Thursday, January 22, 2009

49,551,703 Total Abortions since 1973

Today is the 36th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision which, along with Doe v. Bolton, legalized abortion on demand across the United States. My wife reflects on the meaning of the day:
Every week, a collection of young people move through my classroom. Every year is different. Every class is different. Every period is different.

I play a sort of game with myself every year. It's more of a challenge, really. I challenge myself to learn one unique (and positive) thing about each student. It does not matter what, exactly. Some of these positive traits are easy to see. Some are bizarre. Doing this helps me to appreciate my students a little better, and reminds me to treat them with care and respect to the best of my ability. I also find that in those moments when they drive me nuts it helps me to be a little more fair.

What is interesting is what happens when someone is absent. The empty desk changes the room somehow. There is a piece missing. There is a gap where a vibrant (or at least quietly scintillating) personality usually sits. Even when one of my quieter pupils is missing, the difference is noticeable. The classroom feels incomplete somehow.

There are nearly 50 million empty desks out there right now in our schools, in our workplaces. How many gaps are there in our world that someone should have filled? How many of those singles on e-harmony are looking for a soul-mate who never given a chance at life? How many of our friends, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews have been lost to abortion?
"Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"


Enbrethiliel said...


I know this comment is late, but . . .

There's a similar point in the children's classic Caddie Woodlawn.

The three oldest children in the Woodlawn family are constantly annoyed by the "middle child," who doesn't want to play with the two "babies" of the family. Later in the novel, Caddie remembers that they had another sibling once, close in age to her annoying sister, who died as an infant. She realises for the first time how big a hole it has left in their family, because it has meant that at least one of them would always feel a little lonely, not fitting in with either the big kids or the little kids.

Alan Phipps said...

That's very interesting. Thanks for pointing that out!


Related Posts with Thumbnails