Tag archives: Roe v Wade

Pro-Life Speeches from the House of Representatives

by Krystle Gabele

January 16, 2014

Last night, the House of Representatives held special order speeches to commemorate the 41st Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States. Below are the speeches from the floor of the House:

Where is the outrage? — Forty years after Roe, the problem of so-called “back alley” abortions has still not been resolved.

by Anna Higgins

March 27, 2013

Prior to Roe, our society was fed the line by pro abortion advocates that in order to rid ourselves of dangerous “back alley” abortion procedures, abortion must be legalized. Forty years later, the practice of abortion remains unsafe, unsanitary, and largely unregulated. What we no longer have, however, is the voice of abortion proponents crying out for safer procedures.

Now that abortion has been legalized, it seems these ardent pro-abortionists no longer have a real interest in seeing to it that abortions are performed in safe, regulated environments. In fact, it is the leaders of the pro-life movement who are standing up for women exposed to horrific conditions in abortion facilities. Abortion proponents, on the other hand, are coming out of the woodwork to oppose such safety measures.

This month the notorious abortionist, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, is on trial for seven counts of first-degree murder as well as multiple counts of conspiracy, criminal solicitation and violation of a state law that forbids abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy, following a federal drug raid that revealed much more than prescription drug violations. The raids revealed “blood on the floors, parts of aborted children stored in jars… padlocked emergency exits and broken and inoperable emergency equipment,” (AUL, Defending Life, 2012). The murder charges stem from the death of one adult patient and the discovery that Gosnell had been delivering live babies and killing them by severing their spinal cords with scissors. One employee testified at trial that she, Gosnell, and other employees did in fact cut the spinal cords of a dozen babies. Perhaps the most chilling fact of all is that Gosnell’s clinic was left to operate completely uninspected by state health officials since 1993, despite numerous complaints.

Unfortunately, this scenario is far too common. Even states that impose abortion facility regulations rarely inspect or require complication reporting. For example, Maryland recently enacted new abortion clinic restrictions, under which Dr. LeRoy Carhart’s abortion facility, Germantown Reproductive Health Services, was licensed. Although it was issued a license under these more stringent regulations, the clinic was never actually inspected.

On the heels of this licensure, Carhart performed a late-term (33 week gestation) abortion on a 29 year-old woman who subsequently died of complications from the procedure. Because of such lenient inspection and reporting requirements around the nation, it is impossible to know how many facilities continue to operate under sub-standard, dangerous conditions. As we now know from experience, these dangerous and unsanitary clinics are likely to remain open until another preventable tragedy takes place.

If abortion activists are so concerned about women’s safety and health, it is time they support of common sense measures that require abortion facilities to meet the standards applied to other medical facilities. Abortion, like any other surgical procedure, poses many risks which are complicated by an unregulated environment. Abortion also presents complications that far exceed those of other procedures. As stated by the Supreme Court in Harris v. McRae, abortion is the only medical procedure that “involves the purposeful termination of a potential life.” For that reason, it is distinguishable from any other medical procedure, and can be held to high standards of regulation by states.

Currently, the Virginia Board of Health is considering regulations passed by the General Assembly requiring stricter standards for abortion facilities, including hospital construction standards. The Board is receiving public comment until March 29th, at which time they will vote on the new regulations. If you are a citizen of Virginia, consider acquainting yourself with these new standards and adding a comment in support of tougher regulations. You can post comments here.

The legalization of abortion has done nothing to improve the health of women. In fact, it has detrimentally affected women’s physical and mental well-being. As we work to end the evil that is abortion, we should be vigilant to enact common sense measures that limit the risks posed to women, children, and families by these unregulated clinics.

January 22, 1973: The Wound in America’s Soul

by Robert Morrison

January 22, 2013

President Reagan said it well: “abortion is a wound in America’s soul.” He said that in his State of the Union Address (1986). He was the first and, alas, the last president to speak thus of this terrible wound. I remember that speech well. It thrilled me to hear the president I served speak so tenderly, so sincerely of this momentous issue.

President Reagan knew that millions of Americans tune out to politics. But if they pay attention to anything in the year, it’s likely to be the State of the Union Address, or the Inauguration. So he used these high state occasions to appeal to Americans’ consciences. He attacked no one. He condemned no one. But he spoke the truths that we all know.

