Facebook status today: nauseated and teary today... the realities and horrors of the abortifacient RU486 and late term abortions of babies who intensely feel pain is hitting close to home.
Today something clicked. I don't exactly know what. I've known about the violence of abortion for years, I've seen the graphic images. But today was different.
As we were discussing chemical abortions today, the pill RU486, I had a running movie in my brain of this 17 year old girl ... scared, feeling alone, overwhelmed, in crisis. Thinking she has no other choice, she flips through the yellow pages to find an abortion clinic number. She didn't want to get pregnant - she never thought it would happen to her, that only happened to other people. She saw an ad that offered a safe alternative to the surgical abortions - those seemed scary and dangerous. This seemed like a good way to "get rid of it" easily and quickly. She drives herself to the clinic and is given an ultrasound by a tech - "the pregnancy is 8 weeks along". Then she has an appointment with the doctor over a video conference. After the short exchange, a locked box opens and several pills lie inside. RU486 and Prostaglandin. I saw in my mind the girl reassuring herself that everything will soon be okay as she grabs the pills and leaves.
Next, as I heard the lecture, I saw the girl's face - filled with fear and with grimacing with pain from cramps as she is laying on the bathroom floor groaning. She has been bleeding. Severely bleeding ... all alone, as the pill starves her baby to death and wrecks havoc on her body. No doctor or nurse or parent is close by to help her. She doesn't know that there's been a complication, that there's an infection and that she is dangerously ill, and could die if she doesn't go to the hospital. She takes the Prostaglandin to initiate contractions, and eventually she sees her tiny, bloody baby..... in the toilet. It is now that she begins to realize the consequence of her actions. She wishes she could turn back time, but there is no going back.
At this point my movie turned off. I felt nauseous.
Nauseous as I couldn't stop imagining what is advertised as an "easy, do it yourself, safe abortion" that is truly a nightmare and a horror for mother and baby. A baby, at 8 weeks, and an inch long with all fingers and toes present, and all major body parts including the heart, brain, spinal cord, organs. The violence. The lies. The veiling of the truth - the truth that the the "pregnancy" is a tiny human being - the truth that this pill could endanger her health or take her life - the truth that this pill ends the life of her baby.
The next hour in our morning was devoted to talking about unborn pain - I learned that a baby at 20 weeks has the highest density of pain receptors that he will ever have in his entire life. The basic nervous system is developed - nervous tracts, spinal cord, brain, thalamus, cortex. The capacity to feel pain in astounding because the inhibitors to block pain have not developed. And yet, babies at 20 weeks are ripped limb from limb in the abortion procedure. Arms and legs torn off, then the skull crushed. I was couldn't help but replay the image in my mind of what it must look like, and then trying to imagine the pain that I would experience is someone cut off my arm ...except only worse, MUCH worse. How degrading is it upon our society that we think of abortion as a solution to society's problems? Surely we can come up with other, more life affirming solutions in our advanced day and age to things like poverty besides offering to kill our children?
Even though we have talked about aspects of abortion for two weeks now, today as we were finishing practicum, I started crying.
Even though I fully know all the history that led up to the enactment of Roe v Wade and subsequent court decisions, I still couldn't help but ask, How did this happen? How did abortion become normal? Safe? "Good for women"? A "Choice"?
Today reaffirmed what I already knew: I will NEVER be content to live a simply normal, happy-go-lucky life. Although I knew about the realities before, the movies that played over and over in my mind today, the movies that elicited nausea and tears, brought the importance of fighting for life to a new urgency more than ever before.
I know that all is not lost. I am not hopelessness or full of despair. No, on the contrary. God is on the move. There has been SO much progress made in our country to protect babies lives than 30 years ago. But, as everyone who has been already been working day in and day out for so long has told us this last month - we still have a ways to go. And I and so many of my peers, are apart of advancing the cause for life into the new wave of defending life.
Today has not brought only sadness and grief... As I was talking to my friend on the phone this evening, I realized how excited that I was too. New doors are and will continue opening up for me (and for the other Academy kids too) to start making even more of a difference.
You and I are here for 'Such A Time As This'. It cannot be denied or ignored. There are too many babies dying every day. Each of us has an integral role to play.