- Nathaniel M. Campbell
- I am a medievalist and an adjunct college instructor in the humanities at Union College. My research includes medieval theologies of history, text/image relationships in visionary and mystical texts, and the writings of the twelfth-century Doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen. I am also a translator of medieval Latin and German texts, especially as relate to my research. I completed a Master's in Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 2010, a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany in 2008, and a B.A. in Classics and German at Boston College in 2007.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Pro Vita: "The Grassroots Aboriton War"
TIME Magazine's cover story this week explores the "new face of an old movement: kind, calm, nonjudgmental, a special-forces soldier in the abortion wars who is fighting her battles one conscience at a time." The incredible work being done by pregnancy resource centers (PRC's) around the country (which today outnumber abortion clinics) is rarely covered by the mainstream media, and rarely will one find the word "compassionate" coupled with the pro-life cause. Kudos to TIME for seeing, if dimly, the light that Christ shines forth from these centers and their workers of divine mercy. I say dimly, of course, because, with as much praise as the article does give to the strong hearts fighting with love this battle for life, they do also chronicle the reports from NARAL and other groups that when women go to PRC's, they are "harassed, bullied and given blatantly false information." While certainly they can produce limited evidence of misinformation by PRC staff (like pamphlets and recordings of phone calls), what the article fails to document is the far more serious bullying, harassment, and outright lies many women face at Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics. The article fails to mention the scores of women who enter a clinic because they are being forced by boyfriends or parents, nor does it mention the extreme lengths some abortionists will go to convince a woman, especially a young or poor mother, to have an abortion. One of the most shocking secrets that the article fails to disclose and that Planned Parenthood will go to the greatest lengths to hide is their widespread practice of covering up cases of statutory rape, that is, when young girls come to them, the victims of older men, the clinics are for more likely to provide them with an abortion and cover up the sexual assault than they are to follow their legally-bound duty to report the crime to police (click here for more information on this disturbing phenomenon). Despite such failures to provide a balanced reporting of the failures on both sides to provide accurate information to expectant mothers, the article nevertheless ends on a positive note, profiling the unexpected partnership that has developed between an abortionist and a Presbyterian congregation in Asheville, Tennessee—a partnership to work to reduce abortions by focusing on the positive, that is, by focusing on our compassion for the mother, especially the mother who is in great distress. The most important thing that the pro-life movement can do today (especially since, with a Democrat-controlled Congress, our legislative agenda will likely be stalled) is to increase the visibility of our efforts to take care of women both during and after their pregnancies. It is not enough for us to prevent the mother from having the abortion: we must come together to support her and her child, especially since the majority of mothers who do consider having an abortion do so because they don't have the financial or or other means or support to have a child. We need to change that—we need to help these women be able to have their child and to rear that child in a good, safe home both by providing them direct support and by working to build a social fabric and a community that values and supports the bearing and rearing of children.