South Dakota's effort to ban most abortions failed.
California's effort to pass a commonsense parental notification law for minor girls seeking abortions failed.
Michigan voters approved a state constititutional amendment to permit
And Washington state became the second state to legalized doctor-assisted suicide.
(On the bright side, though, Proposition 8 appears to have passed in California.)
Details on all these state ballot measures are available here.
So, what do we do now? Wail and gnash our teeth? Beat our breasts and don sackcloth and ashes?
To be sure, there is a time for penance, and a time for mourning. (Along these lines, do read these three sobering posts on Christina Dunigan's RealChoice blog.)
After such time, we need to get active. And if we're already active, we need to get more active.
I've often told people who contact us looking to get involved in pro-life activities that just as all politics is local, so too is all pro-life activism.
David Bereit, national director of 40 Days for Life — whose most recent campaign saved the lives of over 520 babies — made this same point in a press release today, headlining it simply:
Pro-lifers must look beyond elections
and focus on making local impact
Who knows what new pro-abortion legislation will passed in the next four years, or who will be appointed to the Supreme Court?
Nobody does. And that's why we can't sit around and do nothing and wait for Someone Else To Do Something.
There is no better time than now to get involved in pro-life activism.
Now is not the time to hang our heads or wring our hands. Now is the time to put our pro-life beliefs into action in our own communities.
As for our attitude, we would do well to heed the counsel from a long-time pro-life activist who e-mailed this morning with some advice to keep in mind these next four years (and, for that matter, always):
Remember to be positive and joyful! Don't give in to negativity. St. Paul who was no stranger to difficulties told us, "with all our affliction, I am overjoyed" (2 Cor. 7:4). He exhorted his fellow Christians to be joyful: "Rejoice always" (1 Thess. 5:16); "rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice" (Phil. 4:4). We need to be cheerful and confident in our defense of Christ and life. "So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). We will not win the world with a sour face but with the love, truth, and the joy of Jesus Christ. St. Peter tells us when we live and even suffer joyfully we can, "Rejoice in so far as you share Christ's suffering, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is reveled." (1 Peter 4:13).
And, as my boss, the redoubtable Joe Scheidler, reminded me this morning, at Mass we pray to Our Heavenly Father, "In your mercy keep us free from sin . . . as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ."
This was the Church's prayer yesterday. It is the Church's prayer today. And it will be the Church's prayer until the end of time.
Politicians and their unfulfillable promises of "hope and change" will come and go; but real, authentic "joyful hope"—along with faith, and above all, charity—these endure, and they sustain us.