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Actively and enthusiastically engaging in the rebuilding of a culture of life, compassion, and caring

by | Jan 22, 2021

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Growing up, I paid no notice to the date January 22nd. It was not spoken of in my family, and it was not talked about at school—that is, until I reached the 7th grade.

On that date, our principal accompanied our class and a small group of 8thgraders to our state Capitol building, where we held a peaceful, silent, prayerful demonstration against the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decision known as Roe v. Wade. By that time, I had learned that abortion was the taking of an innocent, unrepeatable human life, and that it could lead to euthanasia, the taking of the lives of the ill and elderly.

As I stood shivering in the January chill, I thought of all the precious babies who had been lost to abortion. And I wondered, why weren’t there more people, standing as I was, in defense of life?

I had no knowledge back then of the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., which characteristically attracts huge crowds of people of all ages. This year’s March, which will take place January 29, will take a different form, with all but a handful of pro-life leaders taking part virtually online.

Yet, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, kind and courageous souls are marking the day through masked and socially-distanced events and service projects, along with a healthy dose of prayer and fasting. Though the visuals may be different this year, the sentiment is the same: each human life is of dignity and profound worth, and deserves to be protected.

After that 7th grade epiphany, sadly, it would be many years before I would take up the pro-life mantle again. I often think about what opportunities slipped through my fingers during those years in the wilderness, when I neglected to actively and enthusiastically engage in the rebuilding of a culture of life, compassion, and caring.

While it is with great sadness that I mourn the lives of more than 62.5 million children lost to abortion, I carry with me on this day the great hope that Roe will be reversed. I await the day with eagerness and anticipation, knowing that it will lead to the ability of individual states to provide even greater protection to the most vulnerable among us.

I still sometimes ask myself, “Where are all the people?” Many have succumbed to the tragedy of abortion. But I look to the future with expectation that this injustice will not stand, that through peaceful, loving action, many hearts and minds can be changed and lives can be saved. And on that day, we will weep no more, knowing that each preborn child has a chance in this society, and each mother has an opportunity to love her baby into the world.

Categories: Pro-Lifers
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