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Young people holding Knights of Columbus “Defend Life” signs gather for the 40th March for Life in Washington, D.C., Jan. 22, 2013.
Photo by John Whitman
for Life of America is among the most prominent organizations that has worked to educate students on college campuses about the truth of abortion, helping to start more than 300 college pro-life groups since 2006. Many Knights of Columbus college councils also have a very active pro-life presence on their campuses. In fact, the popular 40 Days for Life campaign — in which peaceful prayer vigils are organized outside of hundreds of abortion facilities worldwide — began as an initiative of Texas A & M University Council 10624 in College Station. Another notable example is Notre Dame Council 1477, whose members, through the Knights’ Ultrasound Initiative, have raised funds for three separate ultrasound machines for pregnancy resource centers in the past three years. LEGISLATIVE VICTORIES Coinciding with the growing number of young pro-life supporters, legislation on behalf of the unborn has multiplied in recent years. In 2013 alone, 22 states enacted 70 abortion restrictions into law, up from 43 in 2012. When combined with the laws passed in 2011, the number of pro-life measures passed in these few years eclipses the number passed during the entire previous decade. While each of these laws addresses a different problem, they all have popular support. Pro-life bills favored by a majority
of Americans in recent polling include: restrictions on the use of tax dollars to pay for abortion; ensuring that doctors who perform an abortion have hospital admitting privileges; and prohibitions on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. According to the K of C-Marist poll, the most popular policy change involves parental notification. Four out of five Americans, including 62 percent who describe themselves as pro-choice, favor the requirement that parents of a minor be notified before their daughter has an abortion. The trend in favor of restrictions holds for abortion supporters in other cases as well. The Marist poll revealed that 84 percent of Americans believe that laws can protect both the health of women and the lives of unborn children. Even among those who identify as “strongly pro-choice,” 58 percent support a ban on abortion in the last three months of pregnancy. Many Americans are surprised to learn that Roe v. Wade, the abortion “law of the land,” is the most liberal abortion law in the Western world, alongside the law in Canada. Both countries essentially permit abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy. While the large majority of Americans support a ban on late-term abortion, legislation restricting abortions has been passed only in certain states; many areas of the United States don’t place restrictions on late-term abortion at all. In spite of enjoying strong public support, some of the laws enacted over the past 12 months have been met with controJULY 2014
♦ COLUMBIA ♦ 9
Columbia July 2014