The pro-life movement is closer to achieving its goal of restoring protection to children in the womb than most people involved in the movement realize. As I travel the nation and work full-time to end abortion, I see many signs of this success and speak about it frequently. This article summarizes some of those signs. They are "motives of credibility": reasons for believing that the end of abortion in America will come sooner than we think, and that we will not have to wait for the next generation to plan and carry out victory celebrations. That will be our task.
It is important to note that this does not mean we underestimate the obstacles in our way, nor the amount of labor and patience it will take to achieve the victory. Nor must we lose sight of the fact that the closer we get to victory, the harder the other side will push back, and the more hostile they will become. This should not, therefore, be interpreted as an invitation to relax our efforts or to take our progress for granted, but rather to intensify our efforts and to recruit more people to join a winning team.
Nor do these signs of victory mean that any of us knows the exact manner in which abortion will end. If we gathered a hundred pro-life leaders and asked them precisely how they think abortion will be eradicated, none of the answers may correspond to what will actually happen. Yet we are able to discern the key weaknesses of the abortion movement, and the encouraging pro-life dynamics that the other side can do nothing to stop. We who are pro-life cannot afford to ignore these dynamics, and should not miss out on the encouragement they bring.
Sign 1: The survivors
One of the signs of progress is the strong and ever-growing involvement of youth in all aspects of the fight to end abortion. Many people notice this at the March for Life, but it can also be seen in every other facet of the movement. Yet it is not simply the presence of youth that is reason for hope; it is the motivation they have. If you ask them why they are involved, they will tell you, "It could have been me."
These young people realize that Roe v. Wade is a personal insult to them, because it says that they were not persons when they were in the womb. In speaking up for the unborn, these youth are also speaking up for themselves. They likewise realize that among the tens of millions killed by abortion were people who would have been their friends, neighbors, classmates, spouses, brothers, sisters, and cousins. This is an awareness and motivation that the abortion advocates can do nothing to stop.
Psychologists have identified "abortion survivor syndrome" and at least ten different types of abortion survivors. While we know what abortion does to the child who is aborted, we have yet to fully understand what it does to all the children who are born. One of the dynamics that is clear, however, is that the pro-life movement receives a new strength and motivation each day from these survivors. The phenomenon is summed up by rap singer Nick Cannon, who released a music video called "Can I Live?" It's about his mother's decision not to abort him, and shows how she changed her mind. A reporter asked Nick, "Are you becoming some kind of pro-life activist?" He responded, "It's not so much that I'm pro-life; I'm just pro-Nick."
Sign 2: "I regret my abortion"
Another clear sign of progress is the wave of women and men across the world who are speaking out about how they regret having their child killed by abortion. These men and women are living testimony that abortion doesn't work, and that instead of solving a problem, it creates more problems of its own. These men and women are inspiring others to acknowledge their own pain, seek healing from their abortion, and likewise become voices for life.
There is nothing that abortion advocates can do to stop this tidal wave. In fact, it puts them in quite a dilemma, because for decades they have been saying, "Listen to the voices of women! …