Our Common Ground

Our Common Ground November 29, 2015

Hateful insults fling from both sides of the abortion debate and fuels violence from both sides. I know that it’s not proper to speak ill about your “side” of this issue, but I prefer honesty. Both sides talk about the importance of truth, so here’s a little. It would be dishonest to say that there are no hateful comments coming out of the mouths and keyboards of pro-lifers. It’s an easy trap to fall into. I’ve done it, it happens. It’s hard for it not to when you realize that babies are being torn limb from limb for profit and organ donation.

Being on the front lines of the abortion debate is not for me because I can’t handle knowing that people think that is ok to do. I fight abortion in other ways. I have pro-choice friends and I love them and keep the door open for them at all times. They know where I stand on abortion and I know where they stand, we don’t try to change each other’s minds, we just love each other. Guess who they call when someone they know is facing an unexpected pregnancy and is having a meltdown about it? Me. I get phone calls, texts, Facebook messages and I answer every one of them. I talk to each woman that I can and I use everything that I learned being on sidewalks of abortion clinics to be as clear and honest as possible about what abortion is, what all the options are and that I want to help any way that I can. I can’t help them get an abortion, but I do tell them that I can find help for them with things even if they do get one because the fact is that an abortion doesn’t solve any of the problems that has a woman on that table ending the life in her womb. They walk out of that clinic no longer pregnant, but all the other things are still there. And there are always a lot of other things.

While I won’t deny that hateful things are said by pro-lifers, I also won’t deny that hateful things are also said by pro-choicers. Both sides have their crazy hateful people. You just won’t see footage of pro-choicers trying to run down pro-lifers on the 6 o’clock news even though that has been known to happen. You won’t see anything on TV that makes pro-lifers look like anything other than religious whack jobs who vote Republican and oppress their women who obvs have Stockholm syndrome. You won’t see intelligent pro-life women being interviewed nearly as much as pro-choice women are. You won’t see the accomplishments of pro-life women being celebrated at banquets outside of the pro-life world.

Pro-life women don’t have a place set for us at the feminist table. Add being Catholic, happily married and open to life to that and you get further and further away from that table. We are not given credit for anything we accomplish, even as we fight for the same benefits of citizenship as other feminists. Why? Because we are not ok with killing our children in order to “make it”. We don’t think that is a sacrifice any woman should have to make. That is why when we see a woman on TV show smiling and peaceful about ending the life in her womb, we speak up, because we have seen the faces of many women who have made that choice and those faces aren’t smiling or peaceful. We have seen the truth behind what abortion does to women, even those who deny it did anything to them other than set them free. You want truth? Then show those faces, the stories of regret, show the abortion and the blood. Show the little arms and legs being put back together to make sure that all of the parts are there.But I digress…

Here’s the thing, the reason that Jesus said for us to love our enemy is because He knew that our natural inclination would be to fling poop at each other. Maybe He even thought about 2,000 years in the future when the internet would be the place that poops flings the most. I don’t know, but I know that He meant those words “Love your enemy” and it wasn’t just a platitude. When we don’t love our enemy and we make them subhuman, we forget that they have the same dignity that we defend in the unborn and pro-choicers forget that women being told “I hope you get raped in an alley” is wrong even if it’s told to a pro-life woman. When these things happen, we all lose. When acts of violence are carried out against one another, we all lose. We end up with the crazies in our camps taking the words we fling at each other as a battle cry to physically assault the “other”. We have to say no to all acts or threats of violence in our names. We are all on the same side on this one, this is our common ground, this is how we love each other even when we disagree on abortion. It begins first by saying no to the poop flinging. We stop flipping each other off. We respect each other as women because we are women, not because we all think alike and talk alike and agree on everything. We don’t accept a sister being spoken to in a demeaning way by anyone, regardless of what she thinks about abortion because we are and/or  have mothers, sisters, nieces, daughters, and grandmothers. That’s our sisterhood. That is our common ground.


A weeping angel gravestone in a cemetery in Rome. I took this picture on my trip there in 2010.  May the victims of the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting rest in peace.
A weeping angel gravestone in a cemetery in Rome. I took this picture on my trip there in 2010.
May the victims of the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting rest in peace.
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