Unnoticed under the lights

How many cheering voices will we never hear?

The lights are bright; the music is soaring. As thousands of delegates and Democrat leaders sit in the convention hall in Charlotte, North Carolina, they are bombarded with countless different sensations. While the articulate, well-dressed speakers are defending liberty, freedom, and individual rights, the hearts of those in the audience and in living rooms all across America swell with pride and gratitude.

As New York Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez took the stage Tuesday evening, hearts swelled even further with pride in our current leadership and with indignation at the opposition. Consumed by the bright light of the stage, and looking out upon thousands of faces, Congresswoman Velazquez declared:

President Obama has walked with America’s women. President Obama is helping women access preventive health services like cancer screenings, contraception and well-women exams. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney and Republicans in Congress would like to roll back a woman’s access to important preventive care, turn over women’s health decisions to their bosses, and defund Planned Parenthood… President Obama has walked with us for the last four years—in good times and in tough times.  And now, we are going to walk with the president to the polls and onward to victory.

No doubt as Ms. Velazquez scanned the cheering crowd she saw bright faces, nods, and smiles of approbation. She saw thousands of people eager to rally behind the cause of “women’s rights.”

But had she thought past her positive rhetoric, she would have noticed something else about the crowd:

The crowd should be larger – much larger.

In the United States in 1980, 30% of pregnancies (excluding miscarriage) ended in abortion. That means roughly one in three children who should have been born at that time never made it out of the womb. Today, had those abortions not taken place, those men and women would be thirty-one or thirty-two years old. Considering that 3.6 million American babies were born in 1980, had it not been for abortion, there would be over a million more thirty-one- and thirty-two-year-olds walking down our streets today.

The statistics are similar for most other years. The year I was conceived (1994), 26% of pregnancies ended in abortion. A million young men and women who would be my peers today never took a breath in the outside world. I often ponder what those people would have been like, and how they might have influenced my life.

This week at the DNC, many pro-abortion Democrat leaders and celebrities have taken or will take the stage – women like Michelle Obama, Ashley Judd, and Sandra Fluke. They, like Congressman Velazquez, will look out under the bright lights at thousands of faces and speak of the importance of letting women choose and supporting Planned Parenthood (America’s biggest provider of abortion).

But they won’t see what I see – what all Americans should be seeing.

They won’t see that convention halls should be fuller, streets should be more crowded, classrooms should be bigger. The DNC will never stop to think just how much impact the rhetoric they push has on the very America they seek to inspire. They will never think of those who should be walking beside them, but who were killed in the womb.

People will cheer, lights will shine, music will blare. No one will notice the empty seats.

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