Yesterday, I went to my first March for Life in a long time and my first in Texas. I had forgotten how encouraging and inspiring it is to stand in the middle of thousands of people who believe as I do, that all human life has value, that the defenseless should be defended, and that mothers should be helped to choose life for their children.
This was the first March for my daughters, and they loved it. We made a decision when they were young that abortion was a reality they were too young to carry, a la Corrie Ten Boom’s father. This was a personal decision, and I know many wonderful pro-life people who have taught their children about abortion in age-appropriate language and involved them in pro-life activism from a young age. Those kids turn out fine. We went a different direction. Now, however, the girls are old enough and mature enough to handle it and are jumping in with a relish.
Some people think the March or other commemorative rallies aren’t as important as other pro-life work that has a more direct impact. I certainly don’t want to say that you can show up at march once a year and you’ve done your bit to defend life, but yesterday reminded me how important it is to encourage one another and to stand up and be counted. It’s good for the soul in a battle that can be soul-wearying. Abortion is violence against the most defenseless member of our human family, and our culture treats it with a casual disregard. It’s critical to meet with others who say, “This is important. These children have worth, and we will be here until they’re protected.”
It’s also a great way to get the word out, although national media tends to skip the nation’s largest, longest lasting peaceful protest movement. Huh, it’s not like that would be of interest or anything. Perhaps if we marched for trees rather than unborn children, they’d take notice. But we did get some media attention, and I was even interviewed!
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A couple of notes about this:
First, the reporter continually uses words like war, battle, foot-soldiers, force. He uses images that evoke strife and violence, despite the fact that it was a very peaceful and well-mannered event. Yes, there were drums and Harleys, but the overwhelming attitude and message were of love and peace. There was nothing war-like about that march.
Second, the crowd was incredibly diverse, if a little on the young side. (Whippersnappers!) If white people were a majority, they were just barely a majority. So who do they interview? The Duck Dynasty stand-in and two white women. Heck, I’m so pale, I match my t-shirt. “Who’s the whitest person we can find at this event?” “Whoa! Check her out!” (Note to self, next time take the ten minutes to apply glare-dampening make-up.) And none of us under 30 — which the majority of marchers certainly were. (Well, maybe the beard guy. I can’t tell.)
Is this intentional — painting pro-lifers as older (well not young), very white, and militant? I don’t know the reporters’ hearts or motivation, and it may just be that they subconsciously write the story that already meets their expectations. However, it’s funny how often that exact same story is repeated throughout the media, no matter what the reality is.
The reality is that the Right to Life movement is a peaceful, loving, and steadfast group of people of all ages, nationalities, and faiths that will be here until all life is valued.
If you missed it, check out my article at Communities Digital News for more on the March for Life and a list of events in almost every state. If your state isn’t represented, holler and I’ll see what I can find. Go be encouraged and be heard!