By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvanians Pro-Life Federation
Editor’s note. My family will be gone on vacation through August 24. During that span we’ll run prior posts from the past year that remain timely and/or were particularly well-received. We will also add a new story or two as events dictate.
As a news consumer, I often find myself yearning to learn the names of people who have perished. It is, for me, an occasion for prayer, and I want to pray for the victims by name.
This is the great dilemma we face as pro-life advocates. We cannot name the victims of abortion. We do not know, for the most part, whether their mothers and fathers had chosen names for their aborted offspring.
The casualty count from legal abortion in this country now stands at over 61 million. Those are over 61 million unnamed individuals. They are invisible to us because we don’t know them.
Think of it this way. When we are introduced to new people, the introduction begins with a name. We identify the individual because of the name associated with him or her. The name makes the person real to us.
When glancing through the obituary page of the local newspaper, we hunt for names. People’s appearances can change quite a bit over the years, so accompanying pictures may not be that helpful in the identification process. But the name says it all.
As part of their healing experience, post-abortive women are often encouraged to name their aborted children. The naming process can be quite powerful. In naming their child, they form a connection with him or her that lives after death.
Even in celebrity culture, names carry great meaning. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter tease users with posts about the latest celebrity baby names. Once we learned about the existence of babies like Britain’s Baby Archie and America’s Baby Psalm, those words took on new meaning and yes, even personhood.
It is a credit to the pro-life movement that, 47 years after the dreadfully awful U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, we continue to fight for the rights of people we do not even know by name. But unnamed does not mean unwanted. Every child deserves a fighting chance at life, whether known as Emily or Justin or just “Baby A. “
We may not know the names of each unborn child, but we do know their value: priceless.