On the occasion of this 47th annual March for Life, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) joins the multitudes of Americans nationwide who will be raising their voices to oppose the slaughter of innocent human life through abortion.
We share the apprehensions of pro-lifers everywhere as the nation faces another ever more polarizing election. This year, the abortion issue has taken on supreme importance.
Trying to Frame the Debate
As we march, we can celebrate the failure of the pro-abortion lobby to frame the debate to their advantage. Pro-abortion promoters have long attempted to deny that abortion is the pre-eminent issue. They have sought to turn pro-lifers into heartless, narrow-minded and even “racist” individuals who cannot adapt to the times. For them, abortion was supposed to be all about women’s “reproductive rights” and choices. Abortion was never to be pondered as the moral issue it is.
However, these efforts to frame the debate have failed.
Instead, the pro-life cause has surfaced as an embarrassment and a rebuke for those promoting the radical feminist agenda. Such a huge pro-life reaction was not supposed to happen after the sexual revolution of the sixties “liberated” society from old-fashioned morals. Young people, who fill our ranks, should not be rallying to our cause. Above all, women should not be involved, and yet they can be seen everywhere on the pro-life scene, snatching the flag away from the radical feminists, who falsely claim to represent all women.
We can also celebrate the growing sophistication of the prolife movement. We have grown into and adopted the latest media and techniques to further the cause. Pro-life ministries have sprouted up to cover every possible need, from ultra-sound scanning to adoption services. The Church highlights the prolife struggle’s moral dimension. We find every major social category represented in the movement. As close to half of the American population calls itself pro-life in some way, we can proudly affirm that being pro-life is now part of the mainstream.
As we enter 2020, the pro-abortion movement finds itself divided, radicalized and discouraged. Major media report that the Culture of Death is more vulnerable than it has been in decades. It has no clear message and is on the defensive.
Taking Control of the Debate
The pro-life movement has progressed because we have turned the struggle for the unborn into a moral battle for the future of our country. Our message and goal have not changed: We desire the end of all procured abortions. There can be no compromise with the Culture of Death. Legally, peacefully and prayerfully, we demand its unconditional surrender.
Our message has advanced because it resonates with those Americans who are still attached to a Christian moral code loosely based on the Ten Commandments. Since the nation’s founding, this code was seen as a guarantor of good order and prosperity. This Ten Commandment framework was adopted by the state, embedded in our laws and engraved on our public buildings.
This consensus has had the good effect of deeply imprinting upon the national character a sense of morality, godliness, patriotism, and family devotion. If there was one thing that used to unite us as Americans, it was the idea that the Ten Commandments, while difficult to practice, were at least good and desirable.
However, much has changed in recent times. The moral decadence of our society has done much to destroy this consensus. Everything seems to favor a culture that makes America forget about God’s Law and sink into frenetic self-gratification.
Yet worse, some people now turn the Ten Commandments into a factor of disunity, not unity. Significant minorities disparage those who affirm the evils of sin as intolerant and hateful. The media and the liberal establishment encourage every form of unrestraint and immorality forbidden by the Decalogue.
Changing the Rules of the Debate
That is why the abortion fight is so important. Procured abortion is a sin so shocking that it serves to reawaken America from its moral slumber. It so categorically violates the moral law, that many feel compelled to rise and protest. Its outcome is so horrific that it forces people to make a moral choice.
Thus, by standing firm in our conviction about procured abortion, we are putting the Law of God into the center of the national debate. This is changing the cultural and political landscape. Even the left is forced to admit it.
One effect of this shift in the landscape is that the sides are becoming more clearly defined. After so many years, no one has any illusions as to what is at stake. Pro-abortion advocates no longer propagate the fiction that they believe abortion is a sad reality that should be “legal, safe and rare.” Now, they celebrate the death of the innocent and encourage women to be proud and shout out their procured abortion.
