I reported to Mass bright and early at 6:30 am, in preparation for the 33rd annual March For Life in Washington D.C. . I would not be attending Mass with my church group in the city, as I had to be at the Blogs4Life conference around 9:30am, so I made sure to hit Mass first thing in the morning.
The day was cold, a little windy, but the freezing rain forecasted never materialized. There was some drizzle after 11:00 am, but it didn't stick around a long time and was not a major factor in the day's events.
Our bus left for the march by 7:30 am and arrived in D.C. around 9:30 am. We were dropped off at the MCI Center, where my group was going to attempt to get into the youth rally/Mass. I quickly departed for the Family Research Council and the Blogs4Life conference. I got there only a little late and proceeded to the back of a packed room. The keynote was underway by Charmaine Yoest. I was able to snap a few pictures with my phone, please forgive the bad resolution, my phone has some great features, but the camera is not one of them.
At the conference were speakers such as Peter from Marchtogether, Tim from ProLifeBlogs, and the couple who made the film A Distant Thunder about "partial birth abortion". All in all, the conference was too short and rushed, as it had to be in order to get us all to the march by 11:30 am. I really wanted La Shawn to go on, she is a great speaker. Still, it was good to meet like minded bloggers, I would love to see a meeting at some time when we were not on such a tight schedule. I quickly noticed I was the only one there in "activist gear". I was wearing my bright red t-shirt from the Face the Truth Tour in which I participated in 2005, and plan to again in 2006. The other participants were in mostly business dress, suits and such. I met a couple fellow bloggers, and was stumped by a by the writer at IrishLaw (sorry, I already forgot your name, but I have been enjoying your blog tonight). We were introducing ourselves to each other during a coffee break, and I stated that I have a very pro-life and libertarian-ish blog. She said that seemed an uncommon combination. I told her that abortion was the one primary issue that divides most libertarians. She asked me, in some way, I cannot remember her exact words, but, why pro-abortion libertarians had that view. I said that it all came down to the belief about when life begins, or when life that deserves protection begins (I have to specify after the Schiavo murder). She said she thought it was, for pro-abortion libertarians, an issue of privacy. I then realized I don't really understand, anymore, the position of those who believe in abortion. At least, I cannot be sure that I do.
The way I remember it, the pro-abortion people believe the baby is a lump of tissue and is not human-enough to warrant protection. They often cite the baby's helplessness and its reliance on its mother for survival as a way to suggest it deserves no protection. I don't think, and if you are pro-abortion please correct me, that the "privacy" issue is ever even mentioned, except as a legal excuse. When it comes down to the real reason to re-criminalize, or not to re-criminalize abortion, the debate hinges entirely on when the baby is sufficiently human enough to deserve the protection of the constitution. The "privacy" of the mother is a ridiculous non-argument in this issue. Nobody's privacy rights trump another persons right to live, I can't imagine any pro-abortion people would even argue that. They simply argue the unborn baby is not a person. This of course is what drives me mad, as both science and logic prove the unborn baby is a human being with a distinct identity, and the pro-abortion crowd simply shuts its eyes, covers its ears, and yells, "nanananana i can't hear you!"
The privacy argument only makes sense when the baby is not considered human. Sort of like Protestant arguments against the Catholic Church. Once you can show a Protestant that the rock Jesus built his church on IS Peter(Matthew 16:13-19), and you get past the Protestant arguments about language translation where they think the rock is Peter's profession of faith, rather than Peter himself- establishing the line of succession of Popes, once you get a Protestant to accept that truth, all the other Protestant arguments go out the window. That one single fact establishes that the Catholic Church is what it claims to be. Similarly, once you get a pro-abortion person to accept that the baby is an individual worth the protection of the the law, with rights and so on, any arguments like privacy, or convenience, or the situation surrounding conception (rape and incest for example), all those arguments mean nothing, because they cannot trump the baby's right to life. Immediately after the conference I rushed to the march site to find my church group.
This is a good time for me to confess something to you, my kind readers. The last time I was at this march, was around 13 years ago, when I was about 16. Back then, I was flirting with Marxism, I was not a believer in God. I was obsessed with a very unhealthy relationship. I was also not pro-life. Indeed, I was determined to never have kids, as I didn't want to "bring more kids into this horrible world". I was not ALL bad, but I was certainly not mostly good either. So, when last I was at the March for Life, a time at which I had an internship at the ACLU, helping their librarian on Capital Hill, I was not on the correct side of this issue.
I am extremely happy to report that the march, this time, had very few counter-protesters. On the entire route of the march, I saw only two "Keep Abortion Legal" signs. Only two! There were no people shouting obscenities at us. There was no battle of the chant "SHAME!" Even better than all that, and cause for hope to those who could not make it, was the number of young people, grade school and college aged, there to support the cause. I think, something that gives me tremendous hope, that I did not have and did not see as a teenager, is the huge "Christian" culture movement that exists now. It is a positive, inspiring, and hope giving culture, than one need not look far to find. I was completely unaware of anything like that growing up, whether it existed or not I don't know. From Christian music, to Christian books, to TV, to movies and cartoons, something wonderful and positive to rival the empty, cynical, and depressing popular culture not only exists, but is attainable to anyone now. The march really drove home to me how large it is, and how much its grown.
I must also confess, that I kept thinking as we marched past the Capital and the Supreme Court, that if I could only get everyone at the march, able to carry one, to pick up a rifle, we could end abortion tomorrow. Who knows, if the current Supreme Court changes do not work out the way we hope they will, maybe then my fellow pro-lifers will rise up and quickly end abortion. I somehow doubt it, it may take the courage of a president who is willing to end abortion by executive order, before my movement is willing to make the same sacrifice for the unborn that I would hope they would make for the born. Time will tell. Unfortunately thousands more babies will be murdered between now and then. If nothing else, the march provided me a great deal of hope for the future, whether that future comes peacefully and in 10 or more years, or not so peacefully and sooner remains to be seen, but either way, that future is a positive and good one, and I cannot wait for it to get here.