The late Arlen Spector called the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade (1973) a “super precedent.”

Whatever that means, it suggests that the Court’s diktat must be irreversible. Precedents of the Court, after all, are overruled every session. Spector might have agreed with radical Lawrence Lader.

This co-founder of NARAL wrote that “abortion is central to everything in life and how we want to live it.” Lader understood that the sexual revolution required some sacrifice. And the sacrifice of millions of unborn children was preferable to any limits on the sexual license he and his followers demanded.

Perhaps even worse than the vacuous opinion of Harry Blackmun in Roe was the plurality opinion of the Supreme Court nearly twenty years and thirty million lives later. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), the Supreme Court poured salt into the wound Roe had inflicted. The three-judge plurality wrote: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

Justice Antonin Scalia is right to ridicule this as “the sweet mystery of life” passage. Has there ever been a sillier notion jumped-up and paraded as constitutional dogma? Of course we can define the mystery of human life for ourselves. But has that ever been understood to imply a right to take lethal action against others based on our self-defined right? You may have liberty to define yourself as the new Emperor Napoleon, but if you undertake to invade Russia in winter, you might just be restrained.

Reaffirming Roe in Casey, the Court ordered us all to pipe down and obey. Later that year, Bill Clinton was elected president. Columnist Charles Krauthammer, ordinarily a wise man, pronounced the pro-life movement dead. Political contention over abortion was over, he intoned.

Not so fast. For the past twenty years, the conflict over abortion has intensified, if anything. Even Hillary Clinton was led to say abortion is “wrong.” (Newsweek, October 31, 1994). She was then trying desperately to save the Democratic majority in Congress. It didn’t work. Since that time, of course, she has spared no effort to advance this wrong thing at home and around the world.

Feminist Naomi Wolf conceded that the pro-choice side had failed to consider the spiritual side of abortion. She quoted her friends being pursued by “the baby furies.” And recently, in TIME Magazine, no less, Joe Klein noted that “sonograms have made it impossible to deny that that thing in the womb is a human being.”

Abortion was wrong for Hippocrates before the Christian era. This pagan philosopher knew that the direct taking of innocent life was and always will be wrong. It violates the natural law that is said to be written on the hearts of men. Thucydides anguished over his beloved Athens and its democratic decision to destroy unoffending Melos. He knew this homicidal act would stain Athens’ memory to the latest generation.

Abortion contradicts our founding documents and perverts our understanding of them. Lincoln described the Founders’ basic premise: It was their enlightened belief that “nothing stamped in the divine image was sent into the world to be trod upon and imbruted.”

Roe and its progeny violate the fundamental precepts of the great religions. Those who claim to be a religious coalition for abortion rights must answer a basic question: Shall we do unto others that which we would never wish to be done unto us?

Nothing in modern American life has been so destructive of our Union as Roe. Governments are instituted among men to secure our inalienable, God-given rights. By making government a party to the destruction of human life, we undermine the very reason for its existence. Fifty state laws were overturned by Roe. In every one of those state laws, the abortion provisions were a part of the homicide code. The authors of those laws knew something about government and human life that the moral relativists of the 1970s and today blandly refuse to acknowledge.

On this dread fortieth anniversary of infamous Roe v. Wade, I remember Marilyn, our church organist. Marilyn was as apolitical as you can get. She led the children’s choir and gave us many a beautiful Christmas program of angelic voices. After Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, she told me she and her children had stayed up all night—weeping.That’s because she and her husband had adopted these wonderful kids. She knew that the election of a pro-abortion president would mean no good for America’s future. I couldn’t agree more.

False Modesty

by Robert Morrison

January 15, 2013

In a key passage in the infamous Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973, Harry Blackmun, author of the majority opinion says this:

… We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.”

It would seem that Justice Blackmun was expressing a becoming intellectual modesty. We don’t know when human life begins. And the experts that courts often turn to don’t know either. So it would be best not to “speculate” about the answer to that “difficult question.”

