Musings from Moorman: The March for Life: Testament to joy for life rather than scorn of abortion
Jordan is a junior political science and history major and writes "Musings from Moorman" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past the Washington Monument, past an unending flock of geese and with the Capital Building on the horizon, I walked toward the rally that would feature tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people, gathered to testify to the joy of life in Washington D.C. They were there to peacefully protest Roe vs. Wade, whose anniversary would be just three days later.
People often ask me, “why are you pro-life? Why are you going on this march? Why are you against a woman’s right to choose?” These are huge questions, to which I have no simple answer. However, the spirit of the march in D.C., with tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people, was that of joy. Unexplainable joy. Not hatred. Not scorn. Not spite. But love, and joy. Indeed, the theme of the march this year was “love saves lives.” And that it does.
I had the privilege of hearing some very powerful speakers, including Congresswoman Herrera Beutler from Washington, and Sister Bethany Madonna from the Sisters of Life, among other equally moving speakers. Packed shoulder to shoulder in 40 degree weather, I listened, sometimes with tears in my eyes, to the powerful testimonies of these two amazing women. Rep. Beutler stood out to me because of the authenticity of her words. Her daughter was on stage, so we had the opportunity to see the little miracle for ourselves. You see, her daughter was not supposed to live. The little child in her mother’s womb had been diagnosed with a fatal lung deformity at 20 weeks. Doctors told her to terminate the pregnancy, or induce early to get it over with because “the sooner you start over, the better off you will be emotionally,” the doctor said, according to Beutler.
After much prayer and contemplation, Beutler and her husband decided not to start over. They found doctors willing to perform experimental treatments on their baby. She wasn’t supposed to survive. Her lungs were supposed to fail. But there she was, up on stage, smiling, holding her mother’s hand and waving to the crowd that must have looked eternal to the small child.
Her mother saw potential. Not just potential for that little girl to jubilantly exclaim, “mommy, a balloon!” while interrupting her speech, but potential for something great. To build something. To lead someone. To create, to teach and to show. Indeed, I believe the congresswoman’s daughter taught everyone something that day. She reminded us that life is a gift. Even when survival looks bleak, God and science can find a way. Just because no one had seen a baby survive this condition does not mean it can’t be done. Miracles do happen, and that beautiful little girl is a walking miracle, with infinite potential. Rep. Beutler loves her daughter, and love saves lives.
Sister Madonna reminded us of joy. Not scorn or spite in the pro-life movement for those tempted to have an abortion, have had an abortion or are apathetic to abortions; but profoundly enough, joy. The Sisters for Life, Sister Madonna’s order, ministers to women who are pregnant, seeking abortions, are scared, have had abortions or are simply not sure what to do. Over 400 women have sought help from the Sisters for Life.
After all the speakers, the march began. Clergy, students and people of all ages and backgrounds were walking together in unison, for love and for saving lives. There was a sign that said “I regret my abortion.”
I walked up to the woman, said hello and introduced myself. She was timid, careful with her words and very soft spoken. I explained that I was writing a column about the March for Life, and a testimony like hers would be powerful, moving and maybe even sway opinions. She nodded her head that she would try her best to answer any questions I asked her.
Her name was Dielia. She was 21 when she got her abortion 33 years ago. The first question I asked her was “why are you here marching?”
“For my daughter” was her succinct, yet emotional response. I knew by her eyes, by her voice that her daughter was the one that had been aborted. “She deserves to have someone speak up for her... she’s supposed to be here on Earth.” I then asked her, “so your sign here says ‘I regret my abortion.’ Why do you want to carry that for everyone to see?”
“Because I want people to, anybody who wants to come up and ask me, you can ask me why…someone on the other side can ask me why,” she said. “Because I want people to communicate and not be afraid to communicate that this isn’t an option. It should never be an option, and the women out there who have done this, what good does it do us to be silent and say nothing. How are we helping this next generation to not do this horrible thing that we’ve done?”
“It’s not a political thing … it’s a moral thing,” she added.
I was intrigued. Here I was talking to a woman in pain, longing to hold her daughter Danielle, whose life ended so long ago. But she was not angry. In fact, there was a hint of joy in her voice when she shared her message, that she can help other women in her situation, that she and all of us, through love, can save a life.
I asked her “What would you say to a woman considering an abortion?”
“I’d say, there is hope, your world is not coming to an end, you have a great big life ahead of you,” she said.
She cried two or three times in the conversation. She smiled and laughed and grimaced at the painful emotions coming back. She was scarred. But the beautiful thing about a scar is that they heal. She had just finished explaining to me that there was hope, a hope that yanked her from suicide and depression in the aftermath of her abortion. Tears streaming down our faces, smiling, connecting, I knew she was strong. I knew she ached for her daughter Danielle, but I also knew she was ready to fight for her daughter, and give hope for her daughter.
The point of the march is to remind everyone that they are loved. The joy and longing for a better world, the joy to save lives, born and unborn, the spirit of love, was present at this march. Pro-life or not, I believe everyone should go to the march for life once in their life. The crowd of people manifests a joy and love only describable through experience.
I am pro-life because I believe in a voice for the voiceless. I march because our country is systematically allowing the destruction of human life. I speak out because of the death and destruction that comes in abortion. I’m pro-life because I don’t want to live in a world where violence is used to solve our problems and shirk responsibility. As Mother Teresa said, “any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use only violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.” I concur.