college-educated student?!? And furthermore, please define "crappy life." There's a chance even I might fit into your definition. Then what? What do we do with the already-born people who have "crappy lives?" And why do they have more of a right to be here than unborn children who just have the potential to have a "crappy life?"
Justification #2: Abortion should be legal because we need to control the population.
Umm...you first! If we're just going to start offing people because there are too many of us, why not get the ball rolling yourself?!? Because, see, you're already emitting dangerous greenhouse gasses. Why don't you reduce your carbon footprint right now? (Obviously I'm not really advocating that population-control supporters start killing themselves, I'm just pointing out the absurdity of the argument.)
And these are just two of the hundreds of "I'm worthy of living on this Earth, but I'll make the judgement about who else gets to live here with me" type arguments.
I know it's not just students who make these justifications. But it's more troubling when they do. They haven't even yet lived in the cold, hard world (most of the ones I've heard make these arguments), so where do they get these cold, hard views? Oh wait - probably MTV.
This is all the more reason we need to make abortion and all of its contributors, including sex and contraception, THE most important political, social, and religious issue they learn in the home. Otherwise they get mixed signals, foggy messaging, and twisted morals from our secular culture. And I don't think the Catholic church very often looks to MTV for guidance.
*Deb's name has been changed to protect her anonymity.