While I have always identified as being “pro-life,” I struggled with this belief silently for years. I logically understood and could clearly see that abortion ends a human life (all we have to do is open a biology text book to figure that one out), but I found the distressed plea of a mother who legitimately felt she could not bear a child compelling. In my head I could logically see how this thinking was flawed, but I struggled with it in my heart, much like I did with my own worth. And the two were intimately connected.
My biggest fear in life used to be that I was a burden to other people. I never wanted to cause problems or inconvenience others. If another was upset, I too often assumed it was because of something I did. When I was first sexually abused at age 12, I was convinced it was my fault. I thought I had done something wrong. The abuse only accentuated my fear of being a burden–how could I reveal what happened, and create the trouble that would come with it? I struggled for a long time to even call what happened “sexual abuse” because of this fear. But that’s exactly what it was–sexual abuse. My fear of being a burden is what led me to keep quiet about what was happening in my life as a teenager when I began to be abused by another man.
When I became a member of my university’s pro-life group my second semester of college, it hit me that abortion and sexual abuse are different forms of the same evil. They hold the same assumptions to justify their existence and accomplish similar ends; death on one hand, and abuse in another. A mother who only has an abortion because she feels it is her only option is certainly more sympathetic than a sexual predator, but the acts themselves communicate the same message: “You are less valuable than me, and disposable. I do not totally or genuinely love you, and you will suffer for me.”
If from our very conception, it is permissible to question whether or not someone’s existence is convenient, or worth protecting, what stops us from using someone at any stage of their lives for our own convenience or pleasure? Why are we worth protecting from any danger if life has no inherent value? Truly, if our lives have no value or meaning, there is no reason to protect them.
If you ever wondered what goes on at a pro-life group meeting, we spend a lot of time studying why abortion occurs and how to compellingly and compassionately explain the logical fallacies used to justify it in our culture. It was in this study that I realized the logical inconsistencies that were rooted in my heart and which led me to believe I was not worth being treasured and protected. When I began to realize and believe I did have value, and was worth being loved, I had no question as to whether or not another human life at any stage deserves the same, no matter the level of “convenience” their existence disturbs in another’s perception.
Abortion and sexual abuse are both products of the culture of death. It will take prayer and true charity to bring about the culture of life. Please join in me in prayer for the protection of the unborn today and that our culture may come to never view another human person in light of what they can or can’t do but rather what they are: a being of infinite value who is due only love.