By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
The little backward arrow icon on my emails has become one of my best friends.
The official function of the icon is to “undo typing.” But for me, it is often a lifesaver.
I start off going down one conversational path, then realize I need to do an about-face, and that tiny arrow points the way.
I’ve come to believe that one of the horrors of abortion–aside from the fundamental tragedy of a little girl’s or boy’s life being taken–is that it is one of those things in life that cannot be undone. Misunderstandings can be forgotten…bills in the legislature can be rewritten…even the U.S. Constitution can be amended…but there is no “do-over” when it comes to abortion.
The end result of abortion, the death of a defenseless human being, is devastatingly permanent. It is true that a woman can find hope and healing after abortion, but she will never again in this life discover the wonders of her baby–a particular baby with a specific identity and DNA.
This is why informed consent laws are so critically important. They are the “Caution: Danger Ahead” signs which can help women make life-affirming detours.
In Pennsylvania, for instance, back in 1989, the state legislature passed the Abortion Control Act, which requires that women be offered a booklet showing the development of the preborn child and the medical risks of abortion. The law also requires a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion can take place. That pause can give a woman time to talk to friends and family who may be willing to provide much-needed support for her and her baby. In the absence of family support, a caring counselor at one of the hundreds of pregnancy help centers across the state can empower a woman with the material and emotional resources necessary to face her future with hope.
Five years elapsed between the passage of the Abortion Control Act and its implementation, since the abortion lobby tried its best to stop the law. But reason and logic ultimately prevailed and, once the law went into effect, abortion totals plummeted in Pennsylvania.
Abortion advocates often claim that the pro-life movement wants to “turn back the clock.” Actually, the opposite is true. It is abortion proponents who want to go back to the time before protective pro-life laws, when women could be rushed to make a fatal decision that they could regret for the rest of their lives.
Pro-life is another term for progress. Progress which leads to informed decision-making and respect for both mother and child. The pro-abortion mentality has not served women or children and, judging from the throngs of young people who have embraced the pro-life cause, upholding Roe v. Wade makes about as much sense as trying to negotiate cyberspace with a manual typewriter. Roe is that out of touch–and, one can only hope, will soon be out of time.