There are a few things that make my blood boil faster than a conduction cook top can ready a pot for a bag of rice. The top of the list is anything involving harm to a child. Yeah, I know, controversial stuff there.
However, my anything list also includes those issues that one would not necessarily see as a child endangerment, neglect or abuse issue,
such as abortion.
This Friday, the Pro-Life Action League will be staging a series of demonstrations in Joliet, Shorewood and Plainfield at busy intersections. They call these campaigns “Face the Truth Tours” and stage them all around the country. They are proud to say this will be the seventh year they are holding this event in the area, and are calling for more volunteers to help hold up signs for passing motorists to view.
I believe it was the first year they were out and about locally that I encountered them and their incredibly graphic and as large as six foot
tall signs depicting pictures of aborted fetuses. I was infuriated, as I had my child in the car with me, who got a better view of the signs as I was distracted by the task of driving.
This year, our local online newspaper has published their itinerary, so parents who have in the past complained about their young children being exposed to these disturbing images can avoid the intersections and roads where they will be set up. However, the groups’ website states it doesn’t believe there is any real harm done to a child who may see these images.
Really? I find that answer both appalling and hypocritical. There are ratings for what images children can be exposed to in movies and video
games, ratings religious groups are quick to say do not go nearly far enough. This group is also religiously based and this whistle stop tour of the area will include a luncheon at a local Catholic church.
These are among the first people to object to what they consider pornography and graphic violence being allowed to be seen by children. Yet,
when it suits their purposes, not only are graphic and disturbing images acceptable, they consider it a potential teachable moment. Their website even claims that exposing children to these graphic and disturbing images may help them, in their words, by sparing them the grave harm of involvement in a future abortion.
I am not a supporter of abortion as a contraceptive. I find it unspeakably sad, and I feel bad for women who even have to think of it as an option. I also accept the fact and happen to agree that it is a woman’s right, spiritually, morally and legally. Having been raised as a Catholic and a Christian, most of the values I hold in life were formed in that crucible of faith and religious dogma. I guess I hold some parts of my religious upbringing more sacred than others who ostensibly share my faith. I am referring to what I see as the most basic tenets of all, the concepts of free will and to love another as you would love yourself.
It is because of these beliefs that I am sickened by the idea of forcing anyone’s religion on others, especially when those basic values are
violated and twisted to further an agenda. It is a woman's right to do what she wills with her body and her soul; it is our duty as Catholics and Christians to allow her that right just as we allow ourselves that right.
What I find equally offensive is this group and others like it calling themselves “Pro-Life”. They say they are defending the rights of the
unborn. I say they do this at the expense of the already born, whether that be a child or a woman. They are only for life if they can control that life according to their religiously based definition.
They say human life begins at conception, yet that definition can only be supported with faith based arguments. Even a rudimentary understanding of the process by which a sperm and an egg become a human being recognizes the fact that there are stages of development. It is not until very late in pregnancy that the brain develops enough to be capable of human consciousness.
It is scientific fact that the human brain consists of three primary parts that develop at different stages, and until that third stage is
achieved, human thought, emotion and intelligence are simply not possible. They respond this scientific analysis doesn’t address the human soul. I agree, but I also say the mere existence of the soul is a matter of faith and religion.
I will never agree to take away a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body, at least not legally. However, my disgust and fight against
these groups may soften when there are no more children who are hungry, homeless, unwanted, abused or neglected; when orphanages and the foster-care system become an anomaly; when there are no more children starving for love, care, a safe place to sleep and regular meals. Then I will be willing to address those who carelessly become pregnant and think of abortion as just another birth control method.
Even then, I still won’t support the idea that all abortion is wrong. I will also never support the idea that someone, anyone, but particularly the government, has the right to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. As a woman, I find this the most insulting and
degrading idea around today. Limiting a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body is to ignore her humanity and reduce her to the status of a brood mare.
This debate on abortion itself is actually secondary in my objection to this event, as well as this and other like minded groups. My first and primary objection is simply a matter of priorities.
In their zeal to overturn the law of the land legalizing a woman’s right to choose, they ignore, side-step and downplay the cost their agenda
exacts on the unwanted children who are already here. Just within the Catholic Church, how many programs that directly help and support children are chronically underfunded or simply cancelled due to lack of funding? How many schools have been closed? How many outreach services no longer function due to tightening of the fiscal belt?
It has never been done to my knowledge, but I’d like to see an accounting of the untold millions of dollars spent on what these groups call
the rights of the unborn. I simply can’t wrap my head around the idea that these people of faith don’t see how that money would care for and change the future of the millions of unwanted children already in this world. If nothing else, I would think they would see how devoting their time, talent and treasure to these, the least of their brethren is exactly what Jesus said we are all to do.
This is the truth I’d like to see these people face.
So, if you happen to be in the neighborhood, or feel strongly enough to make yourself be in the neighborhood tomorrow, July 6th, here is the itinerary:
9:00am - 10:30am; West Jefferson Street (Route 52) and Larkin Avenue (Route 7) in Joliet
11:30am - 1:00pm ; Brook Forest Avenue (Route 59) and Black Road in Shorewood
3:00pm - 4:30pm; Route 59 and Caton Farm Road in "Jolifield" (Plainfield schools, Joliet municipality)