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Top Ten Accomplishments of the Pro-Life Movement, 1973-2013

Posted by Eric Scheidler (January 22, 2013 at 11:48 am)

NOTE: This article is one of a series on the “top ten” accomplishments of the pro-life movement over the past 40 years since unborn children were stripped of their legal right to life by the 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court rulings.

Pro-Life crowd at the March for LifeIn a series of articles these past ten days, I’ve been discussing the concrete accomplishments of the pro-life movement since the U. S. Supreme Court stripped unborn children of their legal right to life in their Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton rulings, handed down 40 years ago today.

This series has been intended to serve two purposes. First, it offers a response to the criticism coming from some in the pro-life movement, mostly newcomers, that little has been accomplished since Roe. As I have shown, this is profoundly not the case.

Secondly, this series offers some perspective, both on what things might have looked like in the absence of all the pro-life Americans have done over the past 40 years, and on what a valuable legacy we have to build upon.

With the 40th anniversary of Roe and Doe upon us today, I offer here a wrap-up of my list. As we soberly, somberly reflect on the legacy of these rulings—over 55 million dead and a society deeply wounded—may this overview of our accomplishments give us courage and confidence moving forward:

#10: We have kept abortion on the front page. Abortion advocates thought they’d settled the issue with their big court victory in 1973, and that Americans would quickly fall in line. But we’ve kept abortion controversial for 40 years.

#9: More and more Americans are calling themselves pro-life. Despite relentless propaganda against the pro-lifers and the pro-life position, we’re winning people to our side—though the challenge remains of translating pro-life sentiment into pro-life action.

#8: Most doctors now refuse to do abortions. Our protests and education campaigns have had an impact in the medical community, and now the shortage of abortion providers is creating a crisis in the abortion industry.

#7: Hundreds of abortion clinics have been shut down. Abortion advocates wanted to “mainstream” abortion into hospitals and doctors offices, but we’ve “contained” abortion to free-standing clinics—and we’re shutting them down one-by-one.

#6: Pro-life laws have been enacted at the federal, state and local level. Measures like the federal partial birth abortion ban and state parental involvement laws both educate the public on the horror of abortion and save lives.

#5: Abortionists’ dreams of taxpayer funded abortion have been thwarted. The Hyde Amendment and other measures have saved at least a million lives and fostered widespread public opposition to taxpayer funded abortion—a legacy to build upon as Obamacare presents new threats.

#4: We have helped women find healing after abortion. Abortion harms women, especially spiritually and psychologically. The pro-life movement has been living up to its duty to help them.

#3: The 55 million victims of abortion have not been forgotten. Hundreds of memorial sites have been erected across the country in answer to Our Lord’s promise, “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

#2 Pregnancy centers have given women the help they need to choose life. Every year, the nation’s 3,000 pro-life pregnancy resource centers serve hundreds of thousands of women with nowhere else to turn.

#1: Countless babies have been saved by pro-life witness on the street. We will never know how many lives have been saved through the individual witness of pro-life activists on the street or sidewalk—our greatest accomplishment by far—but God knows.

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Tags: , , , , Posted in Abortion, Abortion Aftermath, Clinic Witness, Face the Truth, Health Care, Law and Politics, Our Opposition, Planned Parenthood, Pro-Life Activism, Sidewalk Counseling, The Culture War, The Unborn Child. Follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

17 Responses to “Top Ten Accomplishments of the Pro-Life Movement, 1973-2013”

Note: Visitor comments do not necessarily reflect the views of the Pro-Life Action League.

  1. Pat Dowling says:

    Hi Eric,

    I would like to re-post your article on a new blog we started last week. I’m looking for articles to post and I think this is something our audience would appreciate.

    Please let me know if I can use this, and also can you give me a little bio of yourself to use in the article?

    I know your Dad (we invited him to speak at a rally we held in center city Philadelphia, PA back in the 80′s).

    Warm regards,
    Pat Dowling

    January 22, 2013 at 1:21 pm
  2. Linda Santoro says:

    Dear Eric, I am so disappointed that I can’t make the march. You have done an excellent job. I believe things are happening. Just the fact, that Jesus sees the work you are doing(along with the evil one) does change things. I have to be at the hospital tomorrow. Any sufferings will be given up for the cause. You will all be in my prayers and thoughts. God go with you and protect you. God bless. Linda.

    January 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm
  3. Tee says:

    While the accomplishments mentioned in your article need to ge acknowledged, Eric, I think most Pro Lifers would agree that we are missing something that we have purposely killed close to 60 M preborns.

    I would offer that “the missing” is the teaching of Humane Vitae re the immorality and evils of contraception, as addressed by Michael Voris in his keynote at the Denver March on Sunday.

    When the NY Times ad opposing HV was not in turn opposed, the perps not corrected by the then Amchurch leadership, and Humnae Vitae NEVER taught, the possibility of R v Wade came into play.

    Only if and when the proper place of the Maritial Act IN marriage and the immoratlity of contracepted sex is taught, will abortion begin to be eliminated.

    Least that is my opinion.

    January 22, 2013 at 2:51 pm
  4. Chris T. Smith says:

    Bravo! The real “war on women” in this country is being waged by the abortion industry: http://www.know7things.com/sin.html

    January 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm
  5. Al DeCotis says:

    Tee’s comment of 1/22/2013 is 100% Correct !!!

    Thank you, Eric, for your great work !

