Politics & Policy

Saluting Young Pro-Lifers

Speaking Up for Life: Lila Rose and Kristan Hawkins
So far from fading with time, the pro-life movement grows stronger by the year.

Contrary to what President Obama and others on the pro-abortion Left might have you believe, being pro-life is inspiring and cool. And as our publication — The Human Life Review — completes its 40th year, more young leaders are emerging to keep our movement strong and vibrant.

Thanks to women like Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, who will be honored this evening at our annual Great Defender of Life Dinner, and Lila Rose of Live Action, young women have role models who aren’t afraid to speak out for those who have no voice.

These women exude intelligence, class, and positive energy.

And, next January, when legions of young people descend on Washington, D.C., for the annual protest march against Roe v. Wade, their peers will be able to see that defending their unborn sisters and brothers is the countercultural wave of the future.

During last year’s 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Obama recorded a video for NARAL Pro-Choice America, saying: “This is a country where the success of all of us depends on the empowerment of each of us, where all Americans should have the freedom and opportunity to reach their potential.”

Since 1973, an estimated 54 million human beings have not been empowered or given freedom and opportunity; instead, they lost their one and only chance at life.

Forty years ago, my father, J. P. McFadden, founded The Human Life Review, a scholarly quarterly dedicated to the defense of life, especially for the unborn. His own life had suddenly changed with the Roe and Doe v. Bolton decisions; he couldn’t believe the Supreme Court would put the power of its “moral suasion” behind the killing of babies.

He couldn’t accept that anyone with honest intelligence could defend abortion, and so he set out to create a journal where the best writers and thinkers could educate Americans more fully about what was at stake.

My father died in 1998, and I became editor of the Review. Thanks to our supporters, we have not missed an issue in four decades, holding to our mission of stiffening the backbone of the pro-life movement. But, our arguments have had to shift.

No one with any sense today can claim that what is in a woman’s womb is a mere “product of conception” or “a bunch of cells.” With the advent of ultrasound technology, we all see that a fetus is a live human being.

Now our writers have to argue against the consensus that a particular human being can be killed solely on the basis of his or her mother’s “choice.” Adding insult to injury is the fact that we who oppose abortion have been coerced into paying for these deaths.

In a 2009 speech to a joint session of Congress about his health-care plan, President Obama said that “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion.” A recent report by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office documents that Obamacare actually funds over 1,000 health-insurance plans that cover abortion on demand.

The unborn have become an expendable class of humans; their worth is completely dependent on how their mothers feel about permitting them to exist. And their extermination is sold to the public (and I do mean sold: Abortion is a billion-dollar business) as a privilege.

In my state of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo insists on holding the nine good-for-women points of his Women’s Equality Act (laws, for example, against workplace discrimination) hostage to the tenth point, “Safeguarding Reproductive Health.”

This would usher in a massive expansion of abortion — in a state already called the nation’s abortion capital — even allowing nondoctors to perform abortions. Is this good for women? Or, is NARAL’s blood money good for Cuomo’s reelection campaign?

But there is good news. I was 13 in 1973, and I don’t remember what I thought about Roe then: My eighth-grade memories are stuck in self-involved teenage anxieties — my first intense crush on a boy, and how to deal with mean girls at my school. But my own 13-year-old is thoroughly aware of what I do and why, as is her 17-year-old sister.

My girls routinely share pro-life messages on their social media; they are not afraid to speak up for the unborn at school or with peers — not with anger toward those who disagree, but with an openness to dialogue aided by their compassionate natures.

As a mother, I couldn’t be happier than to see my daughters following in the footsteps of people like Kristan Hawkins and Lila Rose. Their dedication to the pro-life cause in the face of vocal opposition would make my father proud, and they have provided an example for my young daughters and others to emulate.

— Maria McFadden Maffucci is the editor of The Human Life Review.

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