Much is made these days of the “tone-deafness” of the Obama administration regarding how Americans really feel about various issues. People have discovered that our once-charismatic president, a person who promised “Hope and Change,” has been able to deliver neither. They see a government that is increasingly unresponsive, and many are looking inward. It has become a time for us as Americans to re-examine our core values and beliefs.
In this process of re-discovery, Americans in greater numbers are seizing upon a very fundamental truth: life is precious. Poll after poll reveals that a plurality of Americans are pro-life. They are showing the world that where there is a will, there is a way to provide for the most vulnerable among us. Our nation is demonstrating that innovation, volunteerism, charity and goodwill are all vehicles for positive change. We have rejected the notion that the lives of some Americans are of greater value than others, as evidenced by the bitter fights which took place in both the House and the Senate over whether abortion coverage should be included as “healthcare.” During that protracted struggle, Americans of all ages contacted their representatives to voice overwhelming opposition to government-provided abortions. Yet, during the entire sorry spectacle, the President and his allies in Congress turned a deaf ear to their increasingly pro-life country.
Even now, the President and his administration are inching toward the goal of having taxpayer-financed abortions treated as “healthcare” both in the U.S. and around the globe. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, recently tried to fund abortion services through the health care law. Beyond healthcare, however, this year the U.S. sent funds to support a new constitution in Kenya in violation of American law. (The constitution passed with abortion laws included.) Both President Obama and Vice President Biden took direct roles in promoting the Kenyan constitution.
These measures are not the “Hope and Change” that Americans voted for. Americans’ disappointment with this administration has led many to become politically active, often for the first time in their lives, forming tea party groups, fuming at town halls and marching at rallies, saying “We will not be ignored. We are freedom-loving Americans who choose life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” A tsunami of activism is also taking place within the pro-life movement. This year’s March for Life in Washington, D.C. saw a record 250,000 people participate. In nearby Alexandria, Virginia, dozens of 20-somethings are spearheading an effort known as 40 Days for Life, a peaceful campaign starting Sept. 22, which focuses on affecting public policy and changing minds and hearts one at a time through the power of prayer and peaceful activism.
The fight is going well in other arenas, too. A number of states are working to provide for parental notification and additional education for pregnant women past the first trimester of pregnancy. Additionally, a little-noticed provision in the health care law gives states more control over abortions than Democrats expected. Elsewhere, a Planned Parenthood director in Texas quit her job after watching an abortion on an ultrasound, and facilities are being shut down for violating health safety laws. And if polls and pundits are to be believed, the November elections may yield a bumper crop of pro-life state legislatures that will enact greater protections for the unborn.
Pro-lifers have always been the underdogs against very powerful constituencies. Consider the efforts of well-financed entities such as Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, George Soros, Media Matters, Hollywood elites, drug companies and labor unions. All, with the help of a sycophantic media, seek to portray pro-lifers as uneducated kooks and religious fanatics whose cause is ailing, if not dead. Despite these powerful forces, Americans have increasingly responded to the pro-life message and are more convinced than ever that human life at ALL stages is precious. In short, the pro-life side is winning.
Some might call that miraculous, but those of us who have spent years in the pro-life movement know better. We realize that success, despite organized and powerful opposition, has always been achieved by communicating the basic truth that EVERY human life has merit and value. The millions of young people in the pro-life movement who come behind us have firmly grasped this truth and are willing to bear even greater witness to the preciousness of life in a way that speaks to traditional and uniquely held American beliefs and values. The next generation will continue to change hearts and minds of Americans one at a time, and show the rest of the world that Americans are more pro-life than ever.
Jacinta Whittaker is the organizer and project director of the Alexandria, VA chapter of 40 Days for Life. 40 Days for Life is an international pro-life effort happening in 238 locations and 6 countries around the world this fall, and is dedicated to helping mothers and the unborn through prayer and fasting, peaceful witness, and promotion of the pro-life message.