Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens
“A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more.”
Michelle Wolf’s recent display of insensitivity concerning abortion has prompted me to share a poem that I wrote near the turn of the century after I read Dr. David Reardon’s book, Making Abortion Rare: A Healing Strategy for A Divided Nation.
In the book, in his research, and in his entire ministry, Dr. Reardon focuses on the women in crisis who are daily exploited for profit by a massive abortion industry in our country and around the world. It’s not that he doesn’t care about the unborn; he just understands that what is genuinely best for any pregnant woman will be best for her unborn child as well. And that’s the message we need to bring into the public discussion of abortion.
I call Michelle Wolf’s attempt at comedy in defense of abortion insensitive because it is the kindest word I can find for it. She has to be oblivious to the pain she could cause the millions of women who grieve the death of the millions of children sacrificed on the altar of abortion “rights.” I can’t imagine that any woman would deliberately salute and celebrate a relentless instrument of human destruction, if she actually understands that it tortures and torments millions of her sisters.
Twenty years ago, Dr. Reardon made me think deeply about those sisters and their heart-breaking stories of loss, regret, and grief. I wrote Rachel’s Comfort for them, and I share the poem now to encourage more of them to boldly enter the discussion we must have. I don’t want to persuade those who celebrate abortion to change their minds. I do want to persuade them to listen to the grieving women who are living victims of abortion.
Justice Kennedy’s retirement has finally forced our nation to have this long overdue discussion about the reality of abortion that goes deeper than bumper stickers. Dr. Reardon’s research showed me that the emotional and psychological pain that abortion caused women I know and love is common, and we must be allowed to openly acknowledge that emotional and psychological pain is “a highly probable side-effect.” Since Roe v Wade made abortion on demand the law in our nation, millions of mothers have been convinced that destroying children in the womb is legalized violence against women for profit, and their voices must be heard.
Rachel’s Comfort is the story of the woman who believed she had no choice but to end the life of her child. It is the story of the woman whose choice to keep her child was stolen from her by circumstances, parents, an irresponsible father, or abortion advocacy. It is a story of all the women who found out too late that abortion is bondage, not liberation.
In the heart of the Father a child was conceived:
God made man from dust and life to him breathed.
In beautiful Eden with creation’s work done
The Lord walked with Adam like Father with son.
With His image reflected in husband and wife,
God gave them His seeds to perpetuate life.
But a once perfect creature, now with pride-blinded eyes,
Watched loving companions he chose to despise.
A false promise of freedom tore them apart.
It was death to God’s children and grief to God’s heart.
In a moment of passion a child is conceived:
Sweet blessing rejected with parents deceived
By the same subtle creature who still whispers lies,
For those of God’s image he will always despise.
He reaps from the curse that was sown by his deed
When he started the great war against woman’s seed.
He continues to promise her freedom of choice,
While crushing each mother who follows his voice.
Now using a surgeon he tears them apart;
It’s death for her child, and it’s grief for her heart.
In the heart of a mother the child she conceived
Left her with an anguish that can’t be relieved.
For the guilt that she carries presses on her each day
As she longs for the baby her choice threw away.
Like Rachel in Ramah, she weeps in distress
While she clutches her two empty arms to her breast.
She must live with a secret too painful to share;
Her freedom was sold in a trap of despair
Where memory lingers as dark as the tomb
Of one precious life that was sucked from her womb.
In the womb of a virgin a Child was conceived
To bring Life Eternal for the world to receive.
God came to His own as the Lamb who was slain.
His cross was our price which He freely ordained.
The sin of the world crushed One pure, sinless heart,
As the cross bridged the gulf that kept us apart.
God suffered and died for His children that day
Blood poured from His side to wash sin away.
Then rising in power Christ set captives free,
With the right to choose life in God’s family.
In the heart of the Father a child was conceived,
With pardon and healing for the one who believed
In the Father of Life and the Son Whom He gave
To die on the cross so her soul could be saved.
In this world her baby cannot be restored,
But there’s comfort in knowing he is held by her Lord
Who recorded each teardrop when she wept alone
And gently, so gently kept calling her home
Until she surrendered to His voice of love.
Now she is God’s child: she’s been born from above.
*I have always imagined this poem set to simple music in a range that any woman could sing. I pray it may become a song to bring healing to the living victims of abortion.