It was early morning on Christmas Eve. We were newlyweds, had no kids yet and were pulling out of the driveway to head to my wife's parents for Christmas.
"We should drive by the clinic, just in case" my wife Marilisa said.
"No," I rebutted, "Come on, surely not today; they're closed."
My gut sank as I pulled around the corner and saw Planned Parenthood's gate open. This was their regularly scheduled day for abortions, and I naively thought they would be closed. I was wrong. Marilisa and I spent much of the day offering alternatives on the other side of the fence.
Nobody grows up wanting an abortion.
Women do not leap out of their cars and scream about reproductive rights as they enter an abortion facility. They don't quote Planned Parenthood, celebrities or political talking points. And when they are leaving, the last thing they will do is "Shout My Abortion," as Oprah is encouraging. No, they're not even thinking about Oprah, as surprising as that might be to her.
Abortion is no longer rhetoric at that point; it is real and final.
I've heard hundreds of testimonies from women who have had an abortion, and they always remember the date of their abortion and their due date if they were given one. There is one thought that covered me that entire Christmas Eve we spent counseling (and beyond): These women will remember their abortion every Christmas for the rest of their lives.
Christmas and abortion just don't pass the gut check, even for those who support abortion.
There is one consistent exception to that: Planned Parenthood.
Their cold and disconnected approach to women and abortion is highlighted at Christmas. They believe abortion to be a sacrament celebrated on any unborn baby on any day of the year. Just last year, a new Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Texas started doing abortions the week of Christmas. Not the traditional Christmas grand opening.
Planned Parenthood must remain sterile, insensitive and loud when defending abortion ... and this is good news for the pro-life movement. Abortion simply cannot be justified in the face of science, reason or faith, and its current defense proves that. Abortion advocates are louder than ever.
Yet the noise is off-putting.
The pro-life movement is filled with converts—those who've had an abortion, those who've worked at Planned Parenthood, and doctors who've done abortions. It is truly a movement of converts, and therefore of hope.
And noise is always silenced when opposed with hope.
Planned Parenthood can attempt all they want to use Christmas to normalize abortion or make it seem like any other surgery. But nature and the human heart will beg to differ.
As we celebrate Christmas and enter a New Year, and as we gather in January at the March for Life in Washington to mark 46 years of legalized abortion, there is more momentum in the pro-life movement than ever before. Despite those 46 years, this movement—built on science, reason and faith—gets younger and more motivated by the day.
There was noise surrounding the birth of Christ: an unexpected pregnancy, exile and poverty.
That noise was silenced by the hope from the baby in the manger. The peace that comes with Christmas came through the womb and overtakes the noise. The noise distracts us from the fear and anxiety that leads to abortion, from the barbaric reality of the abortion itself and from the pain that follows.
Christmas does the opposite—it silences, reveals and restores our flawed view of life, ourselves and each other.
As Fulton Sheen wisely put it, "The Christmas gift of peace was the uncoiling of the links of a triple chain that first unites a person with God, then with himself, then with his neighbor."
Shawn Carney is the president/CEO of 40 Days for Life and the author of The Beginning of the End of Abortion: 40 Inspiring Stories of God Changing Hearts and Saving Lives.
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