To the brave

March for Life Reflection
“To the Brave” by Elizabeth at Startling the Day

The “Bright Maidens” were originally three from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. Now, we all take up the cross to dispel the myths and misconceptions. Welcome!

This one goes out to the brave. Thank you, women in mourning, who consistently share with us your heartbreaking stories of decades of pain.

Thank you for opening wounds with us that took years to acknowledge, let alone to heal.

This year I spent the March for Life doing what most of my fellow defenders of the sanctity of human life were doing: trudging through another work day, wishing I was marching among my brothers and sisters.

God knows I’m grateful for my job and that many who are not as fortunate as I am were homebound on Monday as well. I just wish I could have joined the voices and the media-slighted crowd.

Two years ago I was here in DC for an internship on the day of the march. I awoke with my normal routine, begrudgingly aware that I couldn’t pound the pavement with the pro-life strangers, and walked toward the Metro station. I boarded a train bursting with the normal commuters, briefcases and cell phone chimes.

But when I exited for my stop, I noticed one woman carrying a sign as she de-trained with me. She was the only marcher in our train car and her sign was far too big to conceal.

She carried this sign

I don’t know if she was one of the women behind the micro or megaphones that day, with thousands of voices to support her in sharing her story, but here she was in the middle of a DC commuter’s morning, witnessing without the rest of the choir.

I can’t imagine the pain of cooping with a decision to abort a child and I certainly can’t imagine the kind of retribution she could have faced in risking to carry that sign as she traveled alone. That morning, I wanted to give a stranger a hug and to thank her.

When I returned home from my internship in DC, I started volunteering for Rachel’s Vineyard. I encourage everyone to visit their website, inquire with your diocese about opportunities in your area, to donate (if you feel so called), and to volunteer.

You don’t have to be one of the counselors in the room to give aid to the effort to provide a safe environment for post-abortive fathers and mothers. You can offer up the tedious but necessary jobs like cooking, setting up, and cleaning up.

The pro-life movement needs to be an activist movement for healing as well as a forward movement for saving lives. Consider helping with this wing!

Bright Maidens: March for Life Reflection

The “Bright Maidens” were originally three from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. Now, we all take up the cross to dispel the myths and misconceptions. Welcome!

Topic: March for Life Reflection

Elizabeth at Startling the Day
Check out our Facebook page for guest posts!

Why March?
“America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts — a child — as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters.
And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.” (Mother Teresa — “Notable and Quotable,” Wall Street Journal, 2/25/94, p. A14) 

Our Lady of Guadalupe,
we turn to you who are the protectress of unborn children and 
ask that you intercede for us,
so that we may more firmly resolve to join you in protecting all human life. 
Let our prayers be united to your perpetual motherly intercession on behalf of those whose lives are threatened, be they in the womb of their mother, on the bed of infirmity, or in the latter years of their life. 
May our prayers also be coupled with peaceful action which witnesses to the goodness and dignity of all human life,
so that our firmness of purpose may give courage to those who are fearful and bring light to those who are blinded by sin. 
Encourage those who will be involved in the March for Life;
help them to walk closely with God and to give voice to the cry of the oppressed,
in order to remind out nation of its commitment to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people. 
O Virgin Mother of God, present our petitions to your Son and ask Him to bless us with abundant life.
Amen.

Beyaz Yourself

 Week Two: Contraception
“Beyaz™ Yourself” by Elizabeth at Startling the Day 

This is the second post of a Lenten blog post series called “Bright Maidens.” We three are from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. We’re here to dispel the myths and misconceptions- please join us for the discussion!
 

***I’m tempted to not put a disclaimer here. The reason I will disclaim is because I want you to know my intentions are to spread love. “The road to hell” being what it is, I know the diaspora that occurs between intention and effect. I understand many women are on hormonal birth control for medical reasons. Just consider what I’m saying, I’m not attacking anyone… except maybe the interns who concocted this commercial…***

“You know what you want today, but you never know what you might want tomorrow. It’s good to have choices…” This is the introduction to the most recent Beyaz™ commercial.

Hey ladies! Life is like shopping! Yeah, in your designer outfits, perfect hair, and thin bodies, you walk around a pale pink store placing life decisions in the shopping cart, one by one!