    Al DeCotis, Medway, MA

    January 22, 2013 at 4:24 pm
  6. Robert says:

    You are right on! We must never give up, give in or back down. God bless you and the work all the pro-life teams are doing.

    January 22, 2013 at 5:14 pm
  7. Frank Malloy says:

    Even one life saved was and is worth the effort. “I do not reward for good results but for the patience and hardship undergone for My sake.” Jesus Christ to St. Faustina, 1934, explaining that adversity increases the merit of a soul. Remember, abortion existed before Roe v. Wade and will exist even if it is overturned, just as laws against murder haven’t prevented daily killings on our streets. We have to, as the late Father Bill Curran once said, “See the world through God’s eyes.” If we promote a culture of life over death, responsibility over convenience, mercy over vengeance and charity toward all over pride and arrogance, then perhaps we’ll see an end to abortions—and the death penalty. Will it be hard? Of course, but in the end, God always wins!

    January 22, 2013 at 5:33 pm
  8. Kenneth Wilhelm says:

    I want to express aheart felt “Thank You” to all who have perservered in this pro-life work. We know that one child is of greater value than all creation. This work may be the only “act of Love” each of these little ones receive here on earth.I recently read the book ABANDONED by Monica Miller suggested by a pro-life priest and do recommend it for encouragement.

    January 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm
  9. William Polakiewicz says:

    I would like to suggest that we counter the “War on Women” with the “War on Unborne Babies”. The unborn babies are defenseless and we should point out everyway they are being attacked.
    Yours in Christ,
    Bill

    January 23, 2013 at 4:27 am
  10. Matt C. Abbott: “The March for Life, ‘Doonby,’ and Justin Bieber’s mom” « Deacon John's Space says:

    [...] I made it appear that the pro-life movement hasn’t accomplished anything in these 40 years. Click here to read about some of the accomplishments, courtesy of Eric Scheidler, executive director of the [...]

    January 23, 2013 at 7:29 am
  11. Sr. Rosalita Judge,OP says:

    Eric, I AM UNABLE TO ATTEND ANY OUTDOOR EVENT BECAUSE OF MY AGE AND HEALTH. HOWEVER, EVERY EVENING WHEN WE PRAY AS A COMMUNITY THE INTENTION IS ALWAYS FOR THE UNBORN, PARENTS WHO ARE CONTEMPLATING AN ABORTION, FOR THE STAFFS THAT DO SUCH WONDERFUL WORK. KNOW THAT WE WILL CONTINUE OUR PRAYERS ON YOUR BEHALF. GOD BLESS YOU.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:29 am
  12. Kevin Banet says:

    Eric, you and your dad are among the most inspiring pro-life leaders in this country, and all of our work is a testimony that average Americans will not rest until the injustice of abortion is addressed. We are an inspiration to pro-life efforts in other parts of the world, where the movement is not yet as strong. Let’s keep it up.

    January 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm
  13. Gerry Bliss says:

    Dear Eric,

    You are so right that we have accomplished much in the Pro Life Movement, but there is still much to be done. The poll that came out that said 70 percent of Americans would NOT want Roe v Wade overturned is a reminder that we need to work harder to sway public opinion. God Bless you and others who keep this issue at the forefront of the public eye.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm
  14. DON MANG says:

    PRAY, PRAY, PRAY FOR THE DAY THIS EVIL OF ABORTION WILL BE OVERCOME. MY WIFE AND I WERE SCHEDULED TO COME FOR THE MARCH, BUT SHE HAD A RECENT HOSPITALIZATION JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS FOR A TOTAL HIP REPLACEMENT AND IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE. BUT KNOW THAT OUR PRAYERS WILL BE WITH EVERY STEP YOU TAKE. OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD, AND I KNOW HE WILL BE LEADING THE MARCH. MAY HE GRANT HIS BLESSINGS UPON ALL OF YOU.
    DON MANG, AUTHOR
    “ONE NATION UNDER GOD: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
    of the Coming…”

    January 24, 2013 at 12:26 am
  15. Philip Moore says:

    Hi Eric,

    Thank you for your leadership to give voice to those in the womb. I sometimes don’t think I can make a difference, but now again give my “Yes” to life asking in prayer for new laws, new attitudes, conversion of souls, and fullness of life.

    In Christ,
    Philip

    January 24, 2013 at 1:47 am
  16. Stanley D. Wyatt says:

    Daily Mass, Rosary, Adoration (if possible), and prayer outside of abortion centers, is what I try to do. Local effort is what I am concentrating on. I don’t worry too much anymore about the “national” picture. I try to influence those around me and, hopefully, some priests in the area.

    January 24, 2013 at 11:32 am
  17. Mary W. says:

    Thank you very much for your article. I have re-posted it to my Facebook page. It will be interesting to see what, if any, responses I get. Personally, my family and I offer up prayers every night for the unborn. But I believe my life is more a visible testament to pro-life and the blessings of children. We have 4 small children, one angel baby and one new baby on the way. We got married right out of college and began our family. I stay home with the children, and together, my husband and I make a lot of sacrifices every day to keep this going. We are constantly bombarded with criticisms, mocking and sideways glances when we are out in public, but even more hurtful- in the company of our own families. It would be wonderful if the Pro-Life movement could help us take up our banner of Large Family, Small Life, Multiple Blessings. We feel very blessed by God, but also very alone. As you well know, this is a society that views children as financial burdens. We continue to pray, and to fight the good fight, for the life of the unborn, and for families all over the world who choose to joyfully accept each life God has given them.

    January 24, 2013 at 5:43 pm

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