For those of us in the pro-life movement, January 22, 1973, will always be a day of great sadness, but we do not mourn as those without hope. We know that God hears our prayers, and in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization¸ decided on June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court reversed its terrible decision to allow abortion — calling legalized killing of the unborn “egregiously wrong,” and once again giving Americans the opportunity to protect the innocent among us.
Our rejoicing continues, but a sad realization sets in: the fight for life is far from over. Early in our movement, the great pro-life advocate, Congressman Henry Hyde, famously said:
“When the time comes, as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the final judgment, I’ve often thought, as Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates, you are there alone standing before God — and a terror will rip your soul like nothing you can imagine. But I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there’ll be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world — and they will plead for everyone who has been in this movement. They will say to God, ‘Spare him, because he loved us!’”
Today, we gather to commemorate the lives of over 63 million unborn babies killed through the tragedy of abortion. We remember the horrific day when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that innocent children could be brutally murdered so that men and women could live on as they wished. We recognize that the battle for life is still waging. We must persevere in prayer for the unborn by begging God to move the hearts of the American people to recognize that every unborn child is a gift from God.
The evidence of the hardness of our hearts is before us.
In August of 2022, just over a month after the decision in Dobbs, the people of Kansans voted in the first pro-life ballot initiative. “The Value Them Both Amendment” clarified that the Kansas Constitution did not contain a right to abortion or require the government to fund it. A “yes” vote would affirm that the people of Kansas could make laws protecting the unborn. The amendment failed with 60% of people voting “no.”
During the 2022 election, in Kentucky, Constitutional Amendment 2 asked voters to clarify that there was not a right to abortion in the state constitution, and similarly, the amendment failed.
Despite these setbacks, on January 11, 2023, pro-life members of the House called for a vote on the Born Alive Survivors Protection Act. This legislation required abortionists to provide the same standard of medical care to a baby born after an abortion that would be given to any other child born at the same gestational age. And while this legislation passed in the House, in the Senate it didn’t make it out of Committee.
In the 2023 elections, unborn babies lost again.
In Ohio, a red state that previously passed a law protecting unborn children after their hearts beat, Issue 1 passed by a double-digit margin, which legalized abortion until birth, putting Ohio on par with human rights violators like China.
In Virginia, Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) campaigned for pro-life legislators focused on the promise of a 15-week protection for the unborn. Yet Republicans lost both the General Assembly and Senate.
Most distressingly, in the year following the Dobbs decision, reports estimate that there were about 2,200 more abortions than the previous year.
And, as we head into the 2024 presidential election, political pundits are warning Republican candidates that campaigning to protect the lives of the unborn is a losing issue, while the Democratic position of abortion-until-birth-or after is maintained without question.
The future looks bleak, but we serve a God who makes all things possible. We must join our voices with those in the great cloud of witnesses begging that the Lord move the hearts of the American people. The brutal killing of the most innocent and most defenseless among us must come to an end.
So today and every day, join us in praying that our nation recognizes the incalculable worth and limitless potential of every child regardless of their ability, socioeconomic status, or circumstances of birth.
Pray for Republican prolife politicians’ hearts to be filled with courage and a zeal for life — pray that pro-life politicians and leaders not be satisfied with slightly less killing of the unborn than the average Roe supporting Democrat. Pray for the hearts of Democrats to change — that their party, meant to stand for the “little guy,” will take a stand for the littlest guy. Pray that those who have been entrenched in the evil of the abortion industry seek God’s healing mercy and love. Pray for moms and dads in need to receive the assistance they need to make the courageous decision for life. Pray for all those who have devoted their lives to standing up for the dignity of every mother, every father, and every child. And most of all, pray today for the moms and dads who in this very moment are considering allowing an abortionist to end their child’s life.
Prayer is the only way America will change. May each of us stand and pray courageously for life, and one day hear the words, “Spare them because they loved us.”
Mary Szoch is the Director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council.
Meg Kilgannon is Senior Fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council.