How ‘big abortion’ is losing

The truth and the lies have become clearer.

Vast numbers of young people turning out for the March for Life in Washington DC, other such rallies across the US, and in the groups, operations, organizations and services dedicated to daily outreach and care for women and children, are survivors of the Roe generation. They’ve lost siblings, classmates and peers, some even their own child in a surprise and unintended pregnancy, and they know the toll it has taken on them, their parents, families and society. They’re the most life loving, fiercely determined, committed and outspoken generation of pro-life activists. Abortion activists saw that years ago, the evidence that their generation was dying off as a natural consequence of devaluing human life and motherhood and the natural bond between the generations.

There are so many ways this story is coming out and reaching people. Star Wars fans, humanitarians in general who aren’t used to these types of personal accounts, look at this one.

In 1914 Agnes Cuff, a flighty and unstable young woman with few prospects and little money found herself pregnant. The father didn’t want to be involved. She was alone, shamed, poor and pregnant.

Today she would be encouraged to get herself to an abortion clinic and end the unwanted pregnancy.

Instead a little boy was born.

English actor Alec Guinness, most famous for his role as Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars was Agnes Cuff’s only child. On his birth certificate he is named “Alec Guinness” but those were only his first names. The place for the child’s last name is blank. So is the column where the father’s name is listed.

It has never been confirmed who Guinness’ father was. Some speculated that he was a member of the Anglo-Irish Guinness family. Alec Guinness himself thought his father was a banker named Andrew Geddes.

Alec Guinness converted to the Catholic faith in 1956 and was a faithful Catholic for the rest of his life. His delightful conversion story is told in his autobiography Blessings in Disguise

CNN runs a piece by a feminist against abortion.

Abortion betrays women by having us believe that we must become like men — that is, not pregnant — to achieve parity with them, professionally, socially, educationally. And if we are poor, overwhelmed or abandoned by the child’s father, or if medical expenses would be too great for us or for our child, social “responsibility” requires us to rid ourselves of our own offspring…

Is this really the equality we were looking for 42 years ago?

I think most women want to see a culture that respects and honors women not only for the myriad talents we bring as individuals to our professions, our communities and our country. Women also want to live in a society that, at the very same time, cherishes our shared, and indeed, wondrous capacity to bear new human life. We want to be respected for the work we do as mothers.

What about a culture where women’s childbearing capacity is recognized not as an impediment to our social status and certainly not as the be-all and end-all of women’s capacities as it once was, but as that which calls upon all persons in society to show a bit of gratitude? Rather than structure society around the wombless, unencumbered male, ought not society be structured around those who, in addition to being able to do all that men can do, can also bear new human life?

Such a cultural restructuring in support of caregiving — one that pro-life feminists seek — would benefit this generation’s fathers as well. Many men today would prefer to dedicate far more time and attention to their children than fathers of prior generations did, or could. Pro-woman, pro-child, pro-family policies would enable just that.

Not all women become mothers, but those who do so depend upon a cultural esteeming of both pregnancy and motherhood for their social and professional support. When we belittle the developing child in the womb, a scientific reality that most pro-choice advocates have come to admit, we belittle and distort that child’s mother. We make her out to be one with property rights over her developing unborn child (much as husbands once had property rights over their wives).

We give her the inhumane (but for 42 years, constitutionally protected) right to decide the fate of another human being, of a vulnerable child — her child — to whom she properly owes an affirmative duty of care. We do all this rather than offering her the myriad familial and social supports she needs, whatever her situation, and cherishing her role in the miracle of human life.

Those supports are being offered, in something like 2,500 crisis pregnancy centers, otherwise known as pregnancy help centers, across the US, a service expanding abroad as more service providers are training teams of caregivers and organizations outside the US. They cover everything a woman might need in what’s frequently called a ‘crisis pregnancy’, from medical aid to legal, financial, material, spiritual, and maternal aid once the child is born, when mothers choose to care and provide for their babies.

The Monday after the Super Bowl in the US always draws a great deal of media attention to the sports hype aftermath, and the commercial hype as well, especially rating the commercials that aired at extravagantly high cost during those hours of one of the most highly viewed sports games of the year.

