I know some good women. Some of them I know in real life, friends of long acquaintance, and others I know only through the medium of internet chat. The latter is a superficial medium, but not as superficial as all that… you can get a sense of someone’s aura, their personality and qualities, just through the words they type into a little box on a computer screen.
There is B., a fearless warrior, determined to speak her truth, but also gentle and kind. There is T., ditto, fighting her difficulties to become a strong, rounded woman of great depth and compassion – the qualities she cannot truly see in herself. Then there is E., soft-spoken and reflective, dedicating so much of her life to bringing good out of evil. S., intelligent and humorous, also speaking out her truth after decades of being shrouded in truth. It is a small sample: I could go on.
What do these women have in common, apart from their courage, conviction and humanity? Well, they have all experienced abortion. In other words, in the eyes of many or at least some in the pro-life movement, they are callous and uncaring people who all committed the most heinous of crimes with total disregard for God’s laws… Something does not add up, however. These women are all spiritually oriented, now, yes. They are all regretful of their abortions, all have experienced grief and suffering. Yet, I would affirm – while no-one can speak another’s deep truth for them – that when they had their abortions they were not bad people. They were, above all, young, alone and unsupported, and facing deeply conflicting pressures to which abortion was presented as a solution. In their youth and isolation, they did something they did not understand.
Now they try to use their suffering for good, which is a noble and beautiful thing. Any God of love would of course embrace them, even if they still cannot fully embrace themselves. Yet they go on being the victims of misunderstanding and hostility, from both “sides” of the abortion debate.
When are we going to start seeing more clearly, more truthfully, more compassionately – more like the Christ that many say they love and follow?