Call your mother today and tell her "thank you." If for some reason you can't tell her directly, send her this message from your heart.
Why should you do this? Because she gave you life.
More than 49 million babies have been aborted since the Roe v. Wade decision on Jan. 22, 1973. The number of abortions that took place in Pennsylvania in 2006 was more than 36,000, according to figures from the Center for Disease Control. This number is way down from when abortion first became legal - the highest number of abortions reported in Pennsylvania was 61,064 in 1980. (Full disclosure: As a resident of Mifflin County, I serve as a member of the Citizens Concerned for Human Life Mifflin-Juniata organization.)
Those 61,000 precious lives were never given a chance in our world. Some of those lives could have developed a cure for cancer, found a solution to end world hunger, or developed technology to explore the deeper parts of outer space. Some of those babies could have grown up to be elected officials and world leaders.
Twenty-two percent of all U.S. pregnancies end in abortion, according to information from the Alan Guttmacher Institute. On average, women give at least three reasons for choosing abortion: having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; they cannot afford a child; and/or they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.
There is a solution for these supposed problems that an unwanted pregnancy might bring - adoption. With infertility affecting many couples, a large number of them have a strong desire to adopt a baby into their homes. There are people willing to care for these children, if only they are given a chance at life.
But now you may be thinking, "Adoption is a long, difficult process. Who would want to go through that?"
My response: Many. According to statistics, an average of 120,000 children are adopted each year. The highest number of adoptions on record in the United States was 175,000 in 1970 - only three years before the Roe v. Wade decision. And while some say adoption is too expensive, there is financial assistance available to help offset the costs.
These children fortunate enough to be adopted might actually get a chance to be that doctor who cures a worldwide disease, or be that next big recording artist.
An annual rally will be held Jan. 22 along the streets of a city where the government proclaims we have a "right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The people will be praying, speaking and trying to convince our legislators that those aborted babies deserved that same right to life.
And they did, but were robbed of it. There are many more children out there, in the womb, who deserve that right to life.
Now is an even more important time to fight for their lives, as the U.S. Senate recently approved using federal dollars - tax money that WE paid - to help fund abortions. Money that would go toward the taking of innocent lives. There is still time to change the health care reform bill, and this pro-life march in Washington, D.C. is one of the most important events in the history of the movement.
What will you be doing on Friday, Jan. 22? In the midst of your daily activities, please take a moment to recognize the importance of the date. Pause for reflection. Turn on the television to find coverage of the event (which, unfortunately, is often hard to find). Or participate in the local pro-life march taking place at noon in downtown Lewistown.
Whatever you decide, that Friday is not just another regular day of the week. Some 37 years ago, the right to life for the most defenseless members of our society was taken away. Now it's our time to make sure our tax money isn't used to continue this horror and to restore the rights of every individual in this country, both in and out of the womb.
Sentinel City Editor Bethany Fehlinger can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.