There’s something about unrelenting, senseless violence against innocent children that just numbs my mind to the horror of it all, but at the same time I can’t stop the tears.
As the news of #JusticeForTheFive broke, there have been many moments where I’ve found myself frozen. I hear the babble of my four-month-old son and think of little Christopher X, a baby boy who some medical experts say was nearly full-term. Killed at Dr. Cesare Santagelo’s abortion clinic in Washington, D.C., little Christopher X was dumped naked into a medical waste bucket, to be sent on to an incinerator.
The lack of reporting on this story is breathtaking. Many like to talk about humanity, about the uniquely American story of striving for equal justice for all. I want to believe we are the people we claim to be, but then I look at dead babies in medical waste buckets, fully formed, nearly ready to be born. And I break down again at this American horror story playing out in our Nation’s capital and in too many cities across the country.
As Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising’s activists and my organization have battled to tell this story, we have been ignored, rebuffed, and vilified by much of the media. Live Action has documented abortionist Santangelo admitting, on undercover tape, to a woman who was 24 weeks pregnant that he would “not help” a born alive infant in his clinic. Try to find a mention of that in your local paper.
And Santangelo is still aborting babies. While the news broke, my two sons played and babbled in the background, and I was filled with pain. I look at Christopher X and I see the shadow of my own child. A life stolen, and for what?
As women, we are stronger than children. And it’s always the responsibility of the strong to protect the weak.
Pro-lifers are especially hated because we oppose the power structure that kills children. We say, “no, just because you are a mother, a woman, doesn’t give you license to kill. Just because a child is nestled in your womb doesn’t mean you can order its death.” Children cannot create an advocacy group, they cannot rally, they cannot organize and mobilize. They need us. They need adults to speak for them. Preborn children are totally defenseless and dependent.
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And too many of us are failing our own children.
Santangelo’s victims never stood a chance because too many of us are unwilling to defend them. We know that abortion is reviled by a majority of Americans, but too many are cowered into silence by political and media power structures.
I am heartbroken to think the only baby pictures of those five infants are of the butchery that Santangelo inflicted on their bodies. I am heartbroken to think of their mothers whose consciences were perhaps muted and normalized by our media and our politicians. I am heartbroken to think of their fathers who couldn’t save them from the worst possible fate. I am heartbroken to think of the police officers who are “just doing their job.” I am heartbroken to think of staff at Santangelo’s clinic—how can they live with themselves?
And Santangelo is still free. He continues to go to “work”—selling barbaric executions of infants for a profit.
We cannot look away, even though it hurts to consider this. The first chapter of my book, Fighting for Life, is called, “Let your Heart Break.” Heartbreak is painful, it’s devastating. We must allow ourselves to grieve for more than sixty-three million nameless children who are not walking this world. We must grieve for a whole generation— generations—of my sisters who have accepted the lie that our progress is only possible if we can end the lives of our children.
Grief, but then action.
We have to live intensely. We have to ferociously embrace this painful yet beautiful life and fight for others. And so, even as I work on this story, I stop. I hold my son. I look into his eyes and meet his smile with mine. I listen to his coo and I let myself laugh with him.
We are fighting for these children—and all children—because life is worth it.