The international 40 Days for Life Vigil is occurring right now and Anchorage is participating. Each day until Nov. 4 individuals and groups will peacefully gather on the sidewalk outside Planned Parenthood at 4001 Lake Otis Parkway to pray for an end to abortion. Additionally, a rally will be held there on Oct. 9 at 6:30 p.m. Rebecca Kiessling will be speaking.
Most of us won't pay much attention. Sadly, not even the compelling story of a woman conceived during rape, who eventually grows close to her birth mother, even though that mother admits she would have aborted her had it been legal at the time, will get us to raise our eyes.
The abortion issue is just too difficult. Instead we'll make up excuses to hide behind: Shouldn't judge. Her body; her choice. Just a fetus.
Shouldn't judge? We judge all the time --smokers; parents yelling at kids; pet owners; other drivers.
Her body? Anyone beyond childhood knows the developing child isn't merely part of the mother's body. It is intimately connected, but half the time the baby is a different gender, often has a different blood type and always has different DNA. These are two separate human beings. Two hearts. Two brains. Two lives deserving respect.
Choice? Whose? Not the "fetus'!" As for that word, it refers to any unhatched or unborn mammal. Let's be specific. It's a child.
Remember another phrase we liked a lot -- "safe, legal and rare?" Rare. Seemed like a compromise. Actually, it seemed like a promise. It's gone from the Democrats' platform. Did you know that? Rest assured the abortion industry does.
It had no legal teeth, but abortion advocates didn't care. That pesky little concept -- that they be rare -- was dangerous. It had to go. Now, the Affordable Care Act is well on the way to making employer (and public) coverage for abortions compulsory, regardless of moral objections. And nothing that is free is ever rare.
The only concern left is that ordinary people might voice the misgivings they hold. That's why the abortion industry works so hard managing the public relations side of things. They'll even equate being pro-abortion with being pro-woman. Pretty slick considering more than half of abortions terminate a female.
It is grossly insulting to suggest this is about women's rights or empowerment. Those who believe this have been sold a bill of goods by people who stand to gain through abortion. Most obvious are the providers and the sexual predators. But there are others. There are individuals and groups who gain office, power, prestige and raise money via the issue. These people all walk away happy. The woman who had an abortion walks away with a time bomb inside her soul.
These women are more prone to suicide, substance abuse, fertility concerns and relationship problems. Very few manage to go through life without deep, lasting regret. They are often involved in abusive or inappropriate relationships, but abortionists rarely query about that. I suppose being safe isn't a "woman's right."
We must do better. We can do better. A woman struggling with an unwanted pregnancy needs our help, not our pity. Pity offers a quick fix; compassion offers true assistance.
Adoption is one possibility. It takes a "tragedy" and "problem" (pro-abortion's words) and turns it into a magnificent gift. Yes, the woman's life is disrupted, but for the rest of it she will not be plagued by regret.
I understand that the issue is rife with politics and emotion. That makes taking an unambiguously pro-life stand hard. Nevertheless, that's what we should do. Failing that, we should at very least say no one who morally objects will ever have to help pay for an abortion. Yet, that is what Obamacare will require.
Please, between now and Election Day, do what you can to help. Join the vigil. Vote. Talk frankly to friends and family about their votes. We can still stop this.
Joann Pantages lives in Anchorage.
By JOANN PANTAGES