By: Emily Berning, Co-Founder & President of Let Them Live
On January 18, 2019, the streets of Washington D.C. were flooded with over a hundred thousand pro-life marchers. From near and far, we all gathered for one reason; to be a voice for those in the womb who cannot speak up for themselves; to defend the defenseless.
Every single person there was fired up, passionate, and ready to end abortion. They marched through the D.C. streets, wearing “Let Them Live” hot pink bracelets, holding their homemade signs, and chanting, “Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Roe v. Wade has got to go!”
There was an energy that day that Washington D.C. just couldn’t contain, and it is all because of the ever-growing number of young pro-life activists. In past marches I have been to, it seemed like the average age of the crowd was increasing every year; but not this year. You couldn’t walk anywhere without being surrounded by young men and women in their teens and 20’s.
It was at the march that I realized the youth in our country are waking up to the fact that abortion is the most violent injustice of our time, with over 60 million human beings killed in the United States since 1973 – when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion nationwide.
But despite the youthful pro-life energy I had just experienced, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Reproductive Health Act just four days later on January 22, the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
This legislation allows for abortion after 24 weeks if the mother’s life or health is at risk. However, the Supreme Court case Doe v. Bolton says, “medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the wellbeing of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.” So, an abortionist in New York can justify almost anything as being a reason to abort for the health of the mother. The practical effect is that this New York law legalizes abortion in essentially every circumstance up until birth.
On the heels of New York’s abortion law being passed, other states, such as Virginia, tried to pass similarly extreme abortion laws.
This was devastating and demoralizing.
But here’s the good news: It seems the New York law motivated pro-life activists and lawmakers to act. We are currently seeing a surge of Heartbeat bills on the table in many states: Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Kentucky. These bills would outlaw abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
We need to continue this momentum. Our movement needs the energy we saw at the March for Life; our movement needs every single person, especially the young activists, who marched last month to put on their spiritual armor and peacefully defend the defenseless every single day. Our fight will not be over until abortion is unthinkable.
I want to encourage all of you pro-life activists out there to get involved.
There are so many opportunities to make a difference, standing for life on campus, in the public square, or in your profession. And when your rights to freely live out and speak about your pro-life beliefs are threatened, Alliance Defending Freedom is there to fight for you.
I know this first hand. As the president of the Students for Life chapter at Colorado State University, my group was told we could not bring in a speaker to talk about abortion from a pro-life perspective because that speaker might fail to make everyone “feel affirmed.” Alliance Defending Freedom stepped in and filed a lawsuit on our behalf – and we won. And now all students groups at CSU are eligible to obtain funding for their events, regardless of their viewpoint.
And that’s why I can say with confidence: You can make a difference for life.
With pro-life sentiment only growing, now is the time to act. That’s why I co-founded Let Them Live, where it is our mission to end abortion by identifying, training, and mobilizing pro-lifers on a local level.
I’ve dedicated my life to saving lives. Will you join me?