No two pro-lifers will answer the same when asked why they got involved in the movement. Some might make an argument in defense of preborn life. Some might tell a story about a child they had — or they might tell a story like mine, about a child they didn’t have.
They’re also liable to answer in very different ways when asked how they’re involved. The pro-life movement draws from countless pools of time and talent to protect vulnerable women and their children with things like good legislation, social services, material and medical resources, adoptive parents, and maternal education.
But after the fall of Roe, we’re fighting a battle of unprecedented complexity and staggering scope.
The Supreme Court returned the legal matter of abortion to the states, and many states took swift action to protect unborn life. But the vast majority of actually occurring abortions in America — 91 percent, according to Planned Parenthood’s own statistics — remain legal in two-thirds of the states. The federal protection of chemical abortion could effectively expand access even where abortion is formally illegal.
On top of this, preborn life and its advocates are under more aggressive attack now than they’ve ever been before. The heroes and hard-won victories of our past are cast, suddenly, in a harsh and unsteady light: Will they stand, or will they fall? Who will defend them, and how? What does our triumph over Roe actually mean?
Most importantly, what will become of the women and children we’ve spent 50 years trying to rescue from the abortion machine?
But these questions fall away when we remember why any of us got involved in the pro-life movement at all: to rescue preborn children from the horrors of abortion, to protect mothers from bearing the lifelong scars and regret that come with it, and to comfort grieving post-abortive women. This reality is all around us, and not responding to it would be unthinkable.
This cannot be a moment of insecurity, fear or confusion. It’s a galvanizing moment of rare unity and courage. Our hearts have not changed, nor has our mission.
Together, the pro-life movement has spent 50 years serving the most vulnerable women and children among us despite dogged and resourceful opposition. Only together will we be able to spend the next 50 years doing the same.
We owe deep respect to the men and women who have quietly and courageously carried out the work of the pro-life movement in all its complexity and difficulty for so many years. We owe them our hope, our friendship and our unwavering support in the mission we share.
We owe the same to the men and women who will join our movement in the future, bringing with them new solutions and innovative responses to the unique challenges of a post-Roe pro-life movement.
It is time for the pro-life movement to come together as never before. Although we may differ in our approaches, philosophies or models, we must stand up to the fierce and escalating attacks we face from within and outside the movement and support each other in our fight for life. I am confident we can achieve our goal of making abortion a thing of the past.
It just isn’t enough to defend the status quo anymore. We need to defend each other so that we can defend women and children.
Together, the pro-life movement can — and must — make abortion unthinkable and unnecessary.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.