In our nation’s capital, and in San Francisco this coming Wednesday, on the 47th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade (in which abortion was made legal in our country), many people, especially the young, will be on hand, to pray and to demonstrate their support and respect for all human life. It is with great sorrow that we recall the fact that over the course of these 47 years, more than 60 million children in this country have been deprived the gift of life that the rest have the privilege of enjoying. Added to this is the discouragement we may feel in the face of court decisions, policies and legislation in our government which continue to be opposed to the sanctity of life at every stage.
But, as people of faith, we’re never without hope because we walk with the Lord, and with Him, life is victorious. It is that hope, firmly rooted in the Lord, which motivates us to continue to press forward in standing up for the rights of the unborn. I liken this to the well-known story of David and Goliath that offers some parallels to the battle for life in which we engage.
The first element of comparison is the perceived mismatch between foes. Goliath, the Philistine, is described as a “champion” who is “quite tall” (in our way of reckoning approximately nine feet plus in height). In addition, he is decked out with armor and weapons which must have appeared as a truly imposing sight. David, who stepped up to challenge the giant, is so small in comparison, that after finding a helmet and armor to be way oversized, decided to cast them off and only approach Goliath with a staff and some stones. Based purely on the visible data, it would seem as though David was severely outmatched in this battle.
There’s a temptation to be discouraged with what seems to be a lack of progress in the pro-life area. We can tend to feel outmatched when confronted with legislators and court judges (a significant number of them professing to be Catholic) which continue to abuse their power by promoting laws opposed to life. Some even may question whether we will ever be successful in overturning such legislation and court decisions after so many failed attempts. Like David, though, we are called to renew our trust in the Lord who takes what little we may bring to the table and multiplies it with His powerful aid. There are many signs for hope in our struggle that suggest that now the momentum is shifting, that now those who defend life are not as outmatched as it might seem.
In recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of abortions has decreased. Additionally, recent Gallup polls report that a majority of Americans now consider themselves to be pro-life. Also, in the last five years, a record-number of surgical abortion clinics closed their doors to business in the United States, resulting in a decrease in the number of reported abortions. That’s because of the 4 P’s.: perseverance in prayer and persistent protest!
In Florida, the long-delayed Parental Notice of Abortion legislation is coming to the legislature again, and we are hoping that there will be enough brave men and women who will vote in favor of giving us the hope that the unborn will finally have a chance to live and grow and produce a newer generation that understands that God’s laws of nature have precedence over the desires and whims of a fickle populace.
These are all signs that should be a source of great encouragement to us in the fight for life. The giant of the abortion industry is not as indestructible as it may seem. With God at our side to assist us, great strides are being made, and there is every reason to believe that we will continue to see positive efforts made to work to change laws and (more importantly) minds and hearts.
A second element of comparison from the story of David and Goliath with the pro-life movement is youth. David did not let his youth hold him back from taking action for he was confident that the Lord was with Him and that He would deliver him from his enemy.
One of the most visible characteristics of the pro-life movement in the United States is that it involves so many young people. Like David, they do not see their youth as a limiting factor in this fight. It is, rather, a very valuable asset — one which brings with it, energy and passion. As Pope Francis said: “It is the young who want to be the protagonists of change…. Don’t leave it to others to be the protagonists of change. You are the ones who hold the future!”
Until that day comes, we cannot be content to sit idly by, hoping that someone else will do the work. We must show a willingness on our part to make the sacrifices necessary to take a stand for what we believe. May our attitude be that of working to build up a culture that welcomes and respects all human life from conception to natural death.