Thoughts on abortion

I recently attended a fund raising dinner for “Mary’s Shelter.” For those that may not be familiar with “Mary’s Shelter,” it is a temporary home(s) for pregnant women who are in dire need of help. For one reason or another, they are homeless or in need of protection during their pregnancy and for a short while after the birth of their baby. The shelter is also an alternative to abortion for desperate mothers-to-be. About 400 people were in attendance, some were the mothers and their babies. A worthy cause.
There were two very large screens on either side of the speaker’s podium. During dinner, pictures of beautiful, happy babies were shown for emphasis against abortion.
But my mind began to slip and slide. I wrestle with this issue like so many others. I wondered what the reaction in that room would be if all those beautiful pictures were suddenly replaced with pictures of grotesque births. Unthinkable! And yet.
It was in a small town north of Baltimore that I began my wrestle with this subject. I was a happy, busy mother of four healthy, smart children and a community activist. Because of one of my community roles, I was invited one day to visit an alternative school, a sort of day school for children out of the mainstream. The facility was composed of two large rooms. I cannot even begin to describe the shock that awaited me as I stepped into the front room. Where had I been? I did not realize that this facility existed nor the children it housed, closeted out of sight. Some of their small bodies were twisted beyond belief, eyes blank, mouths drooling. Two children had extremely large heads that had to be supported by tying them to the back of a chair. Their misery would soon be over I was told. There was a brother and sister that I shall never forget. Their bodies were covered with hair, their eyes beady, their arms long, almost touching the floor. They closely resembled monkeys. Needless to say, I had nightmares for days. I felt that these children should not have been born to a life of torture.
I had a friend in this same town who suddenly found herself pregnant in her late forties. There was no question of abortion, she was a devout Catholic. Her family worried, her friends worried, and her doctor worried. About six months into the pregnancy, the doctor told her something was wrong with the baby. This was before all the screening devices when instinct and physical exams were the norm. She had just begun her seventh month when awakened by terrific pains and rushed to the hospital.
The birth aborted. My friend told us that God had chosen to take the baby back. In other words, God had aborted her baby! Gossip will prevail in small towns so we eventually learned from an attending nurse that the baby boy was deformed in a horrible manner.
Yes, God (or nature if you will) does abort. And God (or nature if you will) also gave us common sense. Of course abortion should not be used as birth control. There are too many alternatives for sane and sensible birth control. But there are also circumstances that call for common sense.

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