January 22, 2008

fighting for the helpless

As many people know, today marked the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling "Roe v. Wade." Since this ruling was enacted, nearly 50 million babies have been helplessly killed inside the womb. Although the number of abortions is "bragged" to be at its lowest since 1976, there is still a long road ahead to ensure that children have a right to be born.

In my classroom we have always talked about praying for unborn babies, especially Baby Mauss, however the word "abortion" never came up - until a couple months ago. Every week we read the coming Sunday's Gospel reading from Mass, and then we have a short reflection page that goes along with it. The Sunday's Gospel was on perseverance, and the reflection story was about a group of pro-life advocates who persevered and eventually had an abortion clinic shut down. After seeing the word abortion on the sheet, I thought to myself, here we go! There was no way I couldn't address it now!

So, after everyone finished reading I asked my class if anyone knew what the word "abortion" meant. A few kids said they had heard about it before and they had fairly good answers. For those who stared at me blankly, I told my kiddos that there are 2 ways a baby can die when he or she is growing in its mother's womb. I said that babies inside a mom are very fragile and a lot has to be done to make sure they grow in a healthy way. I brought up the fact that I have to make sure to avoid certain foods and take very good care of my body so that Baby Mauss isn't harmed. However, even if I do everything right, God can still choose to take my baby back in what's called a miscarriage.

I then said that, as of about 30 years ago, there are certain people who think it's OK to choose to kill a baby. (At this point, I had everyone's eyes intently on me.) I didn't get into details about how it is done (not really appropriate at this age) but I did say that some people don't know how bad it is but believe it's OK anyway, and there are some people who have a really hard life and don't think they can raise a baby. (Then one of my girls raised her hand and said, "Why don't they give it up for adoption?" Well said, my dear...) I said that some hearts are really hard and don't want to believe that life begins inside the mom at even a point where we really can't see the baby. I also said that it is important for us to pray that these hard hearts will be changed so that babies have a better chance of living.

For the next 20 minutes we had a powerful discussion, obviously at a 3rd grade level, on what our job is to protect babies that can't speak for themselves. I am so grateful to be sharing my pregnancy with my class and to see how excited they get when they see a 10 week old ultrasound picture, how much fun they have seeing Baby Mauss move, and how filled up they get when sharing their own baby stories, whether about themselves or brothers and sisters.

Today we had the chance, once again, to talk about this issue and what "Right to Life" means. I mentioned that yesterday we celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, who fought for the rights of the defenseless. And today we continue to fight and pray for the defenseless, especially the defenseless in a mother's womb. I said that today is the anniversary of the decision made to make it OK to kill babies and that we must pray for this decision to be changed. We spent some time in prayer and I am so grateful for the opportunity to bring Truth to a whole new generation.

I just know that these kids understand how precious life is, and they don't need to be convinced of it through endless hours of debate. God's innocence is so clearly on their hearts, and even they understand the most fundamental principles of human existence. These kids are such an example to me of how awe-inspiring a young mind is, and how Jesus told us that children are an example of how we are to live to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Of course, some may argue that their lives are uncomplicated by the pressures of the world and therefore can posses such a view, especially when it comes to abortion. However, I believe it is the opposite. Us adults have confused and complicated things so much that we don't know up from down!

On the same note, it is unarguable that Heaven has a new saint - a saint that not only spent her life honoring God and her faith, but also fighting for the most defenseless of human beings, the unborn.

As many people know, Kathy McEntee passed from this earth to the arms of Christ last weekend. You can find the details of her passing in the article, however the most incredible aspect of her life was that she dedicated her life to the call God placed before her - the call to raise a holy family (I actually have one of her 11 grandchildren in my class this year!) and the call to never cease fighting in the pro-life movement. She started the first March for Life in the United States, held here in Olympia. And her work continues today through the countless numbers of people dedicated to ending this modern-day holocaust. We know that she prays for us at the throne of God and is joined by the millions of children in Heaven whom she tirelessly fought for.

Before I end, there was one more thing I wanted to mention. (Me, keep talking? No....) I am sick and tired of the rhetoric used by the "pro-choice side." (!) I am a person of reason, who likes to have reasonable conversation with people, however when the media plays the game of spinning the pro-life side by making up names for us that sound uncompassionate or just plain stupid, I get upset.

So, instead of complain, I'll play along with their game. The next time someone asks me what I "am," I will say, "you know what, I'm pro-choice, and I choose life. What do you choose, life...or death?"

A baby at only 6 weeks gestation:

Click for a larger image:

a baby in an ultrasound and at birth:

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