Ronald Reagan did not attend Harvard Law School, as the media is only too happy to point out. Like President Obama, Harry Blackmun did attend Harvard Law School. Still, President Reagan thought if we were in doubt as to whether an unborn child was a human life, wouldn’t it be better to err on the side of life?

Ironically, the former Dean of Harvard Law School, Archibald Cox agreed with Reagan, at least about the poor job of legal reasoning undergirding Roe v. Wade. As my friend, Jack Fowler, of National Review noted appreciatively at the time of Cox’s death in 2004, this famed Kennedy Democrat put his finger on the fatal flaws of Roe v. Wade.

[“Blackmun’s opinion] fails even to consider what I would suppose to be the most important compelling interest of the State in prohibiting abortion: the interest in maintaining that respect for the paramount sanctity of human life which has always been at the centre of Western civilization, not merely by guarding life itself, however defined, but by safeguarding the penumbra, whether at the beginning, through some overwhelming disability of mind or body, or at death.”

Archibald Cox went on to say of Blackmun’s work:

The failure [of Roe v. Wade] to confront the issue in principled terms leaves the opinion to read like a set of hospital rules and regulations, whose validity is good enough this week but will be destroyed with new statistics upon the medical risks of child-birth and abortion or new advances in providing for the separate existence of a foetus… . Neither historian, nor layman, nor lawyer will be persuaded that all the prescriptions of Justice Blackmun are part of the Constitution.”

We know from Bob Woodward’s book, The Brethren, that Harry Blackmun was desperate for respect. He felt his Harvard Law degree entitled him to that measure of regard that he had thus far in his life failed to attain. Roe was to be his legacy, his fiery boat to judicial Valhalla.

He cannot have been pleased that some Supreme Court clerks—pro-abortion as they were—were dismissive of his work. Behind his back, they referred to his opus as “Harry’s abortion.”

Stanford University Law School Dean, John Hart Ely, is one of those whose respect Harry Blackmun craved. He didn’t get it. Although Ely was pro-abortion, he dismissed Harry’s Roe opinion:

[Blackmun’s ruling in Roe is bad constitutional law, or rather … it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.”

Science has never been in doubt. California Medicine was the official journal of that state’s medical society. Although in favor of liberalized abortion, they let the scientific cat out of the judicial bag when they wrote this in 1970, several years before Roe v. Wade (1973).

The result [of the abortion debate] has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra-uterine until death. The very considerable semantic gymnastics which are required to rationalize abortion as anything but taking a human life would be ludicrous if they were not often put forth under socially impeccable auspices. It is suggested that this schizophrenic sort of subterfuge is necessary because while a new ethic is being accepted the old one has not yet been rejected.

Note that phrase: “socially impeccable auspices.” The argument that the unborn child is not a human being would be “ludicrous” if it were not being made by socially impeccablefolks.

Socially impeccable, like Barack Obama. In 2008, Mr. Obama told Rev. Rick Warren that the question of when the unborn child comes to possess any rights is “above my pay grade.” Modestly stated.

The policies pursued by President Obama since he rose to the highest pay grade have been anything but modest. He has pressed for the greatest expansion of abortion since

Roe v. Wade. He demands we subsidize abortion through our taxes, through insurance coverage under Obamacare, through U.S. contributions to the abortion traffickers of International Planned Parenthood and the UN Fund for Population Activities. He has turned the U.S. State Department into a marketing firm for abortion worldwide. No modesty there.

As for Roe, it resembles a judicial Berlin Wall. It’s ugly. It’s offensive. It’s an affront to justice and mercy, to law and logic. But it does what its builders intended it to do. And we are left with its tragic consequences.

Doesnt Everyone Deserve a Birth Day?

by Robert Morrison

January 24, 2011

I managed to find my hardy group of Lutherans for Life. They were late to our noon rendezvous at 7th St. and Independence Ave. NW. How un-Lutheran of them not to be punctual for the annual March for Life! There, we assembled under the big blue-and-white banner of LFL.

I spoke with Clark, who had come in from nearby Baltimore. His home congregation, he told me, was Martini Lutheran Church. Martini? I was surprised. I thought Lutherans were supposed to like something else. You know: Bibel, Bach, und Bier. Well, no, Clark said, Martini Lutheran congregation is 143 years old, founded in what was then a largely German-speaking city. It was named after St. Martin of Toursfor whom Martin Luther himself had been named. It was a strong reminder that the roots of these Lutherans go way back and are, in many senses, joined with their Catholic antecedents.

