It’s a Wonderful Movement
Now a popular classic movie for the season, It’s a Wonderful Life shows George Bailey standing on a snow-covered bridge, ready to kill himself by jumping into the icy river below. Defining himself by his failures, at the height of his despair, he was visited by an angel who showed him what the world would have been like had he never lived.
Let’s take that same approach with the pro-life and peace movements. What would likely have happened without us?
In 1991, there were over 2,100 free-standing abortion clinics in the U.S., but now there are only around 500 surgical clinics. Without us, they may well have moved into shopping malls, and into or near public schools and private colleges. Infanticide of disabled newborns could have become commonplace, as the slippery slope from feticide of the disabled would never have been stopped.
As documented in Confronting the Bomb, nuclear weapons were at first considered just the best weapon in the arsenal. Over time, our actions made them taboo for using on people.
There would be no debate about paying for abortions in U.S. national health care – the government would have been covering them from the start.
The reaction to the September 11 attacks may well have resembled the reaction after the attack on Pearl Harbor – deep trouble for Muslim citizens, and more extensive war.
There would be no crisis pregnancy network to help those women who don’t want to submit to abortion, and even fewer government programs helping such women who made the “wrong” choice.
There would be no conflict resolution skills training in schools, nor would mass nonviolent campaigns have developed to topple dictators and empires.
We have plenty of work left to do, but in this holiday season, we can also celebrate our achievements. and those of the compassionate people who came before us.