I recently gave a talk on the topic of the Church and Feminism in the Diocese of Lansing for their Theology on Tap Young Adult group. We adjusted the title to “Can You Be Pro-Woman and Catholic? Yes.”
Recall that Theology on Tap talks take place at bars, so the environment is not one where you really want to “teach” as much as just “share” some knowledge. In other words, you can only go so deep with folks. Even though I’m pretty comfortable talking to groups at bars, I much prefer a classroom setting to get into the nitty gritty. But overall, the feedback was very good and everyone really enjoyed the Q&A afterwards (not recorded).
The beauty of recording these is that I get to edit those rambling bits out. Click this link (if you’re reading this in your email) or click the link below if you’re reading this post in your web browser.
However, if you really enjoy watching me from the side, (what a screenshot, right?) and you like my ramblings, go ahead and watch some of it below here:
This past weekend, the woman known as Jane Roe of Roe vs Wade, Norma McCorvey, passed away at the young age of 69 from heart failure.
Her sad passing puts abortion back in the headlines for a little while. While her death is in no way good news, the fact that people are reading about her life is good. Why? Because people are learning that she never even had an abortion. They are learning that she was deceived by her lawyers, encouraged to lie about her pregnancy, and immediately discarded after the ruling was brought down. She changed her mind on abortion years later and fought to undo the damage. What an incredible burden to carry for your entire life – to know that your case made abortion legal. I can’t imagine the torment and internal battle that she went through.
“I think it’s safe to say that the entire abortion industry is based on a lie…I am dedicated to spending the rest of my life undoing the law that bears my name.” Norma McCorvey, aka Jane Roe
Thinking about her conversion and how she changed from being pro-choice to completely pro-life, I thought about testimonials and listening to the voices of those we disagree with.
Do we really listen to what they have to say or are we too busy shouting our own opinion and defending our views? Are we so afraid of the possibility that we may actually change our mind too?
This brings me to the Women’s March on Washington. This march took place the day after the inauguration. And the media covered this in full force. In fact, the media seemed to be spending an unprecedented amount of attention on this march that seemed to have no clear agenda.
As I looked at the pictures of the women and and children marching in D.C. that day, I really only had one reaction: Sadness. It made me feel such pity for these women, young and old, holding up signs with vulgarity and mocking their own gender. You can say these vulgar images were just one part of this Women’s March. And you would be correct. But who got the most attention from the media? The more vulgar or outrageous the sign they carried or the costume they wore, the more attention they got.
Who’s voice was left unheard? Probably women like my friends and family who marched. The ones who say they marched for equal pay for men and women. Those who marched for the abused woman. The ones who marched for paid maternity leave and the rights of disabled women.
I am in complete agreement that these are rights worth fighting for.
But when the organizers of this Women’s March come out and say, “We want to see an end of violence against women” but in the next paragraph of their “Unity Principles” say how they are FOR unlimited access to abortion, how can we stand together in that? What about violence in the womb?
If they hadn’t promoted this event to be a pro-choice feminist event, even more women would have joined the cause! It would have been unprecedented to see all of us standing together. But that didn’t happen. Pro-life feminists were left out.
“I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.” – Ronald Reagan, September 22, 1980.
In complete contrast, on January 27th I had the pleasure of attending my first March for Life in D.C. It was an absolutely beautiful experience. All these people of different races, ages, faiths, (yes, atheists too!) and backgrounds coming together to celebrate LIFE.
The March for Life has Life Principles. The Women’s March had Unity Principles. The goal of the pro-life movement is clear: To show that all human beings are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which is the right to life.
The goal of the Women’s March is not so clear to me. I’m still scratching my head over it.
While I was pursuing their site, I came across something rather interesting under the heading #DayWithoutAWoman. Apparently they are organizing another protest where they are asking women to not show up to work? Again, I’m just confused as to what message that sends. But I would also ask, will abortion workers and women who work at Planned Parenthood not show up to work that day?
But what’s really interesting are the 3 questions they ask that they state are their principles that guide their actions:
Do businesses support our communities, or do they drain our communities?
Do they strive for gender equity or do they support the policies and leaders that perpetuate oppression?
Do they align with a sustainable environment or do they profit off destruction and steal the futures of our children?
I decided to play a little word game and replace the word “businesses” with Planned Parenthood. Let’s see what results we come up with:
Does Planned Parenthood support our communities, or do they drain our communities?
Planned Parenthood locations are mostly in the poorer communities. I’m going to say the answer is DRAIN our communities in the form of killing them before they’re born.
Does Planned Parenthood strive for gender equity or does it support the policies and leaders that perpetuate oppression?
Considering abortion is the ultimate form of oppression, I’m going to have to again say that PP is actually THE leader in the oppression movement.
Does Planned Parenthood align with a sustainable environment or do they profit off destruction and steal the futures of our children?
Oh the irony. I find the language in this particular question almost comical if it weren’t so sad. This clearly parallels the goal of the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood = The destruction of children; children have no future when they enter a Planned Parenthood clinic. Their life ends in that moment. And profit??? Yes, they absolutely profit off of the 320,000 unborn lives they terminate in the womb every year.
Norma McCorvey isn’t alive anymore to have her voice heard. Let’s make an effort to listen to those who have been there, who have believed the lies and have lived to regret them. I believe it’s our duty to hear what they have to say in order not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
And then maybe, next January 22nd, when we gather in D.C. to March for Life, perhaps we’ll be joined by newcomers to our movement. We’ll link arms together with these sisters with hope that one day we can say:
“Let us unite our voices to abolish abortion together.”