Roe v. Wade, a milestone of shame
January 21, 2013 2 Comments
Tuesday, January 22 marks the 40th anniversary of the notorious Roe vs. Wade decision. Since that time, nearly 55 million innocent human lives have unjustifiably been taken in the United States. Legal abortion on demand is the most massive injustice in modern American history. Nothing else even comes close.
The abortion issue continues to loom large, and dwarf all other issues in significance. Economic and foreign policy issues, for instance, pale in comparison to one profoundly awful reality: that taking millions of innocent human lives without ethical justification is sanctioned in our society.
How did we get to this point?
The run-up to Roe vs. Wade was a time of moral and ethical confusion. Most are familiar with the changing sexual mores and gender roles that were being engineered around that time. The media/left complex cheered on these changes with alacrity.
But it is critical to note that some of the societal institutions that should have helped apply the brakes simply failed to play a more appropriate role.
In the text of the Roe decision itself, Justice Blackmun wrote that the “position of a large segment of the Protestant community” was that life begins at childbirth; and that “organized groups” felt that abortion was “a matter of conscience for the individual and her family.” Blackmun also pointed out that the “predominant attitude of the Jewish faith” was that life begins at childbirth.
In fact, large segments of the religious community– especially among mainline Protestants– had long since abandoned the moral consensus that once held together civil society. Evangelicals were largely apolitical and had not yet awakened to the abortion issue.
Where were the political conservatives? Many elected officials at that time were moderate-to-liberal on the social issues. But more importantly, the United States Supreme Court was engaged in a period of unbridled liberal judicial activism. And many of the activist Supreme Court Justices had been nominated by Republican presidents– including Ronald Reagan himself.
The legal community itself has tended to be overwhelmingly liberal; and has tended to vicariously enjoy the power grabs that judges make when they attempt to rewrite the constitution.
And sadly, some within my own profession have been a part of this mess.
Yet, the combined wisdom of all these players failed miserably to foresee what the outcomes would be. They failed to foresee the many forms of societal wreckage that would ensue when we sought to dissociate the act of sexual intercourse from the outcome of bearing children. Look around you and see what happened. The nuclear family has been nearly decimated.
We now have a president who believes that, when abortions are botched– and the baby is delivered– the “healthcare” team should be free to allow the baby to die via neglect. He also believes that doctors should be free to kill the late-term baby being delivered in the birth canal via partial birth abortion.
Yet, we routinely see the media/left complex paradoxically revere Obama, almost as if he were a Jesus-like figure.
The president has already nominated two Supreme Court Justices, and might have an opportunity to nominate others over the next several years.
One positive note is the fact that the North Carolina General Assembly recently passed some important pro-life legislation. In our state, the woman seeking elective abortion– and the abortionist– are now subject to a waiting period and to informed consent requirements.
On the date that legislation passed, I happened to be in attendance at a county commissioners’ meeting. Rep. Alma Adams had just returned from Raleigh. She made her way to the speakers’ podium, and told those gathered what an awful day it had been at the state capital. She was clearly distraught over the fact that the informed consent legislation had passed.
But we have seen many positive pieces of pro-life legislation being passed around the country in the individual states. This is encouraging news.
Four years ago, in the heat of her senatorial campaign, Greensboro’s own Kay Hagan posed for the media in front of her local church. We were subsequently reassured by her friends in the media that she had, in fact, been a Sunday School teacher there. But of course, our esteemed Senator is a vehemently pro-abortion former Sunday School teacher.
What unites Obama, Hagan, Adams and the failed Republican judicial nominees? They are all reflections of a fundamentally corrupted culture. They are reflections of a culture that has wandered adrift, and lost its moorings.
There is no issue more important than abortion. What is the answer?
We should support local pro-life ministries such as the GreensboroPregnancyCareCenter and Room at the Inn.
Churches must teach with a clarity of moral vision regarding the evil of abortion. Parents need to teach their kids, against the overwhelming force of the popular culture, regarding the obligations that must be associated with sexuality, marriage and family.
We need to elect politicians who are courageously pro-life; and who respect the Constitution. The states must continue to enact positive pro-life legislation.
But we also need originalist judges– not activist judges– at every level.
A death toll of 55 million attributable to abortion suggests that this is primarily an issue of the human heart. How could so many of our fellow American citizens blithely tolerate such a holocaust? This must give us pause. A massive, wholesale slaughter of this type could not take place if they did not routinely elect leaders who are complicit with evil.
That is the reality with which we must all grapple.
Dr. Joe Guarino is a Guardian columnist.