This little flock braved the cold17 F. this morning, but rising to the balmy 20s by the time of the March. A Lutheran pastor told me he had come with his congregation from the Upper Peninsula of Michiganby bus. Tens of thousands of the largely Catholic crowd had been on the road since last night for this annual event on the nations Mall.

Rev. Jim Lamb, the Executive Director of the national Lutherans for Life organization, hailed me. It was hard to recognize each other, swathed as we were in hats, gloves, and scarves. Pastor Lamb had come in from Iowa for the March for Life. A number of staffers came from the International Center of The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod, all the way from St. Louis.

Jim Lamb told me that LFL had achieved an important goal under the new president of the LCMS. President Matt Harrison had extended official recognition of the LFL organization. That meant that this 2,400,000-member church body would be increasing its pro-life presence and witness.

Jim Lamb reminded me of the work of Dr. Jean Garton, the late Rev. Richard Neuhaus, and Rev. Jack Eichhorst in the 1970s. These and other Lutherans (yes, the illustrious Richard Neuhaus was a Lutheran back then) together made a strong statement that Lutherans are for Life. And they gave their biblical reasons for it.

Why was that important? After the initial shock of Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973, the pro-abortion forces tried to dismiss all opposition to abortion-on-demand as only a few right wingers. The adamant refusal of the Catholic Bishops of America to be put in that media box is justly famous. Millions of Catholics continued to bear faithful witness to what Pope John Paul the Great would call The Gospel of Life. Well, then, the media insinuated, its just a Catholic issue.

Lutherans for Life proved it wasnt just a Catholic issue. At this point in the struggle for life, the thousands of churches represented in the National Association of Evangelicals had not yet had a chance to weigh in for life. That would take several years and the widespread distribution of the video series called Whatever Became of the Human Race with Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop. Soon, the Evangelicals would become a powerful force defending unborn children in America.

So, too, would the 15-million member Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The fight to reclaim the SBC would extend into the 1980s. But when this great ships course was righted, no one gave more eloquent expression to the sanctity of human life than the Southern Baptists.

What that little flock of Lutherans did in the mid-1970s was to help in an important way the efforts of the Roman Catholic community. Catholic pro-lifers could always point to the Lutherans and say: See, were not the only ones who understand the need to protect innocent human life.

And the pro-life Lutherans could speak to the mainstream Protestants and say: We are pro-life on solely biblical grounds. Sola scriptura. Perhaps youve heard of it. It was a most happy and mutually reinforcing alliance.

I was in Washington, D.C., on January 22, 1973. I remember the Washington Posts reporting on the Roe v. Wade decision. I was miserable about it. But I thought the fight was over. As an unchurched young man, I thought when the U.S. Supreme Court spoke, you had to genuflect and obey.

It was not until I lived in the Midwest that I learned otherwise. Those common sense folkCatholic, Evangelical, and, yes, Lutheranlawfully but firmly pushed back. Their effective grassroots efforts taught me that so great a wrong could never be a right.

I didnt realize on that gray and dreary day of the infamous Roe ruling that the fight for the lives of unborn children would consume the rest of my life. Two years ago, when we saw the election of a strongly pro-abortion president and Congress, Ill admit my heart sank. It seemed that all I had worked for the past 25 years had gone up in smoke.

But a month after election day, our daughter and her beloved husband presented us with a grandson. They named him Samuel. It means God hears. And from the moment I heard that name, I felt a resurgence of strength. Now, I feel I can fight for another 25 years if I have to. GrandSam deserved that birthday. Doesnt everyone deserve a birth day?

22 January 1973/2010

by Robert Morrison

January 22, 2010

That day22 January 1973—was a day very much like today, cold, gray, threatening. I was walking around the House Office Buildings, hunting for a job. The previous November, I had been defeated for the State Assembly in New York. I hadnt wanted to campaign on abortion one way or the other, but I couldnt avoid it. After anguishing over my decision for weeks, I came out strongly anti-abortion. Immediately, the $25,000 promised to my struggling campaigna huge sum in those dayswas withheld by the New York State Democratic Party. Although I never met him, I was told that Harold Ickes, Jr. had made the decision. Were not going to have anyone in the Democratic Party who is anti-abortion, he was quoted as saying. With that, I lost the race that was said to be a sure thing.

