A king cobra is so long that it can stand up to your eye level and so poisonous that a single bite can kill 20 people. A spitting cobra can kill, too, but with a twist. It will blind you first, and from a distance. You can taunt a black mamba if you dare, but moving at twelve miles per hour it’ll catch you every time. The fer de lance strikes so quickly that its motion is nearly impossible to see. You’ll only be able to count yourself as the next victim of the deadliest snake in the Americas.
Snakes are among the most feared of all creatures. Their reputation was earned in Biblical times. There was that snake in the Garden, the one that deceived Adam and Eve. During the Exodus, snakes killed many who complained about God’s ways. Jesus was well aware of the dangers of the snakes, once calling the Pharisees “vipers.” And making a point about prayer, he asked a question about what father would give his child a snake if he asked for a fish. It’s a great question, one that we must ask ourselves as we try to protect our kids from the snake pit of our abortion culture.
God could have populated our planet in many different ways. We could have blossomed out of flowers or sprung forth from particles of angel dust. And we could have been reared much differently. He could have brought us to full wisdom and maturity without anyone’s help, or arranged for us to be raised by wolves. But His love was so great that He made men and women in His own image and likeness and provided that we would be born and raised through them. In a real sense, we are the products of God’s love passed through the generations.
We raise children as our own, but the truth is that they are not ours to keep. They are God’s children, loaned to us to help prepare them for roles that God has assigned before the beginning of time. It is our responsibility to raise our kids as God wants. If we’re to succeed, we must constantly take stock of how we’re doing. By some measures, we’re doing well. Our children are the best fed, clothed, housed, and educated children ever. They have been provided opportunities galore. But no one can study our culture without knowing that something has gone dreadfully wrong.
So, it’s back to Jesus’ question: what do our young want and need? They want acceptance and recognition from friends. They want the rights of adulthood now, for they feel they are ready. They want adventure, for see themselves as invincible. But they also want security, for the future can be awfully scary looking. Tragically, they seek to meet their wants in a sex-drenched, sex-driven culture. It’s a culture that we have built and maintained. The result was inevitable: an epidemic of teenage pregnancies.
Our culture has often responded to the problem by handing out contraceptives. Schools make them available to eleven year olds without parental consent. Teens are given Plan B morning-after pills, often without parental knowledge. The result is more, not less, sex. Why, because it sends a wrong message that sex without consequence is possible. That allows boys to put tremendous pressure on girls to have sex. Teens think they are invincible, and how much more so with contraceptives. But contraceptives have huge failure rates. One study suggests that the morning-after pill (which itself can be an abortifacient) fails more than 25% of the time. Russian roulette gives better odds.
And although our culture claims that women have control over their own bodies, teens are often pressured into the quick-fix of abortion. Studies in Britain, Scotland, and Sweden reveal that abortions have risen significantly despite the ready availability of Plan B drugs. Scotland reports a 21% increase in abortions among fourteen year olds from 2006-07. Washington State reports a 16% increase in abortions during that same period despite the giving of free contraceptives to low-income women.
The Obama administration is making matters worse. It recently refused to appeal a federal district court ruling making Plan B pills available without prescription to seventeen year olds. And in the current health care package, federal money will be used to provide school-based health care clinics run by private ventures, including Planned Parenthood. Talk about handing a child a snake! In three states, Planned Parenthood has been accused of covering up allegations of statutory rape so that under-age teens could get abortions without parental consent. You can imagine the pressure kids will feel.
How does the snake bite of abortion leave our kids? Log onto Silent No More and read the testimonies of women pressured into teen abortions. Mary has been married three times but cannot make love because of the distress from her abortion 31 years earlier. Melissa wanted to commit suicide. Emmanuella had two late-term abortions as a teen and has now suffered nine miscarriages. Have you ever heard of any abortion provider offering post-abortion grief counseling? Didn’t think so.
Recently, a California school board authorized students to leave school for medical reasons, including abortion, without parental knowledge. Following an avalanche of protests, the board reversed course. Our kids need our constant love, guidance, and protection if they are going to faithfully answer God’s call.
They don’t need to be thrown head first into a snake pit.
Paul V. Esposito is a Catholic lawyer who writes on a variety of pro-life topics. He and his wife Kathy live in Elmhurst, Illinois, where they raise their six kids.
© Paul V. Esposito 2009. Culture of Life. Permission to copy and distribute for pro-life purposes is granted. Comments? Visit us at http://www.the-culture-of-life.com/