Green Room

Victory Against Despair

posted at 5:42 pm on January 23, 2010 by

Friday brought the annual March for Life to Washington, D.C. Held on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, it brings us the bittersweet comedy of watching the media studiously ignore a massive, peaceful protest in the nation’s capitol, even on a slow news day. Imagine the coverage that would be afforded a fashionable leftist cause that brought a couple hundred thousand people together for 37 years, often on a workday. If you could find that many people still deluded enough to protest on behalf of the climate-change fraud, the weekend news programs would discuss little else.

When the media does pay attention to the March for Life, it typically describes the event as a dreary vigil held by a graying herd of humorless, elderly scolds. Have a look at this photo gallery of the 2010 event and decide for yourself if this is an accurate description. Consider also this remarkable survey that shows six in ten young people believe abortion is morally wrong. Pro-lifers are not a dwindling band of tired footsoldiers decomposing at their posts. They’re also not the doctrinaire zealots dismissed by Democrat Party propaganda and popular culture. They were both wise and gracious in their support of Scott Brown during his run for the Massachusetts Senate seat, even though he doesn’t share all of their views. The pro-life movement understood that no face-saving deals with nervous House Democrats would prevent abortion funding from creeping into socialized medicine, sooner or later.

It’s tempting to look upon the pro-life struggle as deadlocked trench warfare against a culture that values self-actualization above duty to the family, especially a family that doesn’t exist yet. Strung above the trenches are the barbed wire of the abortion industry’s financial interests, and the rusted political power of the radical feminist movement. The latter is much diminished from its peak in the pre-Clinton years, but still has disproportionate influence over media coverage, as can be seen from Newsweek’s hit piece on the March for Life rally.

Perhaps it was inevitable that progress would come slowly for the pro-life movement, as every great moral struggle is waged on the battlefield of individual minds and hearts. I’ve always thought Roe vs. Wade was a terrible law, a poorly-reasoned attempt to end an important debate through raw judicial power. Americans could render this law irrelevant, without ever setting foot in a courtroom… by refusing to set foot in abortion clinics. Roe vs. Wade did not accurately express the moral sense of the nation, either in 1973 or today. No law can prevent us from asserting that moral sense through our free choices. I doubt America will ever make abortion completely illegal, particularly in terrible situations, such as pregnancies which threaten the life of the mother. We can understand that extending abortion to the horizons imposed by Roe didn’t make it any less terrible.

The odds against convincing an increasingly self-absorbed culture to make sacrifices on behalf of unplanned children are formidable. It’s interesting that our political class is comfortable demanding all sorts of other sacrifices from us, laid on the altar of our collective good under the guns of our huge, complex government. We are forever told that we must pay our “fair share” and accept the control of the State to achieve social justice… while absolute sexual liberty, including the inconsequential relationships promised through abortion on demand, are offered as a relief valve for the pressure of the State’s demands. We’re told to accept a sexual freedom that bypasses reason, in exchange for Constitutional freedoms which transcend the designs of government.

Those who gather in the March for Life each year are not daunted by the odds they face. Why should they be? Life exists in defiance of probability. Love is an act of faith, a leap from the lion’s head over a chasm of past disappointments and future peril. If your faith does not come from religion, you might find it in statistics. The universe is filled with poison and vacuum. Everything that lives had to win a million coin tosses in a row. Measured against the vast and frigid sweep of existence, the odds that you would be sitting here, reading this, are absurdly small… and yet, here you are. We owe our children the same fighting chance to be miraculous.

Our busy, distracted, abundant lives give us many reasons not to make the incredible sacrifices necessary to bring an unplanned baby into the world. Every year, on January 22nd, thousands of voices fill the calculating air of Washington with one beautiful reason for young mothers-in-waiting to rise above their understandable loneliness and fear, and become incredible. Our bitter politics may never give us a chance to overturn Roe vs. Wade, but we can make it crumble to dust through faith in ourselves, and the future we can share with our children.

