By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
I vividly recall an incident that occurred when I was a young girl. My mother had given me money to purchase a treat at the mall.
I stood patiently in line, but kept getting passed over. I thought at the time that someday I would grow up to advocate for the rights of children.
Growing up, it seemed to me that, far too often, girls were relegated to the sidelines. My fourth grade girls’ basketball team never seemed to get the attention—or the fans—as the boys did. While I strove to be the top student in my class—male or female—I was invariably described as the smartest girl, as if my brain power were limited by my sex.
As a result of these experiences, I wanted to champion the accomplishments of girls—whether it be in the classroom or on the playing field. As fate would have it, I even became a “girl Mom,”—mother to a dynamic baby girl.
So, as I mark this year’s International Day of the Girl, I stand in wonder at all the many achievements of the girls in my community. They excel as student leaders, team members, and scholars. A number of them compete in our Pennsylvania Pro-Life Essay and Oratory Contests, writing and researching original essays and speeches which celebrate the great, unrepeatable gift of life.
And yet, despite the tremendous progress girls have made in the last few decades, they also disproportionately suffer from the tragic effects of abortion culture—sex selection abortion in particular, has robbed us of the impact of 170 million “missing girls.”
But the impact of the abortion industry and its apologists is wider spread even than that. They claim that, to truly be free, females must rely on abortion to achieve their goals.
My heart aches for all of the female athletes who have been sold on abortion as the only means possible to enable them to follow their athletic pursuits. I am also filled with sorrow for the girls who have been told that having a baby will ruin their chances of earning a college degree or having a meaningful, successful career.
Abortion is a sign that society has failed women and girls. It teaches young people that human beings are expendable in pursuit of an Olympic medal, diploma, or job. It robs females of the greatest of gifts—that of a daughter or son.
But the tide is turning. So many females are succeeding in fulfilling their dreams with their babies in tow. For the first time in decades, talk has accelerated that the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade will be overturned.
Therefore, as I mark the 2021 International Day of the Girl, I see great hope for the future. From this day going forward, may all girls be honored and cherished from the very moment of their conception, the very beginning of their magnificent lives.