By: Catherine Phillips, Students for Life of America’s 2012 Missionary for Life
“Okay, so maybe abortion is wrong, but we’re never going to be able to end it. There are 3,200 abortions happening every day in the United States, how would our country even be able to take care of all those extra unwanted children? And who would help the mothers during their pregnancies? Anyways, since we won’t ever be able to end it, we should at least keep abortion legal so that it will be safe.”
Have you ever heard some or all of these statements before?
First of all, the last question is very silly, despite the fact that many people mistakenly buy into its premise. We don’t illegalize things with the idea that they will never happen…we illegalize them because they are wrong. We have laws to protect people from being harmed. For example, burglary and rape still both happen, so should we make those legal?]
Pro-lifers could be viewed by some as idealists, fighting for a hopeless cause. The end of abortion seems like too much of an uphill battle, so some are tempted, maybe even unconsciously, to just give up now.
But what if we could be “creative extremists”? What if we could actually envision our country without abortion? As the saying goes, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re never going to get there. In fact, I would argue that we must envision a world without abortion in order to achieve it.
Imagine if Abraham Lincoln had decided slavery was too embedded into the fabric of our nation to disentangle? What if Martin Luther King, Jr., had never dreamt of a nation in which blacks and whites are treated equally? What if the U.S. health industry figured that the use and popularity of cigarettes was way too widespread to even attempt to reverse its damage?
Or what if you and I were to decide, after 40 years of legalized abortion, that the battle for thousands of innocent human lives just wasn’t worth the effort anymore? Now, it seems pretty preposterous to suggest that we could just flippantly give up on thousands of lives. But when any of us imply in word or in deed that it is going to be impossible to end abortion, that is, in a way, what we are doing.
You know what I think we need to decide?
That abortion is going to end. And it is going to be in our lifetime.
And I don’t make that statement lightly. I truly think it can happen. As SFLA proclaims, The Tide is Turning.
- A 2009 Gallup poll shows that for the first time since 1973, the majority of Americans are pro-life.
- I can personally attest to knowing dozens of acquaintances that are working for pro-life organizations across the nation (and there are TONS.)
- And people are talking about abortion. Pro-life action groups are springing up everywhere, groups like Live Action (investigative journalism exposing Planned Parenthood), Cupcakes for Life (starting pro-life conversations with a cupcake!), Abby Johnson’s “And Then There Were None” initiative (former Planned Parenthood Director), and 40 Days for Life.
- And finally, science and medicine are in our favor. When Roe vs. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court in 1973, Justice Blackmun wrote in the opinion, “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins.” Well, it’s not a difficult question anymore. We know when life begins, and we can demand that Roe vs. Wade be overturned, not because it is an unpopular decision, but because we can show that its underpinning logic was flawed.
And you know what else?
We are going to be there for women with unplanned pregnancies when abortion ends. Because it’s true, there is still going to be great need. We can rejoice that abortion has ended, because we believe that helping and supporting young pregnant women is not helping them kill their child. But we cannot stop there. Ending abortion is just the beginning of creating a culture in which life is celebrated and cared for. We as a society and as individuals are going to have to step up and care for women and their babies, through their pregnancies and beyond.
Did you know there are approximately 2,500 places in the U.S. that do just that? They’re called Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs), and they’re scattered across the country, serving pregnant women and young mothers, offering pregnancy tests, counseling, parenting classes, adoption services, and material resources needed to care for newborns and babies. Heartbeat International, CareNet, and NIFLA are 3 of the biggest pregnancy resource “networks.”
The pro-life movement is a social movement, y’all. It’s not an easy battle. But no social movement ever has been—and that’s the point. But “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We are fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves, and no matter how difficult the future may seem, we cannot just walk away from our commitment to the truth.
I’ll leave you with this thought:
With every abortion that takes place, not only does an individual life cease to exist, but everything that life would have brought to the world is gone as well. Abortion takes out entire families, future family trees that would have existed.
We know that one person’s life affects so many others. Be that person to someone else today, when you share with them your hope for the end of abortion. And be compassionate and wise towards everyone, because guilt and insults have nothing to do with ending abortion.
Finally, decide today to join the creative extremist force that will bring about the end of not only the physical act of abortion itself, but the loneliness and lack of support that lead to it.