Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lives Worth Defending

I had a student last semester who wrote her research paper "Against Abortion." One argument she used in her favor was that she herself had once had an appointment with "the procedure." That is, her own mother had wanted to abort her, but something (a change of mind or circumstance - I don't remember what) had interfered. She learned about this when she was 14, and is today 19, keenly aware of how much she loves being alive. This is hardly the first such story I've heard. There is also Sky's story, which I tell here. Miracles which have the appearance of mere accidents do happen. When the anniversary of Roe v. Wade comes around each year, I suspect people like these take notice.

President Obama took notice too. This fellow, whom even conservatives never seem to tire of calling " a very smart man," marked the anniversary by putting his keen intellect into the service of well-worn clichés accessible even to the dull-witted:

President Obama marked the 39th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade court decision Sunday by saying that he remains committed "to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right."

"We must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters"...Obama said Sunday that reducing the number of abortions was something that everyone could agree to, whether they supported or opposed abortion rights.

But if it's truly a private family matter, that is, no one else's concern, why should anyone care if the number of abortions gets reduced? Oh, why bother.

We might look instead at Melissa Ohden's story. I find it more compelling than Obama's boilerplate abstractions about 'reproductive freedom' and 'fundamental constitutional rights.' Melissa is just a woman who is also a wife and mother. She reminds me of some of my students because she, too, had a close call with abortion. She actually survived one. Her own mother's "reproductive rights" included subjecting her unborn child of 20 weeks' duration, Melissa, to a saline abortion. Melissa endured for five days an assault on her life that normally concludes within 72 hours. You can hear her tell about it in a video on this page. "Who in this room wants to tell my daughter that her mother's life was not worth defending?"

You can also see her in an interview with Fox News.

Melissa has founded an organization named after her daughter, Olivia, to "raise awareness of the intergenerational impact of abortion... Painfully aware that Olivia would not have come into existence if the abortion [had] succeeded in ending her life, Melissa felt driven to create this organization that would positively raise awareness of the ripple effect of abortion across generations."

There must be others like her out there. Let's give thanks today that they are now among us, and will have children of their own. And then there are many other 'others' who will not be joining us. What to do about them I don't know. Here's a picture of Melissa. God bless her and all who take heed to what she has to say.

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