A Grave Mistake and an Abiding Hope

Americans have made a grave mistake in electing Barack Obama to the presidency. Yet America herself remains great and is not a mistake, which is why so many of her citizens will continue, with even greater energy and determination, to defend her founding principles.

The man elected to the Presidency said during the campaign that he does not know when a human being starts to have human rights. How can one govern from that starting point of ignorance? Governing is about protecting human rights; to do it successfully, you have to know where they come from, and when they begin.

The President-elect has already failed that test miserably.

The American people do not share Barack Obama’s extreme and offensive views on abortion. They never have and they never will. The coming four years will see a widening gap between the people and their President on this fundamental issue. As Americans come to know how extreme his position is, the intensity of the struggle to protect these children will only increase.

The pro-life movement has made significant gains in the courts and in the law in these last eight years. For the next four, the movement will work to prevent the erosion of that progress.

It would be a serious mistake for people to think that this election means the pro-life movement has no political power. All politics is local. Political power is about people. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was once told that given the political realities, civil rights legislation would be impossible to pass. “We’ll just have to see about that,” he replied. And the civil rights movement was born, stirring the hearts of the people to lead the nation to the victory of justice.

So it is with our movement. The vast majority of Americans are pro-life. They will fight abortion on the local level, opening pregnancy centers and closing abortion mills, activating their Churches and educating their children, proclaiming the message in the media and demonstrating in the streets. The pro-life movement is winning this battle in the hearts and minds of the American people, as opinion polls show and as the shrinking number of abortion mills and abortion providers prove.

Political races are always a swinging of the pendulum. As soon as you win, you begin to lose, and as soon as you lose, you begin the ascent again to winning. In the next two election cycles (2010 and 2012) the pro-life movement will make up for political ground lost in this one.

It is all right to be disappointed at the end of an election season, but one must never walk away. Amidst disappointment is abiding hope in America, where everything remains possible, and where a new chapter of the pro-life movement has just begun. The efforts that were made, and the sacrifices endured in this election season made a difference, and we will build on that difference to see another day when the work and the ballots of pro-life people will dismantle the Culture of Death. We will keep marching toward that pro-life America we seek, and won’t stop until we get there.

Fr. Frank Pavone

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