TIME magazine cover declares that abortion-rights activists are “losing”


TIME magazine’s most recent cover got my attention. The Jan. 14, 2013 edition shows a hospital chair with stirrups, along with the capitalized words “40 years ago Abortion rights activists won an epic victory with Roe v Wade – They’ve been losing ever since” inscribed on the front. The title brought to a mind a moment when I felt that God had given me a message about the pro-life movement. The thought “You are on the winning team” came to me after a beautiful pro-life poster was taken off a building in New York. Although the removal of the billboard was discouraging, the thought that somehow we would still win gave me hope.

While I suppose TIME’s title is meant to frustrate young anti-life activists into action, it should encourage pro-lifers to see that our labor is truly not in vain. We are making a tangible difference, even if we can’t always see it.

TIME’s cover article, “What Choice?,” written by Katie Pickert, highlights some valuable areas where pro-lifers are gaining ground. Reading it is almost like getting a progress report from a teacher. It helped me to recognize where this movement is bringing forth positive change and heading toward victory. Here are a few of the key areas Pickert touches on:

Abortion Laws:

Pickert writes, “In 2011, 92 abortion-regulating provisions – a record number – passed in 24 states after Republicans gained new and larger majorities in 2010 in many legislatures across the country. These laws make it harder every year to exercise a right heralded as a crowning achievement of the 20th century women’s movement.”

Later, Pickert quotes Joshua Wilson, an assistant professor of political science at John Jay College and the author of The Street Politics of Abortion. Wilson said concerning pro-life activists, “If they can get laws on the books, great, because they have the legal resources to defend them when they’re challenged. It’s an integrated strategy that’s very impressive.”

Abortion Industry:

The closing of an abortion clinic or an abortion doctor having a change of heart is an answer to prayer for faithful pro-lifers. Katie Pickert acknowledges that along with the closing of clinics, the number of abortion providers is decreasing.

“In addition to North Dakota, three other states – South Dakota, Mississippi and Arkansas – have just one surgical-abortion clinic in operation. The number of abortion providers nationwide shrank from 2,908 in 1982 to 1,793 in 2008, the latest year for which data is available. Getting an abortion in America is, in some places, harder today than at any point since it became a constitutionally protected right 40 years ago this month.”

Shift in Public Opinion:

Pickert says, “At the state level, abortion-rights activists are unequivocally losing. Part of the reason is that the public is siding more and more with their opponents. Even though three-quarters of Americans believe abortion should be legal under some or all circumstances, just 41% identified themselves as pro-choice in a Gallup survey conducted in May 2012.”

Pickert believes that a shifting in public opinion is connected to technology being easily accessible. She says, “In this age of prenatal ultrasounds and sophisticated neonatology, a sizable majority of Americans supports abortion restrictions like waiting periods and parental-consent laws.

The anti-abortion cause has been aided by scientific advances that have complicated American attitudes about abortion. The prenatal ultrasound, which has allowed the general public to see fetuses inside the womb and understand that they have a human shape beginning around eight weeks into pregnancy, became widespread in the 1980s, and some babies born as early as 24 weeks can now survive.

Arts and entertainment have also played a part in bringing a positive change in public opinion regarding abortion. The inspirational pro-life film October Baby is sold at Walmart, the movie Bella was a success, and even secular films like, Juno and Knocked Up display women choosing birth over abortion.

I believe that the most important and unaccounted for reason the pro-life movement is winning is because of prayer. Movements like “40 Days for Life” have gathered thousands of people across the country to pray outside abortion clinics. “Bound4Life” is a pro-life ministry that has encouraged hundreds of thousands to wear red life bracelets and pray daily for the ending of abortion. These prayers are making more of a difference than we’ll ever know.

While I’m encouraged by the progress we are making as a movement, I know there is much more work to be done. I’m thankful for leaders who are not afraid to raise their voices to end abortion. TIME‘s recent issue also includes an article titled ” Viewpoint: Pro-Life and Feminism Aren’t Mututally Exclusive” by Emily Buchanan, executive director of the pro-life “Susan B. Anthony List.”

Emily writes:

The past few years have seen the emergence of young leaders like Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America, who is responsible for organizing more than 675 pro-life groups on college campuses across the nation, and Lila Rose of Live Action, whose undercover video work has forced the abortion industry to confront and amend practices it cannot defend, as well as dozens of other future leaders who have assisted our organization as staff members and interns.

Leaders like Hawkins, Rose, and Buchanan are taking the pro-life movement in the right direction. As Emily says, “[o]ur fight transcends elections and legislative battles because our fight is in our hearts. This is why, 40 years after Roe, our movement is still growing. We won’t give up; we can’t give up. Our fight is for life.

We will win this battle!

  • Bekka Rapp

    In my freshman year of high school, we had an algebra project that involved giving a Powerpoint presentation with a topic that had information that could be presented via a slope to show change over time. I decided to base my project on the *recorded* number of babies that are aborted every year. Not only did my research show that the number has been slowly but steadily declining, but many of my classmates were astonished and horrified that the numbers were still staggeringly high. Several of them fully admitted that they found the concept of abortion absolutely revolting. Believe it or not, most of the youth of America are pro-life, and with us inheriting the country in a few short years . . . well, I can say that I still hold hope for our future.