Job-hunting for an anti-abortion Democrat wasnt easy then. Its not easy now. Then, in the midst of my search came the thunderous newsthe U.S. Supreme Court had struck down the abortion laws of all fifty states.

Broke, unemployed, I could not have been more dejected. With the Courts radical ruling, I thought it would be this way forever. In my experience, no oneat least no one who was not a segregationisthad spoken out against a ruling of the Supreme Court. We had been schooled to believe that the Supreme Court had the final word.

The New York Daily News did not run a banner headline on Roe v. Wade to mark that day. Instead, all eyes were focused on the news that read:

Lyndon Johnson Dead at 64 Heart Attack Fells Him in Texas

Tuesday, January 23, 1973

Lyndon Baines Johnson served as our nation’s 36th president.

San Antonio, Tex., Jan. 22 (Special) - Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President of the United States who set the nation on a course of “Great Society” reforms but left office with his countrymen bitterly divided over the Vietnam War, died today after suffering an apparent heart attack at his central Texas ranch. He was 64.

Almost the only Latin I knew in those days was a quote from French President de Gaulle: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi. Thus passeth the glory of the world. That phrase expressed my feelings on learning that LBJ was dead.

You cannot exaggerate Lyndon Johnsons presence in those days. He was as adulated as Barack Obama in 1964 and 1965, but more despised than George W. Bush by 1968. He was almost a force of nature. In the early days of his administration, he had only to propose a measure and Congress obediently bowed before him. Some of those measureslike the Great Civil Rights Act of 1964, like the Voting Rights Act of 1965corrected great historic wrongs. But many of his other bills caused grievous problems, harmed millions of families, and haunt us to this day. Love him or hate him, Johnson in his prime bestrode the narrow world like a colossus. And here he had died.

Richard Nixon had just been inaugurated for a second term two days before, on 20 January 1973. Nixon ordered people to consult Lincolns Second Inaugural for guidance on his own oath-taking ceremonies. When all the Presidents men studied the profound, troubling words of Lincoln in 1865, and read the Emancipators sense of Gods holding our nation in His judgment, they decided to go another direction entirely.

Nixon carried 49 states the previous November. But in crushing Sen. George McGovern, Nixons singularly joyless victory was robbed of all sense of triumph. We now know that the mood of dejection came from the top. On Election Night, President Nixon had demanded the resignations of his Cabinet. How weird.

Today, we can give Nixon his due. He promised to end the war in Vietnam with honor. When he took office in 1969, there were 535,000 young Americans fighting in South Vietnam, with hundreds of dead and wounded every week. There was no prospect for peace. Four years later, Nixon had reduced the U.S. forces in country to 25,000. He had forced the North Vietnamese Communists to sign Peace Accords. He had provided arms, funding, and training for the South Vietnamese, who were at least maintaining a fragile independence. And Nixon had brought home several hundred POWs, including young Navy flier John McCain.

We did not know that Inauguration week in 1973 why everything seemed so somber here in Washington. Nixon knew why. The troubles that began with a third rate burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate Hotel the previous June would blow up like a prairie twister to consume the Nixon Presidency.

Distractions of 1973. Johnson dead. Nixon brooding. The wounds of war still unhealed. And then there was this abortion question. I could hardly believe that my beloved country would actually embraceor at least be forced to submitto abortion forever.

What had become of the nation that believed the God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time? How could Americans ever reconcile themselves to this cruel and unjust ruling?

Well, we didnt. First in Catholic parishes, then in Lutheran churches, and soon in a mighty rush in thousands of Evangelical churches and para-church ministries, the heart of America rallied.

Within one year, the first March for Life was organized. Efforts soon got underway to resist. Churches and churchgoers sponsored pregnancy resource centers to help desperate young women choose life. Right to life groups organized, lobbied, wrote, and took to the airwaves.

When I joined the March for Life participants today, I rejoiced to stand with people young enough to be my grandchildren. I have gone from a young man to an old man at these marches.

