On January 23 of this year well above half a million people will fill the mall in Washington D.C. and March up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Supreme Court Building. It will be the fortieth consecutive year for the “March For Life.”
This event is a means of protesting the wrong committed when 41 years ago the Supreme Court of the United States announced its Roe vs Wade decision — a ruling that under the American Constitution a woman has a right to choose whether her nascent child will live or die.
Since that became law on January 22, 1973, Roe vs Wade has been up for repeated and often intense debate. One side argues that the higher value is a woman’s right to choose. The other, holds that from conception forward a fetus is a developing human life and therefore the higher value is that developing human’s right to live.
In Canada also a March for Life is held yearly in the capital city, Ottawa. This year, on May 8, it is expected to draw more than last year’s estimated 20,000. In both countries the proportion of young people taking up the issue for life is growing steadily.
The increasing numbers who participate in both countries suggest that concern to restore the rights of the unborn may be growing on both sides of the border. In 2010 it was estimated that 200,000 marched in Washington. In 2013 the number was estimated at 650,000.
In America this month programs to educate, promote effective organization, and pray for the success of all efforts on behalf of the unborn will fill up four days. The march’s summons to action has depth as well as numbers
Catholic participation is strong because the Catholic Church hierarchy steadfastly insists that on this matter stated doctrine must be linked to equivalent action. Stated doctrine is that every life from conception forward is sacred to God and should also be sacred to family, society and government.
Yet, because abortion has become an entrenched “right,” some say fighting against laws that allow the broad availability of abortion is a lost cause and time spent trying to reverse the flow of history is useless; let human laws prevail, they say, even if they are immoral.
This year’s marches will show that growing numbers are not willing to capitulate to bad laws. Even those who do not ground their thinking in religion but are moved to stand for the dignity of human life find the brutal destruction of unprotected unborn children enough reason to join the ranks of those who continue to protest.
Though many of us cannot join in the marches, the example of those who march, sacrificing time, money, and even reputation, can at least prompt us to give this matter higher priority in our commitments.
Evangelical pastors should be urged to give at least one spiritually energized sermon on the subject. This would alert their people that the issue is still open and urgent. It is also a subject to be talked about intelligently and factually in Sunday School classes and especially in youth groups.
For those accustomed to use the letters-to-the-editor columns, well-written letters of concern can be made to count. Even in family circles it is good to engage conversations especially with teenagers. Psalm 139 is an excellent passage to read and ponder.
I find the website, LifeSiteNews.com a good source of up-to-date information.
The sanctity of human life is an issue of tremendous significance. Therefore, seeing it as a Christian issue should take the matter to a higher level, supported by Genesis 1:26: “Then God said, let us make man in our image, in our likeness …”
As the day for the Washington march approaches, please take time to reflect prayerfully on the responsibility we all have to speak up for the sanctity of life in the light of eternal values and eternal consequences.