Friday, May 9, 2014

A global movement for life

[Today's guest post by Rebecca Downs is part of our paid blogging program.]

The "One of Us" campaign for prenatal rights
encompasses the entire European Union.
Last Friday, Politico published an article about the momentum pro-life groups are enjoying in the European Union (EU). The EU is made up of 28 different countries; there are efforts being spearheaded in the individual countries, as well as in the courts and commissions of the EU which impact the continent in a more unified manner.

In the United States, abortion is legal up until birth, for any reason. (Many states limit late-term abortions to health reasons. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Doe v. Bolton that abortions for "health" reasons essentially means whatever the mother and doctor want it to mean. There is strong evidence to suggest that most late-term abortions in the United States are not done for actual medical reasons.)

The situation in Europe is certainly significantly different. The legal status of abortion varies by country, but there is generally more protection for unborn life. For instance, in France, although abortions are taxpayer-funded, the procedure is also only allowed up until 12 weeks (except in the case of a serious health risk to the mother, or if the child will suffer an incurable disease.) On the less pro-life end, Sweden allows abortion up to 18 weeks, and the United Kingdom up to 24 weeks, although not on demand for the latter.

Politico mentions that some American groups also conduct their pro-life efforts in Europe; it also discusses why some groups, like National Right to Life, focus their efforts here rather than abroad. For those groups which do engage with individuals and organizations in Europe, there is great potential to save lives. As the first two paragraphs of the article show, with added emphasis:
U.S. abortion opponents are giving new life to the movement abroad, where once-stagnant European allies are pushing changes that could affect the whole continent. 
A younger generation of anti-abortion activists has turned to the United States for legal advice, strategic training and transatlantic inspiration. They credit a distinctly American approach with forcing abortion, long a deeply private issue in Europe, into the public conversation. And for the Americans who travel overseas to assist, strengthening their cause internationally also strengthens their position at home. 
Such news is good for any movement. But this isn't just the revival of any old cause. For "giving new life" is not just metaphorical phrasing here but becomes a literal statement for women, their children and their families, when pro-life success is to be had. 

Young Europeans are inspired by the United States because the American pro-life movement has embraced youth involvement. American millennials are "the pro-life generation." We can see our young cousins, siblings and friends through the power of ultrasound images. And perhaps we are also passionate because each of us born after 1973 is a survivor of legalized abortion.

Sex and pregnancy may be private issues, but the killing of the innocent should never be. And it need not be a private issue to change hearts and minds, to offer advice and help to pregnant women or families in need.

Europe is more secular than the United States. Politico notes that European supporters of abortion have tried to dismiss pro-life campaigns as "a bid by the Catholic Church and American evangelical 'extremists' to bring abortion fights to Brussels." A continent of secular nations embracing the pro-life movement shows not only that abortion supporters who make such claims as the one above are woefully ignorant, but that the right to life transcends faith.

Let enemies of life, especially those who ignorantly try to stereotype the pro-life movement, beware. The tragedy of abortion and its true nature will come to light wherever abortion occurs. The love for life and the dedication to defending it transcends borders and languages.


stevenertelt said...

National Right to Life actually actively works with pro-life groups on an international level and NRLC UN lobbyist Jeanne Head is the leading pro-life campaigner at the United Nations and has been for decades.

Natalia Vinogradova said...

If there are EU citizens...
The One of Us Initiative faces one last obstacle and, to become officially recognized, needs your help:

Rebecca Rose Downs said...

Oh I think that the NRLC does great work here and abroad! The article from Politico and myself were specifically mentioning on the ground work. I also reference them as a group that focuses their on the ground efforts, as I think their name would suggest, in relations to discussing how terrible the abortion laws are in America in general and in comparison to the rest of the world, even European nations where one may equate secularism with support for abortion and where abortion is completely paid for.