Philip Kosloski graduated from the University of Saint Thomas in Minnesota with a Bachelor’s in Philosophy and Catholic Studies and completed his Master of Arts degree in Theology with the Augustine Institute. He is a writer and author of In the Footsteps of a Saint: John Paul II’s Visit to Wisconsin. He blogs at philipkosloski.com and writes to help all Catholics master the art of prayer by conquering the practical obstacles that prevent a fruitful relationship with Christ.
This past Saturday I was asked to coordinate a local rally to protest Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby body parts. I was surprised by the positive turnout, as our city is relatively small and our weekly prayer vigils in front of Planned Parenthood are also small in number. However, even though around 180 came out to protest, the response from those who drove by was minimal. In fact, it almost seemed like we were invisible.
Ever since the release of the videos detailing the inhuman activity of Planned Parenthood, I have been amazed by the lack of concern by the average person. Many have heard about the videos but few genuinely care either way. They do not oppose the videos, nor do they support them. This was revealed to me explicitly on Saturday, as most who drove by did not have any reaction. Most simply kept looking forward and ignored us. No one stopped to show their support and hardly anyone stopped to show their opposition. They simply did not care enough to take a stance.
I believe this is indicative of a larger apathy towards life issues. Because abortion does not concern them personally, they really could care less what new videos are released. They will believe whatever the media tells them and simply move on with their daily lives.
One antidote to this problem is the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. As a part of our protest, we were able to hear the testimony of a local woman involved with Silent No More. Her powerful story put a face to abortion and showed us how much it can impact a woman. It was not easy for her to share her life with us, but it was important for those present to humanize the abortion issue. So often we think of abortion in terms of politics or in relation to driving out an evil corporation from our midst. Unfortunately, it is too easy to forget that we are dealing with human souls; not only the souls of the unborn babies, but also the souls of the men and women involved.
When you see the effects of abortion on a person who is standing in front of you, the issue is no longer in the abstract. It is harder to dismiss abortion or ignore it, because you now know someone who had an abortion and can see the damage.
Another antidote is getting involved in your local crisis pregnancy center. Even attending a fundraising event can give a person a much more complete picture. I personally believe everyone should spend time volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center. It reveals to you the men and women who are often pressured into having an abortion. You hear their stories, see the surrounding circumstances that influence them and are able to experience compassion. You then realize that outlawing abortion or defunding Planned Parenthood is only a small part of the solution. These men and women still need to be cared for and helped during a difficult time in their lives.
In the end, while the nationwide protest was a success, we still have much work to do to change the hearts of Americans. It has certainly brought abortion back into the main debate, but it still not a priority for most people. Even in the Republican race for the presidency, issues like immigration or the economy have “trumped” life issues. Let us remember that ending abortion requires much more than having a protest outside of Planned Parenthood. We must change hearts and show people that it is worth caring about.