Luz, a Facebook friend, recently commented on her experience with pro-life direct action in Phoenix. What she described brought back memories of the experiences of all of us who participated in such direct action at abortion mills.
Luz perfectly described our tactics, which included sitting in front of the doors of abortion mills in order to buy precious time for our sidewalk counselors. The fact is that across the country, wherever we did so, we saved lives. Many lives. In fact the children we saved in the early days of such activism would be 34 years old today. By now, many undoubtedly have children of their own.
The fact is that while we in front of those doors, the abortionist was powerless. We sat between him and his intended victims: where all people of good will belong when an innocent child is at such risk.
Sometimes we even managed to completely close the mills.
Imagine that! What the abortionist does to his victim was still considered “legal”, we still didn’t have the votes we needed in the Senate, and yet not one child died on those days.
It was empowering.
We did not have to wait on Congress,
Or the Supremes.
Any more than did Martin Luther King.
And yes we were peaceful: taking another page out of Dr. King’s book. We knew the real violence was being perpetrated by the abortionists inside the mill.
In fact that violence was so gruesome that some in the movement argued that it needed to be kept hidden.
No gruesome pictures they argued: even back then.
Odd, that’s exactly what the abortionists wanted: to keep it hidden. But we were there to expose the violence of the abortionists. So show the pictures we did.
To quote Gianna Jessen it’s “silly”, bizarre in fact, to suggest that, at an abortion mill of all places, we should join the abortionists’ conspiracy of silence by hiding the gruesome reality of what an abortionist does to a human being.
As I said before, we were peaceful, but of course the media portrayed it otherwise. And many pro-lifers took the bait. Particularly the pro-life establishment (the notable exception was Judie Brown of American Life League). At first the establishment supported us. In fact in the early 1980’s, the year the National Right to Life convention was in Missouri, it included workshops on pro-life rescues by some of us who had the privilege of leading that movement.
But soon thereafter National Right to Life lost its nerve.
And then the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
They were afraid of lawsuits.
Activists considered lawsuits the ultimate compliment. In fact, the establishment should worry that the abortionist never felt threatened enough by what they were doing to even bother to sue them. To me it was an indictment of the movement. But the pro-life establishment responded as if what they did was an end in itself. It was insane. The idea that the “movement” had to distance itself from rescuing the victims it claimed to represent in order to succeed. It was mind numbing.
Keep in mind, this movement held forth over the past forty-one years while abortionists killed 57 MILLION human beings. Helps explain why we had such little success as a movement. While there were certainly some accomplishments, most notably the Hyde Amendment and Infants Born Alive Act (Gianna Jessen gives the latter credit for saving her life)’ the bottom line is that to this day: abortionists still kill, with impunity, 1.3 million innocent human beings every year; we have the most Pro-abortion President in history; and Nancy Pelosi’s Bishop thinks a 27 year public scandal is addressed with a private meeting. No, we have a long way to go and are kidding ourselves and betraying those threatened by abortionists to suggest otherwise.
Burke had it right. And while “good men” haven’t necessarily done “nothing”, we have clearly not done enough. And Evil has most certainly triumphed. I have apologized many times to my children for the wholly inadequate job my generation did of confronting and ending this madness:
For our failure to protect the 30% of their peers who were killed by abortionists;
For losing our nerve.
We can still learn from history (that of the pro-life movement as well as Civil Rights movement).
Live out the wisdom of Cervantes.
But there is a price to be paid.
It’s well past time to rethink what we’ve done as well as what we’ve failed to do: as a movement as well as individuals.
Then it’s time to act.
I refuse to accept that any able-bodied human being has an excused absence from the local abortion mill.
The killers manage to get there;
As do their co-conspirators, the Deathscorts who sometimes outnumber us;
And of course the moms, dads and grandparents who come to have their progeny killed manage to get there as well;
Here is perhaps the greatest indictment of all: the first time most Christians make it to an abortion mill it is……to have their child killed! Still wonder why it’s 41 years and counting?
The fact is that this holocaust occurred while we were free.
No jackbooted storm troopers holding us back.
No guns to our heads.
This bloodbath occurred right under our noses.
In our neighborhoods.
While we went about our daily activities unimpeded by the horror about us:
Graduations (For the Survivors of the abortion holocaust that is.);
Homilies (about everything except abortion) .
All good things (except perhaps the latter).
But how is our life different because we are live in a country where such a holocaust is being committed?
And if our life is not different, which is true for the vast majority of Christians and pastors, isn’t that alone a good reason for some soul searching? Not the navel gazing variety but a deep soul searching that seeks what God and the Gianna Jessens of today would have us do. A soul searching that’s open to personal accountability and that leads to action.
Make no mistake about it, there’s plenty of responsibility to go around. I spent almost 7 years post Roe & Doe limiting myself to education, political action, and letter writing. It wasn’t until 1980 that I finally made it to an abortion mill. And I had plenty of company.
How different would things be had we gone to the abortion mills first?
On January 23, 1973?
But the reality then is the reality now: a society which would seek to perpetrate an evil and injustice of this magnitude should have to do it over the bodies of every able-bodied Christian and person of good will.
If confronted with such a reality, as in the case of the Civil Rights movement, provided the tension is sufficient, such a society (for the right reason or otherwise) tends to right itself.
If not, the prisons will be filled with Christians as in the early Church. Not such a bad place to be. Particularly if the price of our freedom comes at the expense of failing to live out our responsibility to be “our brothers’ keeper.”