Note: This commentary was delivered by PFM President Mark Earley .
A picture of a baby in utero flashes onto the computer screen. Images of the fetus seem to pulse, reminiscent of a baby’s heartbeat.
On the screen the following words appear: “This child’s future is a broken home. He will be abandoned by his father. His single mother will struggle to raise him.” The background music continues as we watch the baby grow.
New words flash on the screen: “This child, despite the hardships he will endure, will become the first African-American President.”
The picture on the screen then changes to the jubilant moments of Barack Obama on election night. The short piece closes with a simple yet provocative tag line: “Life. Imagine the potential.”
This brief pro-life ad was created by CatholicVote.org to be run during the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, NBC refused to air it. Nonetheless, it has received over a million hits on YouTube.
Given the new administration’s ideological commitment to abortion, there’s no doubt that the next four years will be tough on the pro-life movement.
But we can’t be shortsighted. Like the ones who made that short video, we need to be creative and to think of ways to awaken the moral imagination of the American people.
No one is too young to play a role. I recently saw the video of a 12-year old girl named Lia, who decided to choose the plight of the unborn as the subject of her school speech contest. Her teacher encouraged her to pick another topic—one not so controversial. But Lia was adamant.
Her speech has now received more than 100,000 hits on YouTube. And here’s what Lia said: “What if I told you that right now, someone was choosing if you were gonna live or die? What if I told you that this choice wasn’t based on what you could or couldn’t do, what you’d done in the past, or what you would do in the future?”
Lia continues, “Thousands of children are right now in that very situation. Someone is choosing without even knowing them whether they are going to live or die. That someone is their mother. And that choice is abortion.”
Stirring words. And a great reminder that no one is too young to have a role to play in this important struggle for human rights. She also reminds us that sometimes it takes the innocence of a child to see and condemn the reality of evil.
And while the pro-life movement needs to engage the hearts, minds, and consciences of the nation, we must also continue to reach out and care for those who are struggling with an unwanted pregnancy or the aftershocks of choosing abortion.
I’m thrilled to see efforts like the Abortion Changes You campaign, begun by Michaelene Fredenburg. They are reaching out to help people who have been devastated by abortion, and also to raise awareness. The Abortion Changes You campaign placed 1,000 ads across New York state last year, in subways and billboards, sending people to its website, where anyone dealing with the aftereffects of abortion could find resources and help.
We’ve got to continue to think outside the box like this, all the while proclaiming the goodness of life, caring for those wounded by abortion, and helping women to make the right choice—life.