Prayer, MLK at heart of Alamo March for Life

Last Saturday, hundreds of San Antonians marched downtown from the Alamo Plaza in peaceful protest of Roe v. Wade.

On Saturday, hundreds of San Antonians marched downtown from the Alamo Plaza in peaceful protest of Roe v. Wade. Both the young and old attended, including Pro-Life groups from Trinity University and UTSA. The Knights of Columbus headed the march, with the March for Life banner behind them. 

After the “March for Life,” locals gathered at the Main Plaza in front of the San Fernando Cathedral for the San Antonio Rally for Life, in front of the San Antonio City Council Chambers and at the heart of San Antonio. There, people registered to vote and pro-life advocates like Dr. Pat Castle, founder of Life Runners and government officials like Congressman Chip Roy (R-21) spoke out against abortion. 

“We know that if San Antonio goes, then Texas goes. And if Texas goes, then so does the United States of America,” Dr. Castle said on stage. 

The rally started with Reverend Will Davis leading prayer.

Terry Herring of Allied Women’s Center was the first to speak, motivating her listeners to do more for the Pro-Life cause. “It’s time to leave our comfort zones… to take your pro-life involvement to a higher level. Ask the Lord, God, today, ‘What can I do to put on the heat?’ There’s a lot more that needs to be done.” She then cited how she has been arrested seven times outside the abortion clinics while taking pregnant girls in. “I want to challenge every one of you here: get out of your comfort zone. Brace the heat. And we’ll see you next year, and you can tell me, ‘Hey, this is what I did to brace my heat.’” She then introduced her own granddaughter to show that even the smallest of them can do something. Herring spoke about how her granddaughter spent many of her afternoons at the Allied Women’s Center helping give out diapers to pregnant women in need. “No matter how old or how small you are, there are things you can do to help,” Herring said.

Congressman Pete Flores of District 19, the largest senate district in Texas, also spoke at the rally. “I believe that most of us in Texas, especially in the district that I represent, are pro-life. We are pro-family. We are pro-God. We are pro-country. And for that we also do not apologize to anyone,” he said. He described how he and many other Texas representatives in the last Texas legislature struck all the abortion bills down and passed Senate Bill 22, which protects taxpayers from subsidizing abortion providers and their affiliates, and House Bill 16, which protects children born alive after abortions. “It’s a shame that in this day in age that we should even have the conversation about terminating a human being on a botched abortion… we should not even be discussing this topic in our great United States of America, much less our magnificent Texas.” 

Congressman Flores then called for everyone to show up at the polls. “At the last city elections here in San antonio, 14% showed up. The rest stayed home, and then we want to complain about the policies that come up after that. A lot of our opponents say that elections have consequences. They sure do… You must stay involved. You must stay engaged. You must have a voice. And you’re doing it today. If you don’t stand up, then you’ll be dictated to… So let us know what you think. Be vocal. Hold us accountable, always, and if we don’t do our job, vote us out. That is a life from the moment of conception. It’s a human being with a separate soul that God knows. And it’s up to us to protect them.”

After Congressman Flores, Congressman Roy spoke up at the rally, calling to attention that Martin Luther King Jr. Day was also coming up alongside the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. He quoted Martin Luther King Jr. that “we want to be able to celebrate the content of one’s character, not the color of their skin. Yet, the color of your skin or your economic circumstances of your parents are now too often deciding whether or not you live or die before you are given the first breath of life. That should not be the case.”

The Alamo March for Life and the San Antonio Rally for Life was sponsored by the San Antonio Family Association, Shavano Family Practice, and Allied Women’s Center.

Texas Takes a Stronger Stance Against Abortion

On June 7, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 22, the No Taxpayer Dollars to Abortion Providers Act, into law—now effective since Sept. 1. Passed by the Texas Senate Affairs Committee on March 20, SB 22 protects taxpayers from subsidizing abortion providers and prohibits “advocacy or lobbying by or on behalf of a government entity on behalf of the interests of an abortion provider or affiliate.”

