As Roe Abortion Case Turns 38 Millennials Join Pro-Life Side

Opinion   |   Maria Vitale   |   Jan 10, 2011   |   12:51PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

Twenty-three-year-old Pennsylvanian Abigail Kiehl has never known a time when abortion wasn’t legal. Yet, when she’s not planning parties, making jewelry, or writing, she’s working within her church to educate members of her congregation about what she views as the civil rights struggle of her generation: Ending abortion.

“I used to think that I was too young to be involved with pro-life,” Abigail says. “But I have seen how abortion affects every age, race, and gender. Therefore I have given it my face and voice.”

Abigail has been motivated to lend her talents to a local pregnancy resource center and become involved in grassroots pro-life advocacy. She’s seen first-hand the heartache and tears which, she says, “shroud abortion.”

“I cannot bring back life that is gone, but I can be a voice of truth,” Abigail points out.

Andrew Bair, also 23 and also from Pennsylvania, is into the TV shows “Glee” and “The Office,” and spends a fair amount of time posting political news on Twitter. But he is also passionately pro-life. And he and Abigail have plenty of company. “As a generation we are keenly aware of human rights causes and are more willing to lend our support,” Andrew says. “Look no further than the ubiquitous ‘Save Darfur’ T-shirts worn by young people or the large number of fundraisers for Haiti sponsored by student groups. The 50 million unborn children that have lost their lives since Roe v. Wade are no exception. Many young people are speaking out for the right to life of all people.”

Research indicates a majority of the Millennials — those young people born between the late ’70s and the ’90s — are strongly pro-life.

A Knights of Columbus/Marist poll conducted last year found that 58 percent of people age 18 to 29 believe abortion is morally wrong. Students for Life of America chapters on college campuses have skyrocketed from 181 in 2006 to the current total of more than 570.

It’s also been estimated that at least half of the thousands of people who participate each year in the March for Life in Washington, D.C., are under the age of 30.

Why are these students, who grew up in an era when abortions are more common than liposuctions, pro-life? The answer may be more personal than political. With one in five pregnancies ending in abortion, these young people realize there are brothers, sisters, and cousins who are not here today solely because of Roe.

As Andrew notes, “Tragically we have never met many of our peers, classmates, and friends because they were aborted. Our generation is saying enough is enough.”

To a large extent, the pro-life story of the Millennial Generation is being told in pictures — ultrasound pictures which depict the development of the child in the womb. It’s hard to look at an ultrasound post on a social networking site and not recognize that you’re seeing an actual baby.

“Young people do not buy the pro-abortion myth that an unborn child is just a blob of tissue,” Andrew says. “When friends on Facebook post the ultrasound pictures of their little babies in the womb, it could not be clearer that the only difference between an unborn child and a born child is geography.”

Many of these young people have also heard the tearful testimony of women who have had abortions who experience profound regret, in addition to physical and emotional complications such as sterility, depression, and flashbacks. It has become clear that abortion not only ends an innocent life, but it can scar a woman for life.

For pro-life members of the Millennial Generation, ending abortion is not just a distant dream. They view it as a critical step in restoring a culture of life in their communities.

As Abigail Kiehl says, “There is an urgency for this generation to take a stand for life. We cannot let the fire for life die down.” Note: Maria Vitale is an opinion columnist for She is the Public Relations Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.