By Marlo Safi
Every year in Washington, D.C., tens of thousands of people flock to walk at the March for Life.
I attended my first March in 2017, when I was a junior in college. I remember distinctly that it was the marriage of solemnity and celebration that struck me. Thousands gathered together to mourn the murder of 60 million children since Roe v. Wade, yet at the same time, those same thousands gathered to celebrate the miracle of life, the power of women, and the beauty of bringing life into the world.
There were men, women and children from every sector of the pro-life movement — church groups and schools often praying in unison and holding signs with scripture, secular, science-based advocates firing off facts on fetal development, and consistent pro-life ethic groups who advocated for the end of war along with abortion.
Abortion is my most impassioned cause. I surround myself with people who care about the pro-life movement because, for me, it’s a deep and telling reflection of their character. I want to know that my friends acknowledge the dignity of all human life, no matter how small, poor or vulnerable, because advocating for a right to life for all demonstrates compassion and dignity that is very often forgotten in the modern day.
Within the last few years, however, the American political climate has undergone a radical shift. The largest migrant crisis since World War II has presented us with a dilemma that has been debated and protested countless times in countless cities.
In pro-life circles, the crisis has also presented a question, whether verbally discussed or internally debated: do we extend the same mercy to refugees as we do for unborn children?
The refugee crisis is nuanced and prompts us to consider issues of national security and vetting that aren’t factors in the comparatively simple issue of abortion. Yet, I’ve agonized over this question every time critics of the pro-life movement would bite at us with accusations of being “pro-birth”, or simply “anti-abortion”, as the Washington Post referred to pro-lifers during the 2019 March for Life.
I had dozens of pro-life friends who didn’t bat an eye when President Trump banned Syrian refugees from entering the States in 2017. I knew plenty of people who would be driven to apoplexy when someone who was pro-abortion would deride them for calling themselves “pro-life” because they seem to not have the same passion for helping the homeless or those fleeing war.
While I think the pro-abortion movement is factually spineless and continues to cost human lives in one of the most depraved institutions in the world, perhaps there is a modicum of a point we pro-lifers should actually consider.
According for the American Center for Law and Justice, to be pro-life is to defend the inherent dignity within every human life, including the unborn, widows, the disabled, orphans, the homeless, and refugees. It is our duty to build institutions that promote the flourishing of all human beings.
Our advocacy for life and the defense of the God-given right to it doesn’t end in the delivery room. Not only do we have science on our side, but we have morality, which requires a bullet-proof and steadfast belief that every life is worth fighting for and protecting.
Currently, ending abortion is the pro-life movement’s main priority — as it should be. But I hope that every person who calls themselves “pro-life” assesses that label, and considers the responsibility they carry with it to defend every human life, regardless of age, race or creed, irrespective of the crassness of politics.