January 19th is the 45th annual March for Life gathering in Washington D.C. and it deserves more recognition. For 45 years since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, large groups have assembled and marched on our nation’s capital with very little notoriety or media attention. The route appropriately ends at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. Their faithful presence year after year, usually in the bitter cold, seers the conscience of the nation.
It’s heartbreaking that we have lost almost 60 million Americans since the legalization of abortion. Simply put, a large presence of generations of Americans have been wiped out. The good news is that health technology, like ultrasound, has helped to wake up more and more Americans to life in the womb. The March for Life is growing too. Last year’s march attracted over half a million people and with Vice President Mike Pence speaking, it was the first time a member of a presidential administration addressed the event in person.
The event in some ways is a visible reminder of really the most tragic consequences of the sexual revolution. Abortion reminds us that the awful fruit of a secular liberal worldview is death and despair. However, March for Life takes all that brokenness and despair in this nation and puts together an amazingly uplifting and hopeful event.
No doubt another great legacy of the pro-life movement is that it is not that interested in politics. It’s people all over the country and world who make great sacrifices in their finances, their careers, and everyday life to raise awareness and protect the unborn. They are much more committed to the cause of life than the calling or cause of partisan politics.
One of the many tragedies of abortion is that it has become so politicized. Too many of us think of it as just another “issue” to rally for or against, but abortion is a practice that has severely wounded so many within the culture. But the politicization is dissipating, especially with young people who have been inundated with images of life in the womb from an early age. The tide is turning even if there is a long way to go. The Right to Life movement understands that the culture has to change in order for the politics of abortion to ultimately change. No doubt there’s a good lesson for all of us there.
“The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government,” declared Thomas Jefferson. I hope the March for Life reminds us that the right to life is the most basic of human rights and that a lot of progress too can be made for life by just witnessing and being present. It was just a few decades ago in the 1990s when polling for abortion support was at an all time high.
That hundreds of thousands people gather every year in Washington to say that there is something profoundly wrong with millions of their fellow Americans being wiped out will always be an important and powerful witness in this nation. The “least of these” demand, and more importantly, deserve such a voice.