The alignment of a few highly visible events this month provide an opportunity to consider the most important topic before us: life. There is the death of Apple founder, Steve Jobs; there is the 40 Days for Life campaign that takes place around the country; and finally there are the “Occupy” sit-ins around the country, beginning with Wall Street, but echoed in other cities from coast to coast.
There was non-stop commentary on the singular life of Steve Jobs, whose genius helped to transform communication in recent decades, but few stopped to consider the foundational “what if?” of his life. What if he didn’t exist? It’s not such a random existential question, considering that he was conceived out of wedlock and placed for adoption by a mother who took care to provide for his well-being.
Although he was born in 1955, since abortion was subsequently legalized, it became a reasonable option for many with crisis pregnancies, so that infertile couples with open hearts and the desire for a family have great difficulty in even finding babies to love. That means that champions for life must actually become proactive in speaking out for the unborn to a world that forgets them.
In this way, a young singer who was fighting depression recently pulled herself from bed for a hair appointment. While waiting, she heard two women discussing abortion, as one supported the other’s decision to end her pregnancy. Shocked and trembling, the singer realized she had to speak out, having had two abortions herself which she deeply regretted. An hour later they were all in tears, baby pictures were shared, the abortion was cancelled and they each had an awe of the providence that put them together in a most unlikely spot.
While this wasn’t a “formal” 40 Days for Life encounter, it took place in the same time frame in which prayers for life are intensified, and used the same gentle methods of confronting those who have chosen abortion with reminders about the dignity of the unborn.
Finally, it’s nearly impossible to understand the motives of the “Occupy” protesters, being a group often more associated with anarchy than order, but there were placards there that should give one pause if human life is a priority. The signs which many held, said “People Before Profits.” Now the odds of the protesters being pro-life in the usual sense of the word are slim, but at the heart of it, that is an entirely Catholic message.
In light of the Church’s firm stance on life, and the increasingly obvious fact that the abortion industry is not actually about choice but selling death, one wonders if those placards are not just as appropriate at the pro-life rallies gathered where the babies are brought to die. In fact, not satisfied with their current profits, the abortion industry now wants to increased them by collaborating with the federal government and forcing all citizens to contribute by means of mandatory insurance premiums.
So we must wonder how many people killed for profit by a highly-sanctioned industry had talents that would have enriched the world? How many children are lost to this world because we don’t speak out on their behalf? And what an irony that the same phone that profited Apple was in the purse of a singer, who brought it out to show to a frightened pregnant mother. With her own shaking hand, she shared pictures of her friends’ children, and their joyous faces made clear what gifts they truly are, turning that uncertain maternal heart towards life for her baby.