Friday, August 12, 2011

I read a particularly painful article recently and it has plagued my mind.  I should have known better, but curiosity (or something) got the better of me.  My newspaper, the Washington Post, ran a very sympathetic article about the late-term abortionist, Carhart.  He sees his work as missionary- a reprieve for those who desperately need his services.  And who, you might ask, are they?  They are women like me.

Women who are late in their pregnancies, and know that their children will be born with certain problems.  I was about 31 weeks when I read the article, which is far too late for most abortion providers, but not for him.  The article said that he will provide them as late as 34 weeks.  

In case you have never gone through this particular life excitement: at 31 weeks, my daughter responds to noises and my emotions.  She pushes back, when my husband puts his hand on my belly.  She flips around every which way.  (At the moment, I feel a bit like a moonbounce.)  She calms when I sing.  She moves erratically when Lily cries.  I do not know every specific of her development, but these things are impossible not to notice.  Meanwhile, I am huge.  (Imagine my surprise on the realization that my maternity clothes no longer fit.)  Sometimes I cannot catch my breath because of the way she is sitting.  Sleep is evasive.  I do not have many food cravings, but I have a few.  I have been wanting a beer.  In general, beer during pregnancy is a bad idea.  I would not have felt the slightest guilt over having one beer, except that I could not keep it down.  Reflux is not fun.  My point is that at this point in pregnancy, we are actively being Mom.  We cannot do what we want, eat what we want, look the way we want.

I am sympathetic to women who, early in their pregnancies, are frightened either by the pregnancy and its ramifications for their lives (huge!) or perhaps by early diagnosis with poor prognosis.  I know the fear.  Even now, with many of my earliest concerns alleviated, I still have fears.  Can I handle this?  Will I be able to give this child, my child, a real childhood?  She will need so much surgery, can she handle it?  Can I?  What about my older daughter?  Will she get the love and attention she deserves from me when my attentions are so focused elsewhere?  I could go on, and my list is long even though I have what is probably the most supportive family a mother could want.  My parents, siblings, Aunts and Uncles, cousins, in-laws and especially my husband, are all supportive.  They have not just supported me with good thoughts and prayers, but they have gone out of their way to think about practical ways that they can help.  This is what it means to be pro-life.

Few people have the kind of support I have.  So, I am sympathetic to the fears.  But I simply cannot imagine the pain a woman must be in that she could, at this late point, successfully convince herself that her child was not a child at all.  When it is early, and the child's impact on my life is little more than the cause frequent bouts of nausea, it is wrong but understandable that a woman could so lie to herself.  This late, however, after so many months of catering to my child, and living my life around her... well, that must be some extraordinary fear.  It breaks my heart that these women's fears are acknowledged, but not addressed.

I know that there have been recent protests in front of Carhart's practice.  I know that he decided to close his doors while the protesters were there.  I know some of the protesters.  I hope that in their earnest desire to save the children, they can be just as earnest in their desire to provide the women with the love and care that they need.  Address the pain and fear that they must already be experiencing.

Father in Heaven, I beg you to bless all women facing this crisis.  Give them the courage to find the help they need and the humility to accept it.  Shower them with your grace and comfort.  Let them find warm hearts in those who would offer help.  Protect them from judgmental anger on one side and painful ignorance of life, fear and pain on the other.  Surround them with your love, and in that love let them find peace.  Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment