Concerned for the future of the next generation, thousands march from places far away toward Washington, D.C. Women and men, old and young, joining together for the hope that with perseverance, short-term difficulties will be replaced with justice, joy, and opportunity. The human story told in moving pictures is presumed to impact how people may vote. The tragedy is that the event is ignored by the media, who turn a blind eye to the passions of a diverse group of people moved to act.
Of course I’m not talking about the caravan of migrants that has received around-the-clock coverage with contemplation about how their concerns may impact key voting demographics. I’m talking about the March for Life.
Funny how hundreds of thousands of people, year after year, can stand together in the worst weather, and few in the fourth estate can be bothered to notice.
While a march of immigrants about 14,000 strong is considered noteworthy, record-breaking crowds of up to 650,000 have come together peacefully year and after year to call upon our government and fellow citizens to remember the humanity of mothers and their pre-born infants.
If a tree falls in the forest and becomes newsprint, will any of it have stories about the upcoming March for Life this January?
Watching the coverage of the caravan, I am struck by how the media races to tell the stories of those who fit their narrative. Substitute the pre-born for immigrants in most stories, and the narrative carries forward almost seamlessly.
For example, Politico reported on the reaction of Jesus Valdivia, of Tuxtla Chico, Mexico, who said he felt compelled to act.
“You have to help the next person. Today it’s for them, tomorrow for us,” Valdivia said. Wise words indeed, for people born and pre-born.
Right now plans are underway for the January 2019 March for Life, as groups like mine, Students for Life of America, make preparations to bring thousands to the nation’s capitol, creating a visual like no other — if only Americans were permitted to see the hundreds of thousands filling the streets in song, in prayer, and in peace.
And yet, almost any protest except the passions of pro-life Americans can get star billing. In recent years, the so-called Women’s March gained nearly seven times the coverage that pro-life advocates earned.
Despite the youthful passion on full display at the March for Life, abortion advocates are presumed to speak for this generation, my generation. Planned Parenthood likes to brag about its youth outreach, claiming in its recent annual report to have trained 750 young activists from 11 cities in a year, while Students for Life trained nearly 11,000 students nationwide last year, including training almost three times Planned Parenthood’s number in one day at our national leadership conference.
The kind of commitment I see everyday in working in all 50 states with more than 1,200 high school and university groups comes through in mobilizations for life taking place weekly, and in the common-sense approach the pro-life generation takes toward abortion policy.
For example, a Quinnipiac poll found that 18 to 34-year-olds were more likely than any other age group to supporting limiting abortion at 5 months of pregnancy, when a woman faces grave risks and the baby great pain. This generation is moved by the needs of mothers and grieved by a callous attitude toward infant suffering.
In defense of life, students and volunteers from groups like mine are preparing now to march on Washington, D.C. I hope this year the media will take time to notice another human rights story and throw a little coverage our way.
Kristan Hawkins, @KristanHawkins, is president of Students for Life of America, which has more than 1,200 chapters on college and high school campuses in all 50 states.