Burdens and Butterflies

On Facebook, I follow Jim Gaffigan, wonderful comedian, devoted father and catholic. The other day he posted something cute about his kids and I scrolled down to see the comments. I was not expecting to read comment after comment about how children are time-sucks, miserable, horrible little people.

Have people lost their minds? What adult wasn’t previously a child? I guess they could joke they even hated themselves when they were kids. The problem is it isn’t for laughs. It’s like a butterfly hating a caterpillar. It’s just a different stretch of the same life cycle, ya’ll. Yet we’re talking something so much more beautiful, complex and important than butterflies and caterpillars.

I don’t think it’s any shock to anyone when I say our current culture sees children as burdens. To have a child these days, a child  has to be completely justified. While some babies are cherished as blessings, a huge percentage are seen as unexpected, unplanned burdens. Many of those end up being suctioned out of their mother’s womb in pieces for the crime of being unwanted.

I know I’ve been asked so many times if “I’m done having kids.” And the majority of the time, people are shocked when we say we want more. Or seeing I have two girls that I must have “finally gotten my boy.” If children are always blessings, why are people nearly dumbfounded when I say we want more? We are in a culture that places a limited value on life–and that value isn’t intrinsic dignity irregardless of how a person was conceived, or whether or not he is formed perfectly or has defects. No, in today’s society a staggering 90% of Down’s babies are aborted. Statistics put Cystic Fibrosis at even higher rates of abortion. I am tired of reading heart breaking stories about women, like this one where the abortion took the life of the young mother–all because the baby wasn’t perfect.

Josie my survivor & heart warrior

         Back to caterpillars, maybe there’s an analogy there. The leaf that the egg is fused to–maybe the leaf didn’t ask to hold the egg, or the egg is broken, isn’t what was planned, isn’t flawless, isn’t everything she wants, is too heavy a burden–so she seeks out a way to pry the egg from her leaf, and its painful. But she didn’t ask for that path. That wasn’t where she was headed.
A mother gives birth to a daughter with a cleft palate, a heart defect, a genetic deletion–she didn’t ask for this. She didn’t think this would be her walk. It’s so hard.
     Do you see why I am so pro-life? Do see that aborting a baby because it wasn’t in your plan is like telling me it’d be fine for me to kill? The only difference is my baby was born. She had a cleft palate, fought like hell to survive her heart defects. How can I not be for life in the face of that? Watching my child fight so hard to survive while healthy perfectly formed babies with perfect little hearts are ripped apart because it is a mother’s choice. Babies less than what we deem perfect, formed with defects are destroyed because of their deformities. Because of the burden.

I am, without exception, pro-life. Fully committed. Why? Because without life–nothing, hear me, nothing matters. I believe the soul is immortal, and beautiful, and busted and in need of grace. We are human we struggle and fail God daily by making bad choices, but the beauty of grace is that all of this life, all the suffering, frustrations, beauty and neglect, failings and victories–they are all working toward good and toward God’s Will and plan.

There’s something else I must say. I’m so aggravated when I discover that a hardcore special needs advocate–the Mama who lost her baby due to a heart defect or the parent of a child fighting to prove that his child is an equal in his community and for that child’s rights–is for abortion. These are contradictions that as a Christian and as a mother and as an advocate for those with special needs that breaks my heart and frustrates me to no end.

I have actually talked with people within a special needs support group who love and want every right for their child and in the same thread, will talk about screening their future unborn children to prevent against the very defects their current son or daughter has. There are wrongful birth suits–and people win them against their doctors–for not being warned and given the chance to kill the very child they currently have.

It makes no sense, but I run into these contradictions repeatedly. Grown people who hate children. Those who recognize only the burden and not the limitless worth and intrinsic dignity of a living soul. The hypocrisy of those who work so hard for mandatory procedures to screen the unborn to protect their lives but at the same time cry about the latest Texas bill that makes abortion safer for women and protects babies from the scientifically documented pain of being ripped apart.

I cannot understand how someone can work so hard to save babies from death after they are born with heart defects, yet advocate for a woman to choose to brutally destroy her baby with heart defects. And everyone just looks the other way.

You are either for life and for saving babies, or you are not. I’m calling you out on this. If you want to protect babies, protect them all. Even the unwanted.

It breaks my heart, but I hold out hope that truth will prevail, that life is good, that one day abortion will be seen as the monstrosity that it is by everyone, not just those who view it upclose. That one day, this genocide will be stopped. Science is on our side by advancing both our knowledge and the survival rates for the youngest of us, and the culture is more pro-life than it has been in years. The generations since Roe v Wade are missing around 55 million of its brother and sisters. I think so many are beginning to feel the depth of the void and realizing they do not have to buy into the lies.

I bump into this confusion everywhere–the butterfly hating what it once was, or grown adults hating children, or advocates working to save babies while supporting the death of other helpless little ones.

We need to keep praying for eyes and ears and hearts to open. We need to pray for change to continue to come. Pray for a culture of life, who tirelessly works to protect the weak and defends the unwanted and upholds the beauty and dignity of life.

Least that’s my two cents.


Come Holy Spirit.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

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