I have never wasted a single moment in anger at those who see their lives as a dark labyrinth that ends at the doors of an abortion clinic. I also won’t count a single moment spent in reverence of those who climbed over the walls of that maze as wasted. I don’t torment myself with the celestial question of exactly when life begins, because that’s not the point. The alternative to the awful extremity of abortion is the indispensable joy of introducing this flawed world to someone who might make it better.  The timetable of the procedure doesn’t change the nature of the alternatives.

The birth of every child is a victory against despair. Over ten thousand children were born in the United States yesterday. We are winning.

Cross-posted at www.doczero.org.

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

A previous pastor offered once in his homily that even pro-choicers don’t point to a pregnant woman and comment on her belly as an interesting mass of cells. Pro-life and pro-choicers state that a pregnant woman is carrying a baby. The difficulty is that the pro-choicer embrace no apparent value to the baby and would never think of themselves as having once been in the womb themselves.

ericdijon on January 23, 2010 at 6:54 PM

Yet again I come to hear the Doctor, knowing full well that as in life, not every day will be full of meaning. And yet, as here, I am once again stunned – that’s right, stunned at the meaning and concepts here ….at this altar of human warmth, compassion, logic and spirit. I light the candle and if leave refreshed…………..and my spirit is sustained.

Cinday Blackburn on January 23, 2010 at 7:39 PM

So aptly titled and so very well said. Thank you for publicizing this long battle by the improbable forces of Life against the corrosive evil of child killing that is eating away at our society. This is the only mention of the march that I heard.

2ipa on January 23, 2010 at 9:10 PM

That was so very good.

livefreerdie on January 23, 2010 at 10:07 PM

This isn’t rocket science. This country is based on the principle that we are endowed by our Creator the unalienable right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

You can argue ’till you’re blue in the face about when a fetus becomes a viable baby. You can argue until you’re blue in the face about how long the fetus is dependent upon the mother’s body.

But a fetus is alive at conception, and it is life based on its own unique DNA, which makes it a unique life, not just a growth on the mother like a finger or a skin tag. Only an insane person or idiot would argue otherwise.

So when you abort a baby, you end it’s life. You are depriving it of its unalienable right to life.

Duh.

Daggett on January 23, 2010 at 11:05 PM

I support Care Net Pregnancy Centers. They are a wonderful group that provides prenatal care and advice to pregnant mothers. It is an alternative to Planned Parenthood. If you have one close to you, go and check them out and consider supporting this group.

Kissmygrits on January 24, 2010 at 8:39 AM

I don’t torment myself with the celestial question of exactly when life begins, because that’s not the point.

A wise decision, especially given that there is one with the judicially-proven capacity to channel the unborn. I believe he’s presently in Haiti, and upon his return may remain preoccupied with other matters for a time. But eventually he may speak. Whereupon, we may learn the truth.

Barnestormer on January 24, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Democrats are fond of channeling Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Leftard issues of the day. What would Dr. King say about Martha Coakley? What would Dr. King say about Single Payer Option? What would Dr. King say about the Green Economy?

I thin I know what Dr. King would say about the wholesale slaughter of black and white babies in utero and it would not be very pretty. Wonder why?

BigAlSouth on January 24, 2010 at 9:29 AM

If we don’t value life then what is there to value?

I’ve always thought Roe vs. Wade was a terrible law, a poorly-reasoned attempt to end an important debate through raw judicial power.

Roe vs. Wade did not accurately express the moral sense of the nation, either in 1973 or today.

Exactly. Even today the voters of each state support marriage as being between one man and one woman and I believe the people are mostly still against abortion being legal as well. In 1973 the odds that it would’ve been voted legal were even more slim so they did an end run around the American people and we all know it.

The odds against convincing an increasingly self-absorbed culture to make sacrifices on behalf of unplanned children are formidable.

That’s the gist of the issue in one sentence, nail on the head.

I saw a comment once, “if it’s none of my business then it should require none of my tax dollars”. Amen to that.

beachgirlusa on January 24, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Would that the pro-life movement turned the SCOTUS logic in upon itself and reasoned that if the SCOTUS saw ‘viability’ as its litmus test, then it must be asked: viability for what?

