When I learned that an abortion clinic in Austin, Texas was performing abortions on Christmas Eve I immediately thought, “Is nothing sacred?” Rapidly my mind shifted to a memorable episode of the iconic television series of my childhood M*A*S*H where a surgeon frantically tries to keep a mortally wounded solider alive on the operating table of the mobile army hospital where he was stationed, “…so his kids won’t have to think of Christmas as the day that Daddy died.” When he inevitably fails, a fellow surgeon reaches up and pushes the hands of the clock to just past midnight before announcing time of death as 12:01 AM, December 26.
Show me a home in America that doesn’t have a calendar with birthdays and anniversaries of loved ones marked on it. Show me a son who does not remember the day—and date—his father died. Show me an American older than 30 who does not remember precisely where she was on September 11, 2001—or an American older than 60 where he was on November 22, 1963. I’ll bet you can’t.
Recognizing the anniversaries of pivotal events in our lives seems vital to both our celebrations and our mournings. Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, deaths of loved ones, battle dates that will live in infamy; all are part of marking the meaningful passage of time on this planet. Thus it is for me and the woe of the date(s) that mark my abortion. There are two: the anniversary of my due date (on or about when my baby was to be born, July 20); and the anniversary of my abortion date (the day my baby was killed by abortion, January 6.)
In Christianity January 6 is celebrated as the Feast of Epiphany and marks the 12th Day of Christmas. It is a holiday in the Christian calendar—the word holiday literally means holy day. Epiphany commemorates the arrival of the Magi (the Three Wise Men) to worship the infant Jesus in Bethlehem and signifies the illumination of Christ’s divinity to the Gentiles. Such is the rich religious heritage of the secular usage of the word epiphany: a sudden realization or understanding of the true nature or deeper meaning of something.
My first child was killed on the Feast of Epiphany 23 years ago. January 6 will always hold special, painful meaning for me, but that is now tempered by my personal epiphany and conversion to the pro-life worldview, of seeing the light of truth and becoming pro-life, and subsequently embarking on a journey of faith into the Catholic Church. I began the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults in September with the expectation that I will be receiving the Sacraments at Easter Vigil Mass 2012.
The M*A*S*H episode to which I referred earlier is titled “Death Takes a Holiday” (also the title of a 1934 film based on an earlier Italian play). We celebrate holidays, some holy some not, even in secular society workers are often permitted paid time off to celebrate at home with family members.
Who would work in an abortion clinic on Christmas Eve? Who would schedule her child to be aborted on Christmas Eve? Surely, even non-Christians can recognize this day as holy to others. But for the abortion industry the day-to-day business of scheduled, purchased death, there are few holidays. For the abortion industry, truly nothing is sacred.