All across the United States today, young pro-lifers have committed themselves to silence, in memory of those of their generation who cannot speak since their lives were taken in abortion.
Red arm bands and duct tape identify them as taking part in the Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity. They carry fliers explaining why they are silent and educate others about the realities of abortion.
Though they won’t speak any words with their mouths today, they will be active on social media with the hashtags #silentday and #prolifegen.
ZENIT spoke with one participant, 15-year-old Bryce Asberg, who is a high school sophomore, about his experience staying silent, and about the growing pro-life movement.
ZENIT: What is it like to participate in the Silent Solidarity campaign? How do you feel as you’re doing it? And what reactions do you get?
Asberg: Participating in the Silent Solidarity campaign is a sobering experience. Every time you think of opening your mouth you stop yourself, and immediately you remind yourself why you are silent. While participating in the campaign I felt like everyone was looking at me and viewing me negatively because of my pro-life views, but eventually I realized that I spent more time thinking about people staring at me than people spent time actually staring at me. Those who questioned my silence had mixed reactions, but most were either confused why anyone would be silent about the aftermath of abortion or accepting of my position.
ZENIT: As a young member of the pro-life movement, explain why you are pro-life.
Asberg: I am pro-life in part because my parents raised me in a way that promotes the sanctity of all life, in part because the scientific and philosophical reasoning makes sense, and in part because I feel and have followed a calling from God to enter the pro-life movement and be part of the movement that will eventually free mothers, fathers, the pre-born, and our country from the throes of abortion.
ZENIT: What do you think needs to change in the pro-life movement to get abortion stopped in the United States?
Asberg: It is clear that the pro-life movement has been making strides across the country, with increasing numbers of Americans identifying as pro-life; 40 Days for Life prayer vigils saving lives and impacting communities across the country (and even the world); and copious amounts of pro-life legislation being passed in numerous states. Not to mention the more than 800 pro-life clubs across the country, who, with the support of SFLA (Students for Life of America) are helping to create a culture of life, starting in their schools.
However, this is not enough if we want to stop abortion in our country. Pro-abortion activists can distort the facts, public polling, and even society’s perception of the truth, and a pro-choice money advantage often seems inevitable.
Yet there is one aspect of the pro-life movement that the opposition cannot counter, and that is prayer. When we fulfill the command of 2ndChronicles 7:14, which says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Only then will our land be freed from abortion. While there are lots of effective plans, campaigns, and outreaches that can be formulated, none of them will compare to the effect of prayer and what God can do, which is why everything we do should be prayerfully considered and then acted out boldly. Pro-lifers need to drop to their knees frequently before we expect the miracles that our country desperately needs.
ZENIT: What is your outlook on the future of the pro-life movement?
Asberg: I am one who has optimistic views in many areas, and the pro-life movement is no exception. If people across the country will recognize the horrors of abortion and be moved to prayerful action, then legalized abortion stands no chance, in the court of public opinion as well as in the courts of the United States. Incredible progress has been made in these areas, and if we seek God and refuse to back down, then the fruits of our work will only multiply. Until the day when we are laid to rest may we never sit when we need to stand up.