Yesterday marked the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, and the pro-life movement is out today in full force to remind observers of the sanctity of life.
Thousands will gather in the District for the annual March for Life.
It’s been deemed the largest and longest-running peaceful human rights demonstration for the unborn, with more than 100,000 expected to attend.
Among those expected to participate in the march are hundreds of Catholic University students. University president John Garvey says “The passage of time since the adoption of Roe v. Wade has not dulled people’s sensitivity to this moral calamity. On the contrary, especially among young people, it has emerged as the preeminent human rights issue of our time.”
To put this in perspective, the original Occupy Wall Street march consisted of about a thousand protesters. Eventually, tens of thousands of Occupiers joined the movement — and, collectively, were responsible for 417 incidents of violence, vandalism or other outrageous behavior. About four months after they started, the Occupy Wall Street protests have all but fizzled. For this, Time magazine named “The Protester” its 2011 Person of the Year.
In contrast, the March for Life is expected to draw 100,000 protesters this year alone. The March is known for its peaceful nature. It begins every year with a prayer vigil, for goodness’ sake! Plus, protesters have persisted in their efforts for nearly 40 years. What keeps them going? Danielle Bean, an On Faith panelist for The Washington Post and the editor-in-chief of both Catholic Digest and Faith and Family sheds some light on that subject:
The crowds at the annual March for Life are largely made up of young people who are positively exploding with optimism, energy, and enthusiasm. These kids inspire me. They carry signs: “It’s a child, not a choice.” They wear t-shirts: “Social justice begins in the womb.” They challenge us all: “Mother and child. Love them both.”
Some say we should allow for abortion, especially in the hard cases, when a pregnancy is unplanned and unwanted. At the March for Life, however, young Americans boldly reject the idea that the value of any human life is diminished because it is unplanned or unwanted.
Some say we should allow for abortion, even if we would not choose it ourselves, because not everyone shares our religious beliefs and we “can’t legislate morality.” Young pro-lifers are quick to point out, however, that we do just that all the time. We outlaw murder, rape, slavery, and theft because all of us, in our humanity, recognize that they are wrong. Abortion is a moral issue, not a religious one. Our faith might affirm our belief in the dignity and value of all human life, but it is not the source of it. Our humanity is.
Some say we should allow for abortion because feminism demands that women have access to reproductive “choices.” But the young voices at the March for Life reject abortion precisely because they embrace a new kind of feminism. One that recognizes the inherent dignity and value of every woman and rejects the “right” to sex without consequences and easy access to abortion which leave women in a strikingly vulnerable position, to be used by men as sexual objects.
The young people at the annual March for Life assert the unpopular truth that women deserve better than abortion, and instead offer women real choices: genuine alternatives to the harm that abortions cause.
Here’s hoping these pro-life marchers receive the media attention they deserve. I’m talking to you, Time editors.
P.S. In the spirit of doling credit for those who do cover pro-life issues, please don’t miss Ed’s relation of the poignant story of a preemie baby beautifully released to her parents, which ABC news (good for you, ABC!) recently broadcast.
Update I: This post originally mistakenly stated that today marked the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In fact, the Supreme Court handed down the decision Jan. 22, 1973 — or 39 years ago yesterday.
Update II: Newsbusters reports that New York Times ignored the March for Life for the fifth year in a row.