A young woman sits in the waiting room of American Women’s Medical Center on Chicago’s northwest side, waiting to be called back to the operating room for her procedure. Even now, she’s unsure about the choice she’s made. She knows that abortion is against her religion, but she feels cornered. This is the only way out.
Then she hears something that breaks through her anguished thoughts. A group of voices is singing outside the building. She recognizes the familiar words of a Christmas carol: “’round yon virgin, mother and child, holy infant, so tender and mild.”
Outside, a group of some 30 carolers huddle together, bundled up against the cold, each holding a photocopy of a song sheet. As they finish the last lines of their final carol, “Silent Night,” the young woman comes out of the building. She approaches a member of the caroling group and says she’s decided not to go through with her abortion. “I heard your singing and started thinking of Mary and Jesus, and I just couldn’t go through with it.”
As the rest of the carolers move off to their cars to head to the next stop on their caroling tour, an experienced counselor stays behind to talk to the young woman about her situation. She gives her the number for a nearby pro-life pregnancy center that can help her with prenatal care, housing, getting plugged into social services, and anything else she might need.
This Christmas miracle took place on a Saturday morning in December 2003, the year the Pro-Life Action League organized our first Christmas caroling tour at abortion facilities throughout Chicago. We soon began training other pro-life groups to hold “Peace in the Womb” Christmas caroling tours in their own communities, and they were soon reporting back to us with their own stories of mothers being moved to cancel their abortions. This year, Christmas carols will be sung at close to 100 abortion facilities throughout the country.
It is especially sorrowful that a child would be aborted at this time of year—a horrible contradiction of the Christmas story of hope and joy dawning upon the earth with the birth of a baby. Those of us who go out every year to sing Christmas carols outside abortion centers draw parallels between the story of Bethlehem and so many of those sitting in abortion waiting rooms right now—the poor and displaced who have found “no room at the inn,” and in desperation are turning to abortion.
We know that from the “pro-choice” perspective, abortion would be the ideal solution for a couple in Mary and Joseph’s situation, with their scandalous “unplanned” pregnancy. Planned Parenthood would have aborted Jesus.
The child spared from abortion during our inaugural caroling tour in 2003 will soon celebrate his or her 14th Christmas. I don’t know if this teen knows that a Christmas carol saved his or her life, but I’m sure that for the mother, “Silent Night” has become very special, a reminder of the joyful day that she, like Mary, said “Yes” to being a mother.
What if she instead had gone through with that abortion? It’s heartbreaking to think of all the women—and men—for whom carols like “Silent Night” and all the other trappings of the Christmas season will forever be a reminder of abortion.
The real “War on Christmas” is abortion. That’s why year after year we go out to abortion centers across the country with our carols, sharing the angels’ message that joy enters the world through the birth of a child, and filled with hope that Christmas miracles can still happen.