48210 was my zip code growing up
in Detroit, Michigan.
Back in my day, we were proud to be from one of the oldest and most forward thinking northern cities in the nation. Detroit was a beacon for folks on the Underground Railroad; a last stop to breathe and get much needed support before crossing over into Canada. Detroiters were proud to defend those seeking their freedom and often came to the aid of the wounded and broken.
In the 60's, Detroit was made up of working class "can do" folks; many of whom came with the great migration from the south in the 30's and 40's to flee terrorism and abject poverty. History was made in Detroit on so many fronts and my people were right in the midst of it all. The city has been through more than its fair share of bumps and bruises but I had and still have a love for all that Detroit meant to me back then and now; Nothing will ever change that.
As I was reflecting on the truly excellent presentation by Cherilyn Holloway at our Zoom "Refresh" meeting on the history of eugenics in our northern cities, I was struck by a thought she left us with: in order to experience equity in the womb we have to have equity in the streets. That was a mic drop moment for me and it got me thinking: what does equity in the post abortion healing community look like in my hometown of Detroit, Michigan?
So, I did what most modern folks do: I Googled 'post-abortion healing in the 48210 zip code.' What I got back were the names and addresses of several abortion clinics in the Detroit area. Hmmm... I looked again and there were maybe three or so pregnancy resource centers listed--all of which were outside of the city limits. Hmmm... Another search led me to two listings for post-abortion weekend retreats run by the Catholic Church which I dare say most folks in the Black community would not know about. Now, we are talking about a city of over 600,000 people, 78% of which are African-American, and there are no Google searchable post-abortion healing programs.
I'm going to let that settle in for a moment...
Multiple abortion clinics (one, Northland Family Planning, bragged about being in existence for almost 50 years) and almost no one dedicated to helping the abortion wounded heal?! That means that there are thousands of Detroit men and women carrying the scars of abortion- like I did for decades- who don't have a clue that abortion recovery is even a "thing."
Who can I call to get my people some help? Can I write someone in particular to lend a hand? Is there a Pastor in Detroit to champion the cause? Should I expect the Catholic Diocese of Detroit to pick up all of the slack?
Sometimes, when you live with chronic pain and old wounds, you begin to think it's normal.
My heart hurts...
I guess it's going to be up to our loving God and all of us at Arise Daughter to help my city heal; Through faith, by earnest prayers it can happen: one Zoom meeting, one bible study, one healing program at a time. I hope that doesn't sound grandiose or immodest but, we have to create a new waystation for refreshing and healing through faith by prayer. And with God, ALL things are possible! As one member from Detroit said the other night, so many in the city are simply "trying to survive" that they don't have the time to tend to old wounds. I appreciate that. But it doesn't sit well with me mostly because generations are dying off and legacies are being lost. As we heal, we have to be committed to helping as many women and men heal as we can; be it through the arts, mentoring, or community support and it's going to happen through faith by prayer.
We can honor our rich history by taking better care of ourselves and working to make abortion unthinkable. We deserve nothing less than to be healed and whole and truly free.
If you 'd like to answer the "Call to Action,' consider becoming a member of Arise Daughter, join our Arise Advocates room and share some ideas for effecting change. Then join our Corporate Prayer Room and lets join our prayers together to petition God for the change we desire to see. Everyone's prayer voice matters!
Much love, Sylvia