Monday, January 26, 2015

Standing 4 Life - Making a Difference

Last Thursday, I had the privilege of attending the March for Life with the rest of the GenJ staff. I look forward to attending the March every year, and joining with thousands of people as we take a stand for life. Although I enjoy going to the March every year, this year was different – in a good way. 

Basically, the attitude at all the previous Marches that I’ve attended has been “hopefully this is the last year we will have the March for Life, that abortion will be banned before next January.” The problem was a complete nationwide ban on abortion was not going to happen at that time. It couldn’t pass Congress, and even if it did, the President would not have signed it. But because that was the attitude, it seemed like the pro-life movement made just about no progress from year to year.

However, this year, the attitude seemed to change. It seemed like we, as the pro-life movement, have realized that this is not an all-or-nothing game. Yes, our ultimate goal is still to see a complete ban on abortion. However, that isn’t the only step. We have a lot of other steps on the way there. There are a lot of other things we can do to move the pro-life movement forward and pave the way to a complete ban.

Advancing policy positions is a lot like training to run a marathon. Just like you can’t just decide to run a marathon and then go and run 26 miles without training, you can’t always make a huge, sweeping policy shift overnight. This isn’t common knowledge, but I’ve recently decided that I want to run a marathon eventually. When I first started running with that as a goal, I was lucky if I could run a mile. But as I kept pushing, I was able to go from one mile to two miles, and now I’m at a 5K (3.1 miles) and my next goal is a 5 miler. That’s still a long way from the 26 miles of a marathon, but it’s a lot of progress, and is getting me closer to my goal.

Policy and legislation works the same way. Although we can’t pass a complete nationwide ban on abortion right away, there are other things we can do as we work to change the hearts and minds of people and change the political will of the nation to support a complete ban. At the federal level, the House just passed the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act on Thursday, and House Republican leadership have said that they will pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. However, both of those bills will be vetoed by the President, and it is extremely unlikely that Congress will have the votes to override the veto.

Therefore, we must start working at the state level. We must encourage our state legislators to write, support, and pass pro-life legislation. Exactly what this legislation should look like will depend on the state. Some states will be able to pass much more strict legislation than others, but we should work to get whatever progress we can. Some states may be able to pass a state version of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act while others may have to start with stricter medical standards on abortion clinics that will cause some, if not all, to close (see what happened in Texas in 2013).

This is not a “quick fix” solution; unfortunately there is no quick fix. This is going to be a long and hard fight, but if we truly believe in the sanctity of human life, then we need to stand up and fight. And although we cannot stop fighting until we have achieved the end goal, if we can do something to save any lives, we must do it. When we are talking about human life, our approach cannot be all-or-nothing. We must do everything we can to save every life we can. 

Post by Glenn Bertsch

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