I traditional comment on the annual Right-To-Life March in Washington, DC. Normally held on the anniversary of the two Supreme Court decisions legalizing abortion, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, last year's event was pushed back to January 27 so as to not conflict with Inauguration Day events. Thinking I had more time to compose something, I put it on the back burner of my mind. Guess what happens when you forget about something being on the stove?
Last year's march was highlighted by a live speech made by the newly inaugurated Vice-President of the United States. This year's rally, taking place today, ups the ante. The President of the United States, the man who was sworn into office last year, will speak via teleconference from the White House to those gathered this year.
So what has happened on the front of the battlefield of abortion in the culture war the past two years?
Perhaps the most significant developments for the pro-life movement since January 22, 1973.
The largest provider of abortions is under tremendous pressure, both legally and financially. Undercover film has exposed illegal practices related to this medical procedure. More states have discontinued funding to them, causing more of their clinics to close. The federal government is further scrutinizing their actions in a more serious vein than ever before.
Legislation at state and national levels are being proposed and enacted. A very significant bill is working its way through the process at the Capital; similar bills are being considered at state houses. If any are passed, they certainly will be challenged in the courts, as it strikes at one of the pillars of the Supreme Court decision of 45 years ago.
Perhaps the biggest change of all is one of perception. I do not doubt the sincerity of those at the forefront who have worked tirelessly to reverse the damage this scourge has caused. Theirs is one of heroic virtue. Perhaps there are those in the political world who only give lip service to the pro-life cause, who only talk a good game but don't follow through. Then there are those who actually play the game, with results ranging a wide spectrum of success. But it seems like in the past two years the gains made are going to last. It has not hurt that the current occupant of the Oval Office has strongly supported the effort since his campaign and election, giving an empowerment rarely experienced. Momentum seems to be on the side of life more than ever; the pro-(poor-) choice side seems to have displayed more fear in the face of their defeats.
The pro-life movement can rejoice at their recent successes. It can retain its confidence and optimism. Yet, it still needs to be vigilant and persistent. While it is closer to its ultimate goal, history also teaches how gains can become losses in a heartbeat.
Which is why today is needed and will continue to be needed until it finds the ultimate success. And that will only be possible if the words of Francis Scott Key are applied:
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,And we continue to do the hard work.
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."