Among the common sights in those early days of our sidewalk counseling outside abortion clinics (we started in January 1983) were women trying to somehow sneak past us, crying, hiding their faces, making excuses or telling outright lies, and sometimes being enraged at our presence.
But all such reactions are very rare nowadays. For abortion has become, to so many Americans of child-bearing age, a completely conventional experience. Sure, the facts about abortion's risks to women are more widespread than ever. So too is the knowledge of the wondrous development of the human person inside the womb. And yes, the polls suggest that American youth are more pro-life than their parents' generation.
Nevertheless, those who head to the abortion clinic to get their "problem fixed" are largely untroubled by scientific facts, medical risks, moral corruption or even the fear of God. Not all of them, no. But we must honestly face the fact that most of these women (and men) know all too well that ending their pregnancy means killing their child -- but they don't care. Their lives are dominated by the self-interest of the immediate moment.
I'm well aware that pro-abortion spokespersons (and some pro-life leaders too) insist that every woman dealing with an unexpected pregnancy does so with careful deliberation amid anxiety, fear, and a moral debate with her conscience. But this just doesn't fit the facts. Not the facts that show that a high percentage of abortions in America are repeat abortions; that is, women who are having their second, third or more abortion.
And it doesn't fit the facts that a sidewalk counselor sees outside the abortion mills. For there we rarely see tears from an abortion client or any other indication that this is a traumatic, difficult, crisis situation for them. Instead of the crying, the shame, the excuses or even the guilty anger, the women going into the abortion centers where their preborn babies will be killed are re-doing their makeup, adjusting their clothes, laughing on their cell phones, or kissing their other child in the car seat before Daddy drives off.
Moral sensitivity is dying. Or dead altogether. Religious understanding is absent. And a commitment to career, leisure activities, body shape and material "stuff" leaves no room for the precious, innocent and miraculous baby she has conceived and is carrying.
It's not just the continuation of abortion in America that breaks my heart. It's that so much of America isn't even ashamed of it anymore.