My First Column…

…for Franciscan University’s newspaper, The Troubadour.

The appalling strength of the abortion industry – in its daily destruction of 4000 American lives, its enormous wealth and seemingly limitless political clout – might lead one to believe that the pro-life battle is a losing battle. A good fight, to be sure, but a fight against a Goliath of such monstrous proportions that it will only ever remain a noble cause; never to be realized as a noble victory.

The truth, however, is that pro-life Americans have the incredible virtue of being both on the right side and the winning side. While federal decisions like Roe v. Wade still loom over the country, creating the impression that abortion has planted its flag of victory in American soil, individual states have been quietly passing unprecedented amounts of pro-life legislation, legislation that weakens the abortion industry from all sides.

For instance, on September 16th, the Virginia Board of Health approved emergency regulations likely to shut down 17 of 21 abortion facilities in the state. These regulations do not require some bizarre and unnecessary change to abortion facilities, only basic medical decency. Under the new regulations, abortion centers are required to meet the health standards of hospitals, to own standard pieces of emergency equipment – for incidents of cardiac arrest, seizure and the like – and to establish better sanitary conditions. Planned Parenthood, while claiming to hold the needs of women as the ultimate priority, is protesting, and rightly so; not one of their facilities meets the new requirements. Let us be completely clear: They are protesting the demand for their facilities to be clean and safe. These common-sense regulations only wait to be approved by the pro-life Governor Bob McDonnell before they are put into effect on January 1st. They will then devastate the abortion industry in Virginia.

Also this year, the states of Indiana and Kansas eliminated all taxpayer support of Planned Parenthood. They accomplished for themselves what our federal government could not, and are being imitated by similar legislation in Oklahoma, Texas, North Carolina and Tennessee. The year has seen a record number of bills being introduced and passed demanding personhood for the unborn, recognizing fetal pain, banning all abortions after 20 weeks of life, and requiring parental consent. This same trend of victory exists on a local level. ’40 Days For Life’ records 14 abortions facilities having shut down after their grassroots campaign of prayer and protest.
Why is the pro-life movement so successful on the state and local level? Because the majority of Americans are pro-life, and a super-majority of Americans oppose government funding of abortion. The will of the people is set firmly against abortion. Thus, the closer a decision is to the people – that is to say, the closer it is to local government and the further it is from the hulking bureaucracy of the federal government – the more likely the decision will be made in favor of life. This fact clearly illustrates the value of the Catholic socioeconomic principle of subsidiarity, which holds that all government should work at its smallest, most human element, in order for society to be truly just.

It is absolutely reasonable to claim that, if this trend of local victory continues, abortion will be illegal within ten years, or rendered impotent by local and State legislation. Make haste the day.

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