By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
I did not grow up thinking I would become a pro-life advocate. During my childhood, I considered occupations ranging from hairstylist (my grandfather was a barber) to judge (I watched a lot of law-and-order TV shows). I was also captivated by the idea of becoming a journalist—a desire that would become a preoccupation as I grew older.
As I recall, I did not have a clear picture of abortion until I was in 7th grade and our school principal led us down to the state Capitol, where we conducted a silent, prayerful protest against the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision known as Roe v. Wade. That single court decision led to the deaths of scores of millions of unborn babies and left their mothers grieving for the children they would never hold in their arms.
At a pivotal point in my life, I received a calling to pro-life work. It has been a joy to see babies welcomed into the world that might otherwise have perished in their mothers’ wombs. It has also been a privilege and an honor to work toward passing meaningful legislation that protects both mother and child from harm.
Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, this is a critical time in the life of the pro-life movement—a time when advocates for life must be more persuasive and courageous than ever before. It is likely that all of us, to a greater or lesser extent, have struggled to overcome the damage caused by an anti-life culture.
Some are mothers and fathers who have sacrificed their own children…some are grandparents who have lost their descendants to abortion. Others have had their families shattered by the horror of assisted suicide…or have had loved ones threatened by euthanasia.
Please rest assured of my prayers as you continue on the path to healing and hope.
All of us can serve as wounded healers, using the lessons we have learned about the devastation of death culture to reach out to others who are struggling. Whether you are new to the pro-life movement or a seasoned veteran, you can make great strides in advancing peaceful pro-life action. There are so many people ready to cheer you on, giving you encouragement for your pro-life advocacy, whether that takes you to the halls of pregnancy resource centers or to the corridors of your state Capitol.
The truth about abortion and euthanasia compels us to work toward a civilization of love, where every life is cherished and protected. It is a sacred calling that springs forth from our very humanity. Our duty to our fellow brothers and sisters on this planet means that we must defend human life at all stages—from the dawn to the twilight of life.
We are so fortunate in the pro-life movement to be witnesses to the many real-life tales of transformation and redemption which give us hope that the most vocal opponents of the pro-life cause can become ambassadors for the cause of life.
As pro-life advocates, we are always ready to put out the welcome sign for others to join our compassionate, life-affirming cause!