The March for Life, which is now underway in Washington, D.C., tends to be a festive affair—which is unsurprising, given that it’s dominated by young people (with up to 80 percent of attendees under the age of twenty, according to event director Jeanne Monahan). High schoolers and college students outnumber older adults by a huge margin, and you’re less likely to hear doomsday preaching than upbeat chants and hymns.
But my heart is heavy today as I think of all who should be alive, but are not—the 55 million Americans who, thanks to the legacy of Roe v. Wade, were killed before their birth over the past forty years. National Review‘s Katrina Trinko wrote movingly on this subject earlier in the week:
It’s hard to mourn [the victims of abortion] because we know virtually nothing about them, except they once existed. So much of them remained potential. We don’t know how many of them would have been eager and well-behaved, and how many would been hellions, and how many would have been, like most of us as children, a mixture of earnest affection and efforts and tantrums. . . .
So it’s tough to mourn, because when we mourn, we talk specifics. We talk about how the departed one loved certain things, whether it be cult movies or fashion or basketball. We talk about the memories we have of him or her, of the specific things done in the past. We talk about his personality, his approach to life—whether that be glass half full or half empty—and so much more.
But for these kids, we have none of that. . . . .
And we don’t know how having them around would have changed us. Could they have been friends, spouses, relatives, colleagues who we would have connected with, who would have awakened or encouraged an aspect of our personalities that may now remain dormant? Perhaps.
It’s curious to notice who isn’t there. But it’s even stranger that we spend so little time wondering who they—and we—would have been if they were still with us.