Look how one well known and long established American company handled their ad.

This new ad by Pampers had 950,000 views on YouTube before it ran during the Superbowl. Babies are the focus here—born and unborn—and its message is that every first is significant, no matter how small it seems. The ad begins with a sonogram and goes on to show the many firsts between children and parents. It’s a heart-warmer, even if it is about diapers.

Especially because it is about diapers, which means a new life in the world, in the life of a couple, which now makes them a family. Well done. The pandering has stalled, and the pampering has shifted, back to where it belonged.

“Abortion is bad karma”

That was only one sign seen at the March for Life in Washington D.C. Friday, carried by the Hare Krishnas. Feminists for Life were there, Atheists for Life, and members of the gay Republican group GOProud joined the March this year, because they’re all against abortion. And for human dignity. For all human beings.

That’s the message, the one Abraham Lincoln and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ‘got’ and stood for and dedicated themselves to in their work in whatever way they could. Which is why this momentous week that opened on Martin Luther King Day was a very big one for the national debate on human rights. Especially since the most pro-abortion president in American history was sworn in on Dr. King’s day, with his hand on a Lincoln Bible and a King Bible. If only he dedicated his presidency to that cause of just laws for “all God’s children” as Dr. King said, and “the millions as yet unborn” as President Lincoln said, he could serve the  great and noble  “common good” to which politicians refer so often, loosely.

Something different was in the air this year at the March for Life, participants said all day through their Tweets and Facebook posts and text messages and radio interviews. The cause was the same, the determination and dedication were the same, certainly the bad weather was the same (bitter cold), even the growing numbers of pro-life ralliers continued the consistency of growing, this year to over half a million strong. And mostly young people. So very many young people, with countless buses of high school and college students from all over the country converging on the Mall of Washington and student organizations carrying banners and chanting with zeal that they’re the pro-life generation.

‘Maybe it’s the 40th anniversary of Roe that made it seem different,’ several said. But I heard more than a few wonder out loud what else it was, because they felt invigorated and fortified in a new way.  The Washington Post suggested there would be a significant difference this year because of the changing of the guard, the new head of the event who brought a new focus to the cause.

[Jeanne] Monahan embodies the movement’s transition. The photogenic, warm former federal government policy worker was picked in November to take over the March for Life after the death of Nellie Gray, the hard-line, media-unfriendly 88-year-old who ran the massive event almost single-handedly out of her home. Despite being an event primarily of youth, until last year the march had a bare-bones Web site and no accounts on Twitter or Facebook…

Monahan’s charge is to modernize the march for a country that is becoming more conflicted about abortion even as it remains steadfastly committed to the Roe ruling and the value of personal choice. For the movement’s next generation of leaders, the question is whether those two things can coexist. Should the focus remain on Roe and changing laws to limit access to abortion, or has that left a legacy too judgmental for younger Americans? Should the emphasis shift to changing minds and hearts, particularly of women who are pregnant and don’t want to be?

It’s not either/or for the wide pro-life movement made of many different intiatives and organizations. It’s both/and. Pregnancy help centers continue to spread all over the country, always near abortion clinics, offering women a real and true choice, with any help she may need in a crisis pregnancy, whether medical. financial, legal, material or emotional. They’re doing heroic work.

So are many, many others, trying to change laws and hearts and minds.

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign gives voice to women who regret their abortions and finally want to speak out about the reality of its ravages.

Rachel’s Vineyard has steadfastly supported women and does amazing work helping women and families heal.

Women are individually helping other women and the culture in general by sharing their very personal experiences in columns and blog posts, and writing opinion pieces like this, about the beauty of maternity and what Pope John Paul II called the “feminine genius,” recalling women to important truths in a ‘theology of the body’ way.

This was a beautiful thing that came together for the terrible reason that ending the life of an unborn child on demand for any reason at all is the law. And the sea of humanity at that March showed the happy faces of just about every demographic and profile that makes up America and many from beyond these shores. They were there because every human life has dignity. No exceptions.

And Pope Benedict sent out a tweet to encourage them all, each and every one.

“I join all those marching for life from afar, and pray that political leaders will protect the unborn and promote a culture of life.”