40 Days for Life 2012: Week 2

I want to begin by further reflecting on why I’m pro-life.  Because it’s not as cool to say that I’m pro-death.  Because calling myself anti-choice is kind of awkward because I choose to be pro-life.  Because the vibrant beauty of this world resides in life itself.  How empty and boring this world would be if it didn’t have life.

And how can I go against life?

I remember learning more about abortion when I was a youngin’ in high school.  What sticks out to me the most was my youth minister’s wife explaining the various surgical methods for abortion.  How grotesque they can be!  The use of chemicals, powerful vacuums, surgical instruments…blehhh.  And Planned Parenthood tries to sugar coat their in-clinic procedures when describing them.  Certainly, learning about these methods of abortion was enough to make me go pro-life.  But what really helped me enforce my pro-lifeness was learning about fetal development from conception to birth.  I found it fascinating because…wow…that really is a baby inside of her womb even if you can’t tell that she’s pregnant from the outside.  And I didn’t know how early some of the organs and features began to form and develop.  Cool stuff!

But all that was not enough to make it really sink in for me.  “Because I know this, therefore I know that pro-life is the way to go.”  How then, do I apply my pro-life knowledge expressed in a Catholic way?  Well, for starters…by praying and being a witness.  I distinctly remember my first time praying at an abortion clinic.  I went with my youth group.  My youth minister’s wife is a trained sidewalk counselor so she stationed herself at the sidewalk next to the abortion clinic whereas the rest of us were across the street praying a Rosary.

And I saw that young couple walk in and ignore my youth minister’s wife despite her offers to help them out.  And I remember thinking to myself, “omggggggg, she’s going to get an abortion!”…and being legitimately upset by this.  A naive reaction on my part due to the shock of the reality of the situation my unfamiliarity with how common this happens, but still a genuine feeling of shock and being upset by this.  Like, I’m pretty sure I nearly cried.  Because in my mind I kept thinking how in the world anyone would subject themselves to get a surgical abortion and how violent of an act that is towards the baby.  Yeah, again…since this was my first time praying at an abortion clinic…I was genuinely upset.  Like, it was hard for me to get over that.  I tend to be sensitive regarding death…

After that, I think I only ended up praying at an abortion clinic one more time.  Then I graduated from high school.

Through learning more about life and growth in the womb and getting educated about what abortion really is…and for all that to be driven home and solidified in my mind by praying at an abortion clinic for the first time…that’s what convinced me to be pro-life.

But it would take me years of going through college up until recently for me to perfect my reasoning for being pro-life.  I’ve gotten a lot better at recognizing the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death…and that represents a fuller definition of what it means to be pro-life.

As I write this a few days later from my hour of prayer for 40 Days for Life…I remember praying at Planned Parenthood the other night and thinking about why I’m pro-life for this blog post.  And I saw the coolest thing!

Next to Planned Parenthood is an overflow parking lot, and the other evening…I noticed some movement over there by a dumpster.  Apparently there was a cat and her three or four kittens over near the dumpster and the bushes.  As I was working on making a Rosary, I couldn’t help but notice the kittens like…play. Running around, hiding in the bushes, and chasing each other for a long while.  And mommy cat was just chillin’ letting her kittens be kittens.  I couldn’t help but think how small yet beautiful expression of life this scene was for me.  It’s just an interesting observation to make seeing a family of cats having a jolly good time because they are full of life…right next to Planned Parenthood, whose mission is not very convincing to me for the joyful expression of life.

So shout out to some cool cats–that even in the darkest of places, the light of their life and joy shines through…reminding me that yes, life is beautiful.

I’m pro pro-life.
– JD