March for Life 2010
At this year’s March for Life in Washington, D.C., prophetic words from Patriarch Craig Bates were proven out by an unexpected source: a counter-demonstration of abortion-rights advocates.
Each year on January 22 (anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision), CEC for Life Director Fr. Terry Gensemer leads a Liturgy for the Unborn at the foot of the U.S. Supreme Court steps, using a sturdy amplification system. This year, 20 or so abortion-rights advocates placed themselves eight yards away and screamed slogans throughout the liturgy. The very words of their slogans, listed below, only served to highlight the truths proclaimed by the voices of Fr. Gensemer, Fr. Rob Northwood (who read the Scriptures), Alan Melanson (reporting on youth), Dr SeÃ¡n Ã“ Domhnaill (a pro-life activist from Ireland), and Archbishop Bates.
“It’s not being against abortion that will win the war against legalized abortion,” stated Patriarch Bates. “It’s the love of God.” He went on to explain that although, of course, the CEC does not support legalized abortion, “what will make the difference to a woman desperate with an unwanted pregnancy, or a man who needs to step up to his responsibility as a father, is the love of God for that baby.”
As the liturgy ended and its participants left to join the march, the abortion-rights group paraded in front of the Supreme Court steps shouting, “Trust women! Trust women!” This group remained by the steps while the march progressed up Constitution Avenue and curved into the street in front the Supreme Court, where pro-life marchers were confronted with the sight of the abortion-rights advocates.
The pro-life group Silent No More Awareness Campaign erected its sound system in front of the Supreme Court steps for its scheduled 3:00 p.m. witnessing event, in which post-abortive women and men testify to abortion’s damaging effects. Walled almost out of sight by encircling pro-lifers, the abortion-rights advocates continued shrieking slogans, such as “Choice is a human right” (in response to which CEC youth yelled “Life is a human right!”). Other abortion-rights slogans that were shouted were: “Pro-Life is a lie! You don’t care if women die!” “Show me what feminist looks like? This is what feminist looks like.” “Gay, straight, black or white, all unite for women’s rights!” “Two, four, six, eight, separate church and state!” “Anti-women, anti-gay, go away!”
It would be unwise to infer that one small abortion-rights group speaks for the entire abortion-rights faction. Nonetheless, the confusion of issues in their slogans reveals that they are not even dealing with the same ideas as pro-life advocates. In the brutally torn body parts of an aborted baby we Christians see the sin of murder, and behind that sin of murder, rebellion against the two greatest commandments: to love God and love each other (Matthew 22:26”“40). In those same destroyed body parts, abortion-rights advocates apparently see necessity: As the Silent No More witnesses explain, women have abortions because they believe they have no choice but to abort. As revealed by their slogans, the abortion advocates at this year’s march see, in those same bloodied body parts, freedom from oppression of African Americans, homosexuals, and women, as well as freedom from unethical legislation by religious groups. These abortion-rights advocates do not seem to understand pro-life concerns. They deny the guilt and grief consequent to abortion and don’t see the slaughtered baby at all.
Patriarch Bates said it: Only the love of God can tear down the strongholds in which these false ideas fester. Crisis pregnancy clinics, adoption of unwanted children, and support offered at personal cost to people faced with unwanted pregnancy are at least as important as protest and legislation, because they manifest God’s love. Where God’s love presides, desperation is alleviated and the commitment of love dares be undertaken. We Christians have to lead the way.