Are Young Evangelicals Pro-Life?

I didn't see any Protestants at last Thursday's March for Life. I'm sure I literally saw some --it's not as if you can tell by looking. What I mean is I didn't personally see any banners announcing any Protestant-Church-Or-Group for life.

I know from photo essays some were present (Lutherans for Life, Anglicans for Life, eg and Concerned Women for American announced they'd be present), and they were certainly well-represented in speech at the rally prior to the March. (See for example this black pastor challenging Obama to rise to be a great emancipator if he really wishes to be like Lincoln.) Nonetheless, I didn't see anything like the diversity of evangelical groups I'm used to seeing. For that matter I didn't see Atheists for Life and LGBT for Life as I'm accustomed to, either.

I've been wondering why. Since the numbers swelled from the usual 50-75,000 to 200 or even by some accounts 300,000, maybe the Prots were there in the same numbers as always but were dwarfed by Catholics in the crowd this time around. It's possible. But by the very unscientific measure of personal impression, it felt like the evangelical brethren were missing. Tom Hoopes of the Register speculates here, which at least means I'm not imagining things.

I hope it doesn't indicate an abandonment of the pro-life cause by evangelicals. At a dinner I attended last summer a group of thoughtful evangelicals reported the rising generation in their churches very much wants to distance itself from Jerry Falwell & Pat Robertson. Hopefully not by abandoning the movement, but I wonder.

Dr. Russell Moore of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary just gave an interview about evangelicals and the pro-life movement. I like his answer to Prof. Kmiec:

Trevin Wax: Should evangelicals should join hands with pro-choice politicians committed to reducing the number of abortions? In other words, is there room for us to work toward reduction of abortions instead of just working toward elimination of abortion?

Russell Moore: I do not believe at all that pro-life Christians should join hands with pro-abortion politicians speaking of “reducing the number of abortions.” This is akin to civil rights activists joining hands with pro-lynching vigilantes in the early twentieth-century America to “reduce the number of lynchings” through better funding of segregated African-American school systems.


On a related note, here's a slideshow from the West Coast Walk for Life, which drew 30,000 people --the largest crowd yet for that event-- in San Francisco. In light of the Prop 8 rage, it took even more guts than usual to appear in the pro-life crowd.

Ah, tolerance.