A recent article at LifeNews.com highlighted comments made by television host Rachel Maddow in light of the anniversary of Roe vs Wade and the March for Life.
Maddow lamented the fact that few Democrats stand up for so-called abortion rights:
“But even Democrats who are not opposed to abortion rights have not been very willing to stand up and say that, much less to campaign on being pro-choice.”
To which the author of the article said:
“Translation — even pro-abortion Democrats aren’t comfortable proclaiming their support for abortion. As if doing so is somehow — could it be? — shameful.”
What is it Maddow wants? It strikes me that she’s a tad envious of, in her words, the “sort of crowing from the anti-abortion movement.” Even pro-choice Democrats aren’t doing a whole lot to stand up for abortion. The pro-life movement mustered nearly 500,000 people to march on Washington, plus thousands in Dallas and tens of thousands in San Francisco. Pro-abortion advocates mustered only about 87,000 for a “virtual march”. Why is it that the Pro-life movement draws so many numbers to stand up for life, but abortion advocates muster considerably less to stand up for “abortion rights”?
The difference is this: there is little joy in saying “I stand for abortion!” Planned Parenthood leaders frequently claim that they are trying to reduce the need for abortions (despite being the world’s largest abortion chain). Most people who are pro-choice say things like “I personally wouldn’t have one, but I support a woman’s right to choose”. Many treat it as a sort of necessary evil. I doubt many would claim that abortion is a pleasant business. Death is just inherently negative, not very joyful.
But there is real joy in claiming, as in an act of rebellion, “I am pro-life and I stand for the right to life of all human beings from conception to a natural death!” The joy and the enthusiasm of the marchers at the March for Life was very obvious. There were great numbers of youth, happy to be there, singing and praising God. You don’t have the entire student body of a college show up to joyfully lead a march of half a million people in favor of keeping abortion legal. But of course you do for the pro-lifers.
Whatever “pro-choice movement” there is has always been profoundly and fundamentally euphemistic. The very term pro-choice serves to divert the attention away from the real issue, abortion. What little enthusiasm they muster is centered far less on abortion but on some nebulous idea of “women’s rights” and the freedom of women to choose. They can’t keep it strictly on the issue like the pro-life movement can. We can say, “We’re against abortion” while the pro-choicers typically say “We’re for a woman’s right to choose”.
So what you have from the abortion advocates is:
…angry shouting of slogans not necessarily even related to the actual debate. And the Pro-lifers respond with prayer, clapping, cheering, singing…. joy.
I doubt Ms. Maddow is likely to find similar enthusiasm matched on her side of the issue. The abortion advocates’ position is not founded on joy. And thus it is typical that the movement is marked by a lack of joy, and what little enthusiasm there is surfaces as anger more than anything else. There’s not much motivation for candidate who are not opposed to abortion rights to stand up and say that.
But on the other hand, the pro-life cause is a joyful cause. It is founded on the joy of life, because all human life is precious and beautiful. So, pro-lifers, lets fight on with joy!