Thursday, January 22, 2009

March for Life

I'm at work today, mere feet from the National Mall. The Mall, today, is not as crowded as it was on Tuesday, or even as crowded as it was on Sunday afternoon for the concert, but it's crowded nonetheless, with pro-life protestors. Estimates I've seen say there are probably 100,000-200,000 of them. I support their cause whole-heartedly, and I may walk out there during my lunch break to see what's going on, but I'm not sure I "get" March for Life. It just doesn't seem to do anything. Abortion will be just as legal tomorrow as it was yesterday, whether I go outside or spend my lunch break inside online or doing homework, whether any of these well-meaning protestors show up at all.

Most pro-life efforts, for that matter, don't seem to do anything, and that's very frustrating for me lately. I've written my Representative, and my Senator (just the one - it didn't seem worth it to write Clinton, since she won't hold that office long enough to vote on anything in this Congress; I'll wait and write her replacement), but even that, concrete though it may be, seems futile; all of my congressmen have 100% NARAL ratings and are very pro-choice. Clinton is even a cosponsor of FOCA. What I say won't change how they vote at all. I'll dutifully sign a postcard when I go to church on Sunday. My postcard won't change how they vote. Whether I march down the Mall holding a sign at lunch tomorrow won't change how they vote. Prayer may change how they vote, but it sure hasn't yet. Volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center or praying outside of an abortion clinic are both ideas I've considered briefly, but I don't get the feeling that they save very many lives. Some, I'm sure, but until they can change society's mind and a senator's vote, it doesn't seem like any of it actually matters.

And I know that it does matter. Of course it matters. The deaths of millions of innocents certainly matter. Their lives, short though they may be, matter. But it doesn't seem like any of the pro-life movement's most concerted efforts are worth it, because it doesn't seem like they have any effect, and what modest effects they may have had over the past eight years certainly won't be matched by a similar response over the next 4 (or 8).

Which is to say, I should feel hopeful, knowing that my office is literally surrounded by hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers at the moment. . . but I don't.

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