After our meeting, I joined some other members of the parish pro-life group in praying the Rosary outside a local abortion mill. Doing this is always a profoundly moving and powerful experience. On one hand, it gives a real sense of solidarity and strength, which is comforting and hope-affirming. Nobody in the pro-life movement is alone. Especially not when it comes to prayer. Our hope truly does spring eternal–in our myriad young members, in our children and descendants, whether biological or spiritual, but most of all in the Lord.
But what a cold, sharp contrast from the people on the other side of that chain-link fence. Most of them are doubtless very much alone and very much in despair. What else could lead them to even consider abortion? Yes, there may be other factors and influences, and also coercion at work. But I suspect that fear, desperation, desolation, and abandonment bring most people there.
As we prayed, we saw some people go in. My heart was so heavy and wanted so badly to fly out to them and plead with them! To do anything to help and heal and reassure. All I could do was send my prayers after them. And that’s what I did, together with a number of people. If there’s one thing I know, it’s the power of prayer. I trust and hope in it, as I trust and hope in the One who hears.
One of the biggest lies our opponents tell about the pro-life movement is that we don’t care for the struggling, suffering women who consider or choose to undergo abortion. And we don’t care about children once they are born. That these are malicious lies is testified to by the burdens our hearts and minds bear for all the women, children, and men who are affected by abortion–and for our entire society, country, and the human race. The pro-life movement is a matter of life and death to us, nothing less.
Testimony to the lies is also given by the White Rose Women’s Center that stands right next door to that abortion mill. After we prayed the Rosary, one of our members provided a tour of the Center. What a vastly different atmosphere within those walls! What a labor of love and generosity. It offers physical, psychological, educational, spiritual, and material support to women and children. Practical, long-lasting support. One of the highlights was visiting the chapel that overlooks the abortion mill next door. The sanctuary lamp was burning bright. It was also wonderful to see the room full of supplies for mother and baby–baby clothes, diapers, and many other kinds of material goods. And to see people bringing in more donations!
It reminded me once again of what Bishop Farrell told us at this year’s Roe Memorial Mass–the victory of the pro-life movement will not be effected with the repealing of abortion rights laws. Rather, the victory of the pro-life movement will be effected with the building up and flourishing of a culture of life in which abortion rights laws simply become irrelevant. Because nobody will have any need or desire or care for them. They will know that there is something much better. They will be able to find the hope, comfort, and real help that they need.
It may or may not happen in my lifetime. That doesn’t matter to me. I have every reason to hope, and no reason at all to despair. Let’s keep on praying and let’s support organizations like the White Rose Women’s Center. And let’s keep on standing together, united in our hope.