Janet Harris, writing in The Washington Post, wishes pro-aborts would stop calling abortions a “difficult decision”:
Contrary to numerous movies and “very special” television episodes portraying abortion as an agonizing, complex decision (“Obvious Child” notwithstanding), for many it is a simple choice and often the only practical option. A 2012 study published in the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health found that the vast majority of women seeking an abortion — 87 percent — had high confidence in their decisions. This level of conviction contrasts with the notion that millions of women vacillate over whether to have an abortion.
The circumstances matter, of course. Planned or wanted pregnancies involving fetal anomalies, or in which the health of the mother is in question, may require heart-wrenching decisions. But these situations are quite rare. A Guttmacher Institute survey of women in the United States seeking abortions found that 3 percent said the main reason was a fetal health problem, and 4 percent cited a problem with their own health. The percentage of women seeking an abortion because they were victims of rape or incest was less than 1.5 percent.
The far more common situation, accounting for 51 percent of all pregnancies among American women, is an unintended pregnancy, either mistimed (31 percent) or unwanted (20 percent). A 2008 study found that 40 percent of unintended pregnancies, excluding miscarriages, ended in abortion. It is in these cases that the portrayal of hand-wringing and soul-searching is more likely to be at odds with the day-to-day reality. Continue reading
The UN is an increasingly Orwellian organization. One of many, many examples is their outgoing High Commissioner on Human Rights, Navi Pillay of South Africa. Austin Ruse gives us her background:
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to name abortion advocate Navanethem “Navi” Pillay of South Africa as the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) this week despite reservations from the United States.
According to the New York Times, the United States has privately raised concerns about Pillay’s nomination to the top human rights post because of her strong support for abortion. Pillay is a founding member of the international non-governmental organization Equality Now, a group that has spearheaded campaigns for abortion access in Poland and Nepal. Pillay remains on the board of the organization which receives major funding from pro-abortion foundations including George Soros’ Open Society Institute and the Ford Foundation.
Go here to read the rest. So, being in favor of snuffing out unborn kids is now a “human right”. George Orwell was not so much a writer as a prophet. As the chief human rights bureaucrat since 2008, Pillay has been pushing to have governments around the world criminalize the pro-life cause. Go here to read about her efforts. Ms. Pillay is a walking stereotype of the contemporary left in the causes which she embraces and those she opposes, and in her firm conviction that those who oppose her agendas must be shut up by government power, so long as that power is wielded by her ideological think-a-likes. Human rights for thee so long as thou agree with me, sums up her philosophy.
The attitude of Ms. Pillay in regard to the Gaza War is therefore predictable and Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, gives a recent statement by her on the subject a fisking to remember:
Manhattan real estate is an incredibly valuable commodity. So whenever this country wakes the hell up and withdraws from the United Nations (or, at the very least, pushes through the idea of moving the world headquarters of that ridiculous institution to Geneva, Switzerland and permanently off American soil), what should be done with the Rockefeller family’s former Turtle Bay property?
The United Nations’ senior human rights official said on Thursday she believed Israel was deliberately defying international law in its military offensive in Gaza and that world powers should hold it accountable for possible war crimes.
Oh right, right, right, Hamas is bad too.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay also said that Hamas militants in Gaza have also violated international humanitarian law by firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel, sometimes from densely-populated areas.
Except that we don’t really believe that.
Israel has attacked homes, schools, hospitals, and UN premises in apparent violation of the Geneva Conventions, Pillay said, a week after her Human Rights Council resolved to open a commission of inquiry into Israel’s alleged crimes against humanity.
“Therefore I would say that they appear to be defying… deliberate defiance of obligations that international law imposes on Israel,” Pillay told a news briefing. “This is why again and again I say we cannot allow impunity, we cannot allow this lack of accountability to go on.”
We all know the real criminal here.
She also criticized the United States, Israel’s main ally, for failing to use its influence with the Jewish state to halt the carnage.
“Many of my remarks have been directed to the United States since they are a party with influence over Israel to do much more to stop the killing, to bring the parties to the negotiating table. I’ve called also for an end to the blockade and an end to the occupation.”
Pillay said that she was appalled at Washington consistently voting against resolutions on Israel in the Human Rights Council, General Assembly and Security Council.
Here’s one blatantly obvious war crime for you. Israel refuses to share its self-defense technology with people who wish to exterminate it.
“They have not only provided the heavy weaponry which is now being used by Israel in Gaza but they’ve also provided almost $1 billion in providing the ‘Iron Domes’ to protect the Israelis from rocket attacks,” she said. “But no such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling.”
