As you probably know, I’m Catholic. A recent Sunday was dubbed Respect for Life Sunday at our church. The readings and sermon were all about honoring life from conception to natural death. That means no abortion, capital punishment or euthanasia. In the afternoon, parishioners were invited to stand in front of the church holding anti-abortion signs. Abortion is murder, etc. They do this every year. I have never joined the line in front of the church. I considered it this year, but then I got an invitation to lunch and did that instead.
I’m a little uncomfortable standing in front of my community with a sign. I don’t know why. It can’t be any worse than the year I sat at the NOW booth at the county fair handing out gay rights buttons and condoms. Not that I don’t think condoms are a good thing, but the Catholic Church is also anti birth control, and I work for the church as a paid music minister.
I do think abortion is bad. I wouldn’t do it or encourage anyone else to do it. But I would never vote against a candidate just because he or she was pro-choice. It ought to be a deal-breaker, but it’s not. Usually I agree with everything else pro-choice candidates stand for.
What does this have to do with being childless by marriage? I was amazed by the number of women I interviewed who had had abortions. We don’t talk about abortion much in our society except at church, where we all supposedly agree. Although legal, it’s still mostly a secret. Many of the interviewees for my Childless by Marriage book were forced into it by either their parents or the man in their lives. In many cases, they aborted their only chance to have a child. Also in many cases, they had never told anyone about it.
I used to think a fetus was just a clump of cells, not a baby. If I got rid of it soon enough, that would be much better than being accidentally pregnant and unmarried. But now I have seen and heard too much to believe that anymore. As the sign on Highway 20 near where I live says, “If you’re pregnant, it’s a baby.”
Reading the various posts and blogs about having or not having babies, I see so much hate from the childfree crowd. For them, pregnancy is a disaster to be aborted. But babies are life, not just inconveniences. Women who give birth are not just ignorant breeders; they’re doing what God designed them to do. I know a lot of people disagree with this. Maybe you do, too, but that’s how I feel about it.
I think next year I will stand out in front of my church with a sign. Maybe.
How has abortion fit into your childless story? Please share.