The Journey series
I planned to write this week about Catholic marriage and unplanned pregnancy. The feedback I received last week has changed my mind, as discussion is meant to.
I received many angry comments insisting that legislation outlawing abortion must be the foremost concern in our fight. My response to these comment was often the bristling of my neck. I felt offended that these people could accuse me of being for the very thing I was arguing against. I actually penned a few very reactive and defensive comments which, thankfully, I didn't send.
Other comments I received pointed out and gave examples of pregnancy relief centres and homes that are providing the support, care, and love that I advocated in my blog. There are more of these than I realized. They go about their business quietly, helping those who need physical, emotional, and psychological help with their unplanned pregnancy.
I had a chat with a young woman (I'll call her Leah) who was riding a bus, alone, on her way to abort her child. Another passenger (I'll call her Rachel) noticed her crying and came to sit beside her. In the course of their discussion Rachel agreed to accompany Leah to a pregnancy relief centre. There Leah received counselling while Rachel waited patiently. When Leah emerged with the counsellor, Rachel agreed to go with her to a shelter the counsellor contacted. Leah wound up staying at the home. Her baby girl was also welcomed. She receives room, board, counselling services, and companionship. Her counsellor helped her sign up at college. She will soon graduate from the nursing program, able to support herself and her daughter.
My chat with Leah reminded me of the parable of the good Samaritan. I hope many who hear this story will be prompted to 'go and do likewise.' We may not be in a position to do as much as Rachel, but perhaps we might find a shelter or pregnancy relief centre to support with a donation. Perhaps we could lobby politicians to support such places. We can also pray for them.
My discussions after last week's post changed my mind about what to write, but not how to fight. Love is always the best weapon against evil. If I, who agree that abortion is a grave sin, wind up defensive and reactive from the comments of radical anti-abortionists, how much more so those who don't agree? Perhaps those same radical anti-abortionists will read this week's post and see that, though both may be needed, the carrot often outperforms the stick.
Toward the end of our chat, Leah claimed she is now a firm pro-lifer and vows to pay Rachel's kindness forward. She said Rachel still suffers from the abortion she had in her youth and vows to keep helping others avoid her mistake. Leah and Rachel both seem to be good women. They both made similar mistakes in their youth. Perhaps if more of us emulate the Samaritan, more unwanted pregnancies will end as Leah's and fewer as Rachel's.
Next week: Perhaps Catholic Marriage and Unplanned Pregnancy
The Parable of the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:29-37)
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Peter T Elliott