National March for Life
I have been covering the national March for Life in Washington, D.C. for many years now. It is an incredibly moving experience for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, literally hundreds of thousands of people show up every year rain or shine at the end of January. Sometimes the weather can be extremely brutal as definitely was the case this year as we marched up constitutional afternoon in bone-chilling drizzle.
Secondly, it is quite a pro-life shot in the arm to realize that we are not alone in this battle to save babies and turn the tide on the culture of death. It’s also inspiring to see the majority of the crowd is made up of young people in their high school and college years. These dynamic pro-life activists are bright, articulate, and extremely tech savvy. They are the future of the pro-life movement and the future is in good hands.
There is also something else that has moved me greatly as I return each year; my own attitude toward pro-abortion advocates. While the pro-abortion crowd numbers about two dozen on a good year for them, they always manage to get the lion’s share of the media coverage and that media coverage usually begins at the same moment post-abortive men and women are giving testimony in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. The abortion supporters do their best to not only keep the cameras focused on their small but enthusiastic crowd, they also make every effort with their familiar chants of “get your Rosaries off my ovaries” to drown out the voices of the speakers taking part in the Silent No More Awareness campaign annual event. When I first witnessed their actions, I was angry to the point of disgust. I was particularly angry with the women who absolutely refused to listen to the voices of other women; women who discovered that ending the life of their child did not lead to the freedom and relief they expected. Why didn’t these advocates of so called “choice” care about what they have to share?
Recognizing their pain
Year after year I would return. Year after year I would witness the same antics from what seemed like the very same protestors. However, the more I grew in my own faith, the more I also began to notice something else. What began to speak to me even more loudly and clearly than their chilling chants or their “keep abortion legal” signs, was the pain on their faces. These women were coming from a place of hurt. They may not have had an abortion but somewhere along the way they had been deeply wounded. The bottom line being that in the end, despite our major differences concerning the life issues, we were really not that different. There but for the grace of God, go all of us. Although I never had an abortion, I certainly wracked up my share of grave sins before coming back to my faith. And only by God’s grace was I able to turn away from the messages of a damaging culture, save my marriage, and more importantly, God willing, my soul. Now when I see the protestors, instead of getting angry I pray for them.
This weighs heavily on my mind right now given what is happening in this great country of ours. The Catholic Church along with its core teachings is under attack and so are the religious freedoms of every American. As if that isn’t enough, women are also under attack. Mandating “free” contraception and sterilization for the female population will result in more bondage and greater pain. We need to do whatever we can at every level to stop this mandate from being initiated. At the same time, I believe we women who have been rescued from the radical feminist agenda need to reach out to those still caught in its clutches. This way we might no only help save our country but help God save souls.
Teresa’s latest book, Extreme Makeover: Women Transformed by Christ, Not Conformed to the Culture has been on the Catholic best-seller list since its release in October, 2011.
Visit Teresa’s website: http://teresatomeo.com/
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