Sometimes I hear the question: “Isn’t it time we move on from abortion and work on other issues?”
For those who have donated money and time to the cause, written letters to their elected officials, and voted for pro-life candidates, they want to know their efforts make a difference. Some ask, “If we haven’t ended abortion yet, can we ever?”
Of course, those who keep themselves informed about pro-life issues know that tremendous progress has been made. The number of abortions has dropped precipitously. State legislatures across the country are passing record numbers of life-saving laws, laws that for the first time in decades, are actually banning abortions. Polls show young people are among the most pro-life Americans.
But for some, the question remains. “How much longer?” Few goals in an individual’s life require decades of struggle; most of us succeed or fail much quicker.
March, Women’s History Month, gives us a lesson about patience in trying to bring about major changes in law and policy from efforts to give women the right to vote. (I am not comparing this issue to abortion; I am merely noting that changes in this area, like changes in abortion policy, did not come about overnight.)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton famously proposed women’s suffrage at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, but the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote throughout the U.S. wasn’t ratified and made law until 1920 – over seven decades later. At many points along the way, I’m sure many felt the efforts were simply never going to pay off. The victory that ultimately came did not seem like a foregone conclusion to many casual observers at the time.
Of course, some celebrating Women’s History Month think that you and I are a part of a “war against women,” but this is a slander, really. The leader of the fight to pass the Amendment that finally gave women the right to vote, Alice Paul, once said abortion is “just another way to exploit women,” a sentiment she shared with many other early advocates of women’s rights.
Change may not come quickly, but we know that pro-life efforts are never in vain, especially to the little baby boy or girl who owes his or her life to our efforts and your support. Millions of precious human lives have been saved from abortion because of the tireless efforts of so many who did not give up, and who never will!
We’re mindful in this Women’s History Month of the half-million little baby girls who will lose their lives to abortion this year, and of the countless mothers who will suffer deep physical and emotional scars from their abortions.
We wish every group claiming to represent women would stand with us in this fight. But sadly, they won’t. Your vital life-giving financial support will help us fight back and let them know that we will work even harder to keep the momentum going until every innocent unborn baby is protected from the needless tragedy of abortion!
National Right to Life President