Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Don't buy the lie.

The article I link to below was published in 1992. Why, then, 16 years later, do we have so many pro-lifers still taking the approach that focuses on trying to convince people that a fetus is a baby? Dr. Reardon makes the excellent point that everyone knows a fetus is a baby. They may choose to talk around the point or to avoid thinking about it, but they know it. Even if they support abortion, they know it. And they don't, if pressed, deny it. Biological fact demands as much.

Many pro-life people still seem to think, though, that conviction of this one biological fact is all it will take to convert a pro-abortion person into an anti-abortion one. Not true, Dr. Reardon says. People don't deny the personhood of the fetus because they don't believe it's biologically human. They deny it for an explosion of reasons, ranging from political convenience, to desire not to hurt others who have lost pregnancies, to deep personal suffering over involvement with abortion. In every case, though, there's one common factor: prioritizing the needs of the woman over those of her unborn child. Reardon emphasizes what others have acted on, that there should never have to be an opposition between those needs:

Once average citizens realize that women are being hurt by abortion, they will finally begin to question why we are allowing abortions at all. Until now, much of the public has been convinced by pro-abortionists that "abortion helps women." But once this myth is called into question, once the public begins to wonder if abortion is actually hurting women, then the tragedy of killing unborn babies for nothing becomes more apparent. If abortion doesn't help women, it doesn't make sense. . . .

We seek to awaken in the common mind the fundamental truth that whenever one hurts a child, one hurts its mother as well. And conversely, whenever one helps a mother, one helps her child. Therefore, the solution to problem pregnancies is not abortion; it is compassion.

Practical Pro-Life Action: Read the whole article. (Annoyingly, I can't seem to get a direct link, so click here, then on "Politics," then on "How To Put Compassion in Pro-Life Politics,) then scroll down to the bottom of that page and click "A New Strategy for Ending Abortion. Oy, sorry about that.) Then share the content with someone you know who seems to need to hear it: either a pro-abortion person who (wrongly) believes pro-lifers don't care about women, or a pro-lifer who (wrongly) believes pro-aborts don't care about anything.

"That ain't no etch-a-sketch. That's one doodle that can't be un-did, homeskillet."

I loved "Bella," the sweet, spicy, much-touted film about life, love and Latino culture, but "Juno" -- the next unplanned-pregnancy film -- while different, sounds like a lot of good old-fashioned indie comedy fun. It opens on Christmas Day, so your Practical Pro-Life Action for next week is to go see it. Need help making up your mind to drop the $10? Read Jill Stanek's concise review. She is pleased, and is pretty sure you will be too.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

an oldie, but a goodie

In the throes of Christmas prep, as I'm sure you all are as well, I'm still thinking about how I can participate in pro-life activity. For me, a lot of the volunteering is going to be on hold till after the season. . . my husband and I are travelling to see family, meaning the PRC that is normally right down the street will be 1300+ miles away.

But, for your reflection, here is a classic Practical Pro-Life tip sheet: Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life details Things You Can Do Today To End Abortion. I don't think they're all grand ideas, mind you (be they pro- or anti-, who's going to be anything other than upset and angry if you interrupt graduation with a memorial for the students who never made it?), but many are surprisingly simple and direct, especially for awareness-raising.

Practical Pro-Life Action: Do check out the list. Think about which suggestions you might be able to implement.

Let's hope this happens:

South Dakota seeks to seriously restrict abortions in-state. The bill has the rape-incest-and-life-of-the-mother tagline on it, but still. That would be serious progress. Wasn't there an initiative like this in 2004 or even 2006? Maybe this time it will pull through.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

In which The Practical Pro-Lifer decides to adopt, spiritually.

I'm not a POD ("pious and overly-devotional") Catholic. I like me some candles and frilled surplices, sure, but I wasn't brought up saying (nor do I now say) three daily Rosaries. I don't possess the art of juggling multiple novenas (indeed I can barely hack through one; I usually lose it around day six). And as sweet as the baby Jesus is, I'm more than mildly allergic to those kewpie-doll-like Infant of Prague statues.

So I'm surprised to find myself participating in the prayer marathon that is spiritual adoption. I've been thinking about it for some months, but haven't really found the strength to commit to it -- until recently, when I started this blog and began thinking seriously about concrete pro-life actions. Now I think it makes good sense. If you believe in the power of grace, nothing is more practical than prayer.

Spiritual adoption, for those unfamiliar with the practice, isn't necessarily Catholic or even Christian, though as far as I can tell it has its roots in that tradition. All it means is that you pray daily for nine months that the life of one particular unborn child, whose parents are considering abortion, might be spared. You can use the Christian formula prayer, or you can invent one of your own. You can (and I will) pray for the child's parents as well, that they will be given strength and that their needs will be met. And since we don't know what the case will be, and adoption might play a role, it seems to make sense to pray for the baby's potential adoptive parents, too.

Today, when Catholics celebrate the conception of the woman who chose Life in the ultimate way, seems like a particularly good time to begin praying that other women who conceive may be empowered to choose life. It seems like a good day to pray that those children conceived today may be born and may give of themselves to the world as she did.

Practical Pro-Life Action: If you feel comfortable praying at all, I invite you to join me in nine months of prayer that one more unborn baby conceived today may be born and loved.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Now for something a little more cheerful.

Wow, sorry for that outburst yesterday. I'm not going to delete it, because it's an accurate record of how I felt at the moment. But wow. I said I would try to avoid that kind of posting, and then I went and spewed sarcasm and bitterness anyway. Memo to Future Practical Pro-Lifer: don't do that again.

To atone, we'll keep it short and sweet today. Practical Pro-Life Action: Watch and share.