Up Front and Personal

40 Years After Roe, Finally a Tipping Point

by Kathleen M. Gallagher

After 40 years of legalized abortion in this country, I believe we are close to the tipping point.

The Jan. 14 edition of Time magazine methodically analyzes the increasing tilt of public opinion and state public policies toward the pro-life position. It concludes: “the pro-choice cause is in crisis.”

Indeed it is. It’s a tipping point for pro-life Americans.

For pro-life Americans, it’s been four decades of patient and determined education, spreading the message in classrooms, at clinics, and now, on Facebook. Four decades of compassion, love and assistance for pregnant moms. Four decades of advocacy and legislative achievements in statehouses across the country. Four decades of prayer and persistence. And now we’re about to reach a tipping point. Here are three reasons I believe this is so:

• Advances in medical technology. There is no question that ultrasound images of the preborn child have moved hearts and changed minds. How could they not? They reveal the truth. Every day the mainstream media highlights yet another medical miracle. I recently watched the ABC Good Morning America team go giddy over a family photo of a baby girl’s hand reaching out of her mother’s uterus during a C-section to grasp the surgeon’s finger. No, that’s not just a clump of cells!

• The culture of violence all around us. The outpouring of public emotion and support we have seen following the horrific shooting tragedies in Newtown and Aurora reveals a strong and instinctive respect for innocent human life. People are making connections. Life is precious. People don’t want a culture of death and destruction; they want a culture of life and love.

• The passion and intensity of the millennial generation. You can feel it. Young adults know the truth. Sure, they’ve grown up with legal abortion, but they’ve also grown up with their own ultrasound photos pinned to the refrigerator. I remember when my now 22-year-old son was three, and he saw the first video images of his baby brother in the womb. He ran to touch the TV screen and shouted “Baby!” Young people have known from the beginning, and it’s “stuck.” The former leader of NARAL, the largest abortion advocacy group in the country, recently acknowledged that there is less intensity and commitment in pro-choice young people than there is in pro-life young people. Amen to that!

Even here in New York, the abortion capital of the nation, you can feel the tilt. That’s why Gov. Andrew Cuomo was forced to repackage his radical abortion expansion into a broader bill, and add a “ten-point women’s agenda,” chock-full of laudable objectives like helping victims of domestic violence and ending pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. There’s no way he could sell his abortion bill on its own. Because, like the rest of the nation, New Yorkers don’t want or need more abortion.

As we have been doing for 40 years, we pro-life Catholics will continue to influence one person at a time…at the beauty salon and at the office, on the bus and on the ball field, in a tweet or instant message. Tip, tip, tip…[hr] Kathleen M. Gallagher is the director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference.

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