We are living in a time of progress. The sci-fi cartoons from years gone by are now becoming a reality. Automated cars, solar panels, trips to Mars, and artificial intelligence are no longer ideas waiting to be fulfilled. Instead, Elon Musk, Google, and Apple are spending billions to bring the imaginary to life.

We have reached a record high in the U.S. for life expectancy, a person’s own stem cells can be used to rehab injuries, and doctors are now able to “grow” ears under the skin of their patients. We are truly living in interesting times.

Scientific advancement and research is moving us at a record pace to a life my great grandparents wouldn’t have even imagined. I’m living in the midst of it and I find it hard to believe at times.

Progress is evident everywhere we look except when we look in the womb. I have wrestled with this thought since Ireland’s referendum vote last week. Abortion had been prohibited in Ireland since 1861, and was further strengthened in 1983 with a referendum adding the 8th Amendment to their constitution that further protected the unborn.

This protection for the unborn came to an end last week as sixty-six percent of Ireland voters voted to repeal Ireland’s abortion ban. Many took to the streets to celebrate this monumental vote. Ailbhe Smyth, a long-time abortion activist, said this about the vote, “It has been a long and very hard road, but we never lost sight of this because it’s so central to the existence, and the selfhood and personhood of women to have that control of our own bodies.”

I am amazed at the lack of awareness in this quote and this movement. Smyth and others argue that this vote brings selfhood and personhood to women while they disregard the selfhood and personhood of children, actual boys and girls, in the womb. Is this progress? Is this what our future hinges on…the right to eliminate the most vulnerable in our society?

Progress is an interesting thing. Progress ended slavery, gave women the right to vote, ended segregation, and put a man on the Moon. Yet, even in 2018, progress isn’t allowed to recognize that a real life is ended by abortion. We have protected every vulnerable demographic in our society. We have voted for and enacted regulations to protect the smallest of lifeforms from losing their habitats to builders and developers. Still, we refuse to protect our people from abortion.

It would be easy to feel dejected after this most recent vote, but I would strongly encourage you to not allow that feeling to creep in. There is much work being done for life in our country and around the world. We are making a difference. Just today at HOPE we are seeing multiple women facing an unplanned pregnancy. We have seen life chosen multiple times in very difficult circumstances over the past month because of the service and care they received.

Your work and passion for life is not being done in vain. You are needed more today than ever, and we are making more progress than ever on the life front. Now is not the time to give up. No, now is the time to stand up. HOPE is going to continue this work as we celebrate life. Please join us as we do.