On January 29, former NFL football player Benjamin Watson and his wife Kirsten gave a short talk for the virtual March for Life. They encouraged viewers to be living witnesses to the pro-life movement and to recognize that being pro-life is not opposed to true justice.
Although the virtual nature of the March disappointed many expectant marchers, Benjamin and Kirsten reminded viewers that they are “together in spirit” and that, however separated, marchers continue to share a “resolve and commitment to protect the lives of preborn children.”
The couple also encouraged viewers to remember that being truly pro-life has always meant much more than attending a march every year. “The most important work to build a culture of life does not depend on us gathering,” he said. “On the contrary, it begins in our homes, overflows to our places of worship and employment and influences our local communities, which then impacts our nation.” In other words, building a more just society begins with individual commitments to growing in virtue and caring for the community.
For the Watsons, being pro-life and fighting for justice in American communities are inherently connected. At a time when Americans talk so much about reproductive justice, racial justice, social justice and criminal justice, Watson believes that the justice that pro-lifers seek supersedes them all. Seeking true justice requires a person to first recognize the dignity and worth of the human life deserving that justice.
In his National Review article published on the same day as the March, Watson explained:
What links different justice issues together is a shared commitment to equal dignity for all human life, from the womb to the tomb…. people think they can fight against oppression and exploitation in our economy or criminal-justice system without also defending the lives of the unborn from the abortion industry. But they can’t. It is a hollow and lifeless sort of justice that views some lives as expendable, forgettable, or unimportant.
The NFL player first publicly revealed his pro-life outlook on justice after the Ferguson BLM riots in 2014 and his message remains particularly apt today. After an unprecedented pandemic, months of BLM riots, an exhausting election cycle, and an attack on the nation’s Capitol, Americans are divided, angry, and fearful. At the March For Life, Benjamin and Kirsten Watson offered a message of hope and unity because being pro-life unites people not as Christians, Americans, Republicans or Democrats, but as human beings worthy of dignity and respect.