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How can women feel so strongly about the right to have an abortion, when abortion ultimately hurts women so deeply.

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pro life pastors speak out on abortion

Stand Up For Life

This year on January 22, I will again join several thousands of people from various religious denominations and cultural backgrounds in a common cause, the defense of human life. For the past five years I have walked the streets of the Nationís Capital in prayerful protest of the killing of millions of innocent children. However this year will be different from all the others. This year I will march as a priest. I was ordained on May 25 for the diocese of Peoria with ten other men. I attended Mount St. Maryís Seminary, a seminary which has trained future priests well in defending all the issues concerning life. The entire seminary with its students and faculty attend the March for Life each year. I am thankful for the educational and priestly formation given to me at this seminary.

Three years ago during the march I watched as the Rector of our seminary was spat upon by some "pro-choice" protesters. Now as a priest more than ever I wonder how women can feel so strongly about the right to have an abortion, when abortion ultimately hurts them so deeply.

During my first seven months as a priest, working near a university campus, I have heard and seen the pain of abortion up close. I listen as women and men cry as they experience the pain of abortion. Some of them have held unto their pain for more than thirty years. We hear constantly from the media that women want control over their bodies, yet what I see time and time again is that many women continue to be controlled and manipulated by others. All you have to do is stand outside the abortion "clinic" in Peoria and watch the faces of the women that are driven into its parking lot. You can see fear and anger as they are pressured by family or husband or boyfriend into aborting their children.

Most women who have chosen to have abortions themselves did not do it because they felt it was their "right" or because they wanted to control their own bodies. They chose it out of desperation, because they were in a crisis. Abortion seemed to be their only choice and there were no other alternatives or support given to them.

Women feel relieved immediately after having an abortion and sincerely believe they made the best choice, only to find later that emotional scares often remain along with the physical. Some examples from doctors I have spoken with are sterility, due to having multiple abortions or excessive bleeding or infections caused by their abortion, along with miscarriages--which have also been linked to the use of the pill--and other reproductive problems. And no one warned them, not even their doctors, until after the abortion.

During my first seven months, I have seen abortion scar too many lives, lives of both men and women. This January 22 I ask each of you to stand for Life inside and outside the womb. Many have no voice but ours and if they do have a voice it is muted by those who financially profit by an industry that is destroying our nation one life at a time.

I believe that because of the millions of abortions being performed today, there are more women dying from and being physically, emotionally and psychologically hurt by abortion than when it was illegal. I am unsure if the legality of abortion has hurt women as much as the attitude people have taken towards it. Adolescents use abortion as a type of birth control, totally unaware that multiple abortions can leave them sterile. Boyfriends send their girlfriends to abortion clinics as if they were having a cyst removed or a tooth pulled. I think such language as "procedure, "or referring to the child as "tissue" or a "cell mass" used in abortion "clinics" have contributed to this attitude.

We must begin to realize that abortion is not this wonderful right, as the right to vote, or equal rights. There is nothing wonderful about abortion. There is nothing wonderful about a dismembered child. Abortion brings pain sooner or later, and in some cases, severe consequences. Stand up for what is right! Stand up for life and protect the most innocent among us.

Fr. Jeff J. Windy

Associate Pastor of St Mark Catholic Church in Peoria, IL. 01/97

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