The issue of life is front and center this week, as several hundred thousand brave souls come to Washington to march from the White House to the Supreme Court in defense of it.
A recent column by Peggy Noonan put into perspective how central the life issue is to everyone. She noted that, after a column on the good and bad of 2013, she received a letter from a reader named Arthur Blair, who felt she’d left out something important.
“I believe that just being alive is still the best thing of any year,” he wrote. Peggy responded to him that, funnily enough, she had eliminated this line from her article: “We’re here, we’re alive, made it through another year.” She thought it was obvious enough that it didn’t have to be said.
But what Peggy so winsomely stated hit me: “Sometimes obvious things don’t get said, or said enough.”
The memorable moments of 2013 all surrounded the value of life in some way. Every story is essentially a pro-life story. How a new device will help you to live longer. How a woman became CEO of Yahoo and did it with a kid (gasp!). And now, how the NSA is tracking perhaps too much of your life.
As the president of a women’s organization, upholding the sanctity of life is one of our core issues. Concerned Women for America, and women across the nation, are embracing the idea that restoring dignity to women involves a full scope of protections from a society that places concerns for profit over women’s health and safety.
Whether it be the evil of sex trafficking, the media’s unrealistic representation of women, music’s degradation of women, Planned Parenthood’s exploitation of women, or society’s general disrespect for the sick and elderly, today’s culture is on a fast downward spiral, and we are furiously pumping the brakes.
We need to think about all of these issues. We must fight for those who cannot speak for themselves or, as the Bible calls them, “the least of these.” The most vulnerable need our full attention, and they have it like never before since 1973.
Left-leaning — but intellectually honest — columnist Kirsten Powers highlighted how mainstream our cause has become in her Daily Beast column when talking about the Texas law that prohibits abortion after five months.
She said, “I Don’t Stand With Wendy Davis,” writing, “Maybe we should wonder what is wrong with the women who think protecting the right to abort your baby for any reason up to the 26th week is a ‘human right.’”
Not only Texas, but the entire country overwhelmingly supported this year‘s more protective restrictions at the federal and state levels.
In the midst of the Dr. Kermit Gosnell murder trial, Gallup found that only 26 percent of Americans want legal abortions in any circumstance, while a January 2013 Gallup poll found 80 percent of Americans want abortion prohibited in the third trimester, and 64 percent think it should be illegal in the second trimester.
In fact, in 2013, 77 abortion restrictions were made by 22 states. And according to the Guttmacher Institute, more pro-life laws have passed in various states over the past three years than during the entire previous decade.
State legislatures enacted 205 abortion restrictions from 2011 to 2013, contrasted with the 189 provisions enacted during the entire previous decade.
Yes, science has caught up with the debate. We can see into the womb and decide. After forty-one years since Roe v Wade it’s no longer a question. It’s a life.
In a nation that has fought so hard for the rights of African-Americans to vote and women to have a place at the table, how do we continue to allow the death of children based on race, gender, or convenience? Especially now that we know they are part of our human family, have a heart beat, and feel pain. I don’t think we can ignore it much longer, at least not like before.
So this year’s annual “March for Life” takes on a different perspective to me. People wonder why we do it.
We march because we can no longer play ignorant. We have seen behind the curtain.
We march because the world has stripped women of their dignity for far too long for their sisters not to speak up for them.
We march for the brave and loving women who chose to bless others with a child they could not keep.
We march for the 55 million children who have been aborted since Roe v. Wade and cannot speak for themselves.
We march for the disabled and elderly that a utilitarian society no longer values or protects.
We march because it is good to be alive.
That is why we March.
Penny Young Nance is president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest women’s public policy organization. She is the author of the forthcoming book "Feisty and Feminine: A Rallying Cry for Conservative Women" (Zondervan 2016).