My brother, the youngest in our family of seven, and I are separated by some 20 years. We have had several conversations about abortion. I sensed during these discussions that he felt I didn't understand his commitment to the less fortunate because of my singular focus on the injustice of abortion. His love for me was obvious, and his disappointment with my rigid position on abortion was accepted with a patronizing nod of the head. It seemed to me that my brother attempted to convince me that his efforts were a bit more important than mine. On reflection, I, too, was trying to make a "convert":
"Can't you see that acceptance of abortion is a new violence? It is different from poverty, bigotry, and other human exploitations because it is all of them wrapped up in one very convenient package. The poor, the despised, the 'less than perfect' will not even survive long enough to be visible if abortion is accepted as a 'solution' to problems that society won't face." I thought my case was strong.
My brother responded, "Sure, abortion isn't a 'solution'; but why don't you care for those you can see as much as you do for those you can't?"
Now that stopped me. Could it be true that I didn't care about the born as much as the unborn? Why haven't I spent the time, energy, and money fighting other injustices in any manner that compares to my investment in fighting abortion? The answer came with no comfort. I had been dulled to those violences. They were a part of "life." They had always been there--a part of the "human condition." I began to realize my responsibilities in a broader sense.