Victory Against Despair
posted at 5:42 pm on January 23, 2010 by Doctor Zero
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.