I have gotten to know many prominent members of the pro-life community in the last few years, and I keep in touch with many through social media. Last month, one of them told a story about a young relative who is enamoured with her pro-life work. Little Jenny* dreams of one day working to keep preborn children “safe” just like her role model.
As proud as I am of my friend’s positive influence, the post still hit a nerve. I’ve heard many complaints that my desire to save lives is not my own. Instead others are suspected of deliberately projecting their hopes onto me at an impressionable age. The only reason some can see for me to become involved in this movement is because people I admire have asked it of me. I fear the same thing will happen to this future activist. Will she be ready for it? Jenny has a much more solid support system than I started with, but that does not guarantee immunity.
Contemplating this child’s future has made me wonder what will happen to my kids when I have them. I’m not sure how I would explain the horrible thing that their Mama has tried to stop by standing on sidewalks, talking to passersby, and holding pictures of broken children. Thank God I have a long time before I even have to begin thinking about that.
I have a vague memory of being greeted by a tearful babysitter after coming home from school one day. I was probably around 11. She had watched a movie called “The Silent Scream” in her health class, which I now know is Bernard Nathanson’s film. (I still have not seen it.) I was asked, “Do you know what an abortion is?” I shook my head as Kristyn* explained “If a mom doesn’t want the baby that’s growing inside of her, she can go to a special kind of doctor and pay him to kill it.” I must have been shocked at the time, but I didn’t think much of it until well after being introduced to the pro-life movement nearly two years later.
There are plenty of issues surrounding the discussion of abortion. Anyone reading this who knows young children should use their best judgement about when to broach this sensitive subject and deal with the floodgates they will be opening. It is essential, however, that their introduction come from those they love and trust … before the rest of the world tries to convince them it’s no big deal. We need to be there to reassure our daughters that this will never happen to them. We need to tell our sons that hurting children – ending their lives – because they are a lot smaller, more vulnerable, and more dependent than other people is never okay. When they are old enough to know more, they will probably ask us what we have done to stop the injustice. I want all of us to be ready with an answer – an honest one that we can live with.
*Names have been changed.
Taylor Hyatt is a Summer student at The Interim.