Seriously. I’m open to suggestions. Turn the UN into office space and/or a branch of the New York Public Library? Make the UN complex into an Orthodox synagogue and a particularly traditionalist Christian megachurch? Or should we just plow the place under and give it back to the Lenapes with our profuse and abject apologies. Continue reading
Sean Patrick Cardinal O’Malley, who presided over the
canonization funeral mass of Ted Kennedy, read about it here, continues to disappoint. Boston Catholic Insider gives us the details:
Cardinal Sean O’Malley appeared with liberal Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday to voice support for Patrick’s proposal to house illegal immigrants and offer Catholic social service assistance for illegals, while the Cardinal said nothing all week about a heinous law advancing in the Mass legislature to penalize those who try to prevent women from aborting their children. In our opinion, the Cardinal is yet more clearly showing his stripes as being a tool of the liberal Democratic pro-abortion establishment, and a hypocrite when it comes to protection of life.
On June 27, Cardinal O’Malley came out in support of the Supreme Court decision that unanimously struck down the previous Massachusetts abortion clinic buffer zone law as unconstitutional. Never had Cardinal O’Malley been seen praying in front of an abortion clinic, but still, his statement was welcome and appreciated when he said that pro-life Americans who “peacefully pray for and offer alternatives to pregnant women approaching abortion clinics” have the same constitutional protections as anyone else “This discriminatory law barred these citizens from gathering on nearby public sidewalks, while exempting ‘clinic escorts’ trained to expedite women into (abortion clinics),” he said. “Clearly this was an attack on pro-life Americans’ freedom of speech, and we welcome the Court’s decision to overturn the law.”
That was June 27. Then this week, the Mass Legislature introduced legislation that is far worse for pro-lifers than the previous law struck down by the Supreme Court. Details of the legislation are posted here by MassResistance:
- Creates a new “buffer zone.” The bill creates a 25-foot buffer zone substantially similar to the one which the US Supreme Court recently struck down.
- Has a “Dispersal” clause. The bill allows police to define any two or more people standing near an abortion clinic as a “gathering.” Any law enforcement official may arbitrarily decide that this “gathering” is in some way impeding access, and may order them to “disperse” and to stay outside of the buffer zone for at least eight hours. This can be done with no legal hearing or due process, threatening them with unusually severe penalties of arrest, prosecution, criminal fines, and jail time for not complying. In addition, a court can later impose civil fines, large punitive damages, attorney’s fees and “expert witness fees”. [First time who “impede a person’s access to or departure from a reproductive health care facility with the intent to interfere with that person’s ability to provide, support the provision of or obtain services at the reproductive health care facility” face a fine of $1,000 or six months in jail]
- Harsher punishments for one group over another. The bill places unusually high punishments for anyone threatening, intimidating, assaulting, blocking, or otherwise impeding people entering or leaving abortion clinics. But these high punishments do not apply to people entering or leaving the clinics (or anyone else) who are perpetrators of assaults of intimidation against pro-life advocates.
A hearing was held on Wednesday, and the measure quickly passed the Mass Senate. What did Cardinal O’Malley say or do about this publicly? Nothing. On short notice, Mass Citizens for Life had erected billboards and asked people to call legislators and to attend and speak at the hearing. Other organizations including FRC and MassResistance rallied pro-lifers. What did O’Malley, the Mass Catholic Conference and Massachusetts bishops do? Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip. The last legislative alert sent out by the do-nothing MCC was six months ago. It is truly pathetic. It is clear that the Cardinal’s rhetoric of June 27 was empty, and Cardinal O’Malley simply does not care about this issue–or whether pro-lifers wanting to help prevent women from taking the lives of their unborn children are fine, arrested or jailed. Continue reading
As part of their War on Women meme against Republicans, Senate Democrats have begun hearings on the Orwellian entitled Women’s Health Protection Act of 2014. Since 2010 the Republicans have controlled more state legislatures than at any time since the administration of Calvin Coolidge, and as a result much pro-life legislation has been enacted in these states. The Democrat bill seeks to federalize abortion and eliminate virtually every piece of pro-life legislation. The bill seeks to ensure that abortion on demand will be completely unfettered.
Now, the chances of this Act becoming law currently are nil. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.Koch Paranoia) will not even bring this bill to the floor of the Senate for a vote. If it did scrape together a majority vote by some demonic miracle, it would die a swift death in the Republican House.
