2013 marked the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. We can’t afford to wait another nine years now to make a big deal of this. And yet, the milestone passed much of the media as it often does. Collectively, we barely noticed the overwhelming enthusiasm for the dignity of human life on display as thousands of young people descended upon Washington, D.C., once again, to protest the decision. In recent years, the crowds are unmistakably larger and younger. This year, it will be even harder to miss with a new generation of March for Life leadership makes savvier use of social media and the precious display that’s natural to a cause that is about saving lives as well as our souls, individually and as a nation. While it’s not a proselytizing rally, anyone who attends knows it will feature much prayer and many parish and school banners. (About 600 students will be traveling to the march from the University of Notre Dame later this January.)
Kermit Gosnell and Wendy Davis were the poster couple of warnings for us in 2013. To look away might be a numbing agent for the short term, but there’s blood on our hands if we do. And it’s not just the blood of the innocents murdered at an altar of choice because we couldn’t be bothered to help with better answers. These better answers, in many cases, mean facilitating connections to people at maternity homes in the business of saving lives and other real help to support life. Such support makes the choice for life seem possible to a mother who has been convinced it’s liberating to pretend she’s not one, even as she knows better. By looking away, we add to the pain and the misery of the walking wounded all around us — those on our train ride home, that distracted driver next to us, members of our families, men and women in our workplaces, fellow worshipers in our churches, and many others who have been affected by abortion somewhere in their lives. We’ll have to answer for looking away from this violence of the most intimate sort — and we look away whenever we vote the wrong way with some indifference, fail to support a maternity home, neglect to dedicate prayer time to mothers and fathers in some crisis, or hesitate to be honest about our words and our laws.
Wouldn’t we rather be part of the solution?