Why I Am Pro-Life: My Mothers’ Day Gift

With today being Mothers’ Day, I think it’s only appropriate that I thank my mother by offering insight as to why I am so firmly pro-life.  I’ve been a Catholic my whole life and have always accepted the Church’s teachings on abortion, but it’s only within the last few years that I really understood how close to home this subject is for me.

The End That Wasn’t

My parents have told me about the landmass of a human being that I was at birth (10 pounds, 23 inches long).  I also remember them saying I was the last baby that this particular doctor had delivered.  About ten years ago, while driving a carpool to school one day, Mom said “Patrick was almost the end of me!”  They’ve explained that it was because of this statement that this particular doctor opted to resign after delivering me.  They’ve cited “a lot of little things adding up”, things the doctor should have noticed but didn’t, that caused my mother to lose a lot more blood than normal during childbirth.  She recalls speaking to me briefly and then passing out.

A few days later, my dad’s parents came to the hospital to visit.  Grandpa was on the verge of retiring from the Chicago Police Department after 32 years of service.  Grandma had worked for years as a registered nurse (at one point having cared for Archbishop Emeritus James Keleher’s mother).  My mother has talked about Grandpa chatting for a few moments and then sitting down to read the newspaper.  By all accounts, Grandma seemed very uneasy, staring silently the whole time at Mom, who looked uniquely pale and weak.  After only a few minutes, she turned to Grandpa and said “We’re leaving right now!”

Doctors told my mother that surviving another pregnancy would be unlikely.  Well, a year and a half after me, my younger sister came along.  Mom mentioned once that while pregnant with Meredith, she would watch my older brother and I play together in the sandbox in our backyard and start crying, fearing what their lives would be like without the loving and nurturing presence of their mother.  Sure enough, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl…but the story does not end there.  Four and a half years after Meredith came another sister, Genevieve.  Now, nearly twenty years later, Mom lives to tell the tale and is as pro-life as they come. 

Why is that so significant to me?  If nothing else, if it hadn’t been for my sister’s nagging me to attend the Steubenville Catholic Youth Conference in 2004, I probably would not have become the practicing Catholic that I am right now.  Maybe I would have in some other way or maybe I wouldn’t have.  I can only speculate.  All I know is that abortion was never an option.

“As Goes The Family…”

How many other women have made that ultimate sacrifice while delivering their children though?  How many have given their lives even knowing beforehand that surviving the pregnancy was highly unlikely?  The Latin word for marriage, “matrimonium”, is a combination of “matris munia”, or “maternal duties” (Love and Responsibility, pages 220-221).  One does not need to look very far or wide to see just what has become of society because of the rejection of parenthood. 

Recall the Jesus’ warning that “…if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand” (Mark 3:25).  Remember also those of Pope John Paul II: “As goes the family, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”  By accepting contraception and abortion, society rejects parenthood and family.  By rejecting parenthood and family, society necessarily rejects itself. 

Society has rejected parenthood because of this notion of sexual freedom that essentially causes both men and women to objectify each other for sexual use and pleasure, sow seeds of mistrust, and avoid the natural joy and responsibility that results from the sexual act: parenthood.

With all these things in mind, I can’t decide if I’m more confused or insulted that the Obama Administration would use Mothers’ Day as an excuse to tout the availability of contraception.  Or the fact that he would invoke God’s blessing on Planned Parenthood in spite of their quest to destroy the family by creating a sense of entitlement that attempts to unravel the seamless garment of parenthood and family.

Thank You, Mom (The Both of Them)!

Our earthly mothers were the first ones to teach us love and obedience, both of which are essential to the life of a Catholic.  We must thank them for that.  We should especially thank them if carrying and delivering us involved grave risks to their own health or if it caused their own families and friends to reject them.  Mary, our Heavenly Mother, gives all mothers an example of selfless love and devotion.

And all this, my friends, is my personal account.  This is why I am pro-life.

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