When I heard the words, “It’s a boy!” from my husband just eight months ago, my eyes flooded with tears.
We wanted to be surprised, and didn’t know if we would be welcoming a little boy or a little girl. I suddenly had visions of him learning how to play baseball with his grandfather, of reading books curled on the couch with his Dad. I pictured picking him up with his two cousins, each a year apart, from the principal’s office at our local all-boys high school.
In those first few moments in which I held him, I prayed that God would give him a future filled with hope and joy.
In the last few minutes of the newly released undercover Planned Parenthood video, a medical technician exclaims, “Another boy!” Oh, the pain that shot through my heart as I remembered my son’s birth just months ago. And I’m certain I’m not the only one who felt that way.
We must not underestimate how difficult these Planned Parenthood videos are for women who have had abortions. Each new video surely brings a flood of memories, perhaps long forgotten or hidden, to the fore. These women are our friends, our mothers, our daughters, our co-workers, our students. They need our love and support. They are women who may have been lied to, may have been pressured, or may have truly believed that they were doing the right thing for their babies and for themselves.
These women were told that their babies weren’t babies. They were simply tissue that could be quite easily gotten rid of. But these videos are forcing everyone to recognize a most uncomfortable truth — that we have been killing humans all along. Little legs, a heart, hands — all of this can be seen at 11 weeks, the gestational age of one of the aborted babies in the video.
Another boy, indeed. Another human person, with a soul and with a body.
We must pair our cries for justice with cries for mercy, prayer, forgiveness, and love. This is where we can show whether or not we are truly pro-life. St. John Paul II wrote in that “There will never be justice, including equality, development and peace, for women or for men, unless there is an unfailing determination to respect, protect, love, and serve life — every human life, at every stage, and in every situation.” This is the time to show that respect, love, and protection.
We must also make sure that women know that there are people who love them and resources to support them. Project Rachel is one such organization. It welcomes all affected by abortion with love — no judgment. We can donate to these and other pro-life organizations now to show our support. We can organize prayer vigils not only for the unborn who have been killed, but also for the women and men who have made that choice.
Flannery O’Connor wrote in her prayer journal, “Give me the grace, dear God, to see the bareness and misery of the places where You are not adored but desecrated.” May this, coupled with prayers for mercy and forgiveness, be our prayer.