One year ago, all our great expectations seemed eclipsed. It was as if we were thrown back to that dread day of 22 January 1973. How could anyone resist the irresistible tide? The victor brought millions to his historic Inaugural. He was hailed as sort of a God by Newsweek Magazine. Once again, Death rode on his pale horse.

What hope and what change we have seen in just one year. Has Health Care that kills been stopped? It seems so. Can anyone remember any words to cherish from that Inauguration of just one year ago? We may not be out of the woods, but we are out of the swamp.

This morning, I was late for the March. I got distracted. Not by Johnson, not by Nixon, not by Obama, but my 13-month old grandson on the Internet. Samuel was speaking words that thrilled my heart. His words were conveyed to me by technologies that did not even exist when the High Court did its low work in 1973. These new technologies also provide a window on the womb. They let us communicate the truth. His Truth. This is the Lords doing. It is marvelous in our eyes.

To Save A Life

by Michael Leaser

January 22, 2010

For those who enjoy going to the movies but want a film that digs deeper into the soul than the pocketbook, the inspiring Christian film To Save a Life opens in theatres today.

High schooler Jake Taylor has it allbasketball stardom, perfect girlfriend, college scholarship, but an old friends suicide forces him to discover what he truly values and believes. The film also deals with abortion in a dramatic and touching way, a fitting reminder of what we are fighting for on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Correct, Correct, Correct Roe v. Wade (Part II)

by Robert Morrison

January 22, 2010

Is the unborn child a human life? President Reagan used to say if you were in doubt whether a body you found on the sidewalk was dead or alive, you would never just assume it was dead.

President Obama, by contrast, famously answered Rev. Rick Warrens question about when the unborn child begins to have human and civil rights by saying that question is above my pay grade. But Mr. Obamas policies all assume the body on the sidewalk is dead.

Theres yet another thing you will never learn reading the papers about Roe. Just where were those abortion laws of the fifty states that were struck down by the Supreme Court that dread day? They were not in the family law codes. Nor in the child custody codes. Not in the medical licensing statutes.

The abortion laws of the fifty states were typically found in the Homicide sections.

No state made abortion a homicide in the first degree (pre-meditated murder, to most of

us lay people.) This may have been due to wise 19th century state lawmakers who did not want to prosecute women. And it may have taken account of the difficulty of obtaining convictions where the evidence of the unborn childs body was hard to find.

Still, that these laws were homicide laws tells you volumes. Some of our younger pro-life friends believe that the Court could not have known about the humanity of the unborn child in 1973. Not so. Yes, we know so very much more now. Yes, we have 4D ultra-sound that we did not have then.

But they knew in 1973. Everyone knew. I recall sitting in the Catholic hospital where my mother worked in the late 1960s. Across from me in the waiting room was an expectant Filipino woman. She could hardly speak English, but she wore a tee shirt with an arrow pointing down at her tummy. The tee shirt said: Baby. Everyone knew what that meant.

The state lawmakers knew as early as 1857, when science discovered that human life begins at conception. And every accurate scientific and medical textbook since has acknowledged this inescapable but, to politicians like Al Gore, inconvenient truth:

The chromosomes of the oocyte and sperm are…respectively enclosed within female and male pronuclei. These pronuclei fuse with each other to produce the single, diploid, 2N nucleus of the fertilized zygote. This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development.”

[Larsen, William J. Human Embryology. 2nd edition. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997, p. 17]

President Obama: I have the honor to present to you the human oocyte and sperm. And they didnt even have to crash your White House dinner. I was introduced to them in high school biology. Sir, I wanted you to meet them.

Since the public has been deliberately misled about Roe v. Wade, it will be necessary to educate people about it. Thats why, when confronted with insistent media questions on overturning Roe v. Wade, I hope the pro-life community will resolutely respond:

Roe overturned all fifty state laws that protected unborn children and their mothers. Roe needs to be corrected.

Overturn is what happens to SUVs in a ditch. Overturn is radical and dangerous. The American people are inherently conservative and reflexively reject that which is radical and dangerous. Liberal activists and journalists know this. Thats why they always frame every question about abortionor at least the ones they lob at pro-life candidatesin terms of overturning Roe.

