Like so many of you, my heart was heavy as I celebrated Christmas with my children, thinking of those families in Connecticut whose tables had empty seats. Their children who would never come home, never eat another Christmas dinner, never unwrap another present that had been lovingly wrapped for them. And my heart ached.
I don't know about you, but I do my best thinking and praying in one of three places: the shower, washing dishes, or working in my garden. As a showered one morning, I cried out to God, "They were just babies, God. Babies. Not much older than mine. Their whole lives ahead of them." And I wept for their parents.
God doesn't speak to me in an audible voice. Instead, He lays a word or phrase in my heart and on my mind. As I wept in the shower, the phrase "What about the other children?" pounded through my head.
What other children?
And then I knew. The other children who had NEVER opened a Christmas present, sat at a Christmas table. Or seen a sunset, stroked a dog's silky ear, giggled uncontrollably, or even took a breath.
The children we never talk about. The children who are unnamed but not forgotten. Only spoke of in hushed whispers. My friend Aimee at Everyday Epistle had the courage to write about them.
I didn't know how many children that was. So I looked. According to the Centers for Disease Control's Abortion Surveillance (most recent data was 2009), there were 784,507 legal induced abortions in the United States. This included both medical (drug induced) and surgical.
On December 14th, twenty precious first graders were killed in their classrooms. And as a nation we cried out, we demanded answers. We demanded that something be done to stop this senseless carnage from happening again.
But on that same day, approximately 2,149 children were killed in sterile rooms by gloved attendants or flushed down toilets after taking a pill. And no one, myself included, was outraged. No one demanded that something be done to stop this killing.
We don't talk about it. And those who do talk about it demand that abortion is a choice. A right that no one can take away.
What is the difference between those twenty children in a school in Connecticut and 2,149 children around the country? We as a nation are outraged that those twenty beautiful children didn't have the chance to live the rest of their lives, to become something. Do we have that same passion for the children who never lived to go to school?
Where is the line between child and choice?