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Youth flocking to civil rights issue of age: abortion’s end

On Jan. 25, 650,000 pro-life activists descended on Washington, D.C., to mark 40 sad years of legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy as decided in the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade case.

On Jan. 19, about 2,000 people marched through downtown Fort Wayne in opposition to the same ruling.

At both events, many of those standing for life were students and young adults. The face of the pro-life movement has indeed changed over the past 40 years.

Young people today are missing millions of their peers – one fourth of their generation – because of abortion.

In fact, there have been 55 million abortions since Roe. This realization causes young people to care passionately both for the unborn and their mothers. They are engaging in the civil rights issue of our day.

Some, however, might challenge the idea that this is a civil rights issue. Recently, national columnist Mary Elizabeth Williams said she believes life begins at conception but she still supports abortion. “All life is not equal,” she argues.

If all life is not equal, how can our nation at the same time hold to its founding principle that “all men are created equal?” This was the same question posed by President Abraham Lincoln, women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr.

Equal rights include the most basic of all rights, the right to life.

The next generation is turning the tide against abortion because they know the unborn are human and deserve the protection of the law.

Civil rights leader Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, has favorably compared the energy and commitment of 21st-century pro-life student activism with that of the 20th-century civil rights movement. Meanwhile, abortion supporters are desperately searching for similar momentum.

Even here in Fort Wayne, the pro-life generation is inspired by their own peers such as Kristan Hawkins and Lila Rose, who lead national pro-life groups. Both have encouraged hundreds of young people at our annual summer Friends for Life Boot Camp. The local camp teaches students the biological and philosophical reasons to support life and effective ways to share the truth about the unborn. Our Friends for Life Boot Camps have spread across the state after demand from teens and college students.

Our young people are also standing in front of abortion facilities and volunteering at crisis pregnancy centers, eager to offer every woman a better solution to her crisis than ending the life of her baby.

I recently addressed the Downtown Allen County Republican Club, and I admitted that we are unlikely to see Roe overturned soon following President Obama’s re-election. However, despite the importance of the letter of the law, we have a more important task that young people are already embracing. We are building a culture of life that makes abortion unthinkable, regardless of its legal status. And we will win this fight one heart and one mind at a time.

Cathie Humbarger is executive director of Allen County Right to Life. She wrote this for The Journal Gazette.