By Jean Garton

911towerslightreEditor’s note. Due to computer problems, this magnificent piece, first written by Jean Garton for the November 2001, issue of National Right to Life News, did not appear until late last evening. As a commentary on the incredibly bravery shown on 9/11 it’s so powerful that everyone has a chance to read it.  Please forward to your friends using your social media.

“In the vast toll of casualties wreaked Sept. 11, one that has barely been mentioned to date is the number of babies who will be born in the coming months already having lost their fathers.” — Newsday, October 15

In the aftermath of the detestable, horrific terrorist attacks, it seems as if every week produces a new batch of American heroes.

We all know about the magnificently courageous acts of the hundreds of police officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical workers, many of whom lost their lives saving others. Likewise, we can only stand in awe of the sacrificial courage of passengers on a fourth highjacked airplane who evidently fought with their captors. While they gave their lives when the plane went down, there is good reason to believe that had they not bravely risen to the challenge, our nation’s capitol would have been hit.

But there is still another category of heroes about whom little has been written. They are small in number but big in heart, part of a different kind of rescue operation following the atrocities of September 11. Those heroes or, more precisely, those heroines, also deserve our recognition and our gratitude.

On that terrible September day dozens of the men who died left behind widows who were pregnant. With their deaths, a new and tragic sorority of single mothers was created.

Those women, some already with other children, have been left to face an unknown future. Surely, said some people, they will want abortions. Given the circumstances, said others, those fatherless children would be better off not being born.

However, in spite of all the financial and emotional burdens, “not one of the expectant mothers interviewed by Newsday said they regretted being pregnant,” Newsday’s Roni Rabin wrote. “Their pregnancies harbor little nuggets of the person they loved, and they can’t wait to hold their newborns.”

Rabin’s magnificent October 15 story begins with these extraordinary paragraphs:

“For years, Danielle Salerno and her husband, John, played tug-of-war on the subject of children. He was desperate to have a baby. She wanted to travel. His career at Cantor Fitzgerald was taking off. She didn’t want to be tied down. He was established; she was trying to start a handbag business.

“Last spring, Danielle Salerno had a change of heart. She got pregnant immediately and was almost four months along when John was killed in the World Trade Center attack.”

“’It’s a miracle,’ Salerno, 30, a native of Port Washington who lives in Westfield, N.J., said of her pregnancy. ‘I consider myself very lucky. I don’t think I could have been able to handle all the years we’ve had together and having really nothing left, only photographs.’

“’I just wish he’d had a chance to see his child. … Nobody wanted a child more than John.'”

Another, whose child was born after the terrorist attack, told Rabin, “I thank God every day that I have this little girl to help me get through every day.”

September 11 has been dubbed “The Great Divide” because, it is said, life will never be the same again. Surely, it will be vastly different for these widowed moms who now face life without their loved ones and with new financial challenges.

However, it is important that another kind of “Great Divide” not be overlooked, lost in the bigger picture. That is the chasm that separates the response of pro-lifers and those who market death.

Incredibly, Planned Parenthood of New York City responded to the tragedy of September 11 by offering free abortions to these unfortunate widows. I suspect Americans of all views on abortion found it hard to imagine an organization so callous as to answer the killing of thousands of innocent Americans by offering to kill hundreds more innocent Americans. Under the guise of an act of “charity,” Planned Parenthood’s solution to mass destruction is more destruction.

Is it an accident that the Greek word translated “charity” in the New Testament can also be translated “love”? Of course not, for true charity is love, the giving of oneself to another without expecting anything in return.

Nothing could be more alien to an organization such as Planned Parenthood than agape love.

Pro-life President George W. Bush has been remarkably eloquent in this time of great national trial. The President recently said, “Grief, tragedy and hatred are only for a time. Goodness, remembrance and love have no end.”

The courageous, heroic pregnant widows of the Trade Center attack are living proof of that reality and that historic truth.