By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”—The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., April 3, 1968, Memphis, Tennessee
In working to celebrate and honor the dignity of innocent human life, I have found this quotation from civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. coming to my mind again and again. I hope with all my heart that I will see the day when the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade is overturned. To me, metaphorically speaking, enabling states to protect preborn children from the moment of conception is the “Promised Land” that I am longing to see. I pray that this happens during my lifetime.
It saddens me that my daughter has had to grow up in a world in which the taking of unborn children’s lives is so prevalent. In the U.S. alone, the unborn death toll from abortion stands at more than 61 million since the 1973 Supreme Court decision. That figure does not include mothers who have died directly as a result of abortion, mothers who have died from drug or alcohol overdoses following abortion, or of post-abortion suicides.
That death toll also does not take into account the collateral damage caused by abortion—the severed relationships, the emotional and psychological trauma, the physical complications, the subsequent premature births.
What could be called the culture of abortion is prevalent in our political system, entertainment, and the media. Thus, the effort to restore a culture of life is played out on multiple fronts—not only in courtrooms and Capitol buildings, but also on television and movie screens and over Internet connections.
To counter the abortion lobby is a vast undertaking. But there is certainly hope born in every chapter and affiliate of National Right to Life. Research shows that the Millennial generation of young adults is more pro-life than young people of generations past.
When I learn that a baby’s life is saved and a mother is spared the harm of abortion, I am transported to the mountaintop. I still hope I will survive to see the promised land of an abortion-free America. But if I do not, I am confident that my daughter or another descendent will.
The unjust ruling known as Roe will eventually crumble, just as so many of history’s injustices have. It is not too big to fail—it is such a huge travesty that failure is guaranteed.