Thursday, January 22, 2009
January 22nd, 1973 was one of the worst dates in the history of the United States of America. On that date 36 years ago today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) delivered its opinion in the case of 'Roe vs. Wade'. According to the SCOTUS decision, most laws restricting abortion in America violated a constitutional right to privacy under the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The ruling basically overturned all state and federal laws restricting abortions. It centrally held that a mother could abort her pregnancy for any reason up until the point at which the baby, referred to in the ruling by its scientific developmental stage name 'fetus', became 'viable'. It defined viability as the baby having the potential to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid, and placed this term at between 24-28 weeks. The court also held that abortion after viability must also be available in order to protect a woman's health, and this 'health' was defined broadly in a companion case called 'Doe vs. Bolton'. The court based its ruling on its desire to protect personal freedoms and privacy. A woman should be able to make medical decisions involving her health along with her doctor, and the government should in no way be interfering in this process. Of course never anywhere in their ruling did the court recognize the very apparent fact that there is not just one life, not just one person's health, being affected by a decision to abort. There is a baby alive inside of the mother. Unfortunately for that baby, it can not yet speak for itself. It cannot stand up for its own rights. It cannot vote for politicians who will support its cause. And there is, of course, only one 'cause' for which these babies are fighting at this early stage of their development - their very lives. A year after the 'Roe v. Wade' ruling was handed down a group of grassroots Americans who recognized the fundamental importance of standing up for these lives got together and organized a relatively small memorial. On January 22nd, 1974 the very first 'March for Life' took place with 20,000 participants marching on the U.S. Capitol in protest of the SCOTUS decision. By the following year of 1975, that number more than doubled to 50,000 and has grown now to the point where approximately 200,000 people regularly flood the Capitol steps and the surrounding areas each year. The 'March for Life' movement supports a set of 'Life Principles' that simply sound like common sense. They support the self-evident truth that all human beings are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which is the right to life. They support the preservation of every human life by every other human life, from the moment that the father's sperm fertilizes the mother's ovum. This factually and truthfully results in the creation of life, which will result in the birth of a human being, which will result in that human being growing into a child, and finally into an adult. The actual march begins on 4th Street in Washington, D.C. near the U.S. District Court. It then proceeds along Constitution Avenue past the U.S. Capitol and on to 7th Street, between the Capitol and the Supreme Court building. This evening the annual 'Rose Dinner' (the rose being the symbol of the movement) will be held at the Hyatt Regency. There will be speeches by a few key players in the movement, awards for a half dozen student activists, learning opportunities on the issues, some fine dining, and a toast to success for life issues during the coming year. You know, it just seems to me to be incredible that we need a 'movement' dedicated to life itself. I mean, where would all of the pro-abortion folks be if their parents had made what they determine to be the 'choice' not to give birth to them? Dead, that's where they would be today. Just like the hundreds of millions of babies who have been killed since that infamously egregious 'Roe v. Wade' decision decades ago. Approximately 47 years ago, a young single mother gave birth to a child whose father had abandoned them both. Three months later, my own mother gave birth to me. The son of that single mother, who raised him sometimes in poverty, often in difficulty, was sworn in this week as the 44th President of the United States of America. Many of his supporters decry the more than 4,000 American lives lost by people who by their own choice fought and died for our country. But most of those same supporters hold their tongues for the 7.5 million babies killed by abortion in America since the war began in Iraq. Or worse, they support these deaths. The same streets on which Barack Obama was inaugurated and on which parades honored him just two short days ago were filled today with people marching for human life. Thanks to the hundreds of thousands who flooded the streets of Washington, D.C. today we may one day live to see Americans overturn that immoral and murderous court ruling.