How Do You Explain Abortion to a Child?

By Judith Costello
The bishops have declared that October is Respect Life Month. It goes along with October as Mary’s month…As our Heavenly Mother she must be especially devoted to those women who are, at this very moment, carrying the gift of life inside their wombs!
It is a terrible tragedy, with huge consequences for our entire world, that some of these mothers will be counseled and encouraged to “terminate” that life.

I remember trying hard to protect my children from hearing about this frightening reality of our world. Whenever someone would say the word “abortion” or there would be an insert in the bulletin at Church, I would switch the children’s focus. It seems as if knowing there are mothers who allow the babies they are carrying to be killed, would be totally devastating to children. “How is that possible? How can anyone deny life to a growing baby?” My “babies” shouldn't have to know that this happens on a wide scale. What would it mean to them to know that at least 74% of the reasons for abortions are that the growing child is an “inconvenience”?

No. I didn't want my children to know about abortion. What could such knowledge do to their sense of security? If mothers, who are the real backbone of society because of their care for children, are willing to go to centers where abortions are performed, it threatens the foundation of the world. The earth shakes and trembles every time an abortion is performed.

But my kids are teenagers now. They know. They also realize we have a special connection to this issue. My daughter is adopted. The children know that one of four babies will be “terminated” today. My daughter says it is just “too sad” because she knows—we know in our family—that there are people who want those babies who can’t be cared for by their birth mothers.

I know it must be hard to have a baby while still young, unemployed and without family help. Or to become pregnant when the father has disappeared. I know young women whose plans for their lives have been totally disrupted because they got pregnant. Babies aren't convenient. Babies aren't easy.

But babies are precious. And babies come into the world because God has a plan for them. God sees the bigger picture. How is it we dare to think that we know better than God?

During this special month of Mary and month of Life…let us pray that the backbone of our society—mothers—will receive the strength and help they need to do the right thing for the unborn. Our children are waiting to hear that the world is a secure place for them to grow; that they are loved and all will be well.

Jesus said, "I came so all might have life and have it to the full." (John 10:10.)

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