Mother Angelica, the foundress of EWTN, was a staunch defender of lives in the womb. I am sure she was smiling down on our entire movement as we marched for life just a few weeks ago on January 20 – a bright sunny day filled with hope for the future of our nation. This year’s theme was fitting: “Next Steps: Marching into a Post Roe America.”
Tens of thousands of people were in attendance. Speakers encouraged attendees from far and wide, saying that while we have achieved a great victory in ending Roe vs. Wade, our mission to end abortion is far from over. Keynote speaker Jonathan Roumie of The Chosentold us to arm ourselves with our finest weapons: prayer and the sacraments, and be bold in standing for what we believe.
So what are the next steps for our movement?
The first is certainly prayer. And not only living a life of prayer, but living a life that pleases the Lord. The first couple of months of the year are always a good time to take stock, and make adjustments in any area of our life that might not be pleasing to Christ. Death by abortion is one of the greatest evils that exists in our culture. We will only be equipped to fight the sinister injustice of abortion if we nourish ourselves with the virtues that are key to defeating evil. Perhaps a good examination of our lives can be guided by the cardinal virtues: am I living a life filled with prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude?
Second, we must discern how it is we are each specifically called to work towards an end to abortion. No two people are alike, and you might not be at a time in your life where you can drop everything that you’re currently juggling for the sake of this mission. So how can we transform the work and tasks we already have before us, and offer them up for the sake of the unborn? We can sacrifice little things at any moment with the intent of defeating abortion, and believe it or not, you are probably contributing to the culture of life without even knowing it.
Perhaps someone saw a pro-life bumper sticker on your car today, and told their friend who is contemplating abortion to call the phone number on it. Maybe the video you re-shared on social media helped a new mom learn that her 6-week-old baby growing in the womb already has a heartbeat. Do you pray the rosary throughout the week? Offer it for the babies! Are you a dad going to work each day to raise money to support your family? Are you a mom making sure you have healthy meals to feed your kids, shuttling them to and from school and activities? If so, then you are perhaps the most essential part of our movement. You are defying the culture of death, and living your life to raise the next generation.
The goal of the March for Life has certainly shifted in this post-Roe America – and my belief is that this shift is intended to prompt us to reflect on each of our individual roles in the pro-life army.
This call to reflect and take action falls in a special way to elected representatives, both in statehouses across the country, and in our nation’s capital. This year’s march brought together masses of people – both young and old – intent to call upon their leaders to do something about this grave injustice, and do it fast. Even one more day in which babies in the womb are permitted to have their lives torn away based on someone else’s “choice,” is one day too many.
It’s encouraging that nearly half of states have banned abortion since the fall of Roe – and that troves of people are increasingly taking action on the state level. The commonwealth of Virginia is the perfect example of this, whose people just held their annual March for Life during the first week of February in Richmond. I was honored to speak with Governor Glenn Youngkin just after he marched with thousands of Virginians, the men and women who elected him, to demand a change in the laws that will further protect life. It’s also encouraging that members of Congress have introduced various pieces of legislation that could limit abortion and advance the cause of life. But we must all be mindful of what our end goal is: to eradicate abortion, and make it unthinkable.
It was the Foundress of the March for Life, Nellie Gray, who courageously said in an interview with Mother Angelica back in 1994:
“There is no compromise… on basic fundamentals, you are either for or against, and life is one of those. There’s no neutrality and there’s no in-between, you can’t have a little bit of abortion… you must understand that life must be protected in total.”
With that mission in mind, we will continue to March in our nation’s capital and across America, until each precious life is safe from the death-grip of abortion, and order is more perfectly restored to our society.
Image by Sheila Fitzgerald on Shutterstock