Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. For the feminist left in 1973 it was a crowning achievement. Abortion, they concluded, was here to stay…enshrined in the nation's law. You can be sure their aging saints will be available this week for interviews when the media, that loves abortion, trots them out for worship and remembrance.
Four decades later, however, there's a note of whistling past the graveyard in the run-up to the anniversary. Even Time Magazine, or what's left of it, said of the pro-abortion activists on its latest cover, "They've been losing ever since." At the state level, they point out, anti-abortion or pro-life activists and lawyers have succeeded in winning important restrictions on the federal law — enough to make a roll back of Roe seem within reach.
Shame and stigma, their code words for how single mothers are regarded, are still part of the outmoded talking points, yet there's talk of shedding the "pro-choice" label in favor of a more inclusive term that would cover gay rights and childcare. That is, if there are any children left to take care of….
The abortion debate still revolves around numbers and the motives of those collecting them. Nevertheless, there's little change in the polls over the years. A majority of Americans say they don't want Roe overturned, and at the same time, 47% say abortion is "morally wrong." That's ambivalence. Support for Roe does not mean that abortion supporters think the procedure is free of guilt.
How many abortions have been performed in the forty years since Roe is not disputed. In the United States more than 55 million babies have been surgically or chemically dissolved. Roughly one child per thirty seconds.
One is tempted to consider the deserved attention given to the slaughter in Newtown, Connecticut against the "business as usual" holocaust of the unborn.
The arguments for abortion have not changed, emphasizing a woman's right to control her own body — as if any of us but God really can. The activists of the 1970s and their younger versions still speak of "reproductive rights" and "public health," myopically concentrating their focus on women, not the murder of children.
Perhaps this is why the abortion issue is still an unhealed wound in the moral life of the nation. It also makes it more difficult to argue for abortion when science, and its miracle of ultrasound, now allows us, and mothers, to get a look inside the womb to see a living breathing person. The activists have fought this mightily, a testament to their raw disregard for both mother and child.
Planned Parenthood, the motherlode of abortion providers, is under attack while American taxpayers pay for half its budget — $542 million dollars according to its latest annual report. Planned Parenthood insists that it exists to provide for the health of women. But privately, even its own members speculate that their real aim is to provide contraception.
There is a strong argument to be made for holding the radical leftists of the abortion movement responsible for the coarsening of our culture. Promiscuity, degradation of women, suicide, abuse of children born, contempt for morality and religion, rampant cynicism and vulgarity. When you hold life cheap, there is little to protect.
So when the marches start and the parade of abortion's wonder women begins, who will remember the silent wail of 55 million children who died to make it more convenient for their mothers?