By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
Birthdays are synonymous with joy. When celebrating my birthday recently, I encountered the joy of family singing a round of “Happy Birthday,” scores of friends sending birthday greetings on Facebook, and people banding together to donate to my favorite charity on my behalf.
Not to mention the little wave of happiness that came with receiving a coupon for a free popcorn at the movie theater and a complimentary iced coffee at my local café.
And then there was the superb joy of knowing I had been granted another year of life.
I think birthdays bring out the best of us. Even on a bad day, we can somehow muster up the energy to offer a sincere wish for a happy birthday to a colleague or cousin. But why?
Why do we put so much emphasis on birthdays? Aren’t they just another day on the calendar…a reminder of the passage of time…a wake-up call regarding our limited time on Planet Earth?
Birthdays are milestones. They attest to the miracle of our existence. They recognize the fact that the world is somehow different because we’re here. And so we gift one another with cake and ice cream, balloons and flowers, to show that we care.
The pro-life movement is certainly pro-birthday. Without that great movement for social justice, many of us would not be here to celebrate. Pro-lifers individually and collectively have been saving lives for four decades—a lifetime’s worth of life-saving.
And our country is stronger, braver, and more beautiful because of it.
But it would be wrong to dismiss the pro-life movement as simply “pro-birth,” as a number of abortion advocates mindlessly and dismissively do. We hold that life begins nine months before, at the miraculous moment of conception. And we proclaim the truth that life should not end until the second of natural death.
The amount of time and energy pro-lifers devote to caring and nurturing children—whether given to a family by birth, adoption, or through foster care—shows our commitment beyond one’s date of birth. And those precious moments that we spend at the bedside of a dying mother or father demonstrate a love that extends through the entire tapestry of life.
Because of dedicated pro-lifers, millions of preborn children throughout the U.S. who otherwise would not have will have the opportunity to celebrate a lifetime of birthdays.
And it is that knowledge that made my birthday this year a happy one indeed.