Monday, November 9, 2009

The Loudest Whisper, The Smallest Cry

From 1976-1983 Argentina was embroiled in what became known as “the Dirty War.” The time was completely chaotic in every way you can think of. The country was ruled by a military dictatorship. Any enemies to that government were in grave danger. Tens of thousands were “disappeared.” That is people were taken and never heard from again. The numbers are hard to nail down, as is the case with most mass covert horror operations. Some of the most powerful instruments in bringing an end to this terrible reign were mothers and grandmothers.

When tyranny and secrecy combine there is a terrible price to be paid by the oppressed. Secrecy breeds whisperings. And such was the case here. The people in Argentina were well aware of what was happening, but because it was done with secrecy and terror the people responded in whispers. No one wanted to be the next to disappear. To stand up against such tyranny required bravery and solidarity. There had to be a way to make the whispers heard. Enter the mothers.

A group of women banded together in a silent protest against the government. They became known as the Mother’s of the Plaza de Mayo. They were mothers whose children had disappeared. Every Thursday they gathered together, wore white head scarves (embroidered with the names of their missing children), and they would walk in a circle in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires. Though silent they provided an echo for the whispering protests of the suffering people. And people began paying attention. The echo grew even louder as the world’s attention turned to Argentina when they hosted the World Cup. The world became aware of what was occurring in Argentina. The loudest whisper came from a silent protest shining a light on a terrible truth.

Another influential group joined in with these mothers, it was the grandmothers of the disappeared. When people with young children were disappeared their children were adopted away, often to those friendly with the government. The Grandmothers heard the cries of the smallest, and responded. They joined in the silent protest. As a result many, but not all, of the grandchildren were eventually returned to their families.

It is an amazing story. I so admire the courage of these women to take a stand in the best way they knew how. Some of them paid an ultimate price by being disappeared themselves. But, because they united and responded to the whisperings throughout the nation, and the cries of the smallest, they were able to make a big difference.

Now, there are many ways that I could relate this account to happenings today, but one way in particular has weighed heavy on my heart and mind. There is a group in our nation who has suffered the same fate of the disappeared. Most are nameless and little record of their very existence remains. They number in the tens of millions; they are the unborn killed as a hallmark to irresponsibility and political agenda.

I cannot for the life of me understand how a society can be so accepting of the practice of the killing of the unborn. It boggles the mind. And as I have said before, I think the time may come that society will look back on sanctioned abortions with the same disgust we look back at slavery now.

Who is being disappeared? Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” Again, where was the glaringly obvious follow up question of ‘which populations would those be Justice Ginsburg’? One need only look at the placement of Planned Parenthood facilities to see which populations are being attacked. I encourage anyone reading this to get your hands on a copy of “Maafa 21” to see a well documented case laid out for the African American population being targeted. Also, lower income populations are targeted. And one of the most decimated groups is the special needs children in the womb.

The whispers that the proponents of abortion, including and maybe especially in the government, would like to silence include a very important group to me, the women who have abortions. I am pro-life not just for the life of the unborn, but also for the life of the mother. As a counselor I have had the opportunity to counsel with women who have had abortions and who are devastated by the emotional effect. Does abortion hurt women? The answer is yes, and not just physically. They know that their child’s life was ended, and emotionally that is painful. Questions persist in their minds about whether or not they made the right decision. I’ve heard the rationalizations, but regret and sorrow always peek through. It is not a pain that gets discussed in wide circles. The media certainly does not address it. It’s a whisper that women will admit to only in limited circumstances. But, I’m taking the opportunity here to echo it louder. It’s devastating for these mothers of the disappeared.

And what then of the smallest cry? Do we heed the voice of these the smallest among us? I think of a day not all that long ago that I received a message on my phone from my sister. She was pregnant with her first. Her voice was choked with emotion as she quickly explained that there was something wrong with her baby and that she would be speaking to her doctor soon. I freely confess that tears filled my eyes, both for hearing the pain in my sisters’ voice, and for the fear I had for the life of her child. It turned out fine, he is alive and well and causing all sorts of fun mischief these days. But, I remain struck by the experience. When we acknowledge the truth that their lives a little being inside of their mothers, we feel their sufferings and do whatever is in our power to help them. No amount of name-changing (a fetus is still human), will change the fact that they are alive and that abortion ends a life. Their rights to life cry out for us to hear.

I take my stand for the rights of the smallest, and I hear the whisperings of the women who suffer. May this nation heed the cry and may we magnify the whispers so that we can heal from the devastating effects of this abomination. And may those who have been disappeared not be forgotten.

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