After Roe v. Wade happened in 1972, the pro-life movement sprang into action, eager to let their voices be heard and to “stop the holocaust” of abortion. Still, one of the weakest aspects of the pro-life movement has been the intent focus, for decades at least, on the unborn baby, rather than the mother carrying the child. However, as Planned Parenthood clinics have closed and pregnancy clinics have taken their place, ardently pro-life men and women have finally shifted their focus, and try to offer as much attention and care toward women considering abortion as the unborn baby who might suffer that fate.
At the pro-life march in Washington, D.C., on Friday, the theme “Love Saves Lives” was evident, not just through the signs participants carried or the Christian music playing, but through the many groups and organizations who came. While the march is often a magnet for young people, I spoke to a group of retired men and women from Lancaster, Pa., who spoke to me as much about abortion as they did mothers.
When I asked Bob Dunn, 68, why he attends the march annually he said, “It’s the greatest human rights tragedy of my lifetime.” He added later, “I hope it raises awareness.” His friend, David Teply, chimed in, “We’re also here to add support to the women experiencing this. We feel for the plight of single mothers.” Another friend, a retired woman, has helped in multiple pregnancy centers in Lancaster. “We are pro-woman. For so long, we were only pro-baby, but now we’ve had a shift and we very much want to come alongside and love and support women.”
I met another group of women affiliated with a non-profit organization, “And Then There Were None.” They were tucked behind the media tent, holding signs and wearing matching t-shirts. All of the women had worked in abortion clinics, left the industry, and found comradery through this particular organization. As they put it, “While we believe in and wholeheartedly support all peaceful pro-life efforts, [we] seek to end abortion from the inside out.”
These strong, brave women expressed their desire to end abortion, but had found their particular niche, their calling as it were, in helping women deal with the specific pain of working in an abortion clinic. They offer retreats, counseling, encouragement, and freedom from the shame of working in an abortion clinic. In a nutshell, they are women helping women.
After decades of focusing on unborn babies, it’s good to see the pro-life movement shifting their focus to include women of all ages and stages of life.
Nicole Russell is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. She is a journalist in Washington, D.C., who previously worked in Republican politics in Minnesota. She was the 2010 recipient of the American Spectator's Young Journalist Award.
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