Recently, my friend, Kelly, posted a Facebook invitation of sorts to one hundred of her closest, local friends. She knew we were all active in the pro-life movement in some way or another and felt called to ask us to write a Letter to the Editor of our local newspaper. Many of us had written in the past. Some still do, while others (like me) have been discouraged with too many rejections and a feeling Like a Voice Crying out in the Wilderness.
Her Facebook post garnered a lively discussion that went on at length. We vented our frustrations and common concerns but, in the long run, many decided to accept the challenge and try again. The topic of our discussion was the Supreme Court ruling against a Texas law that protects women by requiring abortion clinics to follow basic sanitary guidelines, as is mandatory for other medical facilities as well as providing doctors with admitting privileges in case of a post-abortion emergency.
In the past, my letters to said hometown newspaper have hovered between pleading, sermon-like, and dripping with sarcasm. Having finally found my gentler side – at least when publicly pleading the case for protection of women and their unborn babies – my most recent attempts had toned down considerably. In this instance I decided to go one step further. I would take a more neutral tone and rely on common ground. The letter I submitted follows:
Sanitary Conditions and Properly Licensed Doctors Should Be a Woman’s RightNo matter where one stands on the issue of abortion, basic medical precautions should represent common ground – the well-being and safety of women. Laws providing for sanitary conditions and the necessity of doctors licensed to provide emergency medical treatment should be a basic right of any patient. While we see this ideal reflected in myriad laws throughout our country, from immediate care clinics to physician’s offices, the abortion industry has somehow evaded these basic necessities.
That anyone, who purports to have the rights of women in mind, would fiercely battle against such basic healthcare is as alarming as it is duplicitous. Yet that is exactly what just happened in the great state of Texas. A state law that protects women’s health by requiring both clinic sanitation and admitting privileges for the doctors who perform surgical abortions, was struck down by the US Supreme Court.
Federal usurping of the sovereignty of state law is treading on dangerous ground and flies in the face of how our government properly functions. Unfortunately, the pawns in this injustice are the women who are exposed to unregulated, unsanitary conditions and doctors who are not licensed to care for them should a post-surgical emergency arise. Sanitary clinic conditions and properly licensed doctors should be any woman’s right – no matter the surgical procedure.
After turning to my daughter for a second opinion, I submitted my letter online. Imagine my surprise when the following response acknowledged my submission.
Welcome back. Haven't heard from you in a long while.
Thanks for writing. We will publish your letter as soon as possible.
Isn’t life funny? We have so many preconceived ideas that deter us from doing things. Maybe we think we will be rejected or that our little effort won’t make any difference. Yet God teaches us in these small ways. By proving that it’s the effort that counts, and not the result we demand, we are reminded that we should continue to try – try to live life according to His Will and His example. Through our small works we are even called to become saints!
As our little group proceeds with our plan to inundate the local newspaper with letters of concern for this unjust SCOTUS ruling, I’d like to invite you to do the same. Don’t worry about the reception you may receive from your local paper. Simply make this little effort and ask your like-minded friends to join you.
Even if just one heart is touched – maybe even from an editorial staff member reading your thoughts – you have accomplished a great thing. You have put yourself out to scrutiny in an effort to proclaim the Gospel!
In what way can your little efforts make a difference? Share your thoughts and inspire us to join you.
Update: Several of us have now submitted our letters and mine was published today. I will be sharing some of the others as they go live.