Bishop Arthur Seratelli of Paterson recently asked a really important question: "Why do we face the sad loss of so many of our young people from the practice of the faith?"
He cited Pew studies showing that one-third of all adults under 30 are no longer connected with any church. He also cited polls which showed that Catholic students often know less about their faith than any other group. Indeed, four out of five abandon the practice of their faith by the time they leave high school and move on to college.
These are stunning statistics for people of faith. But what exactly has caused this crisis of faith among the young? And what can we do to change it?
High on my list of causes would be the 57 million young lives lost to abortion over the last 45 years. They represent an unprecedented 30% loss in the under-45 generation with huge implications for their social, economic and spiritual well-being.
Fully 88% of those abortions occur to young women age 15 to 35 with the highest abortion ratios among pregnant teens. A reported one out of three young women has been seduced by our culture into killing her young. Most end up having an average of two abortions each.
So why should we be surprised that this same group is suffering a huge loss of faith?
Abortion has certainly diminished young people's hopes for the future. Roe v. Wade killed off the youth market that had driven our economy since World War II. If not for abortion, today's youth market would be 43% bigger than it is today. Total GDP would be at least 20% larger.
No kids, no future. It's a gloomy picture.
These trends also contributed directly to the crisis in faith.Fewer kids, smaller families, and higher divorce rates have had a direct impact on churches in terms of lower attendance, fewer vocations, and lighter collection plates. No wonder statistics on faith have been going down.
Catholic churches were hit hard because high abortion rates are concentrated in the large industrial states with the densest Catholic populations. They include states like New York, New Jersey, Illinois, California, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Florida.
I submit that a major crisis of faith among young people coming of age in a permissive, politically correct, pro-abortion culture was entirely predictable.
Your donation of just $10 will cover the cost of one young person attending one of our highly effective "Celebrate Life" seminars -- an innovative solution to winning young hearts and minds for life. $100 will cover the cost for 10 students, and $1,000 will underwrite the cost of an entire seminar. These seminars are a powerful approach to abortion prevention and frequently produce a 75% increase in the number of teens with strong pro-life views based on pre- and post-seminar surveys. But we urgently need your help to expand this program nationally.
It's time we took Ronald Reagan's most famous line, "Tear down this wall!" and applied it to the wall of denial surrounding abortion. If America is even going to survive, we must confront our fellow Americans with the answers to fundamental questions like these:
How can America survive, let alone prosper, if we continue aborting 30% of still another generation? The truth is: We can't!
How can we grow as an economy and a society with a 43% decline in our birth rate since 1960? The answer is: It can't be done!
How can we explain to our children why we've tolerated aborting over 56 million future citizens, taxpayers, consumers and producers? The truth is: No way!
Indeed, the 30% abortion toll is close to the that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki where 32.6% of the population were killed. A total of 225,000 people died in those nuclear raids, while the abortion toll already exceeds 57 million unborn Americans! That's 253 times more people than died in both raids.
Moreover, when you look at the numbers in the same way the federal government does in its cost/benefit analyses for various programs, abortion is by far the most destructive program in our nation's history.
Over the last 40 years, the abortion industry has raked in an estimated $25 billionfrom abortion. But the cost to the country as a whole is well over $50 trillionin lost GDP from the 57 million lives that have been lost. That's a negative return on investment of minus 2000%!
Meanwhile, aggressive use of contraception has reduced births by at least another 24 million. That adds another $20 trillion to lost GDP, bringing the combined total to a staggering $210,000 per capita. Ask yourself: is a "woman's right to choose" worth that much damage to your economic future and that of your children?
Let's face it, if all those kids had lived, we'd have a much bigger economy than we have today. There would be no crisis in housing and the very real stimulus that the Baby Boom provided would still be going strong. Social Security and Medicare -- both based on estimates of a growing population -- would be fully funded. Tax revenues would be going through the roof.
Overall consumer demand would be at least 25% higher with all that means for jobs, new businesses, education, and most important of all, America's belief in faith, family, and freedom. Church congregations would be thriving, too, not dying on the vine.