This bill does not apply to state hospitals, offices of physicians that perform 50 or fewer abortions in any 12-month period, teaching hospitals of higher education institutions, and residency programs providing training to resident physicians. The new law also does not affect any federal funds like Medicaid from going to the abortion industry in Texas.

Since Abbott signed the bill into law, some have complained that SB 22 does not apply to contracts signed before Sept. 1. Contracts including a Planned Parenthood facility’s 20 year long ‘sweetheart deal’ with the city of Austin—a one dollar annual lease of a historic East Austin property to Planned Parenthood. Supporters of SB 22 advocated for the bill in hopes that Austin residents would not have to continue subsidizing the abortion provider for the rest of the duration of the sweetheart deal.

According to Texas Values, Planned Parenthood’s one-dollar-a-year lease over the 20-year span represents at least a $4 million tax break for the abortion giant, $4 million that could have gone to basic things such as public schooling and comprehensive healthcare facilities that provide services Planned Parenthood does not, such as prenatal care and mammograms. While the bill does not stop Austin residents from subsidizing the Planned Parenthood facility for the rest of the contract with Austin, it does prevent the renewal of the contract.

In response, Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza and Austin City Council Members Greg Casar, Leslie Pool, and Paige Ellis pursued to find loopholes within the newly passed law. Then, on September 10, Austin’s city council approved a budget amendment setting aside $150,000 taxpayer funds to assist women in Austin seeking abortions with related logistical costs such as transportation and lodging. This would make the Texas capital the first city in the U.S. to publicly fund logistical support for abortion care.

Austin Council Member Jimmy Flanagan, the only council member who opposed the amendment, expressed his concern that this should be a county council responsibility rather than a city budget measure. The amendment does not allow for the direct funding of abortions.

In addition, now a total of three cities in the state of Texas—Waskom, Omaha, and Naples—have declared themselves “sanctuary cities of the unborn,” outlawing abortion within their city limits.

On June 11, the city of Waskom, Texas, became the first in the nation to ban abortion”. Waskom’s city council voted to make abortion a criminal offense by way of a resolution and ordinance after Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas, presented the idea to the council. Not only was the vote unanimous, but the completely packed city hall meeting was also full of those in favor of the decision. Exceptions include rape, incest, and if the pregnancy, as certified by a physician, places the woman in danger of death or a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function unless an abortion is performed.

Dickson, one of the authors of the ordinance, said to KTBS3, “This is something that has teeth that will actually allow the city of Waskom to protect [it]self from having an abortion clinic here whether that is one that comes from the North, the East, wherever — Waskom will be protected.”

The cities of Omaha and Naples followed suit on September 9, Omaha passing their ordinance unanimously and Naples with a 5-1 vote.

Mark Lee Dickson, the director of Right To Life in East Texas, told Live Action News in an email

The Mayor of Omaha had expressed some concern that, without a law preventing the opening of an abortion clinic in the City of Omaha, an abortion clinic could possibly move into the city and set up shop in an abandoned clinic. Mayor Pewitt was right for recognizing that this was an appropriate action for this city to take. 

These, along with the Born Alive Act signed into Texas law—which requires doctors to treat infants born alive in the instance of a failed abortion attempt—on May 23, have given the pro-life movement many victories in the past summer alone despite some pushback. 

Editor’s Note: Angelique Lopez is the president of Tigers for Life. Photo by Angelique Lopez.

Five Pro-Choice Arguments and How to Respond to Them

Co-written by Victoria Ydens. Photo by Angelique Lopez.

  1.  We need to make exceptions for rape-conceived fetuses.

According to the Guttmacher Institute–the research arm of Planned Parenthood)–only 1% of women who get abortions claim that they were victims of rape. Instead of punishing the baby for being conceived, we should punish the rapist for his crime. What happened to these women in the 99th percentile is undoubtedly horrible, but abortion does not undo the crime. If we want to help these women, we should not offer another act of violence as a solution. In fact, abortion in cases of rape may even slow the progress of justice. If carried to term, the baby’s DNA can help identify the rapist. 

2. Pregnancy can threaten the mother’s life.

Over 900 gynecologists and obstetricians have signed the Dublin Declaration, which claims that abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of the mother during pregnancy.  Of the 4 million women who gave birth in 2017, about 700 died due to pregnancy complications. Much of this is due to poor prenatal care or late pregnancy diagnoses. While the death of any woman in childbirth is tragic, laws should not be made for the minority of cases, but for the majority of the population. We must have compassion for women who are in difficult situations which may cause them to choose to have an abortion, and we ought to do everything in our power to help them. When there is a particular circumstance in which it truly is unavoidable for a woman to have an abortion, we must have faith that our legal system will protect her and make an exception to the rule for her circumstances.

3. Without safe and legal abortion, women will seek life-threatening alternatives.

Many have heard the statistic that 5,000 to 10,000 women died from illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade. However, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of National Alliance to Repeal Abortion Laws (today called NARAL Pro-Choice America), admitted to falsifying these statistics. He wrote in his 1979 book Aborting America, “In NARAL, we generally emphasized the frame of the individual case, not the mass statistics, but when we spoke of the latter it was always 5,000 to10,000 deaths a year. I confess that I knew the figures were totally false and I suppose that others did too if they stopped to think of it. But in the ‘morality’ of our revolution, it was a useful figure… The overriding concern was to get the laws eliminated, and anything within reason that had to be done was permissible.”  Dr. Nathanson later concluded that number of maternal deaths per year to be around 500. Even Dr. Mary Caldrone, a former medical director for Planned Parenthood, claimed that “90% of all illegal abortions are presently done by physicians” in a 1960 article for the American Journal of Health. 

4. The baby will die anyways.

Some physically impaired babies have only a few days to live after birth. However, because the unborn can feel pain at 20 weeks (or even earlier), a baby will feel incredible pain while it is “terminated” during an abortion, whether it is a chemically-induced abortion or a surgical procedure. It more kind to the baby to let him or her be born and die in his or her parents’ arms, rather than to be ripped apart into tiny pieces.

5. You only care about babies before they’re born.

There are over 750 pregnancy resource centers in the United States that offer counseling, shelter for pregnant women or new mothers and their children, free sonograms and other tests, and referrals to OB/GYN doctors, all of these services often being offered for little to no cost. In San Antonio these include A Woman’s Haven, Seton Home, Guadalupe Home, and Life Choices. Even some pro-life groups on college campuses offer resources to pregnant women or new mothers and their children on their campuses such as scholarships and diaper drives for mothers in need. 

All human beings, especially innocent children, have inherent value. We are all human, and our humanity is what makes us equal to one another. Just as no race or gender is lesser than another, the unborn are just as valuable as the born.

Texas Senate Passes Bill Defunding Abortion Providers

On March 20, the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee passed Senate Bill 22 seven to zero. Filed on March 7 by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), this bill would prohibit transactions between any governmental entity and an abortion provider or an affiliate of the provider. The ban would include state or local tax revenues going to standalone abortion providers and “advocacy or lobbying by or on behalf of a governmental entity on the behalf of the interests of an abortion provide or affiliate.” SB22, co-authored by one Democrat senator and 18 Republican senators, now only has to pass through the two chambers of the legislature to become state law. SB 22 passed the full Senate on April 2.

The bill would not apply to hospitals, universities and clinics that perform 50 or fewer abortions in any 12-month period.

Opponents said the bill would cut off funding to providers like Planned Parenthood that provide affordable health care services for many women.

Mireya Trevino, a public health student at UT-Austin, said that many students go to Planned Parenthood for basic health services such as STD tests, birth control and cancer screenings. “When you’re uninsured, your budget tends to be low or no cost and that’s exactly what Planned Parenthood has,” Trevino said.

Though many support organizations like Planned Parenthood, many taxpayers do not.

“Taxpayers who oppose abortion shouldn’t have to see their tax dollars subsidizing the industry,” Campbell told the Senate State Affairs Committee.

Planned Parenthood performed 332,757 abortions in the last fiscal year, more than one third of the number of annual abortions performed in the US. That is over 900 abortions a day.

Nicole Hudgens with Texas Values, who testified on March 18 in support of the bill, said that SB22 “prevents local abortion groups, like Planned Parenthood in Austin, from receiving ‘sweetheart’ rent deals [for one dollar a year] while families and low-income individuals in the surrounding area struggle to maintain housing, schools and livelihood” and see “their taxes increase by hundreds of dollars.

States such as Nebraska and Ohio have already passed similar bills into state law.

Texas Heartbeat Bill Filed by Briscoe Cain

On February 7, Representative Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) filed the Texas Heartbeat Bill, HB 1500, to prevent the abortions of the unborn with a detectable heartbeat.

In his statement, Rep. Cain said:

“The heartbeat is a universally recognized indicator of life. The Texas Heartbeat Bill recognizes that this universal indicator should also apply to our most innocent and vulnerable Texans. A society is judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable members. I believe the most defenseless of our society are the innocent unborn children. As state representative, I am committed to making Texas the safest place in America for the unborn child. I will continue to fight and ensure that all Texan children, including those saved by the Texas Heartbeat Bill, will inherit a prosperous Texas filled with endless opportunity.”

Alongside co-authors Representatives Phil King (R-Weatherford), Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) and Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land), Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) stated that “[p]rotecting the unborn life is critical to who we are as a nation and a state. When you have a heartbeat, you have a life, and we should honor that life at all cost.”

Just a week later on February 14, Rep. Cain announced that HB 1500 has now over 40 joint/co-authors, quickly gaining support in the legislature. HB 1500 was referred to the Committee on Public Health, chaired by Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston). Rep. Steve Allison (R) of San Antonio is also on the committee. It has not been schedule for a hearing.

But Texas is not the only one who has filed a heartbeat bill this year. Ten other states (FL, KY, MD, MN, MS, MO, OH, SC, TN and WV) have done the same. Kentucky’s heartbeat bill has already passed out of Senate, and Mississippi’s out of both House and Senate.

Amidst other states recently passing laws allowing for late-term abortions, these bills give hope to many in the pro-life movement.

Reflections of an Atonement Alumna

The Atonement Academy, founded by Fr. Christopher G. Phillips, is a private Catholic school with Anglican roots and provides a classical education for students from Pre-K all the way up to 12th grade. Now a freshman at Trinity University, I’m proud to say that on June 2nd, 2017, I graduated from the Atonement Academy high school along with 24 of my fellow classmates.

The literal translation of the Latin phrase “alma mater” is “nourishing mother,” which is so fitting for me to call Atonement. Both the attached parish, Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, and Atonement Academy truly did nourish me in both fides et ratio (faith and reason), in accord with the school’s motto.

As I am writing this, Valentine’s Day is drawing near and I simply could not pass up this chance to express my love and gratitude to this beautiful school. Atonement has taught me so much in academics, but even more so spiritually, and I’m extremely thankful that I chose to attend this school that brought God into every moment of my life.

I love how each class started with a prayer, and how the school brought God in not just its religion classes but even in Latin, History and Literature classes. I love how each month teachers took time out of their classes to bring my classmates and me to the Confession, and above all I love how The Atonement Academy made time for the students to go Mass every day so that we could partake in the beautiful celebration of the Eucharist—the source and summit of the Catholic life—each day and receive the sacramental graces which come with it.

And because of Atonement I can proudly say that I read, outlined, and studied the Catechism of the Catholic Church cover to cover, and that I studied and read the whole Bible in the course of one year. Because of Atonement I was able to go to the March for Life in DC, and go on a week and a half long trip in Italy and the Vatican. Because of Atonement I can proudly say that I’m a Catholic, and that I have been equipped with the tools to help me distinguish right from wrong.

I can go on forever, but in short, the Atonement Academy has taught me things that will stay with me for the rest of my life– things that will prepare me for a world full of persecution and misguidance.

During my studies there I was shown nothing but love from the staff, the parish priests and my peers, but that is not to say my time there was nothing but sunshine and rainbows.

After transferring from St. Luke’s Catholic middle school to my first year in high school at The Atonement Academy, through no fault of the school, I developed a severe social anxiety disorder. Because of this, most of my days went by with me not using my voice at all, save for a few barely audible murmurs of a “thank you” or “good morning.” I had extreme difficulty making eye-contact to where at one point it took herculean effort to simply look up at the board and stay in the classroom full of people. Eventually four hours of sleep became what I considered a decent amount of rest for one night, if I was able to even sleep at all, and this led to an even bigger can of worms– psychiatric medications, long-term depression, and eventually being hospitalized multiple times after having suicidal ideations.

These were the hardest four years of my life, yet these hardships made me love The Atonement Academy even more. Throughout every step of the way, the teachers of the Atonement Academy, most especially Mrs. Catherine Prochko, Mr. John Markovetz and Mrs. Ana Powell, were there to help me and my family and made sure that I was able to graduate; and I cannot thank them enough.

The Atonement Academy showed me nothing but love, and out of all the things I learned during my time there, above all, I was able to learn the importance of loving myself. It was here that I learned that I had to be kind to myself to be kind enough to the world.

Because of the Atonement Academy I am where I am at today. I am now a freshman at Trinity University and the president of Trinity’s pro-life group, Tigers for Life. I am now majoring in Psychology and Business Administration with the aim to be a psychotherapist for the mentally ill. I am now the owner of the best pug in the world, Nugget.

My name is Angelique Lopez, and I am a proud alumni of the Atonement Academy.

Texas Right to Life Hosts Patients’ Rights Conference

January 26-27, the weekend of the Texas Rally for Life, Texas Right to Life, an organization dedicated to defending the rights of the unborn, the sick and the elderly, welcomed around 200 people to their Boots on the Ground two-day conference in Austin, Texas. This year, the theme of the conference was “Do No Harm” which centered around pro-life issues such as medical ethics, patients’ rights, assisted suicide, brain death and organ donation. A large number of college students attended this conference, from as diverse of schools as Lamar University, Our Lady of the Lake University, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Trinity University, and UT Austin.

A number of prominent pro-life speakers presented, including speaker Stephanie Gray, co-founder of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, who started off the conference on Saturday morning at the Brentwood Oaks Church of Christ with a presentation on assisted suicide and euthanasia, and the pro-life response to these issues. Since she was 18, Gray has already given over 800 presentations all over the world, even at prestigious universities such as Berkeley, George Washington University and Yale.

Photo courtesy Tigers for Life.

In her presentation, Gray spoke about better alternatives to assisted suicide, and how her audience could apply this to the outside world. “Suffering is present in order to unleash love,” she quoted from Pope St. John Paul II. “If you think about it, when do we step outside ourselves and help someone in need?… When someone feels like a burden… we ought to unleash that love, not our assistance with their death. Another reason people give for assisted suicide is that they feel that they’re useless. Again we acknowledge it’s a problem if someone feels their life is not worth living because they can’t do anything or much. The solution rather than assisted suicide ought to be helping them see their self-worth. At the end of the day, our value actually isn’t in our usefulness. It’s in who we are. First and foremost we are human beings and we’re human beings that can do, but even when we can’t do, if we are, we ought to be celebrated.”

Following Gray’s presentation, the attendees ate lunch provided by the conference, then proceeded to join the rest of the thousands marching for life to the capitol.

Bobby Schindler spoke after the rally. In 1990 his sister Terri Schiavo collapsed and was left with serious cognitive disabilities. Later on, her husband sought court permission to remove her food and hydration, which then led Schindler into a legal battle to defend his sister’s life. After Terri’s death, Schindler gave up teaching to become a full-time pro-life and disabilities rights advocate and is now President of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, which works to protect the lives of those in danger of being euthanized and to provide support to families whose loved ones are medically vulnerable.

Schindler spoke on how the media constantly distorted his sister’s case, with the media falsely claiming that Terri was “in an irreversible persistent vegetative state.” Schindler said that “she was getting aggressive therapy… and actually said words and was responsive,” and that she was getting better before her feeding tube was removed and started starving to death.

“What happened to Terri is happening every single day in our nation and even locally,” Schindler said. He went on to explain how the feeding tube was reclassified as no longer basic care in the medical field but as a medical treatment. “It’s because of this reclassification that permitted this to happen… If they need a feeding tube and they’re not dying, then we’re morally obligated to care for them. Terri was never dying.”

Photo courtesy Tigers for Life.

“There’s a deep-rooted prejudice against people with disabilities. The perfect example of this is what is happening to down syndrome babies [in Iceland] when mothers find out their babies have down syndrome and abort. But what does that say? If we’re okay with killing a child on the basis of a disability before they’re even born, how do we feel about people with disabilities in our world?… A fundamental concept about human dignity is that we possess it regardless of our physical or mental condition… That’s why we need people like you in this fight willing to educate the public on what is happening in our culture today.”

The following morning, speakers presented on the dangers of the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA), which includes a provision that allows hospitals to remove life-sustaining care from patients against their will after a ten days notice if the patient isn’t moved to a different facility.

“They don’t have to discuss their reasons for you– their prognosis for you,” Attorney Kassi Marks described the TADA process. “This is the worst law like this and it’s right in our backyard… Assuming for the sake of argument [regarding doctors’ conscience protection], why is the only way to assuage the doctor’s conscience to with care? Why not just transfer care to someone else? Why do we have to protect the doctor’s conscience by killing them [the patients]? Euthanasia– it doesn’t get enough attention it deserves. 100 percent of us are going to be presented with a loved one in the hospital.”

Lastly, that Sunday afternoon, Jan. 27, Chet McDoniel was the last to speak, seemingly ending the conference on a positive note despite being born with no arms and shortened legs. He spoke about his secret to enjoying life.

McDoniel now has a wife and three daughters, aged ten, six and three. “I believe each and every other person has the God-given right to be happy,” he said. “When we look at life [regarding the unborn], what do we see? Do we see what should be? Do we see what’s perfect? Or do we see potential?

“Stop playing the blame game. While we’re doing that, we’re not focusing on what to make better. No one is to blame for the way I look… It’s completely and truly an accident. I believe God is not responsible for that either. I’d miss out on life if I’d focus so much on [the] why… I can change the situation even if I was not the cause.

Next year’s conference theme is “UNITE PRO-LIFE,” and will focus on the diversity of the pro-life movement.

Thousands Attend Texas Rally for Life in Austin

On Saturday, Jan. 26, an estimated number of 10,000-15,000 pro-lifers from all over Texas marched to the Texas State Capitol to commemorate the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision— a decision that made abortion legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

The Host Committee consisted of pro-life organizations from across the state, including A Woman’s Haven, the Agape Pregnancy Resource Center, the Annunciation Maternity Home from Georgetown, TX and Students for Life of America.

Parents, children, young adults and older people alike marched from 14th St. and San Jacinto to the south steps of the Capitol where Bishop Patrick Zurek of the Catholic Diocese of Amarillo started the Austin Rally for Life off with a prayer. There, speakers like Executive Director of the Texas Alliance for Life Dr. Joe Pojman, a representative from the office of Congressman Chip Roy, actress Robia Scott and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush addressed the crowds.

Commissioner Bush is the oldest child of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, nephew to the 43rd President George W. Bush and grandson to the 41st President George H.W. Bush.

“I am outraged about what happened in New York,” Bush said. “I am outraged that these officials celebrated and passed a legislation that would legalize partial-birth abortion. In this state, we know that every life matters… Since Roe v. Wade, 60 million lives have been taken by abortion, and that number continues to grow. Ladies and gentlemen, this must end… We must work every day to change these laws until every child is safe. This is the culture of life that Pope John Paul II fought for. It is the culture of life that we must always fight for every day and in every way. Ladies and gentleman, I am proud to stand side by side with you in this fight.”

Many college students also attended the rally, taking time away from their schoolwork to stand up for what they thought was right.

“The reason I’m here at the pro-life rally is because we know that abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women,” John Kutac, a student at the Texas A&M University, said. “It does hurt them and as pro-lifers, we know that women are strong enough to take on unplanned pregnancies and that they just need that support.”

Another student, Mariana Mason from A&M and Holland, Texas commented, “I’m here with the pro-life movement because life is valuable no matter size, level of development, environment or dependency. It’s all worth saving.”

Trinity University’s Tigers for Life was also in attendance, making it the second pro-life march the club has attended this month.

Tigers for Life at the Texas Rally for Life; photo courtesy of Maddie D’iorio.

Roe v. Wade, Media Bias and the March for Life

In 1970, Norma L. McCorvey (“Jane Roe”) filed a lawsuit against Henry Wade, a Dallas district attorney, claiming that a law criminalizing most abortions violated her constitutional rights. Wade then appealed to the Supreme Court, and on Jan. 22, 1972, the Court ruled that Roe’s rights were violated under the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments, arguing that the “zone of privacy” was “broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”

This was over 45 years ago. Back then, abortion in almost all cases was illegal and seen as immoral, and Roe v. Wade dismissed many of the legal restrictions surrounding it. The Supreme Court’s decision was highly controversial when released and still remains one of the most highly debated Court decisions today.

Ever since then, pro-lifers have been marching every year to the capitol to protest this decision around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In fact, just last weekend 100,000 to 300,000 attended the March for Life in DC—and received astonishingly little news coverage.

The news should be an unbiased, accurate reporting of noteworthy events and information for the public. Sadly, in recent years it has not been so, enough for me to agree with our president that the media produces more “fake news” than it should.

The 2019 Women’s March in DC received roughly 15 times more news coverage than the March for Life on broadcast television, according to the Media Research Center, yet barely 10,000 attended it. Some networks such as ABC, CBS and NBC went so far as to completely ignore the March for Life in their morning shows. Moreover, in the few instances the media did report on the March for Life, many reported it to be just a few thousand “anti-abortion protestors” who attended, framing most of the attendees as Catholic high schoolers who were only there as an excuse to get out of class.

The media has painted the pro-life movement as full of religious bigots when it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

This year, the theme for the March for Life was “Unique from Day One: Pro-Life is Pro-Science.” Both young and old alike marched with the understanding that from the moment of conception (day one) the life of a new, individual human organism begins, with its own set of human DNA different from its parents. To say that this is not a human life is to reject basic biology. By about week four of its development, the heart begins to beat. By week seven, one could already ask a doctor the sex of the baby. All of this happens in just the first trimester of the pregnancy, the baby not even a “fetus” yet— just an embryo.

The pro-life movement is not just a protest against Roe v. Wade. If you go to one of the marches, you will see many who advocate for pregnancy resources, especially for women who have little to no money. One popular pregnancy resource is the Women’s Haven, which offers initial pregnancy services like testing and education on abortion and fetal development; infant supplies like maternity and baby clothing; community referrals for GED and higher learning, sonograms, prenatal care, housing and childcare; and counseling for young women, new mothers and fathers, all for free.

Roe v. Wade claimed that women’s constitutional rights included the right to have an abortion—such a decisive ruling that ignores ethics and biology.

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The order of these is not coincidental. To be able to have the pursuit of happiness, we must have liberty, and to have liberty we must have life. To say that a woman’s “choice” or liberty to choose supersedes her child’s right to life is not only unconstitutional but also immoral.