Pro-Life with Exception
I have mixed feelings when people ask me about whether or not I'm optimistic or pessimistic about the pro-life movement. On the one hand, I tend to become really suspicious when people say to look at public polling that shows that so many more people are pro-life than were a few years ago.
I heard a pro-abortion activist say something several years ago, that I think by experience of talking to people is probably true. She said most Americans are pro-life with three exceptions: rape, incest, and my situation.
The pro-life movement is alive and well. These things take a long time: cultivating people's consciences, speaking to people's consciences, and then enacting laws that are just.
So, an abstract affirmation of the right-to-life without a real concern for protecting unborn children and their moms isn't something that gives me a lot of hope. I think that's really ephemeral.
Reasons for Hope
On the other hand, I am very hopeful when I look every year at the March for Life, and I see a young crowd of people gathering in massive numbers to stand up for unborn children. The reason I'm so hopeful about that is if you were to go in a time machine back to 1973 and say to the abortion lobby, "What will the pro-life movement look like approaching 2020?" they would probably say, "There won't be a pro-life movement. We'll just have moved on from this issue."
The pro-life movement is alive and well. These things take a long time: cultivating people's consciences, speaking to people's consciences, and then enacting laws that are just. Often in social movements, we've seen things that have continued along for a long time with a small minority calling attention to an injustice, and then suddenly there seems to be movement.
We've seen that with the slave trade, we've seen that sex trafficking issues. We've seen it in so many other ways in our history, so we ought to be hopeful about the pro-life movement as well.
Christians have a role to play in joining with other believers to demonstrate a counter-cultural message about the sanctity of human life.
Despite the bleak picture we see all around us, the pro-life cause is not nearly so bleak when our message is clearly communicated.
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ—including those who have had an abortion.