No, this bill is all about electioneering. The Democrats believe they have a silver bullet to win elections and that is by waving the dead fetus and scaring women that their precious
rite right to slay their kids is under attack. At the very least they assume they can probably incite their more demented feminist voters into a frenzy and thereby get them to the polls. In the latter assumption they are probably correct. Of course, this also demonstrates that any pro-lifer who ever casts a vote for a Democrat is out of his or her mind. Even a pro-life Democrat, I think you can count them on two hands now as members of the House and have fingers to spare, will be part and parcel of supporting a party that has declared open season on the unborn. Here is the text of the proposed bill: Continue reading
Mark Shea is back to his old trick of saying that unless you agree with me on policy issue x which is not directly related to abortion, you are not really pro-life. It is an attempt to stop debate on policy issue x, at least among pro-lifers. Mike Gannon at Pocketful of Liberty takes the argument apart:
This past Tuesday over at Patheos, Mark Shea, noted gadfly of Catholics and other Christians who come down on the small government side of the aisle, authored a post that started out with the provocative assertion “If we oppose abortion and social safety nets, we don’t really oppose abortion.”
Balderdash, I say!
Now, that’s a qualified balderdash, as I explain below. Mark Shea is a complicated thinker who is usually worth giving a second look (halfway through the piece he denounces the idolatry of the individual and the state in the same breath, demonstrating the difficulty one has at putting him neatly into this or that political box). Nonetheless, in this piece Shea falls victim to the temptation to cast aspersions on fellow pro-lifers who at the same time harbor serious concerns about the scope of our modern welfare state.
It’s a cheap trick that is all too common in political discourse to attempt to strong-arm a fellow traveler into lockstep with one’s own preferred platform by questioning their commitment to the cause if they disagree over tactics or emphases. Continue reading
An astounding piece by Lisa Davis at the resolutely pro-abort New York Times. A young artist becomes pregnant and decides to film her abortion. Her plans suddenly begin to unravel due to a cab driver and his reaction to the news that she is on her way to have an abortion:
I stuffed my Ricoh Hi8 video camera in my backpack, and I went alone.
The driver was Middle Eastern, from some hot and weather-less country, but he did a fair job of steering into the skids. He kept asking me why I was going out in such weather.
“I have to go to the doctor,” I kept telling him.
“Why? You don’t look sick.”
“I have to have a procedure.”
“What? What procedure?”
Finally, I told him. Why not? I was proud and un-conflicted. I was exercising my right. I was making a video.
He pulled over to the side of the road, right there on the Brooklyn Bridge — not only illegal but dangerous. “Please don’t kill the baby,” he said. “Please don’t kill the baby.”
“What are you doing?”
“Don’t kill the baby.” He wouldn’t move the car, though horns blared all around us.
“Keep driving! I have an appointment!” I shook his headrest. This was not part of the script.
“Please don’t kill the baby,” he said again, turning around to face me. He had beautiful big brown eyes — almost black. “I will take care of you and the baby. I work two jobs.”
Heartbreakingly she has her abortion:
The first thing I thought when I awoke from the anesthesia was that I’d never be pregnant again, that I had just squandered my only chance at motherhood. I was sobbing — I had arisen from the depths of the medication this way — as they rolled me into the recovery room where the other women were lying, almost all of them with a friend or partner or relative to brush their hair back or offer them ice chips. I could not stop crying, big heaves and gulps of it. The nurse came over at first to soothe me and then to quiet me.
“You’re upsetting the other girls,” she said.
She sent the doctor over. “Sometimes we have to massage the womb,” he said, inserting his hand inside me and pressing. This did not stop the crying, but eventually it stopped the pain.
Or, at least, it stopped the physical pain. The begging cabdriver and the woman on her ninth abortion and the shocking suction in my womb: It was too traumatic for me to make art of. Or maybe it was just that I wasn’t a good enough artist to transform that level of trauma into something that others could learn from and use. I had been taught that a woman’s right to choose was the most important thing to fight for, but I hadn’t known what a brutal choice it was.
I took a car service home, too, where my brother and his girlfriend met me and we ordered in. “We would have gone with you,” they said, “if you’d asked.”
“I was going to make a video,” I said. Reacting to the way my hands still shook, they tended to me as if I’d just walked miles in that blizzard. I knew then I’d never be a filmmaker.
