March for Life: Changing minds, changing hearts

Friday, January 22, 2016
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

March for Life crowdSeveral hundred thousand people are in Washington, DC, today for the annual March for Life event. Americans are being asked to remember that African-Americans are special targets for abortion.

National and state lawmakers continue to press for legislation to limit abortion, set health and safety standards for abortuaries, and work to end abortion completely. Clenard H. Childress, Jr. of the Life, Education and Resource Network (LEARN), tells OneNewsNow that’s laudable, but progress really should be measured by changing hearts one at a time. 

Americans favor restrictions on abortion

There's more evidence that even those Americans who support abortion are listening to and responding to the pro-life message.

Knights of Columbus commissioned a Marist Poll as they do each year at this time on the subject of public acceptance of abortion. Carol Tobias of the National Right to Life Committee has taken a look at the latest public opinion survey.

Tobias

"Once again they found that a majority of Americans – an overwhelming majority of Americans – do not support the way abortion is practiced in this country today where unborn children can be killed by abortion up through the ninth month of pregnancy for any reason," she shares.

In fact, 81 percent of Americans said it should be limited to the first trimester of pregnancy; and 77 percent agreed that pro-life laws protect both the child and mother.

Tobias notes that even those who support abortion believe there should be limits. She lists several.

"Time limit – that abortion should be limited to the first couple of months of pregnancy; or they think abortion should be prohibited when the unborn child has reached that stage of development where she can feel pain," says the pro-life leader.

"They don't think tax dollars should be used to pay for abortion. They would think that parents should be notified before their minor daughter can get an abortion."

And that, she argues, sends a message to politicians seeking office. Tobias says Democrats tend to support abortion on demand, but won't say it on the campaign trail because the view of the strong majority of Americans has changed.

“Really this has to be a people thing,” he says. “We have to take our own values into the public square and demand the rights of the unborn be adhered to, and also that the criminal activity of Planned Parenthood cease and certainly that no taxpayer dollars should be funding them." 

While marching in the pro-life demonstration at the capitol, Childress hopes the American people will be mindful that the black population is a special target in abortion operations, including those by Planned Parenthood.

“African Americans make up 12.4 percent of the population of the country, yet account for 36 percent of abortions - and that's according to Alan Guttmacher and also the Census Bureau,” he says. The Alan Guttmacher Institute is the independent research arm of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

In order to reduce or eliminate that figure, Childress is calling on African-American pastors to understand that black genocide is occurring through abortion, then preach and teach against abortion in the church and in the wider community.

On the other side of the country

Various cities throughout the country hold their own annual March for Life events for those who cannot make it to Washington for the national march to the Supreme Court. The largest outside Washington is the "Walk for Life West Coast" held in San Francisco on Saturday.

Spokesperson Delores Meehan was asked how many people they expect to march down Market Street. "It's somewhere between 50,000 and 60,000," she replies, adding that over the march's 12-year life span the number of participants has grown from about 7,500 the first year.

Meehan says the total numbers aren't as important as the demographics of the marchers themselves, which show more and more young people participating. "And this year there's been a very special focus on outreach to our local high schools," she notes. "It's really exciting to have our own youth and really how the cultural landscape of San Francisco will change with their enthusiasm."

According to the West Coast march spokesperson, those young pro-life activists are increasingly forming pro-life clubs in their schools and helping to educate other young people on the issues. Los Angeles and San Diego have also launched Walk for Life events; and one is planned for Spokane, Washington.

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