“It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.” —Hubert H. Humphrey, Vice President of the United States of America
I stand in somber solidarity with all the victims of injustice across our land. We have counted far too many. But finally, as America goes through this time of self-examination, passionate demonstration, and urgent calls to action, communities in every state in our nation are beginning to ask the hard questions.
For my black brothers and sisters, America is listening to you. More than ever before, we recognize your wounds, your pain, and your fear over the injustices you have been subjected to. We know your exhaustion from your community‘s struggle for justice over these many years. The color of our skin should never impact how we are treated, in any way, but especially under the law. We are ready to support and to act.
For all Americans, even in the face of violence and discord, it falls on us to restore real hope. It will not be easy. From the streets of Minneapolis to the streets of St. Louis, and in communities from coast to coast, our hearts are broken. We are horrified at what we have seen. But we as a people yearn to heal, to dismantle and fix what is broken and reconstruct our nation on a stronger framework. We long for commonality, community, and justice. If we genuinely seek unity – across race lines, party lines, identity lines, duty lines – then we the people can build a better future for our children and birth a generation removed from racism and hate.
We are seeing the hard work being done in our streets in these days, the stories that give us hope and transform our tears into cries of relief and joy, even as we decry the violence, destruction, and bloodshed that still plagues our land. We are so very grateful for the leaders, the activists, the public servants, and the ordinary Americans who love the communities they serve, and we seek to amplify their work. We need accountability: both for their own protection and to expose injustice, the bad actors who hide among those who serve us. Today can be the change. Today we can make the difference for liberty and justice for all; we can be our nation’s beacon for freedom and opportunity.
All people yearn for freedom and equality. They are the birthright of every human being. The beauty of the United States is that the preservation of those inherent human rights is inscribed so deeply in our national laws and character that they are considered the cardinal virtues of what it means to be American. America was founded on respect for human life, and while we must acknowledge that there have been far too many divisions, and far too many heartbreaking failures to live up to that standard, we know that the moral arc of our great nation bends toward justice.
What does it mean to sincerely respect the human right to life? What does it mean to stand for justice? It means understanding the truth that the value of human life extends from the dawn of life when we can see only the dark of the womb, to the shadows of life when we lean on the solidarity and support of our neighbors, to the twilight of life when we may depend the most on those we rely on. I pray that we can come together as one people, one community, and one nation. I pray that Americans will step into our calling to be the refuge of the tempest-tost. I pray that in these difficult times, we will truly listen to each other, come together to find new paths and new solutions, and achieve the day when every human being is welcomed and cherished throughout life, and every human being is protected in law.
Stay safe. Speak justice. Let us work to heal our land.
Catherine Glenn Foster serves as President & CEO of Americans United for Life
Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization that holds the distinction of being the first national pro-life organization in America—incorporated in 1971. It protects and defends human life from conception to natural death through vigorous legislative, judicial, and educational efforts.
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