About motherhood, though, I was wrong. Fifteen years later, happily coupled with a wonderful man, I gave birth to my first daughter; I now have two. I don’t wish I had a 20-year-old. I didn’t want that baby, with that man. Abortion rights, yes, I’ll always support them, but even all these years later, I wish the motto wasn’t “Never again,” but “Avoid this if there’s any way you possibly can, even if it’s legal, because it’s awful.”
I wish that someone had alerted me to the harshness of the experience, acknowledged the layers of regret that built and fell away as the months and years passed. I want my daughters to have the option of safe and legal abortion, of course. I just don’t want them to have to use it. Continue reading
A brilliant piece by Brandon McGinley at The Federalist on the ongoing journalistic malpractice when it comes to abortion. Legal abortion on demand largely exists in this country because the public is shielded by a pro-abort media from the every day grisly reality of the blood trade that kills a million human beings a year in this country.
What if we had a latter-day Upton Sinclair willing to expose our abortion regime, rather than the incurious mandarins who pathetically claim his mantle? What would he find when he opens the door to the dungeon?
He would find systematic slaughter, but of children rather than hogs. In Delaware, Planned Parenthood nurses reported “meat market-style assembly line abortions.” The conveyor of pregnant women moved so quickly that bloody discharge remained on the exam table. We know about this only because courageous nurses came forward; one can only imagine how many other abortion facilities still operate in such putrid conditions.
He would find callous disregard for human dignity, as children are treated in life and death more like livestock than persons. Former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson (again, a whistleblower rather than a journalist) reports that the organization had abortion quotas it expected its centers to fulfill, because abortion is the most lucrative part of the Planned Parenthood business model. And only a few weeks ago we learned from The B.C. Catholic newspaper of the Archdiocese of Vancouver that children aborted in British Columbia were being incinerated as fuel in Oregon.
And he would find that the squeals of hogs have a human analogue, as well:
[Sherry West] hated working in the room where Gosnell performed abortions—never more than the night a staffer asked for help with a problem at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society clinic in West Philadelphia. “There was this clear glass pan, and I saw it, and I thought, ‘What do you expect me to do?’” West testified Monday at Gosnell’s murder trial. “It wasn’t fully developed,” West told the Common Pleas Court jury, referring to the 18- to 24-inch-long newborn in the pan. It didn’t have eyes or a mouth but it was like screeching, making this noise. It was weird. It sounded like a little alien.” Questioned by Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore, West, 53, said she did not know what happened to the “specimen”—the term she said she used because “it was easier to deal with mentally.” “It really freaked me out, and I said call Dr. Gosnell, and I went back out front,” West added.
And when Dr. Gosnell arrived, we can safely assume, with a snip the screeching fell silent.
And the silence persists. The voiceless remain so, except for that terrible shriek of primordial fear. They have no champion to make them heard. Continue reading
Wesley Smith at National Review Online tells us of someone who I think we can safely call a pro-abort:
So, an abortion clinic counselor doesn’t use birth control and gets pregnant. It’s termination time! And she filmed it.
It was, like you know, such a positive experience! From, “Why I Filmed My Abortion,” in (where else?) Cosmopolitan:
I remember breathing and humming through it like I was giving birth. I know that sounds weird, but to me, this was as birth-like as it could be.
Except, the “birth” was to end life, not bring it to fruition. Otherwise, I see it. No diff.
It will always be a special memory for me. I still have my sonogram, and if my apartment were to catch fire, it would be the first thing I’d grab…
Every time I watch the video, I love it. I love how positive it is.
Ah. good times. Becoming irresponsibly pregnant and then having a birth-like experience of destroying a fetus–complete with pictures! Continue reading
The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.
Now if only the Nazis, who were big into ecology by the way, had used this as a defense for Auschwitz:
The British Columbia Health Ministry has admitted that the remains of babies destroyed by abortion in B.C. facilities are ending up in a waste-to-power facility in the United States, providing electricity for residents of Oregon.
The province’s Health Ministry said in an email to the B.C. Catholic that “biomedical waste” shipped to the U.S. to be incinerated includes “human tissue, such as surgically removed cancerous tissue, amputated limbs, and fetal tissue.”
British hospitals find a practical use for dead babies:
It’s time for some good news, and I consider this very good news. As of today, there are 20 abortion clinics open in the entire state of Texas, down from 44 nearly three years ago, and it is estimated that by September that number will be reduced to six. SIX. Now, while that is still six too many, in a state the size of Texas that is cause for some modest celebration. Coming on the heels of Wendy Davis’s relatively pathetic performance in Tuesday’s primary in which she managed to attract fewer voters than the previous guy who lost the general election to Rick Perry, and the fact that early polls show that Davis is cruising to a crushing defeat in November, it is clear that voters in the state are very happy with the law that has helped shut down these
murder abortion clinics.
The National Journal article is worth a read for a couple of reasons. First of all, the clear undercurrent of lament in the author’s tone is palpable (“leaving low-income women in rural Texas without nearby access to abortion”). More importantly, it emphasizes the vital role that culture plays with regards to abortion. While we can never discount the role of laws and regulations within the abortion debate, especially since it was the enactment of a law that helped drive these numbers down, the social stigma in the state against abortion also has played a critical role.
Neither clinic has an [ambulatory surgical center] and Hagstrom Miller says she doesn’t have the budget or patients to build a multimillion-dollar center. The Beaumont clinic does currently have a physician that has hospital admitting privileges, but he is 75 years old and trying to retire. Attempting to get hospital admitting privileges has proven a fruitless process; the stigma against abortion is too great in Texas, and Hagstrom Miller has not been able to get responses from any doctors or hospitals, despite calling them all.
“I have trouble getting a vendor for bottled water,” she says.
As though I needed another excuse to love the state of Texas.
The above video is from the Alabama Right to Life website.
In a vain attempt to stop the passage of pro-life legislation in Alabama, Democrat Representative Alvin Holmes, a truly charming individual who earlier this year referred to Justice Clarence Thomas as an Uncle Tom, drew the race card, the first resort of pro-aborts and the Democrat party:
“If you asked the people in here now to raise their hands, of those who are against abortion, 99% of all of the white people in here gonna raise their hand that they are against abortion,” Holmes said Tuesday according to a recording of some of the debate on al.com. “On the other hand, 99% of the whites that are sitting in here now, if they daughter got pregnant by a black man, they gonna make their daughter have an abortion. They ain’t gonna let her have the baby. You know, the truth sometimes hurts … They’re not gonna let that happen. You know that and I know that. You will never admit it.”
During his speech, Holmes asks one white woman, it’s unclear who, if she’d allow her daughter to have a mixed-race baby.
“Yes, I would,” the woman replies.
“Well, I need to commend you then,” Holmes says. “There’s not one in 100,000 that would do that.”
Go here to read the rest. Of course abortion is the dream come true for the Klan, the traditional terrorist wing of the Democrat party in the South. In adjacent Mississippi, for example, we have these statistics:
Based on data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 39,052 black babies were killed by abortions in Mississippi between 1995 and 2010. During that same time period, 14,529 white babies were aborted in the Magnolia State.
The total number of abortions between 1995 and 2010 in Mississippi was 54,484. In addition to blacks and whites, that number also includes abortions among Hispanics, “Other” (meaning Asian and Native American), and “Unknown,” as published by the CDC.
Whites in Mississippi outnumber blacks by a ratio of 1.6-to-1. Despite that difference, the data show that black abortions comprised, on average, 72% of the total over the last 16 years. Continue reading
(I originally wrote this about five years ago when the blog readership was much smaller. I thought that current readers might wish to know why I refer to Planned Parenthood as Worse Than Murder, Inc.)
In the late twenties of the last century, gangsters Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Meyer Lansky set up the National Crime Syndicate. Organized crime needed a mechanism to keep anarchy from breaking out within its ranks between various gangs and factions. Operating out of a 24 hour candy store in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, Murder, Inc. ( the name was a newspaper invention) provided this mechanism. Louis “The Judge” “Lepke” Buchalter and Albert “The Mad Hatter” Anastasia were the leaders of Murder, Inc.
The Syndicate, by majority vote, would order the slaying of an unruly gangster and Murder, Inc would carry it out. The hitmen of Murder, Inc. operated under strict guidlines. No innocent bystanders were to be killed. No hits could be ordered against judges, police or prosecuting attorneys for fear of reprisals from law enforcement.
Over the years Murder, Inc. murdered some 800 fellow gangsters. In 1940 the downfall of the murder enterprise began when Murder, Inc. killer Abe ‘Kid Twist’ Reles, turned informant in order to save himself from the electric chair. Louis “The Judge” “Lepke” Buchalter died in the chair in Sing Sing in 1944, after the US Supreme Court rejected his appeal which raised, among other issues, the contention of Buchalter that lurid press coverage had tainted the jury. Other Murder, Inc. members swiftly followed “The Judge” down the last mile. Albert “The Madhatter” Anastasia would have followed in their footsteps but for the tragic “accidental” death of Abe ‘Kid Twist’ Reles when he fell from room 623 of the Half Moon Hotel on Coney Island. In the gang world he was ever after known as “The Canary that sung but couldn’t fly.” However, with the attention of law enforcement focused upon it, Murder, Inc. could no longer function and it ceased to exist except as a gangland legend.
Based upon this grim record I hope you can see why it is necessary for me to apologize—to Murder, Inc. Continue reading
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air gives us the report of Marianne Anderson who worked at a
Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc. clinic in Indianapolis, and who left under the inspiration of former Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc., clinic director Abby Johnson who is now a pro-life crusader. Unsurprisingly she quickly learned that all the killing was to make a buck.
“They would remind us in our weekly staff meeting that we need to tell everyone [who called to schedule an appointment] to avoid ‘those people’ [the sidewalk counselors] because we need the money. We were to tell them, ‘Don’t make eye contact with them, and don’t stop in the driveway. If you make eye contact with them or if you stop and roll down your window, they’re going to try their darnedest to talk you out of it.’
“They would allow girls to have ultrasounds that were obviously way too far along [the legal limit for having an abortion in Indiana is 13 weeks and six days]. They said, ‘If they want to be seen, you just put them through, no problem,’ just taking advantage to make money.
President Barack Obama, National Prayer Breakfast, February 6, 2014
There are no easy answers but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.
Today is my 57th birthday. I am pleased that I share my natal day with the man I consider the greatest president of my lifetime: Ronald Wilson Reagan, who was born one hundred and three years ago today in Tampico, Illinois. I greatly admire Reagan for many reasons: his wit, eloquence and good humor; his prime role in bringing about the destruction of Communism as a ruling ideology in the former, how good it is to write that adjective!, Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; his restoration of American prosperity by wringing inflation from the American economy; his rebuilding of the nation’s defenses; his restoration of American pride and optimism. However, there is one stand of his that, above all others, ensures that he will always have a special place in my heart, his defense of the weakest and the most vulnerable among us, the unborn.
In 1983 Reagan submitted an essay on abortion to the Human Life Review, then and now, the scholarly heart of the pro-life movement. He entitled it, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation. Go here to the Human Life Review’s website to read it.
Reagan in the article attacked Roe on its tenth anniversary and stated that Roe had not settled the abortion fight:
Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right granted by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court’s result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right. Shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision, Professor John Hart Ely, now Dean of Stanford Law School, wrote that the opinion “is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.” Nowhere do the plain words of the Constitution even hint at a “right” so sweeping as to permit abortion up to the time the child is ready to be born. Yet that is what the Court ruled.
As an act of “raw judicial power” (to use Justice White’s biting phrase), the decision by the seven-man majority in Roe v. Wade has so far been made to stick. But the Court’s decision has by no means settled the debate. Instead, Roe v. Wade has become a continuing prod to the conscience of the nation.
Reagan saw that abortion diminished respect for all human life and quoted Mother Teresa as to the simple truth that abortion is the “greatest misery of our time”:
We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life—the unborn—without diminishing the value of all human life. We saw tragic proof of this truism last year when the Indiana courts allowed the starvation death of “Baby Doe” in Bloomington because the child had Down’s Syndrome.
Many of our fellow citizens grieve over the loss of life that has followed Roe v. Wade. Margaret Heckler, soon after being nominated to head the largest department of our government, Health and Human Services, told an audience that she believed abortion to be the greatest moral crisis facing our country today. And the revered Mother Teresa, who works in the streets of Calcutta ministering to dying people in her world-famous mission of mercy, has said that “the greatest misery of our time is the generalized abortion of children.”
Reagan, ever a student of American history, tied the fight against Roe with the fight against the Dred Scott decision:
Despite the formidable obstacles before us, we must not lose heart. This is not the first time our country has been divided by a Supreme Court decision that denied the value of certain human lives. The Dred Scottdecision of 1857 was not overturned in a day, or a year, or even a decade. At first, only a minority of Americans recognized and deplored the moral crisis brought about by denying the full humanity of our black brothers and sisters; but that minority persisted in their vision and finally prevailed. They did it by appealing to the hearts and minds of their countrymen, to the truth of human dignity under God. From their example, we know that respect for the sacred value of human life is too deeply engrained in the hearts of our people to remain forever suppressed. But the great majority of the American people have not yet made their voices heard, and we cannot expect them to—any more than the public voice arose against slavery—until the issue is clearly framed and presented. Continue reading