Life matters

We don’t empower women by leaving them without help

Debra Niesen is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office.

“A choice,” “health care” and “reproductive rights” are clever phrases designed by abortion advocates to mask the reality of an abortion and present it as an empowering solution for women.

Yet, to empower means to strengthen those involved for their own good, and countless testimonies, credible studies and simple logic prove this claim to be a lie for the majority of women who have experienced an abortion.

Abortion, rather, is a tragedy . . .

• a tragedy because each abortion ends the life of a precious, unique, never-to-be-repeated human life; a gift given by our Creator to the world and specifically to the parents, to bless them, not harm them.

• a tragedy because of the significant physical, spiritual and psychological damage it inflicts on the woman — depression, anxiety, guilt, higher suicide rates, as well as increased risks for infertility, premature births and breast cancer. 

What makes these pains worse is that women often suffer them alone and in secrecy out of regret for their abortion.

But mostly, abortion is a tragedy because ultimately a woman feels so unsupported, scared, pressured or is told that she isn’t capable or strong enough to choose life, that she feels the best option is to abort her own child, many times against her own values and wishes.

In our great country, we shouldn’t fight for the right for women to experience tragedies.

Instead let’s fight for a woman to know, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” — Phil 4:13 — and to believe that, though circumstances are difficult, she can choose life for her child and therefore bring forth new, incredible potential into this world while also protecting herself from harm.  That’s empowerment!

Reality is, it is much easier for her to believe this if she does not feel alone.

The church should be the place where women facing challenging pregnancies can find help and feel supported and valued.

As the body of Christ, we are to be the voice, hands and feet of Jesus here on earth and therefore must be ready to help, whether she decides to parent or choose adoption.

We have often heard from post-abortive women that all they needed was one person to say, “You can do this,” and they would have chosen life.

Join us in Topeka on Jan. 22 for the Kansas March for Life and Mass marking 47 years since the Roe v. Wade decision (visit the website here). We somberly acknowledge the over 60 million precious lives lost to abortion and the incalculable damage these abortions have had on women, men and families. 

The National March for Life has chosen this year’s theme to be: “Life Empowers: Pro-life is pro-woman.”

May our parish communities be bold, loving advocates for this truth!

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Debra Niesen

1 Comment

  • Debra, What a wonderfully faith-filled, hopeful and intelligent article! Your publisher’s choice to use your picture is inspired. Let the world know that a beautiful, shining young woman sees God’s will so clearly and is speaking out for it rather than what the world sees as glamour.

    Jim and I have admired your parenting skills for years. Now I understand where they come from…your respect for God’s gifts to you. Keep up God’s good work.

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