Just before the birth of my son, I received a card from a dear friend, a mom of four: "Congratulations! I am praying for you. Untold joy awaits."
A few days later, exhausted after 25 hours of labor followed by an emergency C-section, my little one was placed on my chest. In the sleepless days and nights that followed, I couldn't understand the happiness I felt changing a diaper for the third time at 3:00 a.m. I was puzzled by my ability to function cheerfully on three hours of sleep. No amount of crying annoyed me, and no need for feeding frustrated me. Completely drained yet eager to respond to the slightest whimper, I sat and simply stared at my son as my heart overflowed with love.
In the weeks and months that followed, I noticed I felt things more deeply. Stories of loneliness, seemingly unanswered prayers, and pain and suffering cut through me. But at the same time, friends' engagement announcements, new births, and successful job interviews excited me beyond belief. Perhaps a doctor would say it all was the result of shifting hormones after the birth of a baby, but I think there is another reason. Becoming a mom expanded my capacity to love.
Just a few days ago, a draft of the U.S. Supreme Court's majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization was leaked. This draft indicated that the Court likely intends to overturn Roe v. Wade and hand the ability to protect unborn children back to the states and to Congress. In anticipation of possible reactionary violence, a non-scalable fence was erected outside the Supreme Court building. These precautions were not unwarranted. Pro-abortion protestors threw rocks and bottles at police in Los Angeles, and the pro-abortion group Ruth Sent Us has called for protests at the homes of six Supreme Court justices and announced plans to disrupt Mass this Sunday at Catholic churches nationwide.
The abortion lobby's decision to time these events to coincide with the days leading up to Mother's Day and the day itself is especially sad, but it fits with their MO. The abortion lobby manipulates women and makes them believe that they couldn't possibly be a "good enough" mom. This is a lie for many reasons, most especially because the woman the pro-abortion lobby is targeting is already a mom, whether she realizes it or not. And moms are special.
As many of us know from our own moms, my increased ability to love after becoming a mom is not unique. Whether picking up the pieces of our shattered dreams or celebrating with us as they come true, many of us have been blessed with a mother whose heart closely resembles the heart of God.
Although biological conception is not the only way a woman becomes a mother, the moment a child is conceived, a woman automatically becomes a mother -- a woman who uniquely cares for and nurtures her child. Regardless of her outward disposition, a woman's very body gives testimony to this fact, as the womb is the only organ in either the male or female body that was created for another. Like men, God has created women for many beautiful purposes, but for women, God's design uniquely includes the capacity to build within her body a "dwelling place for an immortal soul." This capacity makes women innately maternal.
But it isn't simply that a mother's body houses her unborn child, the presence of an unborn child within her changes a woman. Her life will forever exist in relation to another -- her child. This, too, is verified by the woman's body, which shortly after conception -- and sometimes for even decades after birth -- carries within it the cells of the child. It is also evidenced by the lasting wound in the heart of those who have miscarried a child. And, it is demonstrated in the physical and emotional suffering experienced by those whose child has been aborted.
Which is why it is not surprising that the pro-abortion lobby has chosen Mother's Day to protest the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing states and Congress to protect unborn children. Since 1973, the abortion industry has been spewing the lie that abortion simply removes a clump of cells and is a woman's right. Overturning Roe would force Americans to face the truth that abortion ends a child's life and breaks a mother's heart. What more ironic day to show the rejection of this truth than Mother's Day? What more ironic place than in the Father's house?
This Sunday, those who will be protesting the overturning of Roe by disrupting Mass will be in the right place for the wrong reason. Let us pray that as they are in church, God, who knit each of us in our mother's womb, touches their hearts and heals their wounds.
To all moms (including the best one, mine), happy Mother's Day! To those moms who have lost a child through abortion, you are loved, and there is hope and healing. To all those hoping to one day be a mom or who have lost a child through miscarriage or death, you are in my prayers. And to those moms who are pregnant and considering an abortion -- the journey may be difficult, but there are people ready and willing to help. Choose life! I promise, untold joy awaits!