I asked her where she was getting her information. She didn't have an answer. I provided her with facts about what Planned Parenthood actually does, and she accused me of spouting liberal propaganda. (I may or may not have called her a Right Wing Nut.) At the end of our exchange, she pulled out a big gun.
She said, "Amanda, what has happened to you? You were at the March for Life with me, don't you remember?"
I rode on a bus to Washington DC with people from our church. I was probably about twelve years old. There was a whole group of kids. We were there because abortion was murder.
I believed abortion was wrong, because I had been taught that abortion was killing a baby. That there was video taken of a crying baby's face as an abortion doctor blended him up. I was told that women who have abortions are haunted by the decision for the rest of their lives, that they sink into a deep depression and never recover. That their depression leads them into lives of godlessness and promiscuity.
I was taught that abortion advocates didn't respect life. They didn't value children. They didn't understand the life of a baby to be a precious thing. They were unmarried, promiscuous, godless people who didn't want kids, didn't love kids and weren't capable of loving them. Abortion doctors believed in killing babies at all stages of pregnancy. They didn't differentiate between an abortion done at 5 weeks and one completed at 37 weeks, because there wasn't a difference.
Abortion was murder, whether it happened before the fertilized egg attached itself to the uterine lining or not. Getting an abortion at 6 weeks was the same thing as having one at 37 weeks. It was bloody, foul and evil.
There were absolutely NO circumstances under which terminating a pregnancy was permissible. Women who had abortions were selfish. They wanted to have sex without meaning or consequences. They loved their freedom and their bodies more than they valued the life of a child. They were willing to kill somebody so that they didn't have to go through the trouble of being pregnant and ruining their bodies. They wanted to have free bodies and free sex and they didn't care who had to DIE so they could get it.
I was twelve years old when I went to the March For Life.
I went because I was a sweet, kind-hearted child. I was an innocent child who believed the adults in my life. I believed them when they talked about murder and contempt for the life of babies. I loved babies. I respected life. I didn't dream that people I looked up to would make things up, fudge facts and put their personal agendas ahead of what was right and true. I believed that people who loved God were good. How could I have been a good person if I chose NOT to take a stand against something so disgusting? How could I have lived with myself if I didn't stand up and say NO to these hedonistic, self-involved, uncaring, promiscuous, dangerous murderers who would probably kill ME if I tried to get between them and their personal freedom to act however they pleased?
When we got to the March for Life, there were people lining the streets to PROTEST US. I was shocked. I couldn't understand how anybody could oppose the things I was there to fight for. These people were there to say that they didn't believe that killing babies was wrong. They didn't believe that children deserved to live.
Only, when I looked at them, they looked... sort of normal. They looked like regular people. I didn't see any evidence of evil or demon possession in them. They didn't look like prostitutes and murderers. Some of them were yelling at us. Some of them were crying. I have an image in my mind of two young, well dressed, attractive men, standing together on the sidelines, just staring at us like we were monsters.
I didn't understand anything when I was twelve.
As a matter of fact, it was inappropriate to believe that I might understand something about the topic of reproductive rights, about a topic as faceted and involved and emotionally charged as reproductive rights when I was twelve. It was careless of the adults in my life to put me in the middle of this battle, when I wasn't even at an age where I understood reproduction, let alone the place it plays in our flawed and oppressive societal construct. It was irresponsible of them to place a group of children into the middle of a volatile and passionate argument surrounding something that we weren't capable of comprehending or understanding. Those adults were simply using us to back up their personal agenda. They weren't interested in our opinions or level of understanding. Nobody was. We didn't understand anything. We were just little puppets.
As an adult, I've informed myself. I've developed beliefs based on what is actually happening in the world and how I relate to what is happening. So, okay. Yes. I was at the March for Life and I remember everything.
photo by tfp student action