What My Aborted Uncle or Aunt Has Taught Me
I can remember vividly learning what abortion was. I was 11 years old and overheard the word in the news one day. I knew it had something to do with pregnancy and babies. So I asked my mom in the car while we were out running errands.
She fielded the question well. She explained to me that it was a medical procedure performed on a pregnant woman and resulted in killing the child in her womb.
I was in shock. I couldn’t understand why anyone would be involved in such a practice. In my mind, that was a baby. I’d seen the ultrasound photos of my younger siblings and cousins on the refrigerator. I had held newborn babies and watched a family friend’s daughter fight for her life in the NICU after being born prematurely.
As we walked through Target following our conversation and I processed it all, I began to cry. My mom comforted me and explained, yes, it is very sad. But it’s why we need to pray for those babies, their mother and father, and all those involved in the industry.
Fast forward several years and I’m now involved in the pro-life ministries. I pray outside of abortion clinics; I petition for pro-life legislation; I attend the March for Life in addition to my local pro-life rallies in my home city.
I frequently pondered and mourned the relationships I could have had with those who could have been. But I always assumed that my family was a lucky one who narrowly escaped abortion.
You see, my dad’s mom was in high school when she had him in 1964. He was not planned and abortion was illegal at the time but not uncommon. My grandma chose life for him and I’ll never forget a toast my dad gave during one of his birthdays thanking her for that gift. She explained that it was never an option for her.
But a few months ago, during a normal dinner conversation in which we were discussing our pro-life position, my dad revealed that he had a half-sibling on his father’s side who was aborted in the early eighties. I won’t go into the details out of respect for my grandpa and the child’s mother, because I know it was not an easy decision for them.
Needless to say, I was in shock. I had marched for the voiceless for years and had no idea how profoundly abortion has touched my family. I have an aunt or uncle that is supposed to be here, but is not.
It’s one other person who was supposed to have a chair at Thanksgiving, one other birthday that I will never celebrate. It’s other cousins that will never have the chance to exist.
It’s hard to really wrap your head around news like that. I cherish my relationship with my aunts and uncles. I lean on them for support and love. My uncle and his wife are my Godparents. My aunt is my confirmation sponsor.
It took me many hours of prayer and conversations with family to process it all. But I realized that Baby Crites is a soul who is safely in the arms of God, praying for me and spiritually supporting, loving, and interceding for me. And that is a gift that can be found in this horrible tragedy.
I wish my aunt or uncle were here. It’s hard not to be angry with all the parties involved that led to the death of that child. But it’s taught me to remember the parents of those who are aborted in my prayers and pray for them. Before learning about this abortion, I had been quick to judge people who choose to get an abortion. This is a lesson to remember them in my prayers and be compassionate.
I’m still reeling from the news of it all. But it gives me an even greater purpose to continue to fight for the unborn who cannot defend themselves against this horrible genocide. Baby Crites is still remembered almost 40 years after their death. He or she will still be remembered for years after I’m gone because I will tell my children that he or she is the reason we are pro-life.
I am now marching in the name of Baby Crites who never had the chance to march. I ask for their intercession as I stand outside of a clinic and pray. And I cannot wait for the day that I enter the gates of heaven and I can meet them and say that I did everything I could in their memory.
Please pray for Baby Crites, my Grandpa, Baby Crites’ mother, my family, and all those whose families have been affected by abortion, especially during this “Right to Life” month. May God bless you in your own pro-life work.
A Prayer for Respect for Life
Father, You gave us the gift of life and You called it “very good”. We thank You for the gift of life, help us to always welcome it with joy and reverence. Please give us the grace to value and the courage to defend the dignity of all human persons from conception to natural death.
We ask for healing and reconciliation for all affected by abortion, suicide, euthanasia, and all abuses to the sanctity of human life. Help them to know Your unending mercy and be filled with Your peace.
We pray for all those struggling with difficult or overwhelming decisions. Place in their lives supportive men and women to lead them to You and provide for their needs. Fill them with hope and strength.
We pray for all in leadership roles that they would defend the value of all human life at all stages. Give them the courage and charity to defend the right to life.
We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.