By Tabitha Kaza
According to a press release, “ON SATURDAY, April 6, the newly launched Movement for Abortion Defense is organizing a national day of action to defend…abortion clinics from anti-choice harassment during the biannual ‘40 Days for Life.’” Their strategy is to appear at abortion clinics and “reclaim” them from 40 Days for Life demonstrators. They are calling it their “Day of Action.”
The Movement for Abortion Defense has offered a series of action points, including “unapologetic demand for full abortion rights” and “free abortion on demand.”
“Fight” “Demoralize” “Confront” “Rattle” “Militant”–all words from their statement.
George Orwell once wrote, “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable,” and the truth of his insight has never been more apparent than at this moment in the abortion rights movement. The rallying cry of the Movement for Abortion Defense is couched in this language of dehumanization of the opponent, the terms of war, the belittling of the evidence of the humanity of the unborn. They think we doctor abortion images to make a point, calling them “mangled, fake fetuses,” when in reality 40 Days for Life doesn’t even use images, just prayer and peaceful witness.
In keeping with this, the official response to the coming “Day of Action” from 40 Days for Life is: “Love these people. Do not engage them in argument of any kind. They come to aggravate and are hoping we will respond with violence. We must not. We must pray, remain calm, and love them.” Our battle is not against flesh and blood.
We know too much to defend abortion. Never before have we had such a window into the beginnings of life. We can observe the flash of light that occurs at the moment of conception. We can see the cells divide, with their own unique DNA that has never been before and will never be again. We can watch these little individuals grow, and see their heartbeats flicker on a screen as soon as 21 days after the light of conception. We no longer just tape printed ultrasound pictures on our fridge–we share them on social media, and have gender reveal parties at 12 weeks gestation, before the new life has even changed the curve of a woman’s profile. And 3D ultrasounds show unborn babies moving in real time. Micropreemies continue to defy all expectations for what is possible as life moves from under a mother’s heart into her arms. Babies are lifted out of wombs to receive life-enhancing surgery, to be replaced and born at a later gestation. We see the unborn dance and flip and stretch and and yawn and play with their umbilical cord and LIVE.
The self-proclaimed “militant” abortion rights movement has reduced those who support equal rights for unborn humans to derogatory terms: “anti-abortion” or “anti-women,”or just “antis,” as they did in their call to action. But actions always speak louder than slogans, and the actions of those who care about all human life are unmistakably PRO: pro-woman, pro-child, pro-family, pro-freedom, pro-hope, pro-love, pro-joy, pro-life.
But while their political language might stir up a crowd, it’s our actions that will be winning over hearts and minds. This Saturday, if any Movement for Abortion Defense activists come to your town, let them speak. Let them use their political language of unrest and name-calling. Let them take out their anger on you, if they need to, and then invite them to sit down to a cup of coffee and a quiet conversation. Find common ground: join them in their outrage over racism, sexual violence, and women’s issues of justice. Show them the inside of your local PWHC, or your pregnancy help center, or your maternity home. Let them see how much we care.
And show them that pro-lifers know women DO need to access quality healthcare, and we DO have a life-affirming answer to that need. Pro Women’s Healthcare Centers (PWHCs) are appearing all over the country with the mission to partner with women to provide comprehensive, convenient, compassionate, high-quality medical services and access to social services that empower them to care for their health. Every Pro Women’s Healthcare Center offers prenatal care through at least 20 weeks, and has programs available to help women in financial need to access this service, while also offering fertility awareness based services that will help prevent unwanted pregnancies and get to the root of the problem. But PWHCs go further, establishing a relationship between a woman and her provider that can start in adolescence and last through childbearing and post-menopause. This is the outlook on women’s health that our culture needs, an approach that is based on love, life, health, and wholeness.
With our words and actions, let us speak a language of love – for the women and the pro-abortion activists alike.
Tabitha Kaza is a certified DONA birth doula and mother of twelve. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University in 1998, she homeschooled her six boys and six girls while her husband served in the Marine Corps, and started attending births as a doula in 2012, after the birth of her ninth. Her special passion is bereavement work, perinatal hospice with Embracing Grace, and pro-life advocacy, both in the written word and by supporting the Gabriel Project as a volunteer doula. She is especially dedicated to serving families as they welcome new life, as she loves all things birth and hopes mothers choose joy in all circumstances.