Almost 50 years ago, the Supreme Court claimed to have found an unstated “right to privacy” inside a “penumbra of emanations” in some undisclosed section of the United States Constitution. According to the majority decision in Roe v. Wade, this required the court to overturn every state law in the United States that prohibited or restricted abortion.
The result was that abortion was immediately legalized in all 50 states, and the initial death toll quickly exploded to 1,600,000 per year! Since this very controversial decision, based solely on a “penumbra of emanations,” 64 million unborn babies have been deprived of their lives.
Who were these babies? We’ll never know. We don’t get to select victims or survivors. The lottery of abortion recognizes no exceptions.
Could abortion have taken an Albert Einstein? Or a Barack Obama? Or a Mother Teresa? Or a Babe Ruth? Or a Jonas Salk? The odds establish that in any pool of 64 million people, there will be exceptional people from every walk of life. And there will be many others, who are simply great friends, good workers, talented artists, musicians, doctors, nurses and teachers — or just good people.
The population of Great Britain, for example, is similar to America’s abortion toll — 67 million. France has 64 million. Italy is a nation of 60 million. Poland has 39 million. The elimination of 64 million people by abortion in America, numbs the senses. American abortions have wiped out an entire nation’s worth of people!
As mind-numbing as these numbers are, they obscure the uniqueness and beauty of each individual child who has been lost. Our humanity compels us to mourn the tragedy of the death of any child. The death of a child is our greatest horror that we can ever imagine — let along endure. Except when abortion advocates promote the destruction of children in the womb as “liberation” or “choice.”
They tell mothers that their unplanned or inconvenient pregnancy “is just a bundle of cells.” This is easily contradicted by ultrasound pictures. Women eventually awaken to the lie, but too late. Their grief and regret are often an overwhelming burden. But these are simply reasons to promote the culture of life over abortion. What about law?
As a matter of law, the underpinnings of Roe are — as stated above — concocted out of smoke and mirrors. Even legal scholars who have supported abortion, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, have denounced the legal basis of Roe. When a seismic change like abortion-on-demand is to become national law, it will never be accepted as legitimate when it is not democratically approved.
There have been hundreds of state laws that have been passed to seek a reversal of Roe v. Wade. Many of these were 5-4 decisions, sometimes seeking middle ground. But the Dobbs decision recognizes the contradiction to our Constitution’s guarantee of the right to life, and voids “popular sovereignty” by bypassing the will of the people, or the states.
The fact that we have had abortion imposed upon us for 50 years has influenced our mental expectations and understandings. Our language has been corrupted. We don’t hear about destroying babies in the womb, we hear “choice.” We don’t hear about the inherent natural right to life. We hear about “reproductive freedom.”
The truth is that abortion-advocates want to limit this debate to the mother and define pregnancy as some optional condition — with no consequences beyond the mother. All of the language used to defend abortion reiterates this lie.
Those who defend life seek to include consideration of the victim — the baby! It will take time for our culture to realize that abortion is not inevitable, or desirable. Or to understand that persuasion is not aided by shrieking ideological slogans at one another. Abortion is not just about women. It is about humanity. It affects the baby, and fathers, and others.
The mother is obviously the central figure in bringing forth new life. But she cannot do so alone. In no other legal context is human life deemed to be “disposable,” or without individual worth. Because it is of great value, and by its very existence, it has dignity and rights.
Law is a concept that is used to justify most interactive relationships among people. Civilized people defer to what the law says. But not all laws are equal. If a despot holds power he can simply impose his will and call it “law.” Might makes right. It isn’t much better if a half-dozen judges abuse their office by imposing an extra-Constitutional mandate that bypasses the people.
“Law is the integration of reason and morality … that brings virtue to society:” This is the cornerstone to Western democracy, which comes from Thomas Aquinas, one of the world’s great thinkers. Court-sanctioned destruction of unborn babies fails on all three counts of this definition. It is unreasonable. It is immoral. And, it lacks virtue.
The first declaration in Pennsylvania’s Constitution is: Inherent rights of mankind.
“All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness.”
Ted Meehan is chairman of Pro-Life Delco.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103