“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.” ~Carl Sandburg
Roe v Wade (22 January 1973) was a US Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. In little more than forty years close to sixty million Americans have been slaughtered on this altar of “privacy” or “a woman’s right to choose.”
Perhaps in your area, each January, there is a commemoration of this sad anniversary in American life. Perhaps someone from a “crisis pregnancy center” will stand up and talk about the horrors of abortion and even entertain a word of prayer. I have attended such anti-abortion rallies, and, sadly, found them to be about as lifeless as a midweek morning prayer meeting. Could the reason be that the focus of such rallies is not life at all, but death? What would happen if we changed the emphasis from Roe v Wade (and all its graphic images) to a celebration of life?
I don’t know why pro-lifers call their prenatal counseling centers “crisis pregnancy centers.” Every unplanned pregnancy is a crisis; and many women, of all ages, wail when they learn they are pregnant—not just preteens, teens, and young adults, but also career women and menopausal wives and mothers. So, I think if I were running one of these centers, I would change the name to something suggesting that pregnancy is not a crisis, but a child. Not something to be afraid of or ashamed of, but an adventure in living.
I would also change the atmosphere.
Have you been in one of these centers? They are not happy places. Sometimes they are hidden in remote sites where there is little traffic—so the would-be mother can avoid being seen as she drives up and enters the building. So she can have her “privacy.” In some cases there is a small vestibule or entrance room, and the receptionist sits behind a bullet-proof glass barrier like a bank teller or gas attendant. The staff may act close-mouthed and steely, as if they are hiding something. Perhaps they are—fear. At least, they are not as relaxed or as friendly as, say, your dental or optometrist receptionist. And, surely, their tension and guarded behavior, in this austere environment, speaks as much, or more, to the would-be mother as all their counsel.
If I were pro-life, and wanted to be taken seriously, I would quit acting as if I were a member of the underground and lighten up. I would smile a lot. I would congratulate the woman on the news that she is soon to be a new mother (or mother again). I would celebrate family life as did Mary Cassatt in her paintings of mothers with their children.
Beginning with the entrance, and working inward, I would make the center’s interior sparkle with brightness and the images or trappings of babyhood, as if it were a baby superstore. I would decorate the walls with pictures of babies, or mothers and infants. I would have on hand fresh cut flowers, fresh fruit, perhaps cookies and punch, or finger sandwiches, chips, and nuts. I would offer the woman a gift for the new baby, perhaps a receiving blanket or disposable diapers. I would be as cheerful as a sales lady at a niche market.
I would never once mention the word abortion. I would focus exclusively on life.
At the end of World War II, in Czechoslovakia, a good-looking German-American intelligence officer with the US Army, Lt Kurt Klein, uncovered a young Polish Jewess, Gerda Weissmann. One of only a little over a hundred women, out of a column of about two thousand, to have survived a 350-mile death march, she must have looked a fright. Her hair was white, she was dirty and ill-clad, and she weighed a mere sixty-eight pounds.
You may wonder what keeps a person going on in a death march? What kept Gerda alive when all around her women were falling dead?
For Gerda, it was simple. She had the will to live. And the dream of a child. She wanted a baby.
Though, thankfully, she was alive, she was suffering from starvation, typhus, pneumonia, overexposure, and crippled feet and had to be hospitalized. Her clothes were taken away and burned. She stepped into a tub of hot sudsy water and felt the relief that only someone so long denied a hot bath could feel. Afterward she was given a cup of delicious milk—something she hadn’t had in three years of incarceration in German work camps.
Kurt often came to the hospital to visit her. One day he carried a parcel under his arm. “These are for you,” he said, unwrapping two magazines. “Do you know what this means?” he asked, pointing to four bold white letters on a red background.
Gerda knew almost no English, but she knew the alphabet, and the letters L I F E. He pronounced the word for her and made her say it after him. “It is a fine word for you to learn,” he said. “I know no better word of introduction to the English language for you than life.”
Thank God that in the same time frame that has witnessed an American holocaust—from Roe v Wade (1973) to the current day (2014)—many women have chosen life, not death. If you are not pro-life, you are pro-death. You know that, don’t you? Life and death are the great divide; there is no middle ground. Ask those who lived through the horrors of World War II.
Even pro-lifers are pro-choice. Only their choice, like Gerda’s, is life.
Most of the time in Scripture God chooses, but sometime He allows human beings to choose. He says us, “Choose life, and you will live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). “Choose this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). “Refuse the evil, and choose the good” (Isaiah 7:15).
A year after the war Lt Kurt Klein married Gerda Weissmann, and God gave them three beautiful children and eight grandchildren. Gerda went on to tell her story, to become an American citizen, and to serve on the board of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Life is the great creative force in the universe. It keeps replicating itself and giving more life.
“Life: It is about the gift not the package it comes in.” ~Dennis P Costea Jr
Copyright © 2015 Alexandra Lee