On February 1, 2023, I was among many thousands of faith-filled people of all ages, races, and backgrounds from across the Old Dominion and neighboring states who converged on Richmond for the Virginia March for Life. While the great majority of participants in this annual demonstration were my fellow Catholics, including hundreds of brother Knights of Columbus, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, Bishop Barry C. Knestout of Richmond, and Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, there were many hundreds of people from other Christian denominations as well, including Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. It was also an overwhelmingly younger crowd, with a large number of enthusiastic teenagers and young adults present. Despite our differences, we were all gathered for a single purpose: to respectfully demand that Virginia lawmakers protect the God-given right to life of innocent unborn children in the Commonwealth.
It has been a year since the U.S. Supreme Court finally rectified its erroneous and infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the horrific practice of abortion in all fifty states and resulted in the tragic murder of more than sixty million unborn children during a forty-nine-year period. While the pro-life movement in the United States grew dramatically in the following decades, with tens of millions of believers consistently praying and advocating for Roe's reversal and most states enacting various effective restrictions on abortion access, we were not entirely prepared for the Dobbs v. Jackson decision and how to proceed in its wake.
This lack of a unified and coherent plan for the post-Roe era was reflected in the variety of opinions and responses to Dobbs. Some pro-life leaders insisted that the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. should continue to be held even though its goal of ending Roe had been achieved. Others favored shifting the movement's activism efforts to the state legislatures. And still others argued that pro-life activism should continue at both the federal and state government levels. Similarly, some parishes and Catholic colleges sent busloads of parishioners and students to the March for Life in our nation's capital; others sent buses to the March for Life in their state capitals; and still others participated in both the national and state demonstrations.
Meanwhile, although the abortion cartel led by Planned Parenthood was considerably less prepared for Dobbs than the pro-life movement was, it quickly adapted to the new legal situation to protect its bottom line, shifting its deadly operations to states with permissive abortion laws and convincing (bribing?) the FDA to allow the abortifacient drug Mifeprex (formerly UR-486) to be distributed over the counter to pregnant women in all fifty states via the U.S. Postal System in clear violation of federal drug safety guidelines.
Considering that the Dobbs decision returned the abortion issue to the American people and their elected representatives at the state level, it makes perfect sense that pro-life efforts in the state governments, including electing pro-life representatives and governors and enacting pro-life legislation, should be intensified in order to restrict and ban abortion in as many states as possible. This will significantly reduce the number of unborn baby killings nationwide, allowing us to make good progress toward our goal of eliminating legalized abortion throughout the United States. But we simply cannot reach that goal through state-level activism alone because certain states will continue to keep abortion legal.
The inalienable right to life of each innocent person is affirmed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, although neither document specifies when life begins because no one knew at the time. Far more importantly, abortion is a direct violation of the Creator's natural law and basic human rights regardless of anyone's beliefs or opinions about it, so the question of whether or not it should be legal cannot simply be left to the whims of each state legislature's vote and each governor's signature or veto.
Federal legislation will ultimately be necessary to eradicate this scourge from our nation once and for all. In his famous 1983 "Evil Empire" address, U.S. President Ronald Reagan predicted that legislation to end the abortion tragedy would someday pass Congress. There is, in fact, just such a piece of legislation called the Life at Conception Act, introduced by Senator Rand Paul, that would enshrine the right to life of the unborn child into federal law. The pro-life movement should unify behind this Act and get it passed and signed into law.
All things considered, this author believes that the American pro-life movement should be waging a two-front campaign at the state and federal government levels to end the slaughter of the unborn. The long-running March for Life in Washington should continue for as many years as is necessary until the Life at Conception Act becomes the law of the land, but the route should be altered to end at the U.S. Capitol building instead of the Supreme Court. In the meantime, every state should have an annual March for Life demonstration in its capital city to push for an end to legalized abortion in that state. Let's keep praying and marching for life until we win!
Copyright © 2023 Justin D. Soutar.