They know what they are doing. Shouldnt we?

Correct, Correct, Correct Roe v. Wade: Part I

by Robert Morrison

January 22, 2010

The Gallup Company created quite a stir last spring when they announced that, for the first time, a majority (51%) of Americans consider themselves pro-life. We would think, therefore, that a majority would also favor overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that gave us abortion-on-demand. Not necessarily.

First, we must remember that the American people have been misled by the major news media about Roe v. Wade since that dark and dreary day 36 years ago.

The media regularly call Roe a landmark decision. Landmark is a good thing. It connotes something historic and of great weight. You never hear the infamous 1857 Dred Scott ruling that upheld slavery in the territories called landmark.

Almost never will a story about Roe include the critique of Yale Law School Dean, John Hart Ely. Prof. Ely, although he favored liberalizing our abortion laws, was unimpressed by the legal reasoning behind Justice Harry Blackmuns Roe v. Wade ruling: It is not constitutional law and it gives no impression of an obligation to be constitutional law. According to Bob Woodruffs behind-the-scenes book on the Supreme Court, the Justices clerks were even more dismissive, calling the opinion Harrys abortion.

Harvard Law Professor Archibald Cox was a friend of the Kennedy family. He, too, was not impressed with the land that Roe was marking:

[Blackmuns opinion] fails even to consider what I would suppose to be the most important compelling interest of the State in prohibiting abortion: the interest in maintaining that respect for the paramount sanctity of human life which has always been at the centre of Western civilization, not merely by guarding life itself, however defined, but by safeguarding the penumbra, whether at the beginning, through some overwhelming disability of mind or body, or at death.

Continuing to blast Roe, Cox wrote:

The failure to confront the issue in principled terms leaves the opinion to read like a set of hospital rules and regulations, whose validity is good enough this week but will be destroyed with new statistics upon the medical risks of child-birth and abortion or new advances in providing for the separate existence of a fetus… . Neither historian, nor layman, nor lawyer will be persuaded that all the prescriptions of Justice Blackmun are part of the Constitution.

President Kennedys appointee to the Supreme Court, Justice Byron R. Whizzer White was one of two votes against Roe on January 22, 1973, and faithfully ever after. Justice White condemned the ruling as an example of raw judicial power.

But the media, in their worshipful treatment of Roe, rarely include such comments. Nor do they remind Americans that Roe was so radical it overturned the abortion laws of all fifty states. Even the most liberal state laws on abortionlike those of New York, Washington, California, and Coloradowere overturned by Roes yet more radical rule.

Further, the media regularly report that the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy. Thats true, but misleading.

Yes, the Court made abortion legal in the first trimester (three months), but it also so strictly limited the protections a state might afford to unborn children after the first trimester as to effectively give us abortion-on-demand until birth. (And, in some horrific cases, even after birth.)

Describing Roe this way is like describing Hitlers blitzkrieg in Western Europe like this:

German forces today overran Belgium and Luxemburg. Surely they did. But they also simultaneously invaded France!

In practice, Roe legalized abortion in all three trimesters. This makes U.S. abortion law more radical than any other advanced democracy.

So the public has been consistently misinformed about the radical nature of Roe v. Wade.

But it is also misinformed about the reasons given for most abortions. Well over 90% of abortions are done today—and have been done since 1973 for reasons that the American people do not support—reasons of financial hardship or emotional distress.

Liberal Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman, who retired earlier this year, famously wrote that the three reasons for abortion are rape, incest, and me. She was candidly admitting that pro-abortion groups use the horrors of rape and incest to conceal their true agenda: abortion-on-demand.

The numbers of abortions are typically reported in decimal form1.2 million. Cynical Communist dictator Joe Stalin said it: A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic. He should know. By not reporting the annual deaths from abortion as 1,200,000, or the total since Roe was issued as 49,000,000, the press collaborates in minimizing the impact.

By way of comparison, Americas Civil War claimed the lives of 630,000 young men, World War II cost us 424,000. Is there any other way to assess the gravity of a war? The worst riots? The worst flood? The worst earthquake? Theyre judged by the numbers of human lives they take.

(continued in Part II)

Archives