'Safe, legal and rare" has long been the pro-choice mantra, but these days it applies less and less to the reality of abortion. In New York City, officials reported this year that 41% of pregnancies end in abortion—double the national rate. In the black community, the figure is 60%.That last sentence cannot be overemphasized. Too many Christians are pro-life in the pew but completely absent in the world where the women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy live. If the only face we present to scared women who are unexpectedly pregnant is that of screaming protestors, we are missing the mission of being pro-life. We who claim to cherish human life need to be out in the mission field where spiritual warfare is really taking place. Our comfy lives of work, school, soccer practice and church on Sunday might be interrupted but what are the chances that most of us are going to run into an opportunity to make a difference and influence a women (or man) considering abortion in our day to day lives? I have no use for the Roman hierarchy but I deeply appreciate the work of these women in ministering to women in need. We will never get the opportunity to be a blessing in the life of those who need it if we wait until they come to us.
Numbers like these motivate the Sisters of Life, a small order of nuns celebrating its 20th anniversary this summer. The sisters take traditional vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but they also take a fourth vow "to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life." According to Archbishop Timothy Dolan, once the sisters connect with unwed pregnant women in need, "the battle is half over."
Ministry is not a spectator sport.
(For more info on Sisters of Life check out their webpage. I am sure they can use any donations.)