Last week my younger sister gave birth to a healthy baby boy. This is a first in my family, she is the first of my siblings to be married and the first to have a child. Since I am hundreds of miles away from her I’ve been getting text and picture updates several times a day and skyped twice with mom and baby. Looking at all the pictures of his ten tiny fingers and toes and his frog like legs (they are VERY long) and the little tufts of hair has been quiet the nostalgic experience. Even more so, my heart strings were pulled when I saw the pictures of my younger siblings holding their new nephew. My 12-year-old brother has this look on his face that says, “Am I really an uncle to this little guy?”
Experiencing all of this right at the anniversary of the legalization of abortion in the United States was a stark contrast of the choices that some women make to terminate their pregnancies; to say no to this joy my entire family is going through at the arrival of a brown-haired 22-inch baby boy.
As I read the news reports on the March for Life, which takes place annually in our nation’s capital, I felt more personally connected to the issue than ever before. And apparently I am not alone in that sentiment. The march drew more than 300,000 people from all over the country. College students loaded into buses sitting in uncomfortable seats for 10 hours to get there. Some people took off work to show their support and march around the capital despite the frigidly cold temperatures.
This year it wasn’t just the East Coast that peacefully protested this crime against humanity. A rally was organized in San Francisco too, drawing a crowd of more than 40,000 – far exceeding the numbers organizers expected to see.
Pro-life activist Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director of a clinic in Texas, addressed the California crowd and told them, “You are the new generation of the pro-life movement and I can tell you Planned Parenthood is shaking in their boots.” That statement struck a cord. Look what happens when young people gather together behind a cause. Look at how much power and respect they can harness by not backing down from their convictions.
(photo from templeknight-org.ecatholicchurches.com)