What A Scottish King and a Homosexuality Advocate Can Teach Massachusetts Pro-Lifers

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2019/12/04/what-a-scottish-king-and-a-homosexuality-advocate-can-teach-massachusetts-pro-lifers/

A story is told of Robert the Bruce, the 14th century hero of Scotland. Down and out and taking refuge in a cave, Bruce is supposed to have marveled at a spider who kept restarting his web even after it was destroyed repeatedly. As the story goes, Bruce took inspiration from the spider and redoubled his efforts to become king of an eventually united and independent Scotland.

That’s the right reaction for abortion opponents learning that the latest pro-life measure in Massachusetts has failed.

Volunteers and other activists gathered more than 50,000 signatures this fall for a measure designed to make it possible to stop using taxpayers’ money to pay for abortions. But it wasn’t enough.

At this point, it’s natural for pro-lifers frustrated by yet another defeat to want to give up.

They should ask themselves a question:  Is that what the Left would do?

The reason you keep seeing bad left-wing ideas trotted out after repeated rejections by legislatures and voters is that many left-wing activists are so committed to their causes that they are not dissuaded by negative results.

The classic case in Massachusetts is the effort by pro-homosexuality advocates to get sexual orientation added to the list of protected classes in the state’s civil-rights law.

The bill seems tame compared to what came after it. But it set up all that was to come.

Not without much rejection first, though. The effort began in the early 1970s and failed in the Massachusetts Legislature for 16 years. In the beginning, most state legislators opposed it. Then, when most state legislators supported it, key members of the leadership opposed it. But eventually, in November 1989 – 30 years ago this month and 17 years after the effort began – it passed.


“We never gave up,” one activist told The Boston Globe back then.

Pro-lifers have on their side the best of causes. The unborn child whose life is in danger of being snuffed out has a right to live and ought to have the government on his side.

But he doesn’t. The state government in Massachusetts not only declares it legal to kill that unborn child, but uses the tax dollars contributed by all of us in the state to do the deed.

Taking away those tax dollars would likely save the lives of some babies. It might also lead to saving the lives of more babies than that down the road.

How can we give up on that?

On that note, let’s look at what the recent signature-gathering campaigns have accomplished:

  • All four Massachusetts Catholic bishops have been led, however haltingly, to allow signature gathering at churches for petitions that are in accord with Catholic teachings. As obvious as such an action may seem, it wasn’t obvious two years ago.
  • Catholic priests in Massachusetts have been forced to answer the question – if only to themselves – if they are actually against abortion.
  • Pro-life volunteers in Massachusetts have become a little savvier and a little better organized each time a signature-gathering campaign takes place.
  • Massachusetts voters asked to sign the anti-abortion-funding petition have been forced to think about the horror that is abortion, even if only for a fleeting moment. Abortion wins when people don’t think about it. When they do, over time conscience tends to win.

The image of a baby from ultrasound is hard to deny.

Pro-life activists are right to evaluate strategy. The last two campaigns put out a lot of effort and did not succeed. Seeing if there’s a better way is necessary.

But this type of campaign should continue. Some day, babies not yet conceived may be born because of it.