I often hear it said that in general, apathy is one of the greatest problems facing our country and literally the world, today. Rather than taking a stand one way or the other on issue, rather than getting involved in support of or against a particular circumstance or situation, many people, by and large, simply choose not to involve themselves with it. To me, there is no greater area where this seems to ring true than with abortion. Maybe it’s because I am who I am and I do what I do everyday, but even though I am blessed to work with so many outstanding individuals and organizations who dedicate their lives personally and professionally to protecting the lives of preborn children and supporting the lives of women and men in need, I have noticed there is more and more apathy recently when it comes to abortion.
I can’t even count how many times in the past two weeks I have read comments in mainstream media articles and interviews (which I know are often breeding grounds for apathetic viewpoints to be aired), in which my story as a survivor has been shared, and individuals responded with one of the following comments:
“It’s horrific what happened to Melissa Ohden, but….” “My heart certainly goes out to Melissa for what she has gone through, but who are we to….” “It is not my place or anyone else’s, including Melissa, to tell another person….”
Although I first of all appreciate anyone reading about and learning about my life as a survivor of a failed abortion attempt, and I secondly appreciate individuals taking the time to share their perspectives on abortion with others so that we may have a public discourse about what it truly is and how it changes people and relationships forever, I am disheartened by the apathy present in so many of the responses.
I certainly don’t expect everyone to agree with me when it comes to abortion (although I think you all know in my aborted child heart that I wish people would), it’s actually easier for me to deal with people who out and out disagree with me than those who simply choose to be apathetic about it. There are literally some days where I wish I could scream out to the world, “Do you understand what that abortion should have done to me? Do you understand that my child would have never lived because of it? Can’t you understand how my husband feels, knowing his wife would never have lived? My parents, my siblings? Don’t you hear the stories of all of those who are hurt by abortion? How can you just sit idly by while lives are lost and people devastated by abortion?”
I don’t scream out to the world, however. I instead channel my energy into trying to educate the world about abortion and its’ effects on children, men and women, families. I try to chip away at the facade of apathy, because I know that so often, apathy is just an attempt at avoiding the truth out of fear of becoming in touch with it. If someone really takes the time to get to know me or my family, they see first hand every day the pain that abortion has caused us all, and they recognize the worth of all of our lives. Recognizing and accepting that pain, however, is too much for so many in our world to deal with, so instead, they stay in their comfortable bubble of not caring and not seeing.
We’ve seen what apathy has done throughout history…..from slavery to the Holocaust and so many times in between, apathy has cost millions of lives. Whether people care to involve themselves in protecting lives from abortion, the truth is that over 3,300 children just like me today will lose their lives to abortion in the U.S. alone. It may be easier for some to be apathetic about the issue than to even listen to voices like mine, but what happens when one of those 3,300 children is a child in their life–their son or daughter, grandchild, niece or nephew, friend? What if it would have been them that were in my shoes? What will all of those who are apathetic think, then, about whether it’s their place to say anything about abortion? I pray that hearts and minds be opened so that the apathy stops killing children like me.