For the past few weeks I’ve been shadowing instructors from a local pro-life group that goes to Catholic and Christian schools teaching junior high students about the current life issues in our world. (I’m delighted to instruct my own class in less than a month.) The curriculum includes facts about abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, as well as the Good News of chastity and how we are all created in the image and likeness of God and what respecting human dignity entails.
Most of the classes are inspiring and educational as these kids learn about people who were born with disabilities, who were told by their parents to abort, but here they are living and thriving. They hear and read testimonials from post-abortive women who now advocate and promote the pro-life message. They hear from rape survivors who became pregnant and gave their child life.
On one particular day, as the 8th graders learned about abortion, I had a moment of profound sadness.
A boy in the class asked the question:
“So what do they do with the baby when it’s aborted?”
The instructor responded with the truth: “They throw the baby into the trash, into biohazard waste.”
The look on the children’s faces was something I don’t think I’ll forget. They just couldn’t believe it. They were shocked and appalled.
I was told later by one of my friends who’s been advocating for the unborn for years that they don’t actually throw them in the trash. At least some places don’t.
“They put them in a grinder and grind them up into pieces,” he said.
Maybe we need to just reflect on that for more than a second.
In the trash.
No funeral. No burial. No memorial. Just thrown into the trash.
I really have a hard time wrapping my head around all of it.
I sometimes just sit in plain shock at it all.
Like looking at the pictures of the victims of the Holocaust. The burned bodies lying on top of one another in black and white photos that I’ve seen. And even having visited a concentration camp when I took a trip to Europe as a teenager – I saw death. I felt it, it was palpable. Even decades later.
And there was another feeling there…
I don’t think I identified it as Evil at the time. I think I just knew the feeling was dark. Only years later as I would tell people that I visited one of the camps did I then recall and think, Oh….so that’s what that was. That was indeed evil I felt. It permeated the site.
I get that same feeling over me as I visit and stand outside abortion clinics to pray. There’s this dark, heavy feeling. Like you know something sinister is happening behind those doors but you can’t do anything to stop it at that moment.
It’s a very helpless feeling.
And it can quickly turn into hopelessness.
It has on occasion.
But thank God for those kids. Thank God for those kids having the courage to ask questions and listen and hear the truth. This is a lot of their young minds to process. What I would have given to have heard this message at their age!
I noticed something else about these young pro-life warriors:
They have NO FEAR. They are not afraid to engage.
An outsider reading this might think, “Just wait until they get to high school or college. They’ll be too afraid to fit in to speak up about anything.”
While it’s true that most 20-somethings become easily swayed into moral relativism in college, I still have hope.
You just wait. This generation is braver and smarter than we are. They have much more information at their fingertips than we ever did. Which means they have greater access to the TRUTH, while filtering out the LIES.
And they aren’t pushovers. They want Authenticity. They want people, adults and peers alike, to be Genuine. Heartfelt. Compassionate. Fighters! Honest! Bold!
So when I look around me at the various people praying outside abortion clinics, when I look around to see who will stand with me to fight for the unborn, the disabled and the elderly, the most vulnerable and weakest in our world, and when I look around and wonder who will have my back at the times when it seems hopeless, I see these kids.
I see hope in their eyes. I see something GOOD that I can cling to and hang on to.
The voiceless have a voice in the youth of today.
“When the time comes, as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the final judgment, I’ve often thought, as Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates, you are there alone standing before God — and a terror will rip your soul like nothing you can imagine. But I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there’ll be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world — and they will plead for everyone who has been in this movement. They will say to God, ‘Spare him, because he loved us!‘” – Congressman Henry Hyde – author of The Hyde Amendment, which the Democratic Party wants to repeal.
Anytime I blog about abortion, I think it’s important to mention post-abortive healing and counseling: