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NRL News
Page 3
January 2010
Volume 37
Issue 1

JANUARY 22: WHY WE MUST BE PRO-LIFE

By Wanda Franz, Ph.D.

December 7, 1941—the attack on Pearl Harbor
January 22, 1973—the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, making abortion a constitutional right
September 11, 2001—the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon

These three dates are “dates of infamy” in our nation’s history. All three of them signify horrific attacks on our nation’s people. The first and the last attacks were launched from abroad. Alas, the attack on January 1973, by far the deadliest one with 50 million American fatalities and more to come, was unleashed right here in our own country by our own Supreme Court.

One would think that a toll of 50 million dead Americans would electrify the nation into a massive effort to stop this self-inflicted holocaust. On the contrary, the “elite” establishment and the pro-abortion pressure groups are fighting a tenacious and well-financed battle for the “choice” to perpetuate the atrocities.

One would think that the deeply dishonest slogan to “make abortion safe, legal and rare” would have been rejected by now because of its own illogic: a crime that becomes legal does not become rare—especially when a Supreme Court decision creates a whole new industry making it common. (In Doe v. Bolton the Court removed the hospitalization requirement for abortions, thus giving the green light to free-standing abortion “clinics.”) Yet, to this day pro-abortion politicians regularly trot out this infamous example of Clintonian doubletalk.

One would think that the ample documentation of the physical, psychological, and spiritual damage done to the women undergoing these “safe” abortions would disturb the promoters of abortion “rights.” Occasionally, even pro-abortion leaders acknowledge that “abortion is a bad thing,” as former NARAL president Kate Michelman once admitted. Mostly, the pro-abortion pressure groups energetically deny that women are harmed by abortion.

One would think that the fact that the primary victims of the Court-imposed abortion right are innocent would propel to action the great legal experts and defenders of due process. Yet, the elites are unmoved—in fact, they want to “mainstream” abortion in the healthcare system and have the federal government use your tax dollars to pay for abortion on demand.

One would think that a Supreme Court decision that was an “exercise of raw judicial power” which “constitutionally disentitled” forever “the people and the legislatures of the 50 States” on this issue (according to dissenting Justice Byron White) would alarm everyone who worries about maintaining the Constitutional order and opposes extra-Constitutional law-making from the bench. Instead, the main author of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, Justice Harry Blackmun, was lionized. Didn’t the Declaration of Independence proclaim our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Wasn’t the Constitution written to implement those rights, rather than make them vanish at the hands of a capricious Court?

One would think that the loss of over a million young Americans by abortion year after year would fill with dread those who don’t want to see this nation destroy itself. (To make the problem clear to the more pedestrian among your acquaintances remind them that Social Security and Medicare cannot be sustained without having enough working young to support the old. Maybe that will get their attention.)

One would think that the banner slogans “choice” and “every child, a wanted child” would elicit fear in us. Since when does your inherent right to life depend on another person wanting you? Yet, the recently retired columnist Ellen Goodman wrote in 2003, “Over the years, I’ve rejoiced at sonograms and picked names for what we call a baby when it’s wanted and a fetus when it isn’t.” With her chilling “chirpiness” the pro-abortion Ms. Goodman accurately summarized the moral position of our elite. Given the logical extension of that position, what can we expect when an accident, a disease, or an age-related decline renders us “unwanted”?

Finally, one would think that most people would instinctively recoil from what the acceptance of abortion says about us. Yet, only about half the respondents in numerous polls identify themselves as pro-life. It is not just that abortion is barbaric; that it kills with impunity; that it is a horrendous misuse of the right to a private space—it is more: in an abortion we treat another human being as a mere disposable thing. When we treat another human being as a mere thing, then by logic we look at ourselves as nothing more than things. But things aren’t moral agents; they are not responsible for their actions. For things there is no wrong and no right. Things aren’t human.

Thus abortion is the ultimate form of self-inflicted dehumanization.

The above is an incomplete but sobering summary of the damage abortion inflicts; but it is enough to demonstrate how deeply and extensively it injures individuals and the whole society.

Repairing this damage is difficult. There are only two ways to undo the Supreme Court’s miscarriage of justice: either amend the Constitution or have the Supreme Court see the light and reverse Roe v. Wade and its progeny.

A constitutional amendment is a very difficult process. Realistically, there is currently little chance that pro-lifers could overcome the very high hurdles that any amendment attempt faces in the foreseeable future.

It is more promising to pursue the route of the Court reversing itself on abortion. The progress made under President George W. Bush in reshaping the Court in a pro-life direction has temporarily been halted with the election of President Barack Obama, the most pro-abortion president yet. Progress will resume when we elect a pro-life president and a filibuster-proof pro-life Senate in order to put Constitution-oriented justices on the Court. This task requires us to move public opinion towards the pro-life side through educational and legislative action with NRLC and political work with NRL-PAC. It is hard work, but it can be done as we have learned in the past.

You and I and all the others who enlisted in the pro-life ranks can have no illusion that this battle will be a quick victory. We will win, but it will be a tough road. For us there is no choice but to fight the good fight.