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"First, do no harm" by Lisa Simmons (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: Pixabay.com (2017), CC0/PD[/caption] Every year when it comes time for the March for Life in Washington, DC, I cringe. No, it's not because I am pro-choice, not by a long shot. It's because of the shaming that goes on between us women: sister to sister, mothers to all women on social media and in the news during this week. My sisters, there are thousands of young women in our world who are longing to have a child, praying to have a child, and for some unknown reason are unable to. We have become a society of blaming and shaming and putting guilt on women who have never deserved to be on the receiving end. As a mom of three daughters, I have agonized over why one of my daughters has been able to have two children and the other two cannot. They never took birth control pills, they never lived outside of good moral values, and yet they cannot conceive. The pain they live with day to day, wondering what they are doing wrong, silently kills me inside too. How do I as a mother explain why? I cannot. I also pray hard for them and do not understand. I understand that pro-life marchers come along with their signs and photos of aborted babies, all with the good intentions of helping people understand we are talking about killing children and how wrong that is, but sometimes in their words and actions they land up actually shaming women who do not have children or who can not have children. I don't believe they understand the pain they are inflicting on these young woman who want to have babies and have even suffered miscarriages. I am not asking us to stop these marches, but we need to be more compassionate of all women, especially those trying to have a child. We don't know what is in the heart of any woman, even those having abortions, but we need to be sisters to each other, more compassionate, listening to each other heart to heart. We need to be careful with the words we throw out. Jesus never called sinners murderers, and even those women who do chose abortion need to be prayed for and gently spoken to in order to change their hearts. A heart and soul attacked is turned away, not brought home. As a mother I beg all women to want to help each other; let us not cast stones, not shame each other. Jesus loved everyone that came to him, each in his or her own time. Can we not do the same? Can we not spread the message that babies are so very special that we love them all and want to help their moms at whatever stage of pregnancy they are in? In doing this, we would be caring for all those women who are suffering from infertility too, and praying for them to become mothers, giving them the support they so desperately need. Let us do no harm as we go forth to help each other, protecting babies and all women alike.
Copyright 2020 Lisa Simmons