Sunday, January 29, 2017

The 44th Annual March for Life

           The 44th Annual March for Life was held in Washington, D.C. on Friday, as it has every year since the 1973 Roe v. Wade United States Supreme Court decision legalized abortion throughout the States.  The march was attended by hundreds of thousands. 

In addition, there were pro-life demonstrations in other American cities, as usual. 

            The theme of this year’s March for Life was “the Power of One,” which emphasized how even one person can change the course of history, such as toward the promotion of the right to life.

            There was some optimism among pro-life activists because of the increase in pro-life majorities in Congress and in most of the States, which reflect public support for greater restrictions on abortion, such as have been enacted by the federal and state governments.  There is hope especially of an overturning of Roe v. Wade.  

However, there is uncertainty as to the pro-life commitment of Donald Trump.  The march was attended by Vice President Mike Pence, a Republican, the first time a Vice President has attended, but media reports that he was the highest-ranking officer of the Administration were misleading, as a vice president is, as President of the Senate, not a member of the Administration.  His appearance was thus only as an unofficial representative of the President.  Past Republican Presidents have addressed the March for Life by audio message, as did Pope Francis.

            Trump’s recent, partial conversion to the pro-life cause is suspect, like that of his other policy position changes, because he lacks credibility, having repeatedly cheated his spouses, business investors and contractors.  Furthermore, he supports crimes against humanity and war crimes, such as the targeted slaughter by Syria and Russia of civilians, including even the deliberate bombing of hospitals—positions that are not consistent with a pro-life ideology.  Even though the March for Life coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day, Trump issued an anti-life executive order the same night to exclude selectively refugees, including permanent residents reentering American territory, from certain predominately-Muslim countries from which immigrants and refugees are not relatively a significant threat for terrorism.  President Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, had excluded refugees attempting to flee the Nazi German Holocaust who were subsequently massacred.  Therefore, the pro-life cause, risks being set back by being associated with Trump’s misogyny instead of support for women, with hate, instead of love, and with fascism instead of the most basic liberty of the right to life and the dignity of all human beings, no matter how small.  

           The defense of the right to life has made progress over the decades, but risks disaster with victory in sight.  Supporters of the right to life will have to advance the pro-life cause by emphasizing love and freedom even more than before, instead of being too closely tied to or dependent upon any politician or political party.  

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