From the halls of Congress to dining room tables in the heartland, Americans have been discussing the meaning of equality. The term is often invoked but rarely defined in contemporary debates about the COVID-19 pandemic, racial justice protests and many other subjects.
Such discussions are crucial for the health of America, but they lack a critical element. While nearly everyone agrees that equality is important, there is little agreement on what it means and how it should be applied to important policy questions.
That is why March for Life has selected "Equality Begins in the Womb" as the theme for the 49th annual March for Life. We want to expand the debate about equality to include unborn babies, who are often overlooked because they cannot speak for themselves.
There is real value in creating a culture that recognizes the inherent dignity of every life. When it comes to this dignity, skin color doesn't matter, disability status doesn't matter, socioeconomic background doesn't matter; what matters is the fact that every life is precious and should be protected.
Supporters of abortion claim the pro-life movement is outdated and behind the times, but it’s the abortion movement that has failed to keep up. A series of scientific advancements have made it clear that a unique, unrepeatable human life begins at conception.
Scientific progress changes the conversation
Americans today know that a baby's heart starts to beat at about five weeks, and that at 15 weeks the baby can move around the womb and suck its thumb. Scientific progress has underscored the fact that we need to protect life and discard the outdated dogmas that have enthralled many Americans since the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.
Sadly, many abortion supporters are instead pushing for unrestricted abortion that in some cases borders on infanticide. Unsurprisingly, the abortion movement has been connected to the eugenics movement since its inception. Both groups rely on the arrogant belief that they know which lives are valuable and which aren't.
Some abortion supporters are now pushing to allow the procedure based on conditions like Down syndrome. In several European countries, virtually every baby diagnosed with Down syndrome is aborted, and parents face terrible social pressure to abort. If pro-life Americans don't push back against a mindset that sees those with Down syndrome as disposable, the same gruesome process will occur in America.
Court to review law restricting abortion
March for Life is working to push back against this disregard for life by supporting pro-life laws and legislators who believe equality begins in the womb. We filed an amicus curiae at the Supreme Court asking that pro-life laws like the one at stake in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization be allowed to stand.
Equality is not a concept that can be applied only to certain groups of people; it belongs to everyone or to no one.
Our culture has excluded the unborn from these discussions for too long, and the 2022 March for Life aims to change that.
As a society, we won't achieve true equality until we recognize abortion stands in the way.
Jeanne Mancini is president of March for Life.