Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Nagging Question

Sr. Bernadette Reis, a Daughter of St. Paul, penned a reflection for Busted Halo in time for tomorrow’s anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

The essay, “Pro-Life or Pro-Active?,” raises good questions. Some excerpts:

... I personally can never vote for a pro-choice candidate when a comparable pro-life candidate is also running. However, I have lived through the presidency of three pro-life presidents, as well as a Republican-led Congress. As far as abortion is concerned, not much has changed. With a track record like that, I can understand my peers who don’t get the logic behind voting for pro-life candidates as the answer to the abortion debate. ...

What would happen if every one of us were involved, if every one of us made it our responsibility to change the reality of abortion, regardless of whether Roe v. Wade is overturned?

This question has been nagging me ever since my brother, Dominic, and his wife, Cynthia, took in a young woman with a brand new baby. Cynthia befriended her while volunteering at a local home for unwed mothers; but once she gave birth to her daughter, the young mother had nowhere else to go. Dominic and Cynthia were newly married — and they took her in. When they looked for a different apartment, and later for a house, they looked for one that had adequate room for themselves, their guest and her baby. For the last three years, they have provided a home for her and her daughter. It was a delight for me to hear the little 3-year-old girl ask Cynthia if she could call my nieces and nephews her cousins too. Not only have she and her mother been given a place to stay, they have a new “family” of sorts as well.

what would happen if the 51 percent of Americans who have now identified themselves as pro-life decide to become pro-active in the lives of the actual women they know who are pregnant and need help?

What would happen if every parish bulletin listed the contact person for any woman who was pregnant and scared (and if that person were visible within the church community)?

What if our focus changed from a debate about the constitutionality of abortion — which requires very little personal sacrifice on our part — to directly helping the women who may potentially have an abortion?

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