by Rod D. Martin
January 22, 1999
You may not realize it, but today is the twenty-sixth anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
It is certainly understandable if you don’t remember. The President is on trial for his life, and millions are busily cheering him on. While Dale Bumpers tells us perjury is less important than a misdemeanor, the President goes on national television to suggest government should invest Social Security funds in the stock market, a back-door plan for government ownership of large chunks of American industry, as well as the institutionalization of the sort of bribery Clinton mastered in Chinagate. Tornadoes ravage, and the Super Bowl is coming up.
It’s easy to see why you’d be distracted.
You’re not alone, either. Pastors across America remain silent, just as they have from the beginning. It took my own Southern Baptist Convention — supposedly the epitome of right-wing Christendom — seven years and a virtual revolution to so much as take a stand on the issue; many of its so-called “moderate” pastors still refuse to speak. How can congregations be expected to remember when alleged men of the cloth refuse?
Yes, it’s all very understandable. But that doesn’t make it right. Slavery was once very understandable too. So, in some quarters, were concentration camps.
And abortion has truly proven to be a holocaust. Over 38 million babies (or “fetuses,” a grammatically-incorrect Latin word which means “babies”) have been murdered in America alone since 1973. That is more than six times the number of Jews slaughtered by Hitler. And amazingly, as the partial-birth abortion debate has made clear, America’s abortuaries have killed their victims, on the whole, in more cruel and painful ways than did most of Hitler’s camps.
Yet we consider ourselves “wise”, “sophisticated”, “civilized”. Germany thought so too.
This is not to say that progress has not been made. AP and USA Today polls taken last year show that 80 percent of us now favor significant restrictions on abortion, and 56 percent of us would never allow a “personal convenience” abortion for any reason, as opposed to just 36 percent who would (the AP headline for this report was, of course, “Poll: Abortion Should Stay Legal”). These are the lowest numbers for the pro-death camp in decades.
Even so, despite the rising tide of pro-life support, an enormous vocal minority sings the same old tune. Like the Supreme Court which handed down Roe, they ignore the absolute unanimity of medical and biochemical testimony that life does begin at conception. They yawn at tales of the high dollar abortion industry, with its clinic owners who spread low-efficiency birth control pills and condoms to teenagers and set goals of three to five abortions per girl between ages 13 and 18 at $250+ a pop (even when such is exposed on 60 Minutes). They are pleased when racketeering laws are used to abrogate the First Amendment rights of abortion protesters. They scream that you better keep your laws off “their” body, as if it were their body at stake.
They are, of course, the same people who think perjury doesn’t matter. They are willing to justify anything simply to have their way. And, being largely baby boomers, they will never think of the consequences, because their generational crusade is and has always been the shedding of responsibility and the destruction of authority. Any authority, at least, which they do not control.
It is a joke to think that there can be rights (plural) when the ultimate right — life — is denied. It is an authoritarian world these aging anarchists give us, one in which anything goes, except what is inconvenient for them. A child may divorce her parents if her parents hold traditional values, but the same child may be killed if her boomer parent’s career gets in the way. A child’s self-esteem must supercede his education, but that same child, if a discipline problem, must instantly be labeled a special-ed case or drugged with Ritalin. A parent may be useful for all sorts of purposes, but let him get a little old or sick, and see how fast we warehouse him in a “nursing” home.
And, increasingly, see how fast we kill him — humanely, of course — just like the equally vulnerable infant in the womb.
No matter how distracted we are this anniversary, we must never, never forget. The day will come when justice is done, when Roe is a memory and babies are cherished; even then, we must never forget. The line between liberty and tyranny, between good and evil, between God’s blessing and His cursing, is all too thin. What has happened in this country can never be erased. But we can do better. And we can remember.