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NRL News
Page 8
February/March 2010
Volume 37
Issue 2-3

"Honk If You Were Once a Baby"
By Dave Andrusko

The headline for this editorial is taken from the sign hoisted by an enthusiastic young woman that I ran into at the 37th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. Her sentiment kind of cuts to the chase, doesn't it?

Each year I try to figure out a better way to gauge (admittedly very imprecisely) the size of the massive throng that descends on our nation's capital each January 22, the anniversary of the wretched Roe v. Wade decision. Which means each year I wind up beginning further and further away from where the speeches are delivered and then working my way back and forth to get a sense of the crowd's magnitude.

NRLC staff was there in full force. As you see in the photo on page one, Brittany Able, Luis Zaffirini, and Jonathan Rogers were very busy handing out the popular "Stop Abortion Now" stop signs, "Abortion is Not Healthcare" stickers, and flyers promoting the launch of eLobby for Life Week, a nationwide grassroots lobbying campaign.

The colossal, spirit-filled crowd, as huge as it was wired, assembled on the National Mall then marched up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court. People were everywhere, up and down the main thoroughfare and on any number of side streets. Can you hear us now, President Obama?

Back at the NRLC office Jacki Ragan put on a spread for a large contingent of visitors. There were grassroots pro-lifers from around the country. A contingent from "KIDS" (Keep Infants with Down Syndrome) gathered for a meeting with Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state's 5th congressional district. With her she brought her 3-year-old son Cole, who has Down syndrome. McMorris Rodgers is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus which educates members of Congress about Down syndrome and promotes policies that would enhance the quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome.

Others trotted into the NRLC offices from the Verizon Center where they joined more than 17,000 young pro-life people packing the building to the rafters for the Youth Rally and Mass for Life. (More about that in a moment.)

While on the Mall I overheard young people (and, as always, they constituted the bulk of the attendees) talking about how their parents had brought them to the March over and over again when they were children. Now as young adults, they were coming with their schools and universities or on their own. I cannot overestimate the importance of the behavior these parents had modeled for their children nor what the presence of all these powerful young witnesses for life tells us about the future.

While the mood was festive, nobody had forgotten why we were there: the deaths of over 50 million unborn children and a President committed to doubling down the atrocity by weaving abortion into health care "reform." But that somber reality did not take away from the sense of camaraderie and solidarity--the intuition that they were part of the greatest Movement for social justice of our time. That's pretty heady stuff whether you are 16 or 60.

What fascinated me was that my perspective was shared by pro-abortion Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney. He wrote the next day, "I went to the March for Life rally Friday on the Mall expecting to write about its irrelevance. Isn't it quaint, I thought, that these abortion protesters show up each year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, even though the decision still stands after 37 years. What's more, with a Democrat in the White House likely to appoint justices who support abortion rights, surely the Supreme Court isn't going to overturn Roe in the foreseeable future. How wrong I was. The antiabortion movement feels it's gaining strength, even if it's not yet ready to predict ultimate triumph, and Roe supporters (including me) are justifiably nervous."

When we take into consideration the context in which the March took place, it's easy to understand why alarums and whistles are now going off constantly in the heads of pro-abortionists. People like McCartney had already been, shall we say, sensitized to the impact of a tidal wave of pro-life youth gathering in our nation's capital by the election of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy--and the subsequent retirements of pro-abortion Democratic Senators Byron Dorgan (N.D.) and Evan Bayh (Ind.).

At least for now the Democratic leadership is compounding its initial mistake, spinning an unambiguous "no" to the abortion-ridden health care "reform" into a protest against a bill not getting passed. Those not directly on their payroll understand this is turning the truth upside down. (See story, page one.)

Final thought. Once the ceremonies at the Verizon Center were concluded, the D.C. police directed the teens down 10th Street, which is where NRLC's offices are located. Wave after wave after wave of cheering, singing, and chanting young people poured by. I was busy elsewhere, but staff who were at the office are still talking about this living testimony to the depth, breadth, and growing vitality of our Movement.

To McCartney this "suggests that the battle over abortion will endure for a long time to come." To the rest of us this mass of energetic, dedicated humanity signals that our Movement is stronger than ever with prospects for the future better than ever!