22 Jan Gary Bauer: Celebrating Life
A new crowd is in Washington, D.C., today – hundreds of thousands of pro-life marchers who gather here every January to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. That Supreme Court decision in 1973 gave us abortion on demand and has resulted in a destruction of innocent human life (45 million unborn babies) that is almost impossible to fully comprehend.
A year ago, this national tragedy looked close to being overturned. After President Bush named two conservative Supreme Court justices, Alito and Roberts, most analysts concluded that the Court was just one justice away from overturning Roe. But now we have a pro-abortion president who has made it clear that his Supreme Court appointments will vote to continue the carnage.
Last week, my church, Immanuel Bible Church in Northern Virginia, sent an open letter written by its pastor, Dr. Ron Jones, to the new president urging him to rethink his position on the sanctity of life. I want to share a portion of that letter with you. It reads in part:
“I pray that you will reconsider your views on this moral issue. I raise my voice on behalf of the voiceless, pleading with you to take the lead in building an America where all of our children, whatever their race or family income, are welcomed into the world, protected by the law and have a seat at the table with the rest of the American family.
“These precious unborn children have been deprived of life without due process of law. More than 3,300 abortions per day, or 138 per hour, happen in clear violation of the Constitution and the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, which makes it plain that our liberty comes straight from God and that our first right is the sacred right to life. Furthermore, think of what those parents have missed because of abortion – a baby’s smile, a child’s first steps. Think of what the world has missed – a gifted teacher, a doting father, a dedicated missionary, a talented artist or entrepreneur, a future President.
“During your campaign you spoke much about hope. You inspired a nation. You have written about the audacity of hope. And yet, your past support for abortion is a hope-stealer. Abortion robs our nation of a tiny bit of tomorrow’s hope found in every unborn child.
“Specifically, it is my hope and prayer that you will reconsider your support for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), even though you promised Planned Parenthood that signing the FOCA is “the first thing I’d do as President.” FOCA is by far the most radical piece of abortion legislation ever introduced into the Congress. My concerns with the bill are many, but chiefly they are:
• According to pro-choice advocates, FOCA would overturn the ban on partial-birth abortion, again allowing this barbaric procedure described as “near infanticide” by pro-choice senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
• FOCA may invalidate scores of pro-life laws passed by dozens of states.
• According to the pro-choice National Organization for Women, FOCA would eliminate existing laws against taxpayer-funded abortions.
“The Freedom of Choice Act is inconsistent with the Christian ethic of compassion for the least among us. King David’s heartfelt lyrics in Psalm 139 remind us that God is the author of life: ‘You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.’
“It is my sincere hope that you will join me in a celebration of God’s gift of life, and resist those who would allow another generation of Americans to disappear.”
I hope President Obama reads the letter. Over 150 years ago, the Supreme Court made another horrible decision in the Dred Scott case. That case concluded that a black slave was mere property, the equivalent of a horse, and must be returned to his owner. The decision was evil and nearly destroyed our nation.
Roe is the progeny of Dred Scott. Roe v. Wade declared that our unborn children have no rights we are bound to respect. I believe we will someday look back at Roe and see it for what it is – a rejection of our nation’s highest ideal – that liberty is a gift from God and that each of us has a right to life.
As my pastor wrote, every life destroyed by abortion “robs our nation of a tiny bit of tomorrow’s hope.” Our friends at the Fidelis Center have produced an outstanding video that very effectively emphasizes the point. You can watch it at www.catholicvote.com. It is my prayer that our nation’s first black president, who undoubtedly recognizes the injustice of Dred Scott, will someday soon come to appreciate that the same injustice is inherent in Roe v. Wade.