Every year, there descends upon the capitol a great mass of people to protest the abortion of human babies within a woman's womb. The choice is a matter of the legal killing of a human life, and though many seek to redefine when life truly begins, hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall last Friday to reassert their belief that even unborn children have the "right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
I arrived at the March a little late, getting off the Metro at Capitol South, near the Supreme Court building, which was the destination of the March. Around 2:30, the first people were passing the Supreme Court. The 5 lane road was packed, with people walking on the curb and in the grass all the way from the front of the line at the Supreme Court down to the rear by the Museum of Natural History. There were enough people present to make up the population of a small state. Unfortunately, I only saw one news crew as I "swam upstream" against the current of the march to the end of the line where I met friends from my alma mater. Seeing the vast majority of people in the March, by walking against the flow, I noted that most marchers were younger women, students, and that I've never seen so many strollers in my life. One particularly moving demonstration was a mass of men and women in black carrying a variation of signs that said, "Women DO regret their abortion" and "Men DO regret lost fatherhood." These signs replaced "Women" and "Men" with "I". These men and women were marching with a great burden of regret on their shoulders, bravely declaring that they have done the thing which the hundreds of thousands of people around them (including themselves) were denouncing as morally reprehensible. My heart ached to see the signs and the number of people who have brought this sadness on themselves.
Granted, many of the people and the speakers with megaphones made a point to focus on the recent health care legislation that allows federal funds to be used for abortions. And what few newspapers ran articles about the March for Life focused the issue on health legislation instead of the broader issue at hand. It is ludicrous to think that Right to Life activists will be satisfied with congress dispensing of a bill that uses their money to promote abortions. To loot the people of America by taking their money and giving it to someone else is robbery, which is unconstitutional and immoral on all accounts. But to take our money and give it to someone who would rather kill than face the responsibility of caring for a child is truly horrifying on a whole new level. It is a tough decision for single, pregnant teens to decide to carry their baby through to term. But it is the right decision, and they will find lots of help if they seek it. Another deeply moving sign that I saw as we approached the Supreme Court read, "At the age of 15, my mother left the abortion clinic and chose life." I wonder of the holder of that sign regards his life as more precious and fragile than I have thought of mine, because his mother considered abortion (and because so many 15 year old girls have chosen it in the same situation.)
Americans want "independence" and "freedom." What most people don't realize is that the "freedom" they want is from responsibility, and that irresponsible people are always dependent on something or someone else. "Independence" in the Wild West sense of the word meant being capable of taking care of oneself so well that one could support and help others in need. We need leaders and parents who train their children to be independent, responsible, and honest...to value being debt-free, to love making good commitments, and to cherish our responsibilities because they allow us the freedom to make our own good choices.