According to an online archive citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, 12,517,320 abortions occurred in the United States during the birth years of Generation X (1961-1981). There was a sharp rise in 1973, following Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized the procedure to end unwanted or life-threatening pregnancies.
Since 2007, the year I started blogging about Gen-Xers, I’ve come across several news articles and blog posts about the impact of abortion on Generation X. Most villainize Baby Boomer women and cite abortion as the reason Generation X is 30 million fewer in number than Boomers and Generation Y. (The historian Neil Howe once wrote a very interesting post about Gen X’s actual numbers, which exceed all other generations when figuring numbers of immigrants.) Two rather glib slogans have emerged from this theory: “I survived the abortion holocaust” and “I survived Roe vs. Wade.”
The fact of the matter is — abortion has had a much bigger impact on Generation Y. According to the same data, 38,127,070 abortions occurred in the United States between 1982 and 2008. (Generation Z begins around 1996.) That number is more than three times higher than the number of abortions that occurred between 1961 and 1981 (the birth years for Generation X according to Howe and William Strauss).
While it’s true that Generation X was born during the greatest anti-child phase in human history, it is also true that 30 percent of Gen X women have had an abortion, and these abortions contributed significantly to the startling 38 million abortions that occurred between 1982 and 2008.
Who Is The Pro Life Generation?
Some argue that Generation X is the pro life generation including Christy Stuzman. Following the March for Life in Washington D.C. in January, she wrote an opinion editorial for the Washington Times. But, statistics indicate that Generation Y is more pro life than Generation X. The abortion rate has been steadily falling for more than 20 years, but the trend has sharply accelerated in recent years. According to a survey by the Associated Press, there’s been a 12 percent decrease in abortions since 2010. Of course, these numbers are likely skewed by abortifacient pharmaceutical drugs.
Nevertheless, surgical abortion rates have fallen. Still, Ken Blackwell with the Washington Times reported today that the most pro-life generation is the Lucky Few Generation, commonly referred to as the Silent Generation because as young people growing up in the 1930s and 40s they were reluctant to participate in political protests and demonstrations. This generation was born between 1925 and 1942 and came of age before abortion was legalized in 1973.
According to Blackwell, Baby Boomers (1943-1960), are more pro-abort than the Lucky Few, but Generation X, (the years are 1961 to 1981) is the most pro-abortion of all. Gen Y, the Millennial Generation born roughly between 1982 and 1995, is equally as pro-life as the Baby Boomers. The difference, however, is that Gen Y can organize at an unprecedented rate because of social media. And, because of the current (2015) Planned Parenthood controversy related to the selling of aborted fetal tissue, the pro-life moment has arrived. The picture to the right is picking up steam on Facebook.
In 2004, I had a miscarriage at about eight weeks. This event would help solidify my lonely political existence as a pro-life Democrat; however, recently, I changed my party affiliation to no party affiliation. ‘Tis true, friends. I’m a member of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer generation (mocked, flawed and small, but still getting America through the night), and now I’m Independent just like Hermey! But, I digress…
So, I was crushed by the news of my miscarriage. My obstetrician, a woman, tried to comfort me by telling me I’d merely had a chemical pregnancy. And, oh, how I loved those chemicals…
During the weeks after my miscarriage a Carmelite nun told me that the babies women lose through miscarriage are just not ready for this world yet. “God carries them up to heaven,” she said. “When the time is right your baby will be returned to you.”
I would not grieve long. Two months later, I was pregnant with my little boy and I rarely looked back. Sullivan arrived giant and happy in 2005.
In 2007, I received another miracle. The Super Bridgy burst onto the scene screaming and clamoring for attention just two months before I turned 40. With my three beautiful children, I would rarely succumb to the sadness of my miscarriage
Sometimes, when I’m walking down the street behind my three kids, watching them navigate narrow sidewalks on their bicycles, I remember the baby I lost and I ponder a lot of things in the private chambers of my heart. And, I always wonder if that little baby is thinking of me and missing me and looking down from on high at all the troubles in the world — in my world. I loved her from day one and this love will never be expelled.
The tiny life I carried with me those eight weeks eventually connected me to my son. My Sully. God promises to work all things out for our good, and this is what He did for me. At 10, when Sullivan holds his palms to my head and kisses my forehead, I know all the disappointments I experienced prior to the day he was born, including a failed marriage in my early 30s, were mere stones that paved the path to his redeeming love. I could walk this way 10,000 times.
I can’t reach across the terrific chasm, this respite that separates the realm of life from the realm of death. I can’t touch those on the side of death without first dying myself. And, when I die, and someday we all will, my soul will be reunited with the soul of the baby I lost. She was more than chemicals, friends. She was knit inside my womb and she bore the image of God. And, maybe, just maybe, she had my eyes. It was all there, you know, engraved in the cells I flushed away.
I wanted to plunge my fists into the toilet, cup my hands and draw out the life that had slipped away. I wanted to say to this baby, I am sorry I was not strong enough to carry you all the way. But, a voice inside my head told me I was stupid to make such a big deal out of this situation. If I cried and if I grieved people would think I was weak. So, I unceremoniously sucked it all up and pushed it all down and the sacred, forming life swirled through the sewers of the city.
It was so hellish, and it was hell.
Here are some verses to bring comfort to all:
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” (Psalm 91)
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation)
Cease your cries of mourning, wipe the tears from your eyes. The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward, says the Lord. There is hope for your future. (Jeremiah)
For information on healing after abortion, visit Rachel’s Vineyard. For information about supporting women during the joys, challenges and sorrows of the childbearing years, visit Elizabeth Ministry International. For a Catholic perspective on what you can do as a member of the pro-life generation, visit Catholic Vote.