On Jan. 22, 1973, abortion on demand was legalized by the Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v. Wade. Since then, approximately 53 million unborn babies have been aborted in our nation. In addition to the loss of these innocent children, how many more were never conceived because one or both of their parents were never allowed to be born? Was the person who would have discovered the cure to cancer or other diseases aborted? How many religious vocations were snuffed out in the womb? What would our economy look like if more consumers and taxpayers had been born? Some may say that abortion is a “personal decision,” but its consequences affect ALL of us!
As we enter the 40th year since that tragic decision, a few generations of Americans have been raised with the idea that “if it’s legal, it must be OK.” That is one more reason we need to do all we can to change the laws to make abortion illegal again. In the meantime, we must continue to be a voice for the voiceless and show that we believe in the dignity of each and every person.
How can we do that? More than 300,000 people soon will travel to Washington, D.C., to join the national March for Life. This annual event is a visible sign that pro-life advocates are growing in number and that we haven’t lost our determination to continue to defend the unborn. Since there is virtually a media “black-out” of the March, with the exception of EWTN, those who might be considering abortion may never realize that there are people who believe abortion is wrong even though it’s legal. That’s why it’s important to also stand and pray at the places where the atrocity of abortion occurs.
Maintaining a regular presence outside an abortion center does make a difference! Passersby often tell us to “keep up the good work” and sometimes even join us in prayer. Women have stopped to thank us for being there — and then showed us the babies they decided to keep rather than abort — simply because they saw someone praying in front of the clinic. Post-abortive women — and men — have shared their stories of regret.
What if you can neither go to the March for Life nor pray outside the abortion center? Pray and fast for the end to abortion. Educate yourself so that you can speak logically about the life issues whenever they come up in conversation. Know which politicians will defend the rights of the unborn. Support pro-life legislation and make your voices known to your legislators. These are just a few of the many ways each person can help to build a culture of life.
Archbishop Charles Chaput sums it up best: “Nothing we do to defend the human person, no matter how small, is ever unfruitful or forgotten. Our actions touch other lives and move other hearts in ways we can never fully understand in this world. Don’t ever underestimate the beauty and power of the witness you give in your pro-life work.”
Ann Barrick is the founder of ProLifeConnection.com and the campaign director for Toledo’s 40 Days for Life. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.