Many people (especially those favoring elective abortion) would have us believe that abortion is “settled law” in America. It is a feature of our lives which has become acceptable and with which we are becoming more comfortable. A look under the surface reveals something very different. The “settled” nature of abortion is a myth perpetrated by a fiercely pro-abortion media. It needs to be exploded. The Pro Life message is winning the hearts and minds of people, so let us renew our Faith in God and continue His work. Here are some important facts.
· Today there are an estimated 650 abortion clinics in the U.S. In 1991 there were about 2175.
· Today there are an estimated 2500 crisis pregnancy centers. In 1991 there were a few hundred.
· Today there are about 900,000 abortions recorded each year. In 1991 there were about 1.5 million annually.
In 1973, 7 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices decided in favor of elective abortion in the Roe v Wade case. Today it’s generally agreed that only 4 of the 9 are solidly pro – Roe, with a fifth probably in that camp, and the other four opposed.
Today, for the first time a majority of Americans believe abortion should never be legal, or legal only in a few situations. That’s a huge change from three decades ago when solid majorities favored elective abortion.
Much of the revolutionary zeal that propelled the liberal abortion movement in the sixties and seventies has slowly turned to disillusionment. Examples abound of former champions of “choice” changing their minds and becoming champions of life. Among the Sidewalk Counselors – those dedicated people who pray outside killing centers and try to offer alternatives to abortion – it is amazing how many have had abortions themselves and regret it. Modern technology has revealed the undeniable existence of life in the womb – something which the Supreme Court has yet to admit – and the effort to remain in denial about it is too much for most people. Then there is the growing realization that, in the words of the late Dr. John Willke, “only the dregs of the medical profession perform abortions”, so graphically illustrated by the horrible crimes associated with Kermit Gosnell. Numerous revelations have exposed widespread corruption in Planned Parenthood. Now many Americans are unwilling to continue funding the organization. All of which erodes support.
Another thing that cause concern – if not consternation – to the abortion movement is the predominance of young people, especially young women, in the Pro Life movement. It is probably the one thing the pro-abortionists never dreamed could possibly happen. They expected abortion to become a normal feature of life opposed only by reactionaries who would disappear eventually. We thank God for inspiring the young to support life.
So, the Pro Life message is resonating with Americans. But should we see the glass as half full or half empty? Both. We can thank God that there are fewer abortions, though too many. We can thank Him for the general, if gradual, awakening of Americans’ consciences to the inherent evil of the cause they once strongly endorsed. That is progress. It is that awakening, more than the passing of laws, that will defeat the abortion monster.
But Roe still stands. Abortions are taking place nearly a million times a year. The battle is far from won. Abortion is still promoted by social elites, like Hollywood stars, super-rich “philanthropists” who use their vast wealth to influence politicians and by others in powerful positions. Although they no longer have the popular grassroots support they once enjoyed, they still wield great power. The abortion movement had not been accepted in the one segment of society where it must be accepted if it is to stick – namely the rank and file of the people. That alone gives us great cause to thank God.
Let us thank God for the many dedicated workers and prayer warriors in the Pro Life movement. Let us thank those in our parish who promote the culture of life. Thank God for good parents who teach their children the value of every life. Thank him for our educators, the devoted sisters and teachers in our school, and the equally devoted catechists and other educators, all of whom instill the Christian message so well to the children and to our converts to the Faith.
God bless you, Fr. Patrick Lee