Last Thursday I attended my first March for Life in Washington, DC, and I wanted to share a few thoughts. I’ve been a pro-life supporter for as long as I can remember, but this was the first time I made the trip to DC to participate in the rally and see what it was all about. Needless to say it was a tremendous experience, and I hope to make it an annual event. The ability to take a stand for those who can’t speak for themselves was truly rewarding.
This year’s theme was: every life is a gift. And it marked the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It’s estimated that over 56 million unborn children have been aborted since the monumental court decision in 1973, and while it seems as though we’re fighting a losing battle, hope and progress are being made. There’s been a shift towards pro-life, and we can see the tide beginning to change- especially among young people taking up the cause. We’re also realizing stronger regulations and common sense laws come to fruition; laws such as mandatory waiting periods and informed consent.
It was encouraging to see so many people working towards the same goal, and doing so joyfully and with love. And what are some of the goals? One would be to see the number of abortions reduced, or to see unnecessary abortions come to an end. Another is simply to protect the life of the unborn. The goal isn’t about winning a political debate or elections- it’s about respecting life, the family unit, and women.
For many pro-life advocates, we believe that God created man in his own image, so unjustly taking the life of another human is morally wrong. We also believe life begins at conception, so even a child developing in the mother’s womb is a life worth saving. But we can’t stop there. No, we also need to work on strengthening the family unit so that newborns are welcomed into the world and have a place where they’re loved and wanted. We need to provide for those who may not know the right way to care for a child so they’re equipped to be a mother or father, or we need to create a safe path for the child to be adopted by loving parents. And finally, if we respect women, we should care for their emotional needs as they battle difficult situations. Many women who end up aborting their babies don’t do so voluntarily. Many feel trapped and desperate; they often develop depression and severe emotional problems as they unsuccessfully try to cope with their decision. Other women end up dying due to botched abortions.
Don’t women deserve to know the facts about abortion? Do they deserve to be protected from its dangers? I believe they do. And I hope that one day we can have compassionate safeguards in place so that women won’t have to endure the horror of an abortion for the rest of their lives. And for those that do, it is my hope that they may one day find freedom from that choice.
As I reflect on my time in DC, I saw a lot of love, respect and compassion in the crowd. I’ve seen my share of protests on t.v., and the people often appear angry, filled with rage and hate, and some even resort to violence. But here I saw peace- even in the midst of protesting a tragic medical procedure designed to end the life of another person. I’m thankful for the many friends that I traveled with who also share this cause. We slowly marched across the National Mall, down Constitution Avenue and past the Supreme Court, hoping to bring awareness and action. The weather was perfect, despite the snowfall from the day before. The ground was a little muddy, but that didn’t stop nearly 500,000 of us from showing our support for life.
It’s my hope that we can instill the value of life into our society. Life doesn’t come about by pure, naturalistic processes, but by the God who created the heavens and the earth and created us in his image.