choosing LIFE

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. We ran this Monday and the response was so overwhelming I thought I’d re-run it at the end of the week.

Even though it’s a day late, I want to say that I hope that you had a wonderful Mother’s Day. As the father of four children, I know that setting aside one day a year to say “thanks” hardly does justice to all that moms do for their families, but at least it’s a token of our gratitude.

Yesterday afternoon our middle daughter graduated from American University, so no doubt that also made Mother’s Day 2011 special. But what made the day unforgettable is that little Emma Grace has joined the Andrusko clan this past year, meaning my wife was now both a mother and a grandmother—and I am both a husband and a grandfather. If I was protective before (and I was), I am many times more now.

I mention this for a couple of reasons. First, as a man, I have grown increasingly sensitive to the two-side nature of our involvement with abortion-vulnerable women.

We can and we should acknowledge our pain and our grief when the woman in our life ends the life of our child, in spite of our every effort to persuade her otherwise.

But there are far more women who are not mothers—at least not mothers of living children—because of what men failed to do. Broadly speaking this falls into two categories.

We’ve run many stories in National Right to Life News and National Right to Life News Today that graphically detail how men forced women into abortions, even at gunpoint. They are enough to tear your heart out.

But these obvious and most dramatic examples are relatively rare compared to the millions of times a women has reached out to the father of her child and gone on to abort because his response was a cool indifference or an evasive “I’ll support whatever decision you make” excuse-making. Those lapses in moral integrity don’t make the newspapers.

The other reason I talk about Mother’s Day 24 hours later is that this morning I ran across a message President Reagan delivered in observance of Mother’s Day in 1983.

And that (in the interconnected mystery of the Internet) led me to a story in today’s USA Today which sent me to an accompanying video .

The Mother’s Day speech was vintage Reagan. The power lies in its eloquent simplicity and the personal, human touch. The President mentioned one family which had adopted over 20 children with special needs.

“I had a chance to visit with Rachel and her family last month, and I can tell you I’ve never seen a happier group,” Mr. Reagan said. “I know the strains on them must be great, emotionally and financially, but not as great as the love they feel for each other.” (You can read the full texthere.)

The latter refers to a book that is coming out tomorrow. Edited by historian Douglas Brinkley, “The Notes: Ronald Reagan’s Private Collection of Stories and Wisdom”  is a selection of the massive collection of hand-written notes that President Reagan kept comprised of quotes and concepts he wanted to include when he spoke

“He had all this stuff he had stored up all those years—all the stories,” Reagan speechwriter Ken Khachigan told Susan Page of USA Today. “He had the Reagan library in his own little file system.” Page describes it as “a window into the mind of the nation’s 40th president.”

At the risk of sounding dramatic, I believe that what you and I do for the littlest Americans is a window on our souls.

We KNOW what is at stake, meaning we cannot plead ignorance. We KNOW whose life is on the line, meaning we can’t avoid the gravity of the injustice. We KNOW that we have been given this heart and head knowledge for a reason, meaning we cannot evade that it is incumbent upon us to continue when others grow weary.

Thank you to all who wage this battle in season and out. And a special thank you to those mothers who when times and circumstances were exceedingly difficult nonetheless chose life.

Your feedback is very important. Please send your comments to daveandrusko@gmail.com. If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/daveha

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