How Long?

40 years is a long time. It’s longer than my life span. It’s longer than my mother’s, too. It’s ten times as long as I have been married. 40 is a lot of years.

I’ve been trying to think of something eloquent to say today, on this 40th year since the day when the constitution ceased to ring true in saying, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.  I don’t know what to say.

I’ve never had an abortion, though there was a time in my life when I would have, had I gotten pregnant.

The closest I have ever gotten to the inside of an abortion facility is to pray outside of the one 3 blocks from our house.

I spent 3 years working as a counselor at a pregnancy resource center in downtown Chicago. I could talk about the women who sobbed on my shoulder, the heartache and brokenness from previous abortions an albatross around their necks. I could tell you about the 16 year old girl who came in, pregnant. 6 months earlier her mother had forced her to have an abortion, and here she was, pregnant again, desperate to “replace” the baby that had been forciblly taken from her.

I could tell you a hundred stories about the effects of abortion on girls and women I have known.

Would it matter?

If you’re reading this and you agree with me, you shake your head, nodding along with what I say, perhaps bolstered in your views.

If you’re reading this and you don’t agree with me, and you think abortion is something women “need” in order to be “free”, would anything I could say or link to change your mind and heart?

I had a post planned in my head, to coincide with MLK Jr day yesterday and 1/22 today. I was simply going to say,

“How long? Not long. How long? Not long. Because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”  – MLK Jr.

And then post a picture of what an abortion looks like. The blood spattered, the dismembered hands and feet, obviously visible despite being called “a clump of cells”.

I debated about it for several days, and it was finally wise Atticus who convinced me not to post it. Not because it’s too graphic. It’s graphic, but only because that’s what abortion is. It’s not a “procedure”; it’s the use of a vaccum cleaner to dismember and suck up the various remaining pieces of a tiny, defenseless human body.

No, I didn’t post it because, like any other act of violence, in the end, to post that photo would just be another violation of the precious dignity that child had, before it was thrown away like garbage.

I’d love to post something here that would reach out and touch those good, good people I know who can somehow convince themselves that the death of these children is a price that must be paid for women to be equal with men. I wish I could describe how heartbreaking it is that they think they need anything in order to be equal with men.

I wish I could understand how people who pride themselves on their compassion towards animals and the poor cannot muster enough compassion to feel outraged and saddned at the cold, calculated slaughter of completely defenseless human beings.  To the toll of 50 million since 1973.

There was a time when I understood those mental gymnastics, but not now. Too much life has happened, too much for me to even be able to remember.

Now all I know is that every time I drive by the abortion facility 3 blocks from my house, I say a funeral prayer. I have the same feeling in my heart that I did the night I stood outside death row in Baltimore, Md while they killed a man. We sang amazing grace in the cold, December night and prayed for his soul and his victims.

Who is praying for these souls, these victims?

When the state killed Wesley Baker, a man who had been convicted of a terrible crime,  they buried him in a poor man’s grave,  but at least they buried him.

Those babies – who did not ask to be conceived to people who think so little of them that they paid to have them killed – those babies, what’s left of their body parts, get thrown into a red biohazard trash bag and thrown in a dumpster.

“How long? Not long. How long? Not long. Because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

For all our sakes, I hope he was right.

10 thoughts on “How Long?

  1. Thank you for saying this and being brave enough to stand up for what needs to be said.

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