Indeed, the moral and spiritual cost may be the most serious cost of all. The fact is that 40 years ago, we let the Supreme Court get away with the most morally, spiritually and socially corrupt decision in history. Our inability to reverse that decision represents a tragic failure in America's moral and spiritual leadership. It's time we insisted that the Supreme Court become responsible for the consequences of its decisions. The latest developments in Obamacare are a terrifying example of what happens when the federal government has an unlimited power to tax.
That's why the Movement for a Better America is encouraging social and economic conservatives to join hands in unity and solidarity. That's the only way America's largely silent pro-life majority will be heard. Every pro-life individual and organization is encouraged to participate in his/her own way.
Our task is simply to offer our 60 years of journalism and marketing experience to help elevate this issue to where it belongs -- at the top, not the bottom, of our political and social agenda.
If America continues viewing the issue through a left wing, radical feminist prism, we'll keep on losing. Single Moms need our help, not indoctrination on how to avoid personal responsibility. We have to begin looking at it from the viewpoint of the total cost to all of us, or the nation itself will perish.
The future of our country, our churches and institutions, of marriage and the family, and of our children and grandchildren urgently depends on restoring our fundamental belief in the God-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Without that, America itself is unlikely to survive.
Right now, progress is moving far too slowly. The number of abortions is declining by a barely 1% a year. At that rate, it will take over 60 years to cut the number of abortions in half, and over 200 years to eliminate it. Through innovative strategies, we believe we can reduce abortion by 5% to 10% a year. That would dramatically reduce the number of abortions within 20 years.
Such a goal is entirely achievable if we work together in a spirit of unity and solidarity. No single organization or individual can achieve this alone.
We're launching this effort by encouraging the formaton of small education and communications teams across the country. They'll be our conduit to carry the message to local communities, to families and churches, to schools and small businesses everywhere.
If you would like to join this effort, drop us a note at MBA, Inc., PO Box 472, Mt. Freedom, NJ. 07970-0472, and we'll help you get started.
Together, we can make our voices heard.
Our goal between now and 2014 is to put the moral, social, and economic impact of abortion on the national agenda where it belongs, and to keep it there until abortion in America is ended.
We will not give up until America is fully recommitted to honoring the pledge made by our founding fathers "to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity." Both are in jeopardy.
With John Cardinal O'Connor, we believe "that we will either be a free people without abortion or we will be a slave people, slaves to this violence against human life."
We also need your prayers and active support to get this campaign fully off the ground. You can register as a team leader by making a small donation today, directly or through Paypal.
The time is right. You CAN make a difference! Join with us in praying and working for America to have a change of heart and mind about abortion.
Meanwhile, take a look at the video posted below. You can use it to organize your own local team and tomotivate new team members. Take a few minutes to view it now.
30-Mile Admissions Case
Major Blow to Abortion
By Dennis Howard
The success of a new Texas law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a recognized hospital within 30 miles of any location where they perform abortions is a major step ahead in the abortion battle, according to the new executive director of New Jersey's Legal Center for the Defense of Life, headquartered here.
He is Andrew L. Schlafly, a Harvard Law classmate of President Barack Obama and the son of conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly. He succeeds Edward J. Gilhooly as executive director. Gilhooly meanwhile succeeds the late Richard Collier as President of the Legal Center. Collier died last Christmas after years at the helm of the organization.
According to Schlafly, the major advantage of the 30-mile admissions rule is that it is based on a widely accepted professional standard and is a "no-brainer" when it comes to enforcement compared to other efforts to restrict abortion. "It's clear cut. Either an abortion clinic meets this standard, or it doesn't. A great many of them can't."
He pointed out that in Texas, twelve abortion clinics had to shut their doors when it became law, and another fly-in abortionist from out of state had his medical license suspended when he attempted to perform abortions in defiance of the new law.
A similar law has been on the books in Missouri for 6 years and is a major factor in that state's declining number of abortions.