The answer is birth and the result is a natural born citizen. Thus to be viable is to be seen as able to be born in the very near term. Thus the States can utilize that same reason and grant citizenship to viable fetuses and give leeway in favor of the fetus by a week or so. Thus the destruction of a fetus while viable is murder.

The goal would be to push medical techniques for greater viability, greater chance of survival in case of problems during pregnancy and the ability of society to support that and still give room for abortion. That goal of ultimate viability would be society driven and no ‘abortion rights’ activity could push back in the other direction as the language of the SCOTUS decision, the one they uphold today, is the one that would be upheld.

I have great and grave problems with life begins at conception, as that makes the worst offenders the IVF clinics with hundreds to thousands of fertilized eggs that have a limited viability in cold storage. Would IVF clinics be shut down? Or is the ability of parents who want a natural child enough to waive off the doom of fertilized eggs for one or two children born per couple?

For all the cold practicality of the SCOTUS langauge on ‘viability’, would it not be possible to uphold life, support citizenship, get the question OUT of the damned courts, protect the unborn and still have IVF clinics that do good works? If that route had been taken decades ago, the SCOTUS would have their language stuffed at them by the States, abortion ‘rights’ activists would have no leg to stand on, medical treatment for the unborn would be pushed ever further towards conception by those committed to seeing healthy babies survive to viability, and consenting adults would damn well have to know when impregnation took place to get an abortion.

That would put responsibility where it should be: on adults.

Of course that might hinder ‘sexual liberation’ by making adults responsible for what they do. That is why being an adult is hard: you can’t get everything you want and are accountable for what you do.

ajacksonian on January 24, 2010 at 9:43 AM

I posted this comment on doczero.org already.

From: International Family Planning Perspectives, 1999, 25(Supplement):S30–S38

“Results: Approximately 26 million legal and 20 million illegal abortions were performed worldwide in 1995, resulting in a worldwide abortion rate of 35 per 1,000 women aged 15–44. Among the subregions of the world, Eastern Europe had the highest abortion rate (90 per 1,000) and Western Europe the lowest rate (11 per 1,000). Among countries where abortion is legal without restriction as to reason, the highest abortion rate, 83 per 1,000, was reported for Vietnam and the lowest, seven per 1,000, for Belgium and the Netherlands. Abortion rates are no lower overall in areas where abortion is generally restricted by law (and where many abortions are performed under unsafe conditions) than in areas where abortion is legally permitted.”

I offer these data to illustrate how provincial it seems to argue Roe v. Wade. Instead of arguing whether or not abortion should be legal, couldn’t we have just a fraction of that energy devoted to determining why there are so many unwanted pregancies in the first place. Until we address that question thoughtfully, we are just piddling into the wind and the suffering will continue. I have done the homework and the reasons are not what I thought. In near perfect irony, abortion is adaptive.

If reducing the number of abortions from over 100,000 every single day worldwide seems like a worthy goal, let’s take a different tack.

doctormom on January 24, 2010 at 9:43 AM

I saw a comment once, “if it’s none of my business then it should require none of my tax dollars”. Amen to that.

beachgirlusa on January 24, 2010 at 9:31 AM

QOTD!!!

txmomof6 on January 24, 2010 at 9:45 AM

I don’t torment myself with the celestial question of exactly when life begins, because that’s not the point.

The good Doctor and I agree much more often than not (go to http://www.savagerepublican.com and read my postings). But here is that sharply defined line that separates us this once.
What is the one thing that each one of us owns completely-ourselves, our lives. That’s why murder is the crime as there is no recompense that can ensue to compensate the victim. So, at what point does the baby own itself is indeed the seminal question. And dare I mention the “rights” of the father?

Amendment X on January 24, 2010 at 10:04 AM

The alternative to the awful extremity of abortion is the indispensable joy of introducing this flawed world to someone who might make it better.

