Young people are the future of a society that values the sanctity of innocent life. Thankfully, more and more students understand that being pro-life is the social justice issue of our time.
I am proud to be part of the March for Life today to defend life and encourage the Pro-Life Generation to plan for a Post-Roe world. These are challenging yet exciting times.
My first trip to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life was in January 1987. It was the year that a massive snowstorm swept over Capitol City, and I and several of my classmates involved in Marquette Students for Life could not fly home for several days. We heard President Ronald Reagan call into the rally and give a rousing defense of life. Then we marched to the Supreme Court less than a decade and a half after the horrific Roe v. Wade decision was handed down.
Fast forward to today, and we see enormous gains in the pro-life movement. Over the past decade, I was proud to be one of the many governors across America who signed strong new pro-life laws. And the members of the Supreme Court of the United States are on the verge of overturning the faulty Roe v. Wade decision. This will not end abortion on demand. Instead, it will send the debate to the states.
In other words, the fight shifts from the court of law to the court of public opinion. All of us in the pro-life movement must be prepared to better share why we are pro-life in a Post-Roe world.
I am proud to be the President of Young America’s Foundation, where our college and high school activists are heavily involved with pro-life causes. And I am honored to serve on the board of Students for Life America, where they are taking the fight to the streets. Students can help shape the future of the pro-life cause.
Many of the recent polls show active movement amongst young people. Former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s comments about abortion after birth really got their attention. He admitted on live radio two years ago that legislation being considered in the House of Delegates would allow a baby to be born, then set aside and kept comfortable while medical staff and family decided if they would keep the child. If that same family took the child home a few hours after birth and decided to kill her, they would be charged with a crime. Young people can understand this horror.
Students also understand that being pro-life means more than just stopping abortion. They actively support mothers with prenatal care, housing assistance, food, and clothing. Those who profit from abortion try to paint the false narrative of conservatives only being “pro-birth.” Still, the facts show that pro-lifers are engaged and supportive—particularly students involved in this issue.
It isn’t easy. A YAF activist on the campus of Iowa State University was punched in the face by an opponent of their pro-life message. Radicals on the campus of Pepperdine University covered over a properly permitted pro-life display. Another group of leftists took down a display of crosses on Clemson University. Another group of pro-abortion radicals on the campuses of Saint Louis University ripped up flags that were part of a memorial for the unborn lost to abortion. Sadly, these are just a few examples of what pro-life students have to deal with on campuses across the country.
Since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision by the United States Supreme Court in 1973, more than 63.5 million innocent lives have been lost to legalized abortion. That represents more than 80% of the total number of children registered to attend school in America in 2017.
To put that in perspective, 63.5 million is about the size of the populations of California and Texas combined into one. We lost nearly 20% of our current population to legalized abortion.
Students from around the country are gathering together this weekend at the 2022 National Pro-Life Summit to learn how to continue to change the hearts and minds of people across the country.
They will work on sharing more than just data and facts, but real stories about the impact of abortion on the lives of the unborn and their mothers. Thank you to Students for Life for putting together this outstanding program. We at YAF are proud to be a part of it.
Those in college right now and younger are part of the generation that can end abortion. They understand that it is the social justice issue of our time. And they are ready to do something about it. Let’s pray for their success!
• Scott Walker is the president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019.