By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
I used to vote my pocketbook. Raised in a home in which chronic unemployment was a constant and unwelcomed guest, I longed for an economy which would ensure that my Dad always had a secure job.
I certainly was not alone. Polls consistently show that the economy is generally the most important issue for voters. People want decent-paying jobs which will allow them to provide for themselves and their families.
But then I heard a sermon that really shook me up. The pastor of my church said that the most important issue facing our nation was the right to life.
How could that be, I wondered. What about all the other issues facing our city—youth violence, poverty, hunger? So many people wounded, so many souls suffering.
Wasn’t abortion just one of those side social issues? An issue that generated great heat, but not much light?
To be honest I didn’t think it affected my family and me at all.
Or perhaps I hadn’t thought at all until my pastor’s words gnawed at my conscience. He was so certain, so committed. Given that, and given my respect for him, perhaps I should research the issue more.
During my research, I discovered some astounding facts. More than a million abortions occurred each year in America. I had no idea that there were that many. As many as 60 percent of women were being coerced into abortion—pressured by boyfriends, husbands, parents—even grandparents.
A “blob of tissue”? At 24 days after conception, a heart starts beating. At 43 days after conception, brain waves can be detected. And at just 49 days after conception, the unborn child resembles a little doll, with arms, fingers, and toes.
But each day more than 3,500 of these marvels of human development are lost to abortion. Countless numbers of women were left to grieve babies they would never hold in their arms.
I came to see the right to life as the most critical of issues, and its blatant disregard the cruelest of catastrophes.
As my mind was informed, my conscience was awakened. I began to recognize that it should be the preeminent issue guiding my vote.
I hope that you have come to this realization, too. If so, be sure to share what you’ve learned with your friends and family members.
Like every campaign season, there is a great deal of noise. But in the quiet of our minds we can come to realize that the right to life is our most sacred right and should be protected by our vote.
This is not to say that other issues should not command our interest and attention. There are a great number of problems facing our beloved nation.
But some of them, in fact, stem from the routine violation of human life that happens in non-descript buildings throughout the United States, where women are sold hopelessness and children are cast away as if they were refuse.
The task of rebuilding a culture of life may begin with a single vote. Please remember that as Election Day approaches.