Friday, August 16, 2019
Since the 19th century, Americans have taken to the streets to bring awareness to and solidarity around social and political issues. Citizens poured into the streets to march in favor of women’s suffrage, fair labor standards and civil rights, or in opposition to war or specific legislation, Roe v. Wade being a prime example.
Indeed, tens of thousands of pro-life advocates come together in Washington, D.C. every January to participate in the March for Life. Held annually since 1974, the event was originally held with the hopes that the Supreme Court would overrule its Roe v. Wade decision from the previous year. Tragically, that didn’t happen and still hasn’t happened. But the march continues to this day and reminds the country—and the world—that we haven’t forgotten about the unborn and are no less passionate about pursuing for them the right to life that all people everywhere should enjoy.
This year, on Saturday, September 28th, marks Pregnancy Care Center’s (PCC’s) 18th annual Walk for Life. It has certainly grown and changed through the years. But a few things have remained the same:
- the festive feel of the event that fosters celebrating the new lives and healthier families that have joined the PCC family;
- PCC’s positive, pro-woman, pro-family approach to client service but also to fundraising;
- the hundreds of community partners and advocates who form teams, fund raise, then literally walk their talk—together—in support of PCC’s mission to save lives and strengthen families
The Walk for Life also serves some practical purposes for PCC and the community:
- Any time hundreds of people are gathered in one place, the community takes notice. Raising awareness about how, collectively, we can be part of the solution to helping those facing unplanned pregnancy navigate their situations in a way that honors all the lives involved is crucial to fulfilling our mission.
- This is one of the few opportunities where PCC’s clients and the partners who helped make their parenting journey possible can connect and celebrate together.
- Funds raised through the Walk give PCC’s budget a much-needed boost after summer, a traditionally slow giving season for all nonprofits.
I can’t remember a time when abortion has been in the news more than in the last year. But amidst the public discourse and political rancor that always surrounds this issue, we are here quietly deconstructing the deceptive, destructive messages the culture sends our young people—that abortion is a simple solution and there are no painful consequences to follow.
We know the truth.
We know that unplanned pregnancy doesn’t ruin lives and futures. In fact, many of our clients tell us that their babies provided the motivation they needed to start making healthier choices and that they have never known such depth of joy and challenge as being a parent.
We know that offering compassion plus practical resources in a confidential, safe place gives people the space they need to process, problem solve and move forward in purposeful ways.
We know that compassion changes things; hope heals and love never fails.
We know that forgiveness, of self and from God, is available to those who have chosen abortion, and that lives full of joy and peace await them on the other side.
And we know there are positive, peaceful ways (PCC’s Walk for Life being a perfect example) to continually draw the community’s consciousness back to the plight of the unborn and the complexities and challenges that overwhelm their parents.
I recently finished reading all 630 pages of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. It was a Christmas gift from my youngest son and one of the most engaging biographies I’ve ever read. Throughout the narrative, I was continually struck by the similarities between the 46-year fight to end the brutal and oppressive policy of apartheid in South Africa and the 46-years-and-counting struggle to end abortion in our country.
Human rights are human rights, no matter whether those rights are being dismissed or denied based on skin color, gender, disability or developmental stage (in the case of unborn children). And as long as the most basic of those rights, the right to life, is being denied to these vulnerable ones, we will persevere— buoyed by hope and the courage of our convictions—remembering always, as Mr. Mandela so eloquently stated, “Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.”
I hope you will make a difference by joining me and more than 500 partners on Saturday, September 28th, at