Pavone: The Life Affirming March on Washington

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: Thousands of people rally on the National Mall before the start of the 44th annual March for Life January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. The march is a gathering and protest against the United States Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. (Photo …
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Forgotten no more.

Those were the words used by President Trump in his Inaugural Address to describe Americans who for years have been overlooked by those in power.

For the hundreds of thousands who attended the March for Life events in Washington, D.C. last week, those words were music to our ears. They bring optimism, exuberance, and hope.

That’s because there are no Americans who have been more forgotten and abandoned by the White House over the last eight years than those whose lives were cut short by abortion or who are currently residing in their mothers’ wombs.  Today, however, we have a President who is not reluctant to draw attention to the unborn – or to the March for Life.

The Obama administration turned a blind eye to the multitudes who came from all over the nation to the March for Life every January. In the minds of the executive branch and the “mainstream” media, we were to be ignored – the irrelevant marching on behalf of the non-existent. A half million people moving through the streets of our nation’s capital were treated as if they were invisible.

That paradigm has changed.

In a recent ABC News interview, David Muir asked President Trump if he had heard the women demonstrating on the Washington Mall on the day after his inauguration. President Trump said that he didn’t, but noted that another crowd, maybe one just as large or larger, will be on the Mall and that they’ll be pro-lifers. Mr. Muir said he didn’t want to compare crowd sizes. The President responded, “…let me just tell you. What you do say is that the press doesn’t cover them.”

The press did cover the March for Life this year, because Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the rally – the first vice president ever to do so. While there, the mainstream media can’t have missed some notable facts.

For instance, the March for Life skews young.

Those who attend or witness the annual national demonstration that protests the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision are always struck by how young the attendees are. Nancy Keenan, at the time the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, notably remarked about getting off a train in Washington’s Union Station in 2010 at the time of the March for Life and being surrounded by pro-lifers. She said, “I just thought, my gosh, they are so young. There are so many of them, and they are so young.”

To the casual observer, this might seem counter intuitive. Aren’t young people supposed to be socially liberal? Haven’t they grown up in the age of “abortion rights”?

Actually, it’s because today’s youths have known only abortion on demand that they are so strongly pro-life. They are the survivors of Roe v.Wade.

Research by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute finds that over half of the women who abort a baby have previously given birth to another child. That means there are a lot of young people with siblings who were victims of the abortion industry.

Psychiatrists have studied abortion survivors – those who know they could have been terminated in the womb – and have identified different types of these individuals and the symptoms that they carry. What they all have in common is the realization, “It could have been me.”

Whether someone lost a brother or sister to abortion, knows that their mother or father considered aborting them, or otherwise has had their life impacted by abortion, the question of abortion is not an abstraction. It’s all too real.

Being an abortion survivor, then, is not just a motivation to fight for those who have been lost, but also to fight for one’s own right to exist. More and more, today’s young people know that they could have been aborted – and it drives home even more the injustice of taking innocent lives.

And it’s not just young people who are increasingly present at the March for Life. Women and men who regret the abortions of their children are making themselves more visible and more vocal.

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a joint project of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life and the largest organization of women and men who regret terminating their unborn children, holds an event at every March for Life.  In front of the Supreme Court near the end of the march, Silent No More women speak of how they regret their abortions, how the abortion industry lied to them, and how they have suffered in the years following their “procedures.” More and more, men are also coming forth to tell of how they wished they had never facilitated the abortion of their children.

“Forgotten no more,” then, can apply to many Americans this year. But for the unborn and those who have joined the battle for their civil rights, especially those who March for Life in Washington and cities across the United States, they are words to take to heart.

Fr. Frank Pavone is National Director of Priests for Life


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