JAC Online

Her Voice Will Be Heard
by Major Danielle Strickland

 

I was singing and praying and walking the other day. Actually I was doing that every day for ten days straight, traveling 180 km total as I led 25 women on a walk from Montreal to Ottawa in a campaign called Back To Life Canada. Every one of the women who walked has a story. And a story is a powerful thing. Their stories are about women and babies.

 

Now this is where everything gets a bit tricky. When the abortion debate comes up, it can conjure up images of heated arguments, or sensational and controversial media events. Needless to say, the conversation tends to be off the table. Which brings me back to our campaign. The campaign is made up of women from all different backgrounds and socio-economic groups, but they all have one thing in common: they want to value life.

 

In justice circles, human rights is a central theme. I’d venture to guess that there isn’t a justice issue on the planet that doesn’t have at its root the devaluing of human life. I remember hearing Pope John Paul II say that “the greatest threat to the next generation is excessive capitalism and the death of persons not yet born.” Those threats, we now understand, are related.

 

Here’s how justice works: the valuing of people becomes the priority over the right to make money. Excessive capitalism is the reverse: this is when people become products. Human trafficking thrives in the world because life has become a commodity. Prostitution happens because, tragically, people can be bought and sold in our world right now. Abortion is similar. Babies become expendable or inconveniences.

 

Most of the women I walked with have post-abortive stories. My friend KC was a product of rape and her mother decided to give birth to her anyway, and then give her up for adoption. She was adopted by an amazing family and then was able to reconnect with her birth mother years later, and she is full of joy as she shares about how happy she is to be alive!

 

My friend Lisa was bullied into an abortion. Her boyfriend tried to stop the process after hearing her cries in the surgery room, and was denied entry.  The abortion was completed, and she now tells her story of healing with many tears and much regret.

 

All of the women I walk with have their own stories, and their own reasons for walking. And each of them understands something critical to justice: human life—however small, however fragile, however broken—must be valued. It must be loved and embraced and declared good. So, we walk on.

 

Life matters. How we deal with life matters. How we value life matters. How we protect the weakest and most fragile among us matters.

 

But the voices of these women go even farther than that. They go on to say that even in the midst of life devalued, all is not lost. Healing still flows. Forgiveness and hope for the future still exist. The voices of these women are far from angry, mob-like judgment and much more like a diverse choir—a beautiful sound of life. A sound of love.  A sound of women marching together to value one another and to listen to the sound of life emerging, even the smallest, tiny, unheard cry of a baby in the womb. Her voice will be heard indeed.

 

 

– You can read more of the women’s stories on Back to Life Canada.

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

 

 

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