Set­ting an ex­am­ple

The Saline Courier - - OPINION - KATHRYN LOPEZ Kathryn Jean Lopez is se­nior fel­low at the Na­tional Re­view In­sti­tute, ed­i­torat-large of Na­tional Re­view On­line and found­ing di­rec­tor of Catholic Voices USA. She can be con­tacted at [email protected] na­tion­al­re­

One of the most beau­ti­ful, un­der-the-radar things I saw in the pass­ing po­lit­i­cal fren­zies of the sum­mer thus far was one doc­tor’s re­sponse to the re­cent up­heaval at Planned Par­ent­hood.

“I am an OB/GYN like you, and I just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss.”

Dr. Monique Ru­beru reached out to Dr. Leana Wen after news hit that Wen was no longer the pres­i­dent of Planned Par­ent­hood. The news came not long after Wen had an op-ed pub­lished in the Wash­ing­ton Post ex­plain­ing that her re­cent mis­car­riage made her more com­mit­ted to her Planned Par­ent­hood work.

So, Dr. Ru­beru reached out to her with com­pas­sion: “I have lost two lit­tle ones in the past and I be­lieve that they are in heaven and we will meet again... un­til then they are pray­ing for us as saints in heaven. I be­lieve the same of your lit­tle one.”

She ended with: “When things look dark­est, God can cre­ate some­thing beau­ti­ful and new. I pray that one day we can serve women on the same side and pro­vide them with what they need so they don’t have to choose abortion.”

This is the way Dr. Ru­beru op­er­ates. “When a lov­ing, peace­ful, prayer­ful per­son is present,” she has said, “of­fer­ing lifesaving re­sources, we have a shot at sav­ing lives.” When a Penn­syl­va­nia elected of­fi­cial ha­rassed a pro-life woman pray­ing out­side a Planned Par­ent­hood clinic in Philadelph­ia re­cently, Ru­beru was at a rally days later, pray­ing for him.

Abby John­son, the for­mer Texas Planned Par­ent­hood di­rec­tor who left the in­dus­try after wit­ness­ing an ul­tra­sound-guided abortion and hav­ing a change of heart, im­plored peo­ple not to be snarky to or about Wen, writ­ing to the pro-life com­mu­nity in a tweet: “our job is to reach out to Dr. Leana Wen in love. Snarky memes and words will not bring about con­ver­sion. Let us also re­mem­ber that she is a woman griev­ing the loss of a mis­car­ried child. Let us treat her with care, not cal­lous­ness. Let’s be the peo­ple we say we are.”

It all echoes the spirit of one of the most uni­fy­ing doc­u­ments of re­cent decades. Pope John Paul II’S “Gospel of Life” calls upon us to be wholly com­mit­ted to a civ­i­liza­tion of love that will help peo­ple see the pos­si­bil­i­ties of life more than the prob­lems of it.

“You are called to bear wit­ness to the mean­ing of gen­uine love, of that gift of self and of that ac­cep­tance of oth­ers ... which ought also to be at the heart of ev­ery other in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tion­ship.” He con­tin­ued: “Moth­er­hood in­volves a spe­cial com­mu­nion with the mys­tery of life, as it de­vel­ops in the woman’s womb,” lead­ing to a greater ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the sa­cred­ness of hu­man life as a whole.

You can see some of that love in Wen’s writ­ing about her mis­car­riage, in which she de­tails the joy she and her fam­ily ex­pe­ri­enced at the prospect of bring­ing new life into the world.

Of course, Planned Par­ent­hood in­sists it is about women’s health, but abortion rips at that which is most won­drous about a woman -- moth­er­hood, a re­al­ity that many women long for. The pro-life move­ment is its most au­then­tic when it gen­uinely wel­comes any­one to join in the cause of help­ing women em­brace life. The more con­verts there are, the health­ier this cul­ture of ours will be. Dr. Wen, and any­one else, we have more in com­mon than much of pol­i­tics or Planned Par­ent­hood would have you be­lieve. •••

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