NRL News

Remembering Gwen — and the millions like her

by | Jan 24, 2014


By Barbara L. Lyons

Editor’s note. This commentary appeared earlier this week in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Barbara Lyons is executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life.

Barbara Lyons

Barbara Lyons

A simple note read, “This is for you, Gwen.” The simple note pierced my heart and brought tears, for I immediately knew who Gwen was.

The note arrived on a contribution to Wisconsin Right to Life. The size of the gift had no meaning, for it was overshadowed by the heartfelt message of a mother who was giving in honor and memory of the child she lost through abortion (as confirmed by her friend).

The details aren’t known — her reason, how far along she was in her pregnancy, how she knew her child was a baby girl — but what is instantly recognized is the pain and longing that fills the entire being of a mother who sees an empty chair at her table, whose arms ache for the child she can never forget.

Gwen is a future voice for women whose message will not be heard. Gwen could have aspired to be and could have done anything she desired. She is a single child who represents a whole host of children who were never given a chance.

Jan. 22 marked the 41st year since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in our country, throwing out the life-protecting laws of all 50 states. The Roe vs. Wade decision represents social policy by sheer fiat, and its impact is devastating.

Gwen is joined by a staggering 56 million additional American children whose value and presence are irretrievably lost, whose families are profoundly broken by their absence. We have lost not only them but the gifts and talents of their children and grandchildren. I call them Generation LLA, for Lives Lost to Abortion.

How many of us arrived at an inconvenient or unexpected time? Why were we allowed to live, but not Gwen? How many Gwens do mothers and fathers and families and society have to lose before we collectively stand up as a nation of human rights, decency and justice and say “enough”?

Here’s what abortion represents to millions of Americans: loss, sadness, grief, devastation, secrecy, coercion, abandonment, failure, empty arms, isolation, loss of humanity, indifference, regret — some of our strongest human emotions expressed for a social policy that is unfair and unjust to the most vulnerable members of the human family.

Today, when you see children at a mall, a playground or in a yard, recognize these children as ones who have been given the most precious gift of all: the gift of life. These are the “lucky” ones who have made it.

All is not lost, for we face a future that offers great hope. Ultrasound sonography is a literal window to the womb, revealing the undeniable truth of the humanity of the unborn child. Women speak up about how abortion hurts them. A majority of Americans self-describe as pro-life. Young people value unborn children, believing they should be allowed to reach their full potential. Fewer doctors are willing to perform abortions, and hundreds of abortion clinics are closed.

We look forward to that magnificent day when abortion is unthinkable, when clinics close their doors forever — because no one comes. It is then that our nation will fulfill its true destiny of a land of opportunity for everyone. It is then that a true culture of life will be realized.

Categories: Roe v. Wade