Since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, the unthinkable has happened for the pro-abortion movement. What should have been a simple matter riding on the coattails of the Sexual Revolution of the sixties has become a moral and political quagmire. Pro-abortion advocates have lost their vision with no exit strategy in sight.
Examining the records, pro-life advocates have pummeled pro-abortion radicals. The facts are there for all who want to see.
Several states are reduced to only one abortion clinic; some open just one day a week. Pro-life activists have ensured that abortion clinics are not found in 90 percent of American counties.
Yet more startling is the fact that abortion clinics are closing right and left. Since 1995, Planned Parenthood, for example, has closed clinics at a net rate of one per month. The number of total clinics now stands at the lowest level since 1987.1
Doctors and nurses to staff these death clinics are becoming increasingly hard to find and keep. Some facilities resort to flying in out-of-state doctors because local practitioners are loath to associate themselves with the deadly trade.1
State legislatures have enacted literally hundreds of abortion restrictions based on parental rights, preventing the abuse of minors, informed consent, or even health code violations.
The pro-life cause has recruited youth who swell its ranks and ensure its future. It has secured the support of bishops and priests who have begun to speak out against pro-death politicians receiving Holy Communion.
Indeed, on every field, the pro-abortion movement is losing ground. Many even question its future.
“Americans have become complacent in the belief that this right will never be taken away, and they are wrong,” said Kate Michelman when stepping down as president of Naral Pro-Choice America in 2003. (The New York Times, Sept. 22, 2003)
In his 2004 book, Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War, William Saletan writes: “Many people think that the political struggle over abortion has been resolved and that feminists have won. They are mistaken.”
The pro-abortion lobby is losing not through any lack of resources. Millions of dollars flow into their coffers.
It is not for lack of media sympathy or pro-abortion politicians who now hold majorities on state or federal levels. It is not just restrictive laws that explain the clinic closings.
No, the reason abortion has so polarized the nation is that it has become a moral issue that gnaws at the heart of mainstream America. The pro-life movement has succeeded in focusing the debate where it belongs: the breaking of God’s Law by the taking of innocent human life.
This shifting of the debate has forced the pro-abortionists to abandon their false rhetoric of sexual liberation, feminism and the plight of poor women. It has forced their enthusiastic supporters to become embarrassed apologists who must repackage abortion “rights” as a privacy issue, a libertarian freedom, a regrettable yet necessary evil, or even a pro-family initiative.
It has caused the pro-abortion movement to stray from its feminist and sexual liberation roots, disillusion its militants and thus jeopardize its future.
Indeed, the more pro-abortion advocates try to moderate their extremist message, the worse it becomes for their cause since the ugliness of abortion only highlights the artificiality of their cosmetic changes.
The more compassionate they try to appear, the more indefensible becomes their support for partial birth abortion which turns the birth canal into a death canal.
The more concern they express for young girls, the more horrific becomes their defense of the deliberate hiding of the abusers of minors who force abortions upon their victims and abuse them yet more.
The more they begrudgingly acknowledge the humanity of the unborn, the more tragic is the picture of the fully-formed child in the mother’s womb now seen through ultrasound images.
The pro-life movement’s greatest victory is that it has made abortion a great moral battle. On these grounds, huge sectors of the American public now reject abortion. Those in the middle have major reservations and doubts. A radical pro-death minority is left unmasked by the increasingly clear moral hideousness of the practice.
No electoral victory can erase these gains. Politicians ignore this issue to their own peril.
Now is not the time to give up or even to stay the course, it is the time to press ahead toward victory.
If We Fight on, God Will Give the Victory
How is victory possible? So many obstacles yet remain.
We forget that the pro-life fight has never been a human battle. We have always fought against seemingly overwhelming odds. And we have always called upon Providence, knowing that those who defend God’s law can expect His aid.
With God’s grace, all is possible. If He gave us so many successes to date, He will take us to the end. If we trust and keep praying and fighting, He will not fail to lead us to the final victory!
Fatima’s 90th Anniversary
Speaking about victory, Catholics commemorate this year the 90th anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother at Fatima. This great event has implications for all those who defend God’s law. When the Mother of God said, “Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph,” we know that this triumph includes a great moral victory as well.
Does this not also mean a promise of total victory for the pro-life cause?
On this 90th anniversary, we must thus redouble our efforts, Rosary in hand, focusing on this moral issue and confident that if we continue to make every effort, we will see not just an end to abortion but the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.