Scott Tibbs
Hoosier Review
January 30th, 2004

Back to 2004 archives.

The 2004 Rally for Life

Note: this is a report on the Rally, but also includes commentary. The commentary represents my opinion, and is not necessarily the opinion of Monroe County Right to Life.

Monroe County Right to Life held its annual Rally for Life January 18th on the Monroe County Courthouse lawn. About 165 people attended to sadly remember the 31st anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that threw out laws against abortion in all 50 states. (Roe vs. Wade was decided on January 22nd, 1973.) People who attended the Rally walked from the Courthouse lawn (the Courthouse is between Kirkwood/Fifth Street and Sixth Street) to Second Street and back. This year's rally was a departure from the previous format, with no speaker lineup and a longer walk. (Previous years had people walk around the Courthouse.) MCRTL has held this Rally close to the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade for several years.

While the tragedy of legalized child-killing saddens many people around the country and around the world, it is especially poignant for pro-life people in Bloomington. We have an abortion clinic just a few blocks from the County Courthouse. (Planned Parenthood is on the route that Rally participants took.) While the abortion rate declines nationwide, the Indiana Department of Health reports a 38 percent increase in abortions here in Bloomington since 1995. This city also has the shame of being where "Baby Doe" was intentionally starved to death when his "parents" refused to allow a routine operation to correct a deformity that prevented him from being fed.

This is also a city where, every year since 1999, the City Council has given a grant to Planned Parenthood, Bloomington's abortion provider. These grants include:

  • $5,000 for a medical examining table in 1999, passed 9-0

  • $2,000 for "teen education" in 2000, passed 9-0

  • Approximately $1,400 for medical testing materials in 2001, passed 8-1

  • Approximately $1,500 for an autoclave in 2002, passed 7-1 with one member absent

  • $3,600 for four computers in 2003, passed 9-0

Pro-life citizens have attended the City Council meetings every year to protest these grants, and with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when former City Councilman Jeffrey Willsey (D, 4th) led opposition to the grant, it passed unanimously. Given the fact that non-governmental funds are available for PP, it is unfortunate that the City Council has chosen to repeatedly drive a wedge into this community by funding such a controversial organization. President Bush promised to be "a uniter not a divider" in 2000. Shouldn't the City Council at least try to do the same?

Abortion is the pre-eminent issue of our time, just as slavery was 150 years ago. The magnitude of the slaughter is stunning: in the United States alone, over 42 million children have lost their lives to this "safe and legal" procedure. Even now, over one million abortions take place in the United States every year. The total number of deaths from abortion over the last three decades is significantly greater than the number of people killed in the Nazi Holocaust.

Even Bill Clinton, an extremist who vetoed a ban on partial-birth abortion, said during his term as President that he wanted abortion to be "safe, legal and rare". Hillary Clinton echoed that statement when she was elected to the U.S. Senate four years ago. Can abortion be considered "rare" when it happens over one million times a year? Furthermore, if the act of abortion is morally neutral, if there truly is no harm done by surgically terminating a pregnancy, why would even the politicians most tied to radical feminist groups be telling the American people they want abortion to be "rare"?

The answer, of course, is that abortion is not a morally neutral choice. Abortion ends the life of a small, developing human being. The picture to the left is of a fetus at seven weeks of development. (Source: Priests for Life.) While pro-choice folks may argue that abortion is sometimes the lesser of two evils, most people inherently know that abortion is something that should be rare, and for good reason. Pictures like the one to the left prick the conscience.

For Christians, the challenge to be pro-life is strong. God's Word teaches us to stand up for those who cannot defend themselves, and to be compassionate toward those less fortunate. Proverbs 24:11-12 is a call to Christians to defend the unborn:

Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?
We cannot afford to stand by while millions of innocents perish. The scourge of legalized murder must be put to a halt.