I must draw your attention to a wonderful article by Cardinal Dolan of New York on the issue of abortion. He is speaking to the young, to those he calls the “Ultrasound generation”, those who, thanks to technology, know that what is in the womb is not a clump of cells but a child – as they have seen it for themselves from ultrasound photographs.
Ultrasound has been a blessing to the medical care of pregnant mothers and their children – doctors can keep an eye on the baby and make sure all is going well, and the mother can look at the little one who is growing inside her. The development of this technology has not been welcomed by all: those who promote an abortion culture are appalled by the widespread use of ultrasound and they want it curtailed: to be used only for those women who have decided to have their babies. In their view those women contemplating an abortion should not be allowed to have one; why? Because it might put them off when they see that what is in them is not a clump of cells, nor merely the “products of conception” but rather a child, a human being.
Ultrasound exposes the lies of the pro-abortion lobby groups and now it is only the uninformed and those most blinded by ideology who now believe the nonsense that comes out of mouths of pro-choice campaigners. Younger generations are not so easily fooled. Yes, there are young people who support abortion – we met them at the rally last Saturday week. They are idealistic young people who believe in the tenets of the sexual revolution but have not actually sat down and really thought out the consequences of the revolution for their generation. In conversation with them they speak but do not listen – they are so convinced they are right they will not tolerate an opposing position. Anyone who has conversed with passionate teenagers will know all about this.
One of the things these young pro-choicers have not realised is that they could have been victims of the abortion culture they believe in so passionately. That fact, however, has not been lost on all the young people of that generation – many of them are keenly aware that they could have been deprived of life. In his article Cardinal Dolan reminds them that “one of them [aborted babies] could easily have been you”. That makes the issue of abortion a very personal one indeed. One need only ask the questions: “Do I have a right to life? Or can another take my life for their own purposes?” Whenever I have asked those questions of pro-choicers their response was most dismissive and they returned to the usual mantra of women’s rights and choice. In one conversation with a young woman on the issue she responded: “I wouldn’t have known because I wouldn’t have existed, so the questions are stupid”. She was, of course, wrong on all accounts: she would have existed, but never would have lived here on earth; she would have known that she was aborted; and no, the questions are not stupid: they are the most fundamental questions, ones which should be asked when we discuss the issue of abortion, and they are questions the pro-abortion lobby do not want anyone to ask.
But of course for those born of crisis pregnancies they are real questions. As one born of such a pregnancy they are questions I myself asked a long time ago. I too could have been aborted – I was conceived after the UK legalised abortion and young Irish women were taking the boat to abort their children in English clinics. Did my birth mother contemplate abortion? I do not know, but if she did, in the end she chose life and for that I am deeply grateful (and relieved). I was adopted to wonderful parents and have had a wonderful life thanks to God, to my parents and to the woman who let me live. Yet I am acutely aware that it could have been me.
Life is a gift, a gift that must be nurtured and respected and, if endangered, defended and cared for. Women with crisis pregnancies have life within them and they too must be nurtured, respected, defended and cared for: they must be loved, and believe me, there is no love in an abortion clinic, only death and profits. Abortion for me, and for many others, is a personal issue. We see it from the child’s side – the little one in the womb – the one who is defenceless and voiceless. It might be no harm for those who are calling for abortion in Ireland now to come and see it from the child’s perspective. As I can personally attest, the issue of abortion looks very different from inside the womb.