January 26, 2015
I have sometimes imagined myself living during a great human rights struggle, and wondered what I would do. If I were an American in 1850, would I perceive slavery for the evil it was and fight the norms and institutions of my day to end it? If I were a German in 1943, would I risk my reputation and livelihood to challenge the system that sent my neighbors to die in extermination camps?
A few weeks ago, I decided to attend a meeting at Rez on pro-life issues and got a wake-up call: I am living during a great human rights struggle right now.
Honestly, I'd fallen asleep to the abortion crisis. The issue seemed too big and too complicated. I didn't know enough to do anything. It was offensive to oppose abortion rights. It was just one injustice among many.
But as I listened to law professor and Rez member Morse Tan teach at the meeting, I was deeply struck by three realities:
First, if I really believe that a baby before birth is the same person after birth, then the true situation is that thousands of people in the United States are killed through abortion each day.
Second, that the right to an abortion is actually a unique injustice. The norms and institutions of our society thankfully are united against many injustices such as human trafficking; sadly, they are divided on the issue of abortion rights.
Third, because our society doesn't recognize the truth about this injustice—at the cost of many lives—the need is great to speak out to challenge the status quo and to champion the lives of the not-yet-born.
Last Sunday, January 18, about 80 of us from Rez were privileged to raise our voices with over 4,000 others to do a small part in this effort at the 2015 March for Life Chicago. Top 40 tunes blared, yellow "LIFE" balloons were everywhere and counter-demonstrators lined the sidewalk across from Federal Plaza where we gathered. We walked the city streets, held signs, prayed and sang, but just as important as the "what" of the march is the "why." We gathered to tell the truth about abortion, to advocate for, love and celebrate the lives of babies not-yet-born. And we gathered to love and pray for the mothers and fathers whose lives are marked by abortion and, ultimately, to seek God's transforming work in their lives, in our government and in our communities to heal the darkness and destruction that abortion has caused.