Friday, January 23, 2009

Marching on

A year ago yesterday, Presidential candidate Obama issued a statement priding himself on his 100% approval rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood; reaffirming his commitment to Roe v. Wade; and stating his intention to sign the Freedom of Choice Act into law. Yesterday, President Obama issued a reprise of that statement, couching the same sentiments in less definite terms and asserting our essential unity despite divisions.

Mr. President, no. We are not united. And we, the pro-life movement, do not accept your goals. There is no need for abortion: even an action taken from desperation is not a need. We will never find common ground on "access to...contraception", "affordable" or otherwise. On the other hand, we do agree with you on providing accurate health information, and we look forward to your Surgeon General investigating the very real link between abortion and breast cancer.

Many of us were "unintended pregnancies" - unless I miss my guess, you were one. My siblings were, by definition; so was I. More, my mother never wanted to be pregnant yet again. By every point on the pro-abortion scale she ought to have aborted me. On welfare; eighth child; second Caesarian; detriment to health; uterus worn too thin to carry another child after me - she would have to have a hysterectomy. She did not want to go through it all again, especially the hysterectomy to top it off. She could have aborted me. And by law, my father would never have had to know that I, his daughter as much as hers, even existed.

That is why I joined the March for Life yesterday, and in many past years. It is not a religious question for me. I am not pro-life because I am Catholic, although that gives shape to my conviction. For me it goes deeper even than that. It is a question of the very right to exist, a right so very easily taken away - taken away in complete legality, and in secrecy. That is why I marched. That is why many of us born after 1973 marched. We survived.

We are pro-life; we are also pro-choice. We simply understand what the choice is, and that it takes concrete, flesh-and-blood form. That it is between life or death; blessing or curse. We've lived to make our own choices, and we will speak up for those who are not permitted to.

Perhaps we are a voice in the wilderness, easy to ignore. Certainly we were only a fraction of the size of the crowd who came to see you inaugurated, and certainly we only received a fraction of the media coverage. But we have come together to form that one voice for 36 years; we will continue to do so; and leaving from the March we will be individual voices across this land. And one day again, we will be heard.


e.s. said...

Well said, Meg.

Particularly the part about you. After all, how could I be e.s., if I didn't have an l.s.? (Okay, technically it should be y.s., but...)

The pendulum, as I said elsewhere, has a tendency to swing. Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama. The problem is that it's not swinging far enough. We're stuck in a pattern, and meanwhile Roe vs Wade is still out there.

But keep sight of the title of your blog. It won't always be this way.

Margaret Catherine said...

Oh, I know it won't. The title of my blog is firmly undergirding that post, don't worry. :) Obama is excellent inspiration...not only a kick-the-butt to get back into the pro-life fight, but also - indeed - a symbol of essential rights denied and regained.