I was edified to learn that a determined group of pro-life activists were on hand in Brookline, Massachusetts on Tuesday to protest the opening of the Women’s Health Services abortion clinic.
Every indication is that these pro-lifers are in it for the long haul. Commented activist Rita Russo:
We’re not going to go away. It would be invisible if we weren’t here. We don’t want it to be invisible.
It would be hard to add anything to Russo’s words, for they so incisively capture what pro-life activism is all about.
Abortion workers hate the sight of pro-lifers outside their clinics—whether protesting, sidewalk counseling, or praying—because they know firsthand that our witnessing causes so many of their would-be clients to change their minds and instead choose life for their babies.
The abortion industry hates the presence of pro-life activists outside their facilities for the same reason pro-life activists feel compelled to maintain that presence: because we both know it hurts the abortion industry’s business.
Russo’s remarks about the need to keep abortion from becoming “invisible” reminded me of a question I was asked recently by a high school student who contacted our office in the course of writing a paper on abortion in the United States. She asked me what I considered to be the pro-life movement’s greatest accomplishment.
I responded that in a manner of speaking, it could be said that one of the pro-life movement’s greatest accomplishments is that it still exists.
I went on to explain that in 1973—twenty years before she was born—abortion was declared by the Supreme Court to be effectively legal at any point in pregnancy in all 50 states. What abortion proponents hoped for was that this would make pro-lifers shut up, go home, and just accept that there was nothing we could do about it.
Unfortunately, this is what has happened in many other countries that have legalized abortion. In many of these countries, the pro-life movement is almost non-existent.
But not the United States.
The U.S. is one of only a handful of countries on earth that continues to have a relatively strong pro-life movement—one that continues to reach out with compassion to women experiencing untimely pregnancies, shut down abortion clinics, turn public opinion against abortion, and bring people out of the abortion business.
And, as Russo said—quite rightly—“We’re not going to go away.”