One boy in the teen group that I work with at my parish struggles a bit with English, both speaking it and understanding it. I believe he also has some learning disability of some kind.
He is on the small side and very quiet and gentle for a teenage boy. He very commonly greets me by putting his hand on my shoulder and keeping it there for a few minutes. He will now and then lean his face very close to mine (it is pretty noisy in the gym) and ask questions or say something, but mostly he just stands with his hand on my shoulder.
A couple of weeks ago, we dedicated a whole session to the issue of abortion. I could tell he found it hard to understand. He finally asked me "What IS abortion?".
Something in me hated to make it clear to him, hated having to make the idea clear to any innocent soul.
I said something like, "You know how when a woman is going to have a baby, she has the baby down here, inside?" I motioned to my stomach, he nodded, "well, sometimes, when the woman or the girl doesn't want the baby, she will go to a kind of doctor and the doctor will kill the baby inside her."
He straightened and spread his arms and looked away at nothing in particular, "How does this happen?!!".
His question seemed to carry the burden of layered meanings. He seemed to me to be asking, "How can a woman not want her baby?!", "What kind of doctor kills a baby?!" and "How is it that people tolerate this?!" all at the same time.
He was seeing abortion with eyes unclouded by the cynical sophistry repeated over and over in more morally nuanced social circles. He knew the truth immediately; that abortion was an affront to human nature on every level, as we all know intuitively before some of us beat our conscience into numbness with the blunt force trauma of politics and monstrous lies. No one could believe abortion to be a morally tolerable act without first going through this process in some form.