For a few days now, I’ve found myself feeling anxious, exhausted, and lashing out at my kids. Yes, it’s been extremely hot here in the normally moderate Washington climate, which doesn’t help. But it’s more than that.
On June 24th, 2022, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. As someone who has grown up going to the March for Life and has prayed for this for longer than I can remember, I’m very happy and thankful.
So why the unsettled emotions?
Honestly, it’s from spending too much time on social media reading all of the opinions and discussions. It’s like a car accident along the highway, I just can’t seem to tear my eyes away from these conversations, and pretty much all of them are making my blood boil or literally bringing me to tears. Especially the people calling us pro-lifers hypocrites. And my medical colleagues spreading lies and fear-mongering about what will or won’t happen to women now.
Is there still so much more we need to do to help women in crisis pregnancies? Absolutely. Are there children in foster care and living in extreme poverty that need to be cared for? 100%. Do I wish I could help all of them right this very minute? Yes, most of us do. Am I done praying now that Roe v Wade is overturned? Not a chance.
There is still so much more work to do, and this is just the beginning. I believe that wholeheartedly.
And although there are many, many people in need of our help and prayers, I don’t think it’s fair to take this victory away from the unborn. Those sweet little babies with beating hearts will hopefully be given the chance to live now, and that is a beautiful thing. (I say hopefully because the power to decide the laws will now be up to the individual states instead of the federal government.)
This is the first public statement I’m making addressing this issue, and although I’ve been reading every single post on Facebook and Instagram from people on both sides, I have not engaged there at all because I don’t believe that anyone’s minds or hearts will be changed in a social media fight (or even a rational, well-thought-out conversation.)
I’m seeing the absolute ugliest things on social media right now, even from my friends who I thought were practicing Catholics. And to be honest, it’s really making me consider who my “friends” are and whether or not I should start unfriending or muting people.
But I’ve decided not to do that, and I’ve also decided that I don’t have to carry this burden alone. Instead, I am challenging myself to start praying every time I read a negative, hateful, or derogatory post, and I'm inviting you to do the same.
“Jesus, I trust in you.”
“Come, Holy Spirit.”
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.”
Blocking people or fighting with them isn’t going to bring anyone closer to Jesus. And, perhaps equally as important, engaging in these behaviors sends the wrong message to others about us as Catholics.
It is our job to reflect the light of Christ to others and to show what His abundant grace and love look like. And let me tell you, fighting with people in the comments of a Facebook post is NOT the way to accomplish that. It’s also not our job to judge others.
I know this decision has stirred up painful things for many people, and I truly am sorry to read some of the horrors people have lived through. Those are not of God, and being pro-life doesn’t say that they are. If you are one of those people, please know that God loves you and I am praying for you.
And really, that’s part of what we need to all do—continue to pray. But let us also show the world that we, as Catholics, are not just praying for the unborn, but for all life. And let us find ways to help support women in crisis pregnancies as well as all of those suffering from poverty, starvation, abandonment, fear, or other physical and emotional afflictions. There are some great ideas of how to continue to support the pro-life movement in this article too.
We are proud to be pro-life, and pro-life has never meant just pro-babies. But those babies deserve to be celebrated right now. This is just the beginning, but it is a very good first step. Oh, and in case you needed this reminder, as I have, it's ok to step away from social media if you need to too. God Bless!