First stop: grad school. How could you pick up a degree? Well, having sex outside of marriage is a given, of course. Are you expected to complete a degree without the occasional stress release? So, the next logical step is birth control.

(I don’t own the rights)

Now, which birth control should I use? According to the Bayer people, Beyaz™ is formulated with a little extra folate. Yup, that’s right. Prenatal vitamins built in, just in case you get pregnant.

Good choice! You’re hitting the world with a double whammy of responsibility. Wack, wack, take that.

However, as the next shot shows, if you get pregnant, though your baby will have sufficient calcium, he or she will make the diploma fly off into the air to another part of the store of life.

In our walk around the store, we see other admirable life goals like “picnic at a waterfall,” “trip to Paris,” and “buy a house.” People with babies don’t do these things. Celibate people definitely don’t do these things.

When picking out a significant other, as the label portrays on the shelf, one must choose carefully, but not too carefully. After all, there is a whole shelf of them and you’re “protected.”

In fact if you had sex and used this birth control, you’ll probably go to Paris with the goofy Ken doll you just picked out two tables ago.

(I don’t own the rights)

Oh, but watch out. Don’t turn down the wrong isle or you’ll bump into the stork carrying a purple, heavy-looking sack. Awkward. No need to worry, this birth control is 99.99% effective. Just shake your head at the silly bird and move on.

To be clear, there are no men in the commercial. No wining, no dining, no actual romantic dates, just little miniature ones trapped in glass boxes like action figures.

The women are strolling along, presumably having sex figuratively as they walk in this dream-like state through the store without concern.

Natural

Why would a puritan like me disagree with this “freedom” these women have over their own bodies? The world tells us, “Sex is natural” and it is.

Let’s talk about what is unnatural. Birth control. Contraceptives. Separating an entire reason for the marital bond in order to use your significant other, husband or wife for pleasure only. That is unnatural.

Literally: look at the ingredients in hormonal birth control or barrier contraceptives, ask a 3-year-old to pronounce it for giggles. Then ask a 15-year-old to pronounce it. After that, try pronouncing it yourself.

Woooo blod clots. Actual Beyaz girl.

Crystalina and Jason Evert break down the carcenogenic that is “the Pill” in this article and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a scientific answer to your question.

As a sneak preview, hormonal birth control can cause heart attack, blood clot, stroke, liver cancer, breast cancer, gallbladder disease, headache, bleeding irregularities, ectopic pregnancy, weight gain, mental depression, yeast infection, changes to the curvature of the eye, excessive hair growth in unusual places, loss of scalp hair, acne, partial or complete loss of vision, and more.

Put that in my shopping cart, right away!

My ex-boyfriend, who is very involved in the pro-life movement, once exclaimed that the anti-contraceptive voices should be detached from the pro-life movement. Detached.

No. The pro-life movement gives away too much when it says contraception is okay.

It means we’re okay with irresponsibility. You can have all the pleasure you want without “risk,” but if biology WHOOPS gives you a baby, then you have to start being responsible. Let’s be clear, a baby is always a potential result of sexual intercourse, even if it’s “protected.” A baby is never the result of not having sex.

Unless you’re Mary.

The only “safe” sex is that between two people who are entirely committed to one another. This doesn’t include people who are paying rent together, people who have bought meals for each other, or people who met ten minutes ago. This includes those bound in matrimony.

Two bound in matrimony are not granted permission to lust for each other and “have at it.” That corrupts sex. They are invited to share in God’s gift of making love, or the “intimate sphere,” as Alice von Hildebrand calls it. This is only fully realized when the two unite in pleasure and understanding that a child may result from their physical manifestation of love.

More pet peeving

You know what is most annoying about this commercial? Most of the things that these women are shopping for are related to men. If you’re so independent and you haven’t been “duped” by your biology like those of us who are oppressed by abstinence, why are you still tied to how a man sees you and how you spend time with a man?

The picnic by a waterfall and trip to the “most romantic” city in the world are certainly supposed to be shared with one of the Ken dolls in an earlier shot. How are you more independent with this birth control?

I was going to share with you the video for the commercial, but it has been removed. I can’t find it anywhere. Perhaps they made a sour choice and now they see the backlash?

UPDATE: John Jansen found it!