The lack of this standard earlier meant that the abortion industry could easily shift costs and risks in emergency cases to local hospitals and doctors. As a result, some women died who should have lived while others experienced major consequences from botched abortions when they were simply passed on to local emergency rooms. The abortion mills typically got off scot free.
Said Schafly, "The lack of a law like this in Pennsylvania is what enabled the infamous Dr. Gosnell to operate for years despite numerous other violations of medical standards that simply opened the way to endless litigation."
He pointed out that restrictions based on "fetal pain" and "no abortions after 20 weeks of gestation" affect only 1% of all abortions.
"This one puts the abortionist himself out of business completely unless he can comply. Many simply cannot because abortion itself attracts a great many sub-standard professionals who can't get admitting privileges in a recognized hospital."
According to the most recent study by the Guttmacher Institute, hospitals and private physicians account for just 5% of all abortions. The other 95% are provided by Planned Parenthood, free-standing abortion clinics, and other non-specialized clinics. (cf. Abortion Incidence and Service Availability in the United States, Guttmacher Institute, 2011.)
Schafly's second test for effectiveness of anti-abortion legislation is the response of the abortion industry. He said, "After the 30-mile admission rule was passed, Planned Parenthood went ballistic in spite of their initial reluctance to challenge the law for fear they would lose. They then lost on appeal all the way to the US Supreme Court."
He pointed out that some approaches that may appeal to pro-life hearts and minds are not always effective legally. "You can tell because Planned Parenthood often doesn't even take the trouble to challenge them. And some friendly state attorneys general fail to pursue what they regard as weak cases."
He added: "It is time we became a lot more aggressive with strong cases that we can appeal all the way to the Supreme Court."
Schlafly believes that simply enforcing basic professional standards using tools like the 30-mile admission rule can go a long way to ending abortion in the United States. He cited the example of Poland, which declined from 200,000 abortions a year to 1,000 a year in just a few years.
It also happens to follow the same model that put abortion restrictions on the books in all but a few states in the 19th Century by pioneering pro-life physicians led by the late Horatio Storer, MD. Storer and his colleagues went from state to state to make the US virtually abortion-free. Those are the same laws that the Supreme Court overrode in Roe v. Wade in the greatest single reversal of States rights in US history. (cf: The Physicians' Crusade Against Abortion by Frederick N. Dyer, Science History Publications, Sagamore Beach, MA.)
"Substandard medical practices long tolerated by the abortion industry represent the real 'war on women,'" according to Schlafly. "This industry thrives as always on the outcasts of the medical profession, doctors and other practitioners who can't make a living on anything else except killing babies. The time has come to put these charlatans out of business"
Dennis Howard interviewed Andrew Schlafly as he assumed his new job as Executive Director of the NJ Legal Center for Defense of Life. Schlafly is a member of the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court and more than a half-dozen other federal and state courts. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review and a classmate of Barack Obama. His mother is well-known conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly.
Redeem the Dream
of Martin Luther King
By Dennis Howard Last August 28, it was 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. came to Washington to deliver his magnificent "I Have a Dream" speech. In it, he celebrated the Emancipation Proclamation of 100 years earlier as "a great beacon of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice." He also hailed an earlier time "when the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence." He reminded us: "They were signing a Promissory Note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." He asked whether America had defaulted on that note, and concluded that "instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check that has come back marked insufficient funds." Now, half a century later, we have to ask that question again.
Dennis Howard is founder and president of The Movement for a Better America, a non-profit, pro-life educational organization. Before starting MBA in 1995, he had a long and successful career in journalism and creative marketing. He helped launch more than 20 magazines and newspapers, and participated in major campaigns for companies like Waring, Cessna, Toshiba, Matchbox, AT&T and others. He is available as a strategic marketing consultant to other pro-life organizations, and is currently writing a book on Pro-Life Strategies for the 21st Century. To invite Dennis as a speaker, contact him at Movement for a Better America, PO Box 472, Mt. Freedom, NJ 07970-0472