Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

January 24, 2009


Standing on the steps of the Supreme Court, looking up at the blindingly white courthouse, shining in the sun. The police officers stood at attention about 10 feet from the barrier, overlooking the crowd. They were stonyfaced, except for one, who smiled, and seemed glad we were all there.

To my left was the stage, with women telling their surprisingly mundane stories about the abortions they now regret. (The pro-abortion advocates scare us with back-alleys and poverty, but the reality is that most of these women are middle-class suburbanites: college students whose boyfriends pressured them, teenagers whose parents drove them to the abortionists.) To my right, a handful of counter-protestors, all engaged in heated, but civil debate with the pro-lifers.

Emotionally, I was completely detached, and saw little that moved me. I tried to concentrate on my rosary, and take comfort in the repeating words, solace in the words, and the mysteries of Christ's passion and death. But I was mostly just distracted, saying the words out of habit rather than love.

As I was standing there several women, young and old, even a nun, came forward and dropped a rose on the steps of the Supreme Court. A young photographer clicked away, trying to get the perfect angle, with a detached desire of photojournalistic realism. As he walked away two girls, about 16 years old, came forward, and dropped the roses, and one burst into tears, sobbing, as the other held her close rocking back and forth like a mother comforting a child.

I don't know why she cried, but I sure wish I could have joined her sorrow.

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