8 Hopeful Signs for the Pro-Life Movement in 2021
COMMENTARY: As we march on into 2021, the year of St. Joseph, the pro-life movement continues to make strides in protecting all life from conception until natural death.
The pro-life movement has been marked by deep hope throughout its entire existence. Now, as we prepare for the Biden-Harris administration, and the extreme abortion agenda the Democratic ticket campaigned on, we cannot lose sight of the pro-life strides still possible in the coming year. With that, here is my list of eight things that bolster my hope for the pro-life cause in 2021.
1. The March for Life marches on!
The 48th-annual March for Life will take place via a virtual rally, followed by a small procession of pro-life leaders to remember the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in Washington, D.C., this Jan. 29. The “Together Strong: Life Unites” theme will surely make an event that’s a battery charger for the pro-life movement.
2. Historic number of pro-life women enter the U.S. House of Representatives.
In the 2020 cycle, 18 new pro-life women were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Out of these 18 women, 10 have flipped seats that were formerly held by pro-abortion U.S. representatives.
To put this into perspective: A record number of 29 pro-life women will serve in the U.S. House of Representatives in the new Congress, more than doubling the previous record.
3. 2021 is the Year of St. Joseph, patron of fathers and families.
Pope Francis announced a Year of St. Joseph in honor of the 150th anniversary of the saint’s proclamation as patron of the universal Church, lasting from Dec. 8, 2020, to Dec. 8, 2021.
I take great comfort in knowing Jesus’ earthly father and husband of our Holy Mother will have his strong grip on the year 2021. St. Joseph, while quiet in word, was a man of great action and protection in Scripture; we can have confidence he’ll help protect the vulnerable lives in our world today.
It’s when I think of the great variety of St. Joseph’s titles that I clearly see all the ways he intercedes: Patron of Fathers, guide all fathers to love and protect their children. Foster Father of Jesus, help families see the beauty of fostering or adopting life into their homes. Terror of Demons, cast out all demons from the abortion industry.
4. The Supreme Court is poised to protect life.
With Amy Coney Barrett on the bench as a newly-confirmed justice, the Supreme Court is in a position like never before to chip away at Roe v. Wade. Kevin Theriot, senior counsel and vice president of the Center for Life with Alliance Defending Freedom, told me on EWTN Pro-Life Weekly that it’s possible to overturn the 1973 abortion ruling now, “but the Supreme Court is likely to do it in a series of cases that incrementally begins to undermine Roe and then minimizes its reach.”
5. The pregnancy-care movement stands strong.
In 2019, 2,700 pro-life pregnancy centers nationwide served almost 2 million people at an estimated value of nearly $270 million, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute’s October 2020 report, “Pregnancy Centers Stand the Test of Time.”
Pregnancy centers are on the front lines of the pro-life movement, caring for women most in need. These very centers will only continue to serve mothers and babies in this new year, witnessing the pro-life movement’s mission of true compassion, care and empowerment.
6. Pro-life is still a winning strategy at the state level.
As evident in the recently-released “Life List 2021” report from Americans United for Life, pro-life laws at the state level are still very much alive and thriving.
AUL named Arkansas the most pro-life state, because it passed 10 pro-life laws in 2019, which were then allowed to go into effect following the 2020 June Medical Services Supreme Court ruling.
There are many other examples of this state-level strategy, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signing in the summer of 2020 a pro-life bill into law that requires minors receive parental consent before having an abortion. Pro-lifers expect this state-level trend will continue into 2021.
7. There is increasing abortion-pill reversal awareness.
Chemical abortions, also known as medical abortions or abortion pills, occur when a woman takes two pills to end the life of her baby. It’s tragic — and an abortion method that’s on the rise and one the abortion industry is aggressively pushing. It might sound like a cause for despair, but here is where there’s hope: Abortion pills can be reversed. An abortion-pill reversal, which uses progesterone, can save the life of the baby if the mother has not taken the second abortion pill. A growing number of women are becoming aware of this miraculous and innovative lifesaving technique. I pray we continue to get the word out there and more children will be saved.
8. A new appreciation for the sanctity of life occurred during the COVID pandemic.
The more-than-300,000 deaths in the United States alone from COVID-19 is a sober reminder of our mortality and the preciousness of human life.
Individuals and society as a whole made unprecedented sacrifices and behavioral changes throughout 2020 to protect our most vulnerable citizens during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
As our global conversation is centered on protecting life, I take hope more people will understand the underlying pro-life message: Each and every human life has dignity and is worth protecting.
Editor's Note: This column was updated Jan. 19 to reflect the virtual plans of the Jan. 29 March for Life announced on Jan. 15. Be sure to watch the coverage on EWTN.