Voters in New Mexico’s largest city of Albuquerque yesterday soundly defeated a ban on late-term abortions. And it just breaks my heart.
Think about it. People had the opportunity to vote to protect unborn children who are old enough to feel pain from late-term abortions. And people simply didn't care enough. Voters on Tuesday rejected the measure 55 percent to 45 percent. How? I mean seriously, how does this happen?
There's a few logical reasons. According to The SBA List, Planned Parenthood and other national pro-abortion groups, including Organizing for America, spent $1 million to defeat it. And the city of Albuquerque is a deep blue city that chose Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by a 15-point margin.
I knew all that going in to yesterday but I've got to admit, in my heart I just didn't see how anyone could go in to the voting booth and vote against this bill. Wait. It's not that I didn't think anyone could vote against a bill that says once babies can feel pain they shouldn't be ripped apart in the womb, I just didn't think a majority could. But a majority did. And that unsettles me terribly. I think people are further gone than I even thought they were. And I thought they were pretty far gone before. The SBA List points out that just in the final week of the campaign, pro-life coalition activities included:
$100,000 in television and online ads, including one featuring former abortionist turned pro-life OB/GYN Dr. Anthony Levatino of Santa Fe. Spots: “It’s common sense,” “Human Compassion Trumps Politics,” and “Take it from a real doctor”
Election day-long GOTV radio campaign on country, Christian, and news/talk radio stations
70,000+ early voting information mail pieces, 30,000+ absentee ballot applications mailed, 48,000 GOTV postcards
77,000 pieces of literature encouraging early voting distributed throughout churches and parishes
73,000 phone calls to identified pro-life voters made by volunteers
2,700 yard signs distributed
Three full-page newspaper ads and two half-page ad in the Albuquerque Journal including one exposing the true risk to mothers in a late abortion procedure by showing informed consent forms women must sign before undergoing abortion
Live Action release of web video “Profits from Pain,” showing undercover footage of Albuquerque abortionists making at least $8,000 per late abortion and downplaying the brutality of the abortion procedure.
But still, a majority opposed the ban on late term abortions. A majority of people simply did not care that the unborn can feel pain, that they feel the needles going in, or that they feel the surgical tools grasping at their limbs.
They just didn't care. Not enough anyway.
My goodness, where are we? What's happened to us? How do we even come back from this place we're in? Our country voted for a man who said he would kill his own grandchild (I don't want them punished with a baby!) Virginia voted in a governor who promised that abortion clinics would remain unregulated (therefore putting women at greater risk.) And now Albuquerque voted against the most common sense of all bills (to ensure that babies who can feel pain aren't aborted.)
But these horrors don't ping on our moral radars anymore. This is a bad day. It's a bad day for babies. It's a bad day for women. It's a bad day for the country.
We are truly in enemy territory. As C.S. Lewis said in Mere Christianity, “Enemy-occupied territory---that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”
But the only thing that will change this is a massive conversion of people to the faith. No legislation, no referendums can fix what ails us. Because what's killing us isn't outside us. It's inside us. We're actually radiating our own poison at this point. Until this country puts God back at the center of life we will continue spiraling into new calamities and creating new horrors
The problem in the end isn't political. Legislation, ordinances, and referendums are not the real issue. They are simply symptoms of the distance we have put between ourselves and God. Until we once again believe that God loves each and every person and that every life is sacred, we'll keep putting it on ourselves to decide whose life is not so sacred.
And as upsetting as Albuquerque is, we can't despair. I can't help but think of the image of the Sacred Heart surrounded by thorns. Each time the heart beats, it causes pain. The message of the cross is one of love and suffering and it is the heart of Christianity. To love is to open yourself to pain. And on the bad days, you might wonder if it's worth it to continue loving, to conintue trying. But loving is the only way to avoid despair. I choose not to despair. I will continue attempting to remind people that life is sacred and that each of us are loved. Because in the end that eternal unchanging message is the only message that will ever change anything.