If I were granted one wish today, I would wish that my conscience could allow me to be as jubilant about the inauguration of our 44th President as the media, pop stars, and college students so visibly are. But as it is, for me, a gray cloud looms over the otherwise exciting historical event.
Throughout the Presidential campaign, as a pro-life advocate, I occasionally expressed my frustration with people's ability to sweep under the rug Obama's unabashed intention to promote FOCA (the Freedom of Choice Act), which basically makes abortion "a fundamental right" [as in a Constitutional, inalienable right, according to Clarke Forsythe of Americans United for Life as quoted in World, January, 2009, p. 44].
In fact, in 2007 at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser, Obama promised, "The first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing I'd do." The crowd was of course, exceedingly happy to hear that pledge.
Really, Mr. President? Unrestricted abortions mean that much to you, that FOCA would be the very first official thing you'd do--a priority over all that economic stuff we've been wringing our hands over?
It breaks my heart.
When the election ended, I had a "disquietude" in my spirit expressed by thoughts such as this:
"You [referring to myself] have been awfully vocal about pro-life during this campaign. But what have you ever really done in a practical way to support pregnant women or unplanned babies? Sure, you've thrown a few dollars here and there over the years, (very few) and stood on a street holding a sign, but have you ever sacrificed anything besides blog space for something you claim to care so much about?"
And that internal monologue, which I believe was actually a dialogue with God, prompted me to volunteer at our local crisis pregnancy center. I've been training since early December and am just about ready to begin volunteering there.
And I am scared silly.
I thought I had a pretty good layman's understanding of abortion, but I can tell you now that I was terribly uninformed about the various procedures being employed today and did not know that the "procedure" is much more physically taxing than I ever thought. Before this training, I believed that in the early stages, abortion was comparable to a tonsillectomy. I was wrong, on many levels. If my daughter told me today that she were pregnant, even if I did not have moral issues with the procedure, I would discourage her from abortion because I couldn't stand to think of her body bearing that ordeal.
Anyway, I feel this is the right thing for me to do because any gains for the unborn over the last few years are sure to be reversed under an administration which is so adamantly ... not pro-life.
It's time to get serious. So I guess Obama did inspire change in me after all, like so many others claim he has in them.
And may God forgive us for voting for our wallets instead of for our babies. And may God help me to be obedient, faithful, and most of all, compassionate to the young women I meet who, in our culture, could be so easily lured into an apparent quick fix to a monumental problem without ever knowing the potential for life-long devastating consequences.