As the Christmas season comes to a close, popular carols have reminded us, “There’s no place like home for the holidays” and “I’ll be home for Christmas.” Beyond yuletide travels, even Michael Bublé croons to us in no specific season, “Another aeroplane, another sunny place, I’m lucky, I know, but I wanna go home.”
Home signifies family, connection, tradition, refuge, comfort, love, and freedom to be yourself.
This is often tied in with the house we grew up in—the familiar smells and sights. But what makes a house a home is more than its construction, photos on the wall, indents in the well-sat-on furniture, or the aroma from a comfort meal. It is the people with whom so many memories are made. It is the closeness with loved ones, the communion of persons. And that is why we can experience home without the four walls of a wooden or brick structure, for as the lyrics to another song go, “Home is whenever I’m with you.”
Our first lesson that home is ultimately a person more than a place is taught to us by the youngest of our kind.
Pre-born children do not know the sights, sounds, and smells of man-made architecture. Instead, home for them is the person of their mother. It is the sound of her heartbeat and voice. It is the warmth and comfort of her womb. That is why, when a baby is newly born, placing the crying child on the chest of her mother instantly soothes. Because in that moment, the child is home.
In light of that, consider the great tragedy of abortion. To violently end a pregnancy is to rip a child from her home. It is to invade the place of comfort and to deny a person the one whom she is meant to be with.
Abortion has become commonplace over so many decades that society is unfortunately used to it. Even in the pro-life movement, while we know that abortion is wrong, we may not emotionally feel the same outrage now as we did upon first learning about it. To re-sensitize ourselves to the evil so as to reignite our deep opposition, particularly in light of January 22 having marked forty-nine years of legalized abortion in America, it is worth reflecting on this concept of home.
How terrible is it when a family home burns to the ground? People rightly grieve destroyed photo albums and a familiar gathering space that is no more. Worse than such a fire by accident, though, is arson. And worse than arson by a stranger is a deliberate fire started by a trusted relative. And worse still than that is the intentional incineration of the arsonist’s sleeping kin alongside lighting their home on fire.
Abortion is no accident. It is a planned execution. And it involves the closest and most beautiful of all relationships—that of mother and child. A pregnant woman, unlike others, gets the privilege of her own body being a sanctuary for a helpless baby. It is she who has the power, by her loving presence, to bring calm and peace to a child as no other human, and no place, can. It is up to us to take this unique relationship and ensure that it is protected and praised.