By Joleigh Little
Teenagers are incredible people. Most, when faced with the reality of abortion, immediately understand that, to quote the famous elephant Horton, "a person's a person, no matter how small."
Today's young people also possess an innate ability to reach beyond themselves to embrace a cause that is greater than any one person. Never was this more evident than at our recent National Teens for Life Convention, held in Arlington, Virginia. Teenagers from across the nation, some as young as 12 and 13, gathered to learn all they could about bringing an end to abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia.
They attended sessions on such topics as "How to (and NOT to) Lobby" and "How Abortion Has Mocked Our World: The Economic, Societal, and Personal Effects." Best of all, these kids weren't just listening; they were taking notes and asking questions!
After spending three days with these young people, it is obvious that our future is a bright one. While we deal daily with the disheartening reality that thousands of children are dying, we are heartened by the fact that their peers are taking up the banner of life and making this cause their own. By embracing these newest pro-lifers, we are giving them the tools they need to bring an end to abortion.
The road ahead of us is a long one, and at times it will be difficult. But we are so much closer to victory than we were 31 years ago.
According to an August 2003 Gallup poll, an amazing 72% of teenagers are pro-life on the issue of abortion! However, as is always the case, there is more that needs to be done; more that WE can do as individuals and as a movement to keep this momentum going. After all, 72% is not 100%, which means that there is still 28% of "Generation Y" that needs to be reached, and it is up to us to do it.
Never be willing to settle for "okay" when "great" is a possibility. We pro-lifers must continue to labor toward that day when abortion, like slavery, is a distant but painful memory in our nation's history.
As with any cause, the key to our long-term victory is winning the hearts and minds of our youth. Each step we take, each life we save, brings that much nearer the day when human life will be protected in our laws and valued in the heart of every American.
Together, we can and will achieve this goal, but it is going to take more hard work. There are pro-life teenagers just waiting for a caring adult to help them start a Teens for Life group.
There are great junior high girls looking for a pregnancy help center where they can volunteer their time. There are future legislators, journalists, teachers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, and even future judges waiting for a pro-life adult to reach out and teach them to be pro-life champions.
Let's face it the world needs more Chris Smiths, Antonin Scalias, and Mother Teresas. They are out there - - never has a generation been so ripe with infinite possibilities. YOU may be the person to ignite a spark in the heart of a young person to carry the pro-life torch into the 21st century and beyond.
So fasten your seatbelts, pin on your Precious Feet, get out your candidate comparison pieces, and grab the nearest pro-life teenager. We have a generation to reach, and we have a cause to champion. One day, hopefully not too many years in the future, we will be able to say that we accepted the challenge of making our generation 100% pro-life and we succeeded.
Joleigh Little is Wisconsin Teens for Life director. She has been involved in the pro-life movement for 19 years, beginning at age 14.