We are experiencing the kind of massive cultural and social shock that makes people ask themselves the deeper questions that are easily put off or ignored in day-to-day living. Many people will give pro-life and procreative answers to those questions. Seeking out positive tidings is important when so much news is negative and fear-inducing.
An urban legend says that the great blackout of New York City in 1965 led to a miniature baby boom nine months later. Certainly many other events, such as the end of World War II and World War I, the Great Flu that accompanied the latter, and natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy were followed by increased pregnancies. It is not true that simply being confined at home will automatically push couples to have more procreative sexual relations. But the more we think about what really matters, when the noise of modern living is stripped away, the more God, marriage, and family become clearer priorities.
In my over twenty-two years as a pro-life leader travelling to eighty-one countries to spread the Gospel of Life, I have made the same observation across cultures. Human beings are naturally pro-life and religious. Babies are viewed as a blessing until some anti-life “education” is applied with “experts” proclaiming overpopulation or the tremendous burden and cost of raising children and so on. Much of the media tries to make abortion seem reasonable and beneficial to some women when it is objectively a terrible injustice to the child and his or her mother. Those who are in crisis and confused can be taken in by the supposed “quick fix” offered by abortion promoters.
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A huge shock like the one we are currently experiencing can break through the conditioning and propaganda of the culture of death. We are reminded of the precious value of every human life when we see it threatened. For the first time in forty-seven years, elective abortions are no longer taking place in Texas and several other states. Though this is being mandated merely as a public health measure by some state governments, it is very beneficial on so many levels. It shows abortion is something some choose to do, not a vital activity when health services are being prioritized to save lives.
I confidently predict that people will choose to have more children as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe that the healthy soul-searching going on around the country will result in a concrete manifestation that the culture of life is more powerful than the culture of death. The deepest core of our human natures rebels against death as the solution to our problems. The sophisticated and wealthy, but also cynical and perverted, culture of death will not satisfy the yearnings and needs of our hearts. Babies and life are blessings from God, and more and more people will see this, providing an unexpected benefit from this health crisis.
LifeNews Note: Joseph Meaney, PhD is the president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center