    • BritannyA

      Many are pro life, many are not. The anecdotes from my high school experience are completely opposite of yours. I go to a high school with 6500 kids, and the great majority of them are not pro life.

      • atozmom5

        I admire your chutzpah for coming on a website spouting views that are the opposite of yours. Just think of the 53 million people killed by abortion some of whom were bound to have the same tenacity in the face of adversity as you do. And yes, that’s the real number-more than all of the US wars combined.

    • I like what you wrote, Bekka! I am sure that your friends in your classroom realize the numbers are real and so is the procedure!

  • Amen

  • To Save a Life was also a pro-life movie in many ways that came out in theaters a few years ago.

  • Why kill at all??? if we are against war, then why would any one want to kill their unborn child??? It just doesn’t make sense!! Only in the case where some one was raped or there would be complications with the pregnancy i.e. question of who would survive, then it should be completely up to the mother to decide. I would think as a way around the issue would always include adoption for the mother who was raped. Most mothers that had an abortion live with incredible guilt for the rest of their lives, unless, they had a medical situation that it could not be avoided. I can’t judge the mothers that had abortions in their early life, since, most of the women were most likely either talked into it, or were told that they had only a “fetus” that was not quite human in side them, and the information was based on mis-information on purpose. Those that are educated on the issue are most likely to come away with a completely different opinion after they are informed on the procedure and the fact that is killing another human being.
    However, with that said, there used to be a stigma on females that ended up pregnant with out being married, and that stigma exists in most of the world to this day. Where stigma is very present in the world, women have few options on what they can do for their unwanted pregnancy, family shunning, and being asked to remove themselves from the home of their father or family, there should be debate and organizations out there that can help these young women from third world nations to offer the option to adopt their child (ren) out to nations that have educated themselves in this issue and will be willing to adopt such children. For those women of the world that stigma is very real, we need to be respectful of them and their social situation they are facing, both as women, and as friends for them in the future.

    • Ashley

      Hey! You should check out the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform. They have some amazingly clear thinking articles and videos addressing some of the concerns you brought up- like what about the case of rape, or medical problems? Sorry I don’t remember the site off the top of my head, but just google it.

  • itstimetogo

    Pro-life is just what it says, but the pro-choice should be called pro-abortion because the unborn baby has no choice.It is so funny that the lilly livered liberals try to use a positive word like choice to cover up the evil of abortions, it is nonsense. These low life losers that use abortion as birth control should be jailed.I have been blessed with two children a girl and a boy and two grandchildren a girl and a boy. The conservative women see their bodies as a vessel for life. Liberal women see their bodies as a quest for pleasure and pregancy as a sickness. I see liberals as the foundation of all mental illness.

  • Kristen

    God bless all those fighting for life, which is true freedom for women.

  • Me

    More scientific evidence showing the development of unborn babies is also persuading people to go against abortion. Such as the heartbeat being formed in the 21st day of pregnancy (3 weeks).

  • Money used for abortion is “bloody money”

  • cnmarrelli

    My reaction to the Time Magazine article follows:
    E-mail to Time magazine
    January 8, 2013
    [email protected]
    SUBJECT: What Choice? Abortion-rights activists….
    Dear Editor:
    If you want to keep me as a subscriber you’ll have to do a better job on abortion. Professional Journalism is characterized by a direct presentation of the facts or description of an event without interpretation and without using the censorship of political correctness that distorts or side-steps the question central to the debate; does the new preborn life in utero have the right to be born and does it supersede a woman’s to choose his or her death. “Who” or “what” is in the womb seems to have no weight in the debate when in fact it is fundamental to the prolife position. One wonders how you can write so much and say so little about the male or female person about to be dismembered; we know from science, experience, and common sense that a preborn is person in spite of the irrational Roe/Doe decisions handed down by the 1973 U. S. Supreme Court. They didn’t have to face being dismembered, extracted, and photographed. And when you say scientific advances “complicate” American attitudes about abortion, you not only abuse our rich language, you insult our intelligence; by “complicate” do you mean the sciences reveal evidence that “educate” Americans to believe a preborn life is a person after all? And isn’t the termination of a pregnancy primarily the murder of a male or female zygote, embryo, or fetus, with its consequence being an abortion?
    As for the disunity in the prochoice movement, it is minor compared to the muddled prolife groups. As a writer for life for almost forty years, my observations are that we lack the central focus necessary for an early victory. This fact is made apparent by our disarray; hundreds of pro-life groups work to save preborn life, but the downside is that they are disorganized, burdened by fragmentation, duplication, overlap, choir preaching, and are even divided by an intrinsic difference in strategy and tactics. And, in my opinion, we are also burdened by a measure of arrogance where humility should be the rule for drawing all factions together. The waste of millions of dollars, and millions of labor hours, has caused an enormous drain from our potential strength. If prolife leaders were more willing to humbly relinquish authority and to merge forces, by sheer force of numbers, our power and influence would be magnified a hundredfold. In marketing the first order of business is to measure our successes, and our failures, and then to implement change if and where necessary. Had prolife groups been united on a clearly defined marketing strategy, under a central command, abortion would have ended decades ago.
    Charles N. Marrelli
    Writers for Life
    Irvine, CA 92620