Thirty seven years ago, the US Supreme Court legalised abortion in every state in Roe v. Wade. The pro-life community immediately responded and has gone from strength to strength, year by year. On 22nd January last, an immense crowd, at least 200,000 strong, filled four blocks of the National Mall in Washington D. C. for the annual March for Life.
Observers were struck by how young most of the participants were. Self-confessed abortion supporter, Robert McCartney writing in the Washington Post (24th January) went to the March ‘expecting to write about its irrelevance’, but goes on, ‘How wrong I was. The anti-abortion movement feels like its gaining strength … and Roe supporters (including me) are justifiably nervous.’
He continues, ‘I was especially struck by the large number of young people among the tens of thousands at the march. It suggests that the battle over abortion will endure for a long time to come.’
He points to recent political pro-life successes in the US, the insertion of ‘a remarkably strong anti-abortion provision’ in the health care bill in the House of Representatives, and the election of pro-life candidates in the November governor polls in Virginia and New Jersey.
He adds that ‘fewer than 100 abortion-rights supporters’ turned up for a demo supporting Roe outside the Supreme Court. One of them, Erin Maston, of the National Organization for Women said ‘the current political climate is “terrifically hostile” to abortion rights’. She obviously means among the people, because President Obama is vehemently pro-abortion and the Democrats have a substantial majority in Congress. Another abortion rights activist at the 200-weak demo was Amanda Pelletier, a 20 year old from a university abortion rights group who said ‘Unfortunately, I feel my generation is a little complacent. … It just doesn’t seem to be a very hip issue.’
The persistence and growth of the pro-life community over the past 37 years should serve as a huge inspiration to us here in Ireland.
You can read the full text of Robert McCartney's article here