"There are things that you will only be able to learn [from] the weakest among us. And when you snuff them out, you are the one that loses....What sort of people are you going to be?"
~Gianna Jessen, abortion survivor
Since 1973, there have been 54 million children aborted legally in America.
Over the last few weeks, I've been meditating quite a lot on those missing 54 million. I thought of the half-full services in mountain churches around my home. The dying congregations. The two-child millennial families. The elementary school that closed because there weren't enough children to keep it running. I imagined my college classmates blinking out of existence one by one - until 20% of each generation had disappeared. Celebrities and politicians and doctors and abolitionists and world-changers...blink - gone - blink - gone. Who would die? Who would live? Who were they? What were they like?
If they could speak to us - what would they say?
Gianna Jessen grew up believing that she was born with cerebral palsy because she had been delivered prematurely in a particularly traumatic birth. That was the story told to her by her adoptive mother and it was not until she was 12 years old that she discovered the truth about what made her different from the other children at school.
"I had an innate wondering," Miss Jessen says. "I wasn't satisfied for some reason, so I kept asking why I had this disability.
"She tried to break it to me gently and then, just as she was about to tell me, I said 'I was aborted, right?' She said 'Yeah, you were.' And my reaction was 'Well, at least I have cerebral palsy for an interesting reason.' "....
She was bullied at school and recalls crying at the taunts of other children. When she was 16, a stranger came up to her and told her that children with disabilities were a burden on society. "I just looked at her, smiled and knew she was wrong," Miss Jessen says....
"It's more comfortable for people to think of abortion as a political decision, or a right. But I am not a right. I am a human being. I am the reality. Gently I put the question, if abortion is about women's rights, then where were mine? There was no radical feminist screaming for my rights on that day."
Jessen tells her story, bringing emotional common sense crashing back into a sterilized debate:
"I’m hoping to be hated by the time I die....I know I’m already hated, because I declare life.
"I say: 'You didn’t get me. The silent holocaust didn’t win over me.' And my mission, ladies and gentlemen, among many things, is this: to infuse humanity into a debate that we have just compartmentalized and set on a shelf and said it is an 'issue.' We have removed our emotions. We are becoming harder.
"Do you really want that? How much are you willing to take and how much are you willing to risk to speak the truth in love and graciousness and stand up and at least be willing to be hated?"
It is the most powerful speech I have ever heard.
Here in this country, we have come to a similar crossroads. So far, there have been two exposé videos revealing that Planned Parenthood harvests and distributes baby organs. It's entirely legal, and much like soap-making in 1940s Germany, is surely a respectable, profitable, and pragmatic business.
I have two hundred forty-five friends on Facebook. About five of them have posted something about this. To them, and to the rest of the silent, I say this: Are you willing to be hated? Or will you look the other way while the gas chambers are filled and the ovens spew human smoke into the gray sky?
Things you can do:
1. Contact your congressman.
2. Tell people about this - both on- and off-line. Share the videos.
3. Sign a petition. Go here and search for "planned parenthood." Or sign this current petition.
4. Support a crisis pregnancy center.
5. Join a protest. While the national protest day was on August 22nd, I'm sure there will be others. Don't picture a mob, picture this: