In just a few short days, hundreds of thousands of people will descend upon Washington, D.C., for the annual March for Life. Among them will be many pilgrims from our own diocese who wish to witness to the dignity of human life, from the moment of conception to natural death. We should keep all of the marchers in prayer, especially as the government shutdown may pose particular difficulties to those in attendance. But we also give thanks that the number of people, especially young people, who wish to shine a light on the horror of abortion and on other sins against human life, is growing.
A recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute indicated that a majority of Americans (54 percent) believe that abortion goes against their personal beliefs. A Marist poll from early 2018 found that 47 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 believed that abortion would do more harm to a woman’s life than good, as opposed to 39 percent who believed the opposite.
Numbers are important, of course, as they help in measuring the practical outcomes of the pro-life movement in this country, which has done so much in the last few decades to educate and inform. But numbers are not as important as the individual lives saved or changed through prayer, penance, witness and concrete acts of charity. There will always be fodder for cultural wars, but we embrace the pro-life movement because it proclaims the truth about the human person, no matter how popular or unpopular it is.