No longer is the unborn baby seen as a “clump of cells.” Instead, advocates demand that abortion be available up until birth when the child is fully developed. Liberal state legislatures are passing laws that enshrine abortion into their states. On January 22, 2019, New York State passed the nation’s most radical abortion law to the wild (and macabre) applause and cheers of legislators. Indeed, leftist politicians including those running for the land’s highest office, all proudly declare their radical position: Yes, to procured abortion until birth.
Meanwhile pro-life activists are moving their stands closer to God: “personhood” legislation that solves the issue at its root, by declaring the legal personhood of the unborn child from the moment of conception; “heartbeat” bills that humanize the plight of the child inside the womb with a beating heart by forbidding abortion at that early stage. Through these and many other good bills, pro-life legislators are enshrining the defense of innocent human life into their state’s legal system should Roe v. Wade be overturned.
The sides are defined.
Rejecting God’s Law
Another effect of the changing debate is the uniting of all those who reject God’s Law. Many hate the pro-life position because it has come to represent God’s Law and all rules governing morality. It is no longer just procured abortion, but God’s very law that is the central issue. Abortion represents for them the ultimate freedom from restraint to be pursued at all costs. Their sinister slogan, “my body, my choice” only underscores the consequence of this decision that annihilates all in its path—including unborn babies.
Thus, the abortion movement unites all those who oppose morality or do not have an objective view of human nature. LGBTQ+ activists may not have abortions themselves, but they take up the abortion cause as their own with great vehemence. They join with drag queens, socialists and anarchists. All of them unite to celebrate procured abortion and to defy God’s moral law.
Abortion finds support even from satanists who are increasingly appearing in the public square. The satanists have even taken legal action against state governments, claiming abortion is one of their “sacraments,” and thus protected as “freedom of religion” by the Constitution.
Pro-abortionists have inadvertently turned the struggle into a battle over God’s Law. This is because, generally, liberals resent all moral law. Thus, radical pro-abortionists see in each restraint, small or large, the binding force of the whole law and come to reject it. By their unbridled passions, they have forced the debate into an arena they first avoided.
What It Will Take to Win
As pro-lifers, we must keep God’s Law in the center of the debate. We must make God’s Law our rallying point, our focus and our unity. Abortion does not stand alone as an isolated issue. Every moral precept, small or large, points to the whole moral law. All those who adhere to this law are natural allies in this fight.
By keeping God’s Law in the center of the debate, we corral the issue of procured abortion where it belongs. We position ourselves on the moral high ground. America’s moral fiber is regenerated by this fight. As long as we resist the fatal temptation to water down our message, or to stop calling the public’s attention to the sin, the moral horror of abortion, we will create the conditions for victory, and we will prevail!
A Return to Order
However, we must do more than just keep God’s Law in the center. The law is more than a set of rules. However, it is a code of moral behavior that is a reflection of its Creator. Thus, we fight not only for this law that defends innocent human life, but for the God Who created life and law.
We fight for America to return to God. Only by returning to the Ten Commandments can America expect to return to order. We must seek not only the defeat of this infamous law but also the defeat of the culture that makes procured abortion possible. We must return to an order that strengthens the individual on his road to sanctity, defends and favors marriage, fortifies the family, and rebuilds communities. Our love of God must motivate our obedience to His law. Only then will America truly prosper.
Let us unite then around the moral code found in the Ten Commandments and written on the hearts of all men, and applicable in all times and places. Let us confide in the Creator, Who will support us in our battle for His law. Whatever the outcome of the coming elections, we fight for God and His eternal law and trust in Him alone.
As we march this year, we have every reason to hope and confide. Our message and goal remain intact. We occupy the high moral ground and will not be dislodged. We fight to keep God’s Law at the center of the debate to the great disadvantage of the other side. The radical pro-abortion views of the Culture of Death are exposed to the scandal of the many. All is in place for God to win.
In our culture war, against all odds, we might well follow the counsel of Saint Joan of Arc, who said: “In God’s name, the soldiers will fight, and God will give the victory!”
The American TFP calls upon all Americans to never give up on our return to order. As practicing Catholics, we turn to God and His Blessed Mother for succor and help. Let us confide in the triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, as promised at Fatima.
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP)