The pro-life movement I've seen and heard portrayed in the mainstream media and in the "abortion rights" blogosphere bears no resemblance to the pro-life movement that I work in everyday.
I've seen the movement branded with accusations ranging from violence to harassment to hate speech. Some particularly slanderous accounts have tried to label pro-life advocates as accessories to murder, even though organizations such as National Right to Life were swift to condemn the murder of late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller in Wichita.
Those who I work beside in the pro-life movement tend to be humble typesnot the kind to trumpet their own accomplishments. They are the image of compassion and caring, yet they don't devote time to fashioning their public image.
The great untold story in news coverage about the abortion issue involves the achievements of the pro-life movement. And there are many, even though you are unlikely to hear about them on evening television and radio broadcasts. When you examine the record of the movement, rather than simply listening to the rhetoric of the pro-abortion lobby, you find:
The creation of a safety net for pregnant women and their families.
Americas pregnancy resource centers offer both material and moral support to women facing challenging pregnancies. These centers provide free assistance to women, from the first pregnancy test to their babys first words, and beyond. The centers do not simply dispense diapersthey offer everything from life skill classes to daycare referrals to mentor moms who can provide support to women at crucial points in their lives. During tough economic times, this safety net becomes all the more critical.
The establishment of services for post-abortive women.
Retreats such as Rachels Vineyard offer hope and emotional healing to women who mourn children lost to abortion. There is somewhere to go for women who are having difficulty dealing with the aftermath of their abortions, and the pro-life movement has provided that place of solace. Those women who regret their abortions can also find their collective voice through groups such as the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, which recognize the tragic effects of abortion and hold that women deserve better than abortion.
Adoptive families for childrenincluding special needs children.
A number of couples have made good on their pro-life commitment by welcoming adopted children into their families. Some of these families have taken on the special challenge of raising children with physical and/or mental disabilities. Where would our nations children be without these loving families?
Crisis intervention for victims of abuse.
Research indicates that more than 60 percent of abortions are coerced, meaning that most women are having abortions they don't even want. In some cases, violence or the threat of violence by a boyfriend, husband, or other family member plays a role. Pregnancy resource centers become the first line of defense against family violence and work regularly with at-risk women to give them the assistance they need to safeguard their personal safety and that of their babies.
The safeguarding of taxpayer dollars.
From the beginning, the pro-life movement has fought to prevent taxpayer dollars from being spent on abortion. The legendary Hyde Amendment, named for the late Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois, prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortions through Medicaid, except to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. In addition to saving money, the Hyde Amendment saves lives. Douglas Johnson, Legislative Director for National Right to Life, estimates there are at least one million Americans alive today because of the Hyde Amendment.
Everyday, the pro-life movement is empowering women, protecting families, and rebuilding lives torn apart by violence and abuse. America owes a profound debt to this movement of mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, students and medical professionals who are restoring dignity and compassion to our culture and enhancing the quality of life in our country.