There! Right there is the razor-like divide between pro-life and pro-choice, and by extension the divide between left and right.
The Left sees every human being, other than themselves and their friends, as a problem – an inconvenient distraction from the “self actualization” that we all claim as an entitlement. The Right sees every human being as an opportunity – one more chance to get it right. One more chance to make it better.
The Left sees diapers to change, midnight feedings, pre-schools to fund, parties foregone, and the burden of having to concern oneself with the intimate fate of someone else. The Right sees a brilliant possibility. A chance at eternity. A redemption on the way.
The abortion issue, like so many others along the way, is founded on this one steely point of difference; The Left mourns the creation of each and every additional human being as a burden, and the Right celebrates it as an opportunity.

Lew on January 24, 2010 at 11:24 AM

I offer these data to illustrate how provincial it seems to argue Roe v. Wade. Instead of arguing whether or not abortion should be legal, couldn’t we have just a fraction of that energy devoted to determining why there are so many unwanted pregancies in the first place.

Roe vs Wade did not legalize abortion, therefore, overturning it would not make abortion illegal. Also, with all due respect, doctormom, I don’t see how merely reducing the abortion rate below some arbitrary limit would make it a less socially, even morally, accepted form of birth control…I mean, if that is your point. What you tolerate, you promote – as those of us who have raised a teenager know only too well…

Knott Buyinit on January 24, 2010 at 11:52 AM

As someone who is trying to have a baby, I have to say that my wife and I would abort a severely handicapped child (e.g. Down’s Syndrome) if we detect it during pregnancy. The stress and load such a child would put on our young family would be too great for us to bear.

I don’t know how you achieve the goal of allowing this while denying people the right to decide on abortion based on different reasons.

iconoclast on January 24, 2010 at 12:04 PM

I raised two teens and I strongly agree that tolerance is promotion. I advocate no abortion anywhere, ever, not just reducing it to some arbitrary, acceptable number.

I simply suggest we look past the legal issue to the root cause because the legality argument saps all the energy and seems to make so little difference. It seems some folks are more interested in winning that argument than actually stopping abortions. Sadly, the suffering continues.

doctormom on January 24, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Other than the rarer-than-hens-teeth emergent situation, abortion is an elective surgery—like Lasik or a boob job. The state should not pay for an elective procedure. If lefties are so worried about poor women being able to afford them, they can take all that money currently used to lobby the state to pay for them, and make a fund. Maybe when it’s their own money, they’ll re-think funding Chavvy Anne’s fifth abortion.

That being said, there are situations in which abortion may be the least bad of a bunch of bad options. The way out here is to work on keeping women women out of such situations. Any time Tab A goes in Slot B, no matter what is used as birth control, a baby can result. Don’t sleep with someone if you do not want this other person to bear/give you a child. We evolved millions and millions of years before the condom, the Pill, or even before the concept of herbalism. Our minds are geared to believe that sex may have already led to pregnancy, and to treat that other person as the other parent of your child. Let’s try to encourage being more sure about that person. Love isn’t any more free than lunch—Religion only recognizes that truth, it didn’t create it.

Let’s encourage a better attitude towards those who were born with birth defects, and support the Hades out of those parents who have them and keep them. Along with getting a bus for the March for Life, how about low cost/no cost rent for church facilities for support groups of parents of kids with disabilities? Hire qualified caregivers and watch the kids for an evening every so often so the parents have a “Date Night.”

You will end abortion by changing the culture, not the law.

Funny, I have heard of churches who do many of the things I have outlined above, but I haven’t heard of private funds for abortions set up by lefties.

Sekhmet on January 24, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Very good post Dr Zero… I think that these people who march for Life and fight against abortion are the one’s keeping God’s wrath from completely lashing out on us… How can we murder 45 million plus babies and God, who is not mocked and certainly not moved by our laws, not do something? Our day of reconing is coming…

CCRWM on January 24, 2010 at 1:54 PM

I am personally pro life. But the pro-life movement is a distraction from the larger causes of freedom and limited government. I’m glad pro-lifers woke up and supported Scott Brown. If you want to engage the country with the value of life, you first have to engage the country by getting elected. Let’s not put the cart before the horse and end up with another Obama.

JeffB. on January 24, 2010 at 2:00 PM