Fight the New Drug

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How the Pro-Life Movement Needs to be More Pro-Active

Today at Centro Tepeyac a pregnant woman came in crying not sure what to do with her unborn child.  She held in her hand documents given to her by a doctor:

Referral: Planned Parenthood
History, Diagnosis: Unplanned pregnancy

We were sadden to see this news.  Thankfully our well-trained counselors got to talk to her, and her reason of "I don't want to, but I just have to have it done" seemed to lose ground.  After an afternoon of conversation, our counselor came back to us sensing that this woman is going to be changing her mind, keeping the baby.

The longer I work here at Centro Tepeyac, the more I realize that the "Pro-Life" movement should be more than just advocating for the baby, and more towards converting the hearts of men and women.  How do men, and especially women get to this decision in the first place?  As I work here I see a consistent common denominator:

1. Woman has unplanned pregnancy.
(Side track: Majority of these unplanned pregnancies happen when couples are using contraceptives.) 
2a. Woman, unmarried, has a boyfriend who is not supportive of she having a baby.
2b. Woman, unmarried, has a boyfriend who has left.
3. Woman does not want to have an abortion, but feels like "she has to."

I'm starting to recognize that now, more than ever, we need to be more about reaching men and women before they even have sex.   

We need to start talking about more about the following questions:

What is going on when people turn to sex for love?

What wounds are going on in someone's life that requires for someone to look for love in the wrong places?

How can we educate on the misconceptions and myths of contraception: that they're not as effective as they say they are when it comes to pregnancy, that they do not protect against STDs, and none of it ever protects against the emotional and mental consequences of premarital sex?

Why have men become less responsible and less committal?

How do we educate women to keep the bar high and only accept the best?

How do we spread the word that porn not only emasculates the strength of men, but instigates the objectivity of women, and has led to increased sexual promiscuity, sexual abuse, and violence since porn has become widespread on the Internet?

How do we teach men and women about the real meaning of sex: both unity and procreation? bonding and babies?

The essence of man is to be a protector.

Last Friday, a woman came here at the end of the day when I was alone in the office.  She had a two month old handsome little son, and they have been living in their car for several weeks.  The father left her, and she no longer had money to pay her rent.  She was looking for shelter.  After making several phone calls, I got in touch with Silver Spring emergency services, that said to bring her in by 3 p.m.  It was already 2:45 p.m.  I tried to direct her where to go, but because of time, I told her to follow me in her car to drive separately there.  We got there, rushing, I took the baby in the carrier as she grabbed her bag, and we ran up the steps to get inside in time.  A front desk lady asked us some questions and had her fill out some paper work.  The baby cried as I picked up the bottle to feed him while she could write on the paper.  She got called in, and I walked in with her.  She was given more paper work, but the baby in her hands was fumbling around, so I took him in my arms and held him.  He was so warm, cute, and I wanted everything right to happen for him.  We were sent back in the waiting room.  I was told by the social worker that they might take the baby away from the mom if she continues to live out of the car.  I got angry, wondering where the father could be at this moment.  After it seemed there was not  more I could do, I gave her my card at Centro Tepeyac and told her to call and follow up with us, to find out more what we could do for her and her child.

A couple weeks ago, a visitor at Centro Tepeyac who works with women who have had abortions talked about the essence of men and women.  The essence of a women is to be a nurturer.  The essence of a man is to be a protector.  I didn't even know it, but last Friday I felt that essence of protector come out of me.  I wanted to protect this woman, and especially this handsome little boy.  I fed him, I held him, I carried him.  Shoot, for a split second, I wanted to keep the baby if that meant saving him.  The essence of a protector came out of me in such a natural way; it's a piece of me that I didn't even know existed yet.

If this essence of a protector can come from me and I didn't even know it was there, I believe it can come from others.  Why has it been lost on other men?  And what can we do about it?  If the essence of nurturer was in this women to do what she can to save him by asking for help, it can exist in other women.  Why has it been lost?  And what can we do about it?

What can we do about it?  If we're really Pro-Life we have to be Pro-Active.  Pro-Active to the point of reaching men and women before they even make that decision to have sex.  Is a few minutes of pleasure worth a life-time of consequences?

How can we educate this?  Because that little boy I held deserves a better chance, and may still have a chance.  But it could've began with a decision that happened months and maybe years ago.



  1. “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time." - Pope Francis

  2. This is a great context. Real stories, real people, real life. Looking at what we can do. I'm not sure if this IS anonymous' point or if the above is a complaint. But I am grateful for your ministry both in real life and through this writing to share it with others so that we can all ask ourselves the hard questions.

  3. Awesome, Matt. "The essence of man is to be a protector." So true! I'd never heard it put that way before, essense of man and essence of woman. The Armory guys have tried to explore that idea before, and I think that's a great and simple way to put it. That's not all that a man is, that's not all that a woman is, but it's an interesting way to think about the differences between men and women and how they interact and what each gender recognizes and seeks in the other. I'm going to have to write on that myself!

    And then from there it definitely carries into the pro-life discussions. Consider and respect life on the front end (pre-sex) not in the face of pregnancy. Man: Look at this woman, understand this essence, understand her humanness and HER life and cherish that. Consider the act, it's joy and wonder and pleasure, the union it is, and the life it creates. Consider that the act is jointly a celebration of life, a union of lives, and a creation of life. All three together in one. And we pretend that it's just the celebration and pleasure part but even if we deny it, the other parts are their too.

    Women are good. Sex is for something, and it is good within the right context (marriage).

    Seems like we often get it backwards (both men and women), thinking: Women are for something, and sex is good.

    Obviously these thoughts are from the guy's perspective. Would love to hear a woman's perspective, too!