The 40 Days for Life campaign begins today across the nation. Eighty-nine cities and towns are planning daily vigils at abortion facilities or Planned Parenthood offices, including one that is about a half mile from the house I own in New Jersey. This one also happens to be right across the street from the church where my four older kids were baptized.
We have abandoned women in this country. When our best solution to an unintended pregnancy is to pressure an expectant mother to reject her maternal instincts which desire to protect and nurture the new life in her womb and to have that life eliminated, we force women to deny their own humanity, to deny the humanity of their children, and to deny a very fundamental concept that murder is wrong.
What choices do women have today? Virginity is mocked. Men want to test drive the model before committing to the purchase. Engaged couples are expected to move in together to be sure that they can get along. Marriage is pushed to an older age or put off altogether. The end result is that women must have sex in order to be considered normal; they must use contraception to avoid the consequences of an active sex life, regardless of the health consequences of those products; and if pregnancy occurs, they must get an abortion because parents, sisters, brothers, friends and coworkers will all tell them that their life will be all messed up if they have a child.
Instead of making them equal to men, the sexual revolution has further reduced the power of women. Where once society protected women from poor youthful choices, it now shoves them into an adult world, condoms in their junior-sized jeans, to try to find happiness through a decade of one-night stands or tenuous relationships.
Ending abortion is as much about protecting women as it is about protecting unborn children. For now, my young daughters turn to me and their father for love, affirmation and protection. There will likely come a day when we will no longer be enough. They will turn to peers and other adults for a second opinion: am I worthy of love? I do not want them to feel they must give away their bodies in order to win someone else's approval.
As long as abortion is society's preferred solution to an unintended pregnancy, women will be the biggest losers in this game. Nobody can help carry the guilt of being an accessory to the killing of your own child. Nobody can ease the grief of future miscarriages and infertility that may result from having had an abortion. Nobody can take way the physical pain of future medical problems that may occur.
The 40 Days for Life campaign is hoping to end abortion through prayer and fasting and the daily vigils. I can't go to a vigil - not pregnant, and not with a slew of little kids. I can't do a true fast, although I can give up sweets or some other indulgence. I can pray, especially for a closure of this facility in New Jersey, but most especially for women to have true freedom and support and encouragement to make good choices. Consider participating in some way in this campaign, too. At the least, offer up one prayer for an end to this insanity.