Forty years later, we mourn — and hope

Lila Rose President, Live Action
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The world has changed since January 22, 1973, the day the Supreme Court handed down its controversial and widely discredited 7-2 decision to legalize abortion in all 50 states: telephones have moved from walls into our pockets, MRI machines have become commonplace, and disco has come and gone. But nothing has impacted our society as much as Roe v. Wade.

Forty years have passed since Roe, but time has stood still inside abortion clinics, where science and innovation are barred. There they still ignore the clear evidence of sonograms, 3D imaging, and modern medicine. Despite all this, abortion advocates perpetuate the lie that the unborn do not have the right to live — that there is no such thing as life in the womb. Barred too is the guarantee for society’s weakest members, the unborn, that their human rights will be protected.

The result is 55,000,000 missing people. That is more than the combined population of New York and Texas … gone. Lost sisters, brothers, daughters, sons. Lost classmates, co-workers, friends, spouses.

Also lost is our innocence. Abortion has opened the door to horrific practices, and with no rights, innocents across the country and around the world have become victims of the worst impulses of our culture. Babies who don’t meet some ideal or plan — the right time, the right sex, the right appearance — are eliminated. Millions of unborn little girls worldwide have fallen victim to gendercide, and children with disabilities, their lives deemed “not worth living” by the more physically or mentally strong, are killed for their imperfections. In the history of injustices, it is exactly this attitude — that some people are not worthy enough, are not valuable enough, are unwanted — that has perpetuated the greatest human rights abuses.

And the fallout does not end there. Abortion is the preferred tool of sex-traffickers, who use it to keep their sex slaves, many of them young girls, “available” for business. Child-molesters commonly use abortion to destroy the “evidence” of their crimes, and their cohorts at abortion clinics repeatedly fail to make the statutory rape reports that would help rescue their victims. If abortion can be used (and it is) to facilitate such horrific crimes, one would think that the abortion industry would be highly regulated — and that even the staunchest abortion advocate would demand this. But just the opposite is true.

The unregulated, multibillion-dollar abortion industry has thrived during the last 40 years. Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider, announced in its latest annual report that it performed a record high of 333,964 abortions in 2012. During that period, the abortion giant received a record $542 million in taxpayer funding in the form of government grants, contracts, and Medicaid reimbursements. The organization’s president, Cecile Richards, is paid over $400,000 per year, while other senior staffers take in over $250,000 per year.

Despite the massive human casualties and cultural wreckage that 40 years of Roe has wrought in America, there is great reason to hope. The public at large did not miss the advances of sonograms and imaging from inside the womb. These advances have exposed the lie of the pro-abortion industry and its lobbyists in the halls of Congress. The words “unviable tissue mass” are lost in the emergence of widespread imagery and facts about the child in the womb. As Juno MacGuff said about unborn children, “Babies have fingernails. Fingernails!”

Couples share the excitement of a pregnancy with pictures of sonograms that are texted and e-mailed around the globe. Facebook even allows people to “friend” their preborn babies. Each time the news spreads, pro-abortion lies are exposed. It’s hard to deny the fact that it really is a baby in the womb, and with that knowledge comes the realization that abortion is truly the killing of an innocent life.

Society is changing. A majority of Americans identify themselves as pro-life. Each year, Hollywood releases a film that celebrates life. Musicians like Mumford and Sons and even Justin Bieber sing about unborn children, or the absolute heartbreak of abortion. Juno, Knocked Up, and the fourth film of the Twilight series (Breaking Dawn, Part 1) are all a reaction to the new celebration of motherhood — and the preciousness of the unborn child — by our society.

One of the most noteworthy indicators of these changes is the abortion industry itself. The term “pro-choice” has been obliterated from Planned Parenthood’s vocabulary on account of its increasingly bad connotations. Seeing the writing on the wall, pro-abortion marketing gurus and PR peddlers recently commissioned a study of public attitudes on their pet topic and moneymaker. They concluded that they must begin a campaign to erase the truth of life altogether, replacing it with complete moral relativity.

At the 2013 March for Life, there is much for activists to grieve. Today, America offers little protection to children in the womb, and there is nothing we can do to make up for the lost generation of 55,000,000 lives ended by the great violence of abortion.

But we grieve with renewed resolve, for there are many signs of hope — many indications that the tide is turning. The survivors from the last 40 years — the pro-life generation — will lead our country out of the devastation and rebuild a nation where all life is cherished, respected, and protected.

Lila Rose is the president of Live Action, a non-profit pro-life organization, and the founder of the nation’s largest pro-life student magazine, The Advocate.