What does being pro-life mean to you? In a short video released by America Magazine and The Culture Project, seven millennial women from all sides of the political spectrum go beyond the bumper sticker slogans and describe what being pro-life means to them.
The video “Pro-life millennials speak out” begins stating that millennials are known for being “more liberal and less religious” than their parents. Yet, according to the video, one way that they are similar to the preceding generations are the views they have on the issue of abortion and the right to life.
According to an article from The Washington Times, even millennials that do not identify as “pro-life” are finding themselves opposed to abortion.
Research conducted by Institute for Pro-Life Advancement found that “53 percent of millennials believe abortion should be illegal in all or most circumstances, with 17 percent of young people responding abortion should never be legal and 36 percent only in extreme cases, such as rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.”
The article goes on to point out that the numbers are “up 9 points since a 2012 survey conducted by Students for Life, which found 44 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds tended to back pro-life policies and 44 percent pro-choice ones.”
The host of the video said “numbers don’t always tell the full story,” so that is why they produced this video which features the perspectives of two conservatives, a conservative-republican, democratic-socialist, independent, pro-life feminist, and a libertarian.
Given a voice
The woman who said she identifies as a conservative-republican said that she is alive today because her mother walked out of her abortion appointment and saved her daughter’s life. She said, “Nothing that I have ever done, going to school, getting married, would have been possible if I was not given the right the life, if my mother had not walked away.”
The pro-life feminist said that during her time at Princeton University when she would align herself with the pro-life movement, it would definitely get people’s attention.
The democratic-socialist woman said that it can be difficult to engage with people about the pro-life point of view when involved in “left politics.” She said that it can be a “bit of an island over there.”
One of the conservative women said that there is much silence surrounding the issue because people “don’t want to impose their beliefs on somebody.” This same woman said that she was attacked over Facebook after posting a photo from the March for Life.
This idea of being given a voice is a large mountain millennials will face today: how to share the beauty and freedom of your beliefs without lambasting someone with the truth.
Silence is certainly not the route, but one must find charitable and clear ways to share the truth that we have been given. Social media is definitely a realm of conversation for young pro-life millennials. While many people can attest to similar situations happening to them, this should not dissuade anyone from continuing to spread the light of truth.
“That’s the only way you overcome, by loving people,” said the conservative-republican, “and you don’t want hurt, anger, or bitterness turn you into someone that’s unloving because then what’s the point?”
Beating the stereotypes
There are more young people who are becoming pro-life, said one of the women featured in the video. Another pointed out that this veers away from the stereotypes of old, white, male, republican that are often portrayed.
Women in the video also told how there are more people of the secular realm, those not claiming any religious preference, that are joining the ranks of the pro-lifers. This is a huge step for saving the lives of innocents. Restoring the value of human life beyond the circles of the faithful will bring around great change in society.
This is easier to hypothesize about being pro-life than it is to live it out. As the “independent” woman put it, people often times believe that if you are a feminist, that you would consider yourself to be pro-choice. She said that it is hard to be both pro-life and feminist in today’s society.
Women as forerunners in the pro-life engagement
It was stated in the video that it can be easier for women of today to discuss abortion and the right to life because they aren’t men. Many people like to shut down men that consider themselves to be pro-life due to the fact they do not have the faculties to bear a child.
There is more to the pro-life movement than ensuring that every human has a right to be born, albeit without that first right, there are no others.
Being pro-life is not just about abortion, the “independent” woman pointed out. She said it is about the death penalty, helping poor people, and aiding single mothers.
Another conservative women said that moving toward a cure for the abortion epidemic in our world, that more maternity homes and resources for women need to be provided. They need to know that they are supported and that they don’t need abortion and there is where the change will occur.
Young millennial women have a special place in this discussion. Not only are they women, but they were born within the timeframe where abortion was a legal option for their mothers, and yet unlike their fallen members of society, they are hear to speak out.
According to Abort73, a website with facts about abortion and abortion statistics, “From 1973 through 2011, nearly 53 million legal abortions occurred in the U.S.” These millennial women are survivors of the holocaust of our time.
The Church’s teachings
Beyond the facets of American politics, the Roman Catholic Church’s opinion on the issue of abortion is clear. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.
From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life” (CCC 2270).
The Catechism continues to leave no doubt in the Church’s duty toward the lives of the innocent:
“God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protect with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes” (CCC 2271).
With these words at the forefront of our minds, let us continue to give a voice to the voiceless and bring the light of truth and love to our generation.
The Culture Project is “an initiative of young people set out to restore culture through the experience of virtue.” Their Facebook page states that they “proclaim the dignity of the human person and the richness of living sexual integrity, inviting our culture to become fully alive.”
Questions for further discussion
1. One of the women featured in the video said it was hard to be pro-life and a feminist in today’s society. Why does that seem to be an issue in modern society?
2. What kind of pro-life conversations have you found yourself in recently? Have they been in-person or online encounters?
3. How have you contributed to the furthering of the pro-life movement?