Despite frigid conditions along the National Mall, hundreds of thousands of pro-life activists carried out a spirited March for Life on Wednesday, buoyed by a major infusion of young supporters and disgusted with President Obama’s relentless defense of what they consider to be the murder of unborn Americans.
Wednesday marks 41 years since the landmark Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court decisions that legalized abortion across the nation. The March for Life started informally the next year and began attracting massive crowds soon thereafter.
March organizers say one of the most encouraging signs over the past few years is the tremendous growth in young activists, including high-school and college students, as well as young professionals.
Eric Teetsel is executive director of the Manhattan Declaration, a group founded by the late Chuck Colson that describes itself as a national movement of Christians for life, marriage and religious freedom. A young leader himself, Teetsel told WND he is greatly encouraged by the infusion of teens and 20-somethings braving the elements and getting active in the pro-life cause.
“It’s really startling. There are so many high-school and college students who bus in from all over the country. We saw signs from Kansas and Nebraska, Florida, Ohio. I talked to a young priest from New Orleans who had never been to D.C. before,” Teetsel said. “Year after year, you see more of them. I think it’s really true to say that this is the most pro-life generation.”
Teetsel said there are multiple reasons for young Americans flocking to the pro-life side in droves, ranging from the knowledge they could have been legally aborted to advances in technology that show developing babies in vivid detail. However, Teetsel said the trend seems to boil down to one conclusion.
“In general, I think young people just simply believe that an unborn child is a life, and as a life I think it’s worthy of protection. I think it’s as simple as that,” said Teetsel, who added that the Supreme Court was dead wrong when the justices in the majority thought their decisions in 1973 would settle the national debate.
“Forty-one years ago when this case came down, the members of the Supreme Court believed that they were putting the final nail in a movement that had been moving right along and that this was the apex and it would never change. They had no way of knowing that within just a couple of generations the country would have shifted directions so drastically,” Teetsel said.
“Now it looks like it’s only a matter of time before we are a nation that no longer commits this great injustice,” he said.
Teetsel’s thoughts echo comments made by several speakers at the March for Life, who vowed that the young people at the rally would live to see the end of abortion in the U.S. Teetsel admitted the fight will be fierce, given the determination of the pro-choice forces and medical advances that could someday allow women to have an abortion by taking a bill and not even needing to visit an abortion facility. Still, he believes the momentum for outlawing abortion is very strong.
“There’s a long road ahead, but politics is downstream from culture and as my generation and other generations come into power and the polling shows that Americans no longer want to live in a nation that (harms) unborn children, I think our laws will follow,” Teetsel said.
Several pro-choice political figures celebrated the anniversary of Roe v. Wade Wednesday, with some even wishing the court decision a “Happy Birthday.”
President Obama released a statement lauding the ruling that read:
Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health. We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom. And we resolve to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children. Because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.”
Teetsel is not swayed.
“There are so many inconsistencies inherent in that statement right there. This is the most pro-abortion, anti-family president that we’ve ever had and yet he’s willing to go so far to talk about his desire to help women and children. It’s ironic. I have to believe that this is a man who understands how inconsistent his logic is but has to say these things for political necessity. His party is one that is founded first and foremost on abortion rights, and you can’t deviate from that principle and get anywhere in the Democratic Party,” Teetsel said.
“He claims to be a man of faith and claims to be a family man. I hope that one day his espoused values and his political commitments come into line and be consistent. But today is obviously not that day,” he said.