The 2019 March for Life was held on Friday, January 16, and it ran under the theme, “Unique from Day One”. I love this theme because it addresses some important aspects of what it means to be alive and human. Life shouldn’t be a political concept, and it certainly shouldn’t be controversial, but for some reason the concept of life as a basic human right has ripped a divide through our society and has turned into an ugly, polarizing battle. Who deserves to live, and who deserves to die?
Whatever side of the issue you identify with, at this stage of human history, we should all be able to agree with the science behind life: life begins at conception. It’s hard to believe that, at one time, this wasn’t acknowledged by many pro-choice advocates. In order to make abortion seem less objectionable, we were told that it wasn’t a baby being aborted, but was just a blob of tissue, and a woman had the right to do with her body whatever she chose. But science has demonstrated that this is not the case. A baby is not one of the mother’s organs, or a cancerous tumor… it’s a unique human being.
According to March for Life:
“Medical and technological advancements continue to reaffirm the science behind the pro-life cause – that life begins at fertilization, or day one, when egg meets sperm and a new, unique, human embryo is created. From the moment of fertilization, our DNA is present, whether it’s 23 pairs of chromosomes or 22. The unique fingerprint that each of us has – distinguishing us from any other human on the planet, is determined by that DNA at day one! Right from the beginning of life, you are becoming the unique, incredible, unrepeatable person that you are!”
January 22 marks the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. On that day in 1973 the Supreme Court declared state laws prohibiting abortion to be unconstitutional, and since then, it’s estimated that over 60 million humans have lost their lives to abortion. None of them had a trial. And only a few have been defended in a court of law.
President Donald J. Trump spoke from the White House and announced, “We know that every life has meaning and that every life is worth protecting, as president I will always defend the first right in our Declaration of Independence, the right to life.” He reminded the crowd of the progress made to protect life: conscious exemptions have been finalized, protecting employers from being forced to violate their religious beliefs, and his administration has increased the child tax credit for mothers caring for their children. President Trump promised to veto any legislation weakening existing laws and said, “Today, we recommit ourselves to protecting innocent life every day and at every stage. We must continue to be a country that shows respect for the dignity and worth of every person at every stage of life.” He finally proclaimed January 20, 2019 as National Sanctity of Human Life Day.
Vice President Mike Pence (and his wife Karen) appeared, and he recognized the crowd as being “defined by compassion and love.” And he went on to predict: “This will be the generation that restores the right to life in America.”
Keynote speaker Ben Shapiro said, “if you want to argue about the gradations of when you think human life begins to matter, then you’re not talking about science anymore; you’re talking about a subjective judgment about when you think that a life should begin to matter. But if we’re talking about the formation of new DNA strands, the formation of a new human being that obviously begins at conception.” Challenging pro-abortion advocates, he argued: “That means that all the arguments that are being made by the pro-choice side are really not arguments about the baseline science; it’s just arguments that are couched in which human beings and which human lives are unworthy of being protected.”
Ongoing efforts are being made to 1: defund Planned Parenthood, the organization caught on video breaking federal law, 2: introduce legislation to end elective late-term abortions, 3: prohibit the funding of programs recognizing abortion as a form of family planning (Title X), 4: to make permanent the Hyde Amendment to prevent taxpayer funding of abortions, and 5: to help children born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.
In 2018 we saw Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sworn in after a public smearing by the media as it tried to influence the left’s war on life. And 2019 could pose the same problem if Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg resigns, as many suspect she will.
The Gosnell movie also made an impact in Hollywood, telling the story of the Philadelphia doctor who was convicted of performing illegal after-birth abortions.
Not surprisingly, Planned Parenthood is fighting back, raising billboards in Iowa to promote and normalize abortion. One billboard proclaims, “I had an abortion, and I’m not apologizing.” This campaign deeply saddens me as those on the left attempt to cheapen life, reducing it to a decision, choice, medical procedure or convenience.
Our society should be better than this. There are ways to help women in crisis without resorting to a violent, unsafe procedure. And it is my sincere prayer that such women will find hope in the right place. God created mankind in his image, and it is for this reason why we are all unique, and it’s why we need to respect life, especially the most vulnerable among us.
The March for Life sums up this year’s march:
“When life begins and the stages of prenatal development are scientific facts. Humanity – and our uniqueness as individuals – begins at day one, at fertilization. Life, in its most vulnerable form, should be protected. That, in essence, is why we march. We march to end abortion, with the vision of a world where the beauty, dignity, and uniqueness of every human life are valued and protected.”