Abortion divides this country because it's so searingly personal, but the more distance we get from the Roe v. Wade decision – which will be marked today by the March for Life – the more Americans' support for preserving and protecting life continues to grow. And not just any human life, but human life at its most innocent and vulnerable.
There is strength and passion in the words we echo on this sobering anniversary: every child should be wanted in love and protected in law. I’m intimately familiar with these words.
I grew up with an older brother who was adopted. I watched women I love in high school and post-college struggle with deep feeling of regret for their abortions that eventually led to alcoholism and marital problems. But it was the moment when a fellow student at Liberty University showed me victim pictures of the remains of an aborted baby (Little arms and legs mangled at the hand of an abortionist) that awakened me to the knowledge that abortion is a grievous and horrifying violation of human rights. Yes, this is personal.
Concerned Women for America – the nation's largest public policy women's organization – celebrates our 40th anniversary in 2019, so we are almost as old as the Roe v. Wade decision. This issue was paramount in our founding.
We began our journey as a response to Betty Friedan and other feminists who boldly claimed to speak for all women, especially on the issue of abortion. Even though liberal leaders and groups still claim to speak for all women today, we are living and enduring proof they do not.
We do not come to this issue lightly. Some of our chapter leaders and state leaders around the nation had abortions earlier in life. They are in Washington this week, along with many thousands of others, to make a statement of solemnity and resolve to one day end this plague upon our country. They still grieve for their children.
Along the way we have seen victories – both policy and personal victories – that continue to be celebrated. We've seen partial birth abortion banned; a gruesome procedure which the late Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan likened to infanticide. We've seen the late Norma McCorvey, who was the actual "Jane Roe" in the Roe v. Wade case, turn from being pro-abortion to pro-life. We have seen the number of abortions continue to decline.
Momentum is with the marchers for life this January. A brand-new Marist poll conducted for the Knights of Columbus finds 3 out of 4 Americans support substantial restrictions on abortion – including limiting it to just the first three months of pregnancy. Two of three Americans want the Roe decision to be re-interpreted to allow restrictions by states or ban the procedure.
Marist does a great deal of polling for media organizations, including NBC, PBS and National Public Radio, so the numbers are quite credible. By clear majorities, the survey finds even Democrats and people claiming to be pro-choice support these restrictions as well as oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.
Polls, political movements and legislative campaigns are helpful. But there’s one advantage the pro-life marchers – and pro-lifers everywhere – have that cannot be ignored or impeded: medical technology.
All technology, especially medical technology, always advances and never retreats. There were no ultrasounds and sonograms when Roe was decided in 1973. Today we have 4D, 5D and even HD ultrasounds that reveal, in astounding detail, the vibrancy and beauty of each baby.
Every parent and grandparent who sees the captivating pictures and video of these ultrasound procedures is already pre-disposed toward supporting life over abortion. More than anything else, this is why the tide has turned so dramatically and the technology will only get more precise. And there is absolutely nothing pro-abortion organizations can do to stop it. The science caught up with what our eyes and hearts told us long ago. Now it’s time for our laws to do the same.
The march goes on; the long fight is worth it. Because all of God’s children should be welcomed in love and protected in law.