On Friday, hundreds of thousands of marchers gathered in Washington DC to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and protest legal abortion. The event is the largest annual human rights demonstration in the history of the world, and brings in pro-life marchers from around the United States.
The March for Life always features a rally, and gives the stage to various pro-life politicians and personalities who say a few words and, when it comes to the politicians, boast of their pro-life credentials. This year, notably, President Trump became the first sitting president to appear at the march. While he did so from the Rose Gardens, his presence was nonetheless appreciated by many in attendance.
The theme for this year’s march was “Love Saves Lives,” and many of the speakers chose to focus their speeches on different ways the pro-life movement saves lives through love. In doing so, they highlighted some of the reasons that the pro-life movement is so amazing and beautiful. They also chose to highlight some of the reasons that the pro-life movement is growing and gaining momentum. The reasons are simple, but incredibly important.
Truth and Science On Our Side
One reason the pro-life movement is growing is it has truth on its side. The fundamental truth at the very heart of the pro-life movement is that human life begins at conception. Without this truth, the pro-life movement would be obsolete, pointless, and irrelevant.
But the fact that life begins at conception, a fact that is indisputable no matter what any abortion supporter likes to claim, is the reason the pro-life movement is so effective at drawing in new adherents. Truth itself has a way of drawing people in, and of motivating individuals to stand and defend it.
But it’s not only truth that is on the side of the pro-life movement. It also has science on its side. When Roe v. Wade nationally legalized abortion in 1973, many of the advancements in our understanding of fetal biology has not happened. But those advancements did eventually happen, and they too had the power to change minds and change lives.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a former abortion worker who presided over 60,000-plus abortions, says this in his book “The Hand of God” about his choice to stop doing abortion: “in 1979 I did my last one. I had come to the conclusion that there was no reason for an abortion at any time; this person in the womb is a living human being and we could not continue to wage war against the most defenseless of human beings. Having looked at the ultrasound, I could no longer go on as before.”
Ultrasounds change things. Abortion advocates fight ultrasound laws because ultrasounds often change a woman’s mind about abortion. It’s no secret that many women who see their baby on an ultrasound will not follow through with an abortion. When women see the truth of abortion and what it does to an unborn child, many will choose life for their baby. Science has given us increasing clarity on what happens inside the womb during pregnancy, and as a result, many have come to see abortion as the atrocity that it is.
This again demonstrates the pull of truth. Biology isn’t subjective, and as our understanding of fetal biology has grown, so too has the urgency of the pro-life movement. But along with that urgency has come a conviction that the pro-life movement is on the right side of this discussion. This conviction and zeal for truth is appealing to young people, and represents one reason young people are increasingly pro-life.
Pro-Life Stands for Love and Equality
In addition, the pro-life movement is a movement of love and of equality, and people are generally drawn to both. Young people especially are also drawn to the idea of equality. In the case of abortion, equality demands that every human being, born and unborn, have his or her life protected. It demands that one demographic of human beings not be given the right to destroy another demographic of human beings.
The conviction of the pro-life movement that all human beings should be equally protected is of tantamount importance. When this conviction is coupled with loving demonstration, truth, and science, the result is an appealing movement. Indeed, the true beauty of the pro-life movement is that, as a whole, it truly cares about the well-being of each and every human.
This truth is demonstrated not only by an urgency to protect the lives of unborn children, but also by the way the pro-life movement responds with charity to those who have been affected by abortion. To wit, one of the most beautiful things about the pro-life movement is that, as a whole, it recognizes the impact abortion has on the world, on the culture, and on the individuals who choose it. As such, ministering to post-abortive women (and men) is an important part of the pro-life movement. While abortion supporters enjoy claiming that the pro-life movement cares only for preborn children and not their mothers, it’s fairly easy to see how erroneous that claim is.
Organizations such as Rachel’s Vineyard, Project Rachel, and Silent No More have allowed women and men struggling after an abortion to find healing and give voice to the ways abortion has affected their lives.
Further, a study published last month in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons demonstrates that among women who have had abortions and sought healing afterward, many have become committed to doing pro-life work as a result of the healing they were able to find. These women found repentance, and they found acceptance in the pro-life movement that welcomed them, acknowledged their pain, and allowed them to grieve their aborted children.
Pro-Lifers Directly Care for Women
The pro-life movement also ministers to pregnant women through countless crisis pregnancy centers around the United States. Again, the claim that the pro-life movement does not care for women is bunk. Pregnancy resource centers exist for no other reason than to care for women and help them make an informed decision about their pregnancy and child. When women facing unplanned or unintended pregnancies walk into Planned Parenthoods or other abortion facilities, they are often told that abortion is their best option. Many women, however, know this is not true.
Pregnancy resource centers seek to give women choices, make them aware of their options, and assist them in becoming successful mothers. This is the definition of what it means to care about women who are facing crisis pregnancies.
The people who work at pregnancy resource centers understand that telling women to abort their babies is not empowering, it is demeaning. Conversely, giving pregnant women information and helping them make the best choice is not only empowering, it also demonstrates true care, compassion, and charity toward these pregnant women.
Perhaps the most poignant way that the pro-life movement demonstrates equal charity toward all is in the way it treats and reaches out to abortion workers. Pro-lifers recognize that while abortion is a grave evil, abortion workers are not evil people. Perhaps they have become involved with abortion because of a personal experience, or because they did not know the truth about abortion.
In any case, the pro-life movement recognizes that many of these folks wish they could leave the industry but, for whatever reason, cannot. Abby Johnson’s And Then There Were None is one organization that assists abortion industry workers who want to leave their jobs. The organization seeks to help with finances, job searches, and a host of other resources that workers might need when changing jobs or professions.
This ministry to abortion workers is a concrete expression of love and shows that not only does the pro-life movement want to end abortion, it wants to help each and every individual who has been hurt by abortion. That includes the abortion workers themselves, which is one more reason the pro-life movement is truly the movement that cares about all women and all human beings.
Pro-Lifers Are Joyful
Lastly, the pro-life movement is attractive because it is a joyful movement, and it’s not difficult to understand why. When a movement has love, truth, science, and beauty on its side, it is easy to be joyful. The March for Life starkly contrasts many pro-abortion demonstrations, which often devolve into vulgar, crude displays of vitriol and hatred. It is the difference between celebrating life and celebrating death. One is bound to be joyful, while one is bound to be spiteful.
Those who have been involved in the pro-life movement for any significant amount of time know how astoundingly vast and beautiful it is. “Love Saves Lives” is not just a cute slogan designed to elicit warm fuzzy feelings, it’s an expression of truth. It’s a reflection on what the pro-life movement has become and experienced over the past 45 years.
It’s a movement not of anger, hatred, or vitriol, but that cares for every human being, born and unborn, and seeks to protect the life of each of them. And that is beautiful.