Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Forty-five Million Dead Later...

On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States opened the floodgates for abortion on demand in its decision on Roe vs. Wade. It was very bad law; it was worse for civilization. Ten years later, Ronald Reagan wrote piece for The Human Life Review called "Abortion and the Conscience of the Nature," which was also made into a small book. I read it shortly after its release. I encourage you to read this historic and compelling document, which is on line at National Review. Then I encourage you to do all you can to end the scourge of abortion in America.

21 comments:

Kyl Schalk said...

I posted this on a couple of other blogs:

I saw the movie Juno. The movie was able use particular types of visuals to show the unborn is a human being. I was impressed with actor’s abilities to (for the most part) portray the pro-life view as a respectable position to hold. Each character’s performance made the entire movie interesting, educational, and important. Hopefully the world's first pro-life film festival (Cinema Vita) can create or inspire more films that teach wise things. http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2008/01/cinema-vita-the.html

And…

I posted part of this on the Between Two Worlds blog (Between Two Worlds blog has a lot of great pro-life information!) http://theologica.blogspot.com/

www.abort73.com has a myspace page. The page reads, “Abort73 has already had one MySpace account inexplicably deleted (costing us close to 6,000 friends).” They had their account deleted! Another part of their page reads, “As best we can tell, it was our "This is Abortion" video that cost us our first MySpace account. Though the video had been on our MySpace page for over 6 months, it started receiving massive viewership right before our account was pulled (which made the deletion even more painful). After receiving maybe 10 or 15 comments during the first 6 months, it suddenly received close to 300 comments in 2 days, pushing the total play count past 100,000. The next thing we knew, MySpace pulled the plug.” When these types of things happen, we have to be very creative.

Here is a link to the very, very useful abort73 myspace page:
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=154776612&MyToken=d7476d11-75bf-4d32-a859-b9a2bd2e8253

Here is their webpage: http://www.abort73.com/

Southern Dreaming said...

Sadly, this is the one issue I can't compromise on. I say sadly, because I am tired of voting for people I don't like and don't agree with other than them being prolife. Look at the destruction prolife Bush has caused in this country.

Kyl Schalk said...

Robert P. George said this in an interview:

“Presidents have a profound role in shaping policy pertaining to abortion and other pro-life issues, such as human embryo-destructive research and cloning. Anyone who says otherwise simply hasn't thought about the question. Presidents nominate federal judges, including Supreme Court justices. Presidents can propose and fight for pro-life legislation at the federal level. Presidents play an important role in determining whether taxpayer dollars are used to fund abortions overseas and embryo-destructive research here in the United States. Anyone who is serious about the pro-life cause will care a great deal about who is elected president.”

http://theologica.blogspot.com/2008/01/roe-v-wade-35-years-later-interview_21.html

This link shows the large-scale nature of this particular (elective abortion) human rights issue: http://wquercus.com/millions.htm

Sirfab said...
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Sirfab said...

Southern Dreaming gets it partly right when s/he says: "... I am tired of voting for people I don't like and don't agree with other than them being pro-life. Look at the destruction pro-life Bush has caused in this country." I should add, look at the destruction he caused in Iraq, at all the innocent lives lost in Iraq and elsewhere around the world because of the criminal foreign policy of the Bush administration.

Why should we accept just about anything as acceptable collateral damage? Start by electing a sensible president, one who can transform the country for the better overall, not just on one issue. And, particularly, one who is willing to change his or her views, not a stubborn blockhead who would not know the difference between right and wrong if it bludgeoned him/her with a sledgehammer (and who wouldn't care either way).

Sadly, many think like Southern Dreaming and vote against every other correct instinct they have for a person they already know might be a disaster otherwise. How they can rationalize the grief that follows from selecting a person that has such a disturbed moral compass as this president, and live with their choice in the face of the destruction wreaked in the process, is their moral dilemma to solve.

The battle against abortion cannot, and should not, be won at the Supreme Court Level, or by choosing an insane President whose only sane idea is the defense of the unborn. It really is a battle of hearts and minds. And only a battle won on that level will yield permanent results. Without changing people's sensibilities, there will be no permanent change, only a permanent class of politicos ready to exploit the issue to its advantage.

It makes me cry.

nblaw said...

I just finished The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin about the Supreme
Court. It discusses the court's abortion jurisprudence and explains that how the president's power to appoint justices subject to Senate approval is crucial to whether Roe stands or falls. Also, interestingly, it pointed out that the US has among the most liberal abortion laws in the Western world.

Kyl Schalk said...

Some people act as if elective abortion is just one little issue. However, elective abortion is a huge, huge holocaust:

Gregory Koukl wrote, “Many Jews recoil at the use of the word “holocaust” to describe legalized abortion. To them it’s an offense to the memory of six million Jews who perished under the Third Reich. The Jewish Holocaust was obviously more heinous than the same amount of abortions would be.

Let’s think about that for a minute.

Notice first that this objection depends for its force on a tacit denial that the unborn are fully human. If they are, who would say that taking the life of a youngster (in this case very young) is not the moral equivalent of taking the life of an adult? Generally we are more shocked by the loss of young life than old, though we would hold that both are equally valuable in virtue of their shared humanity.

There does seem to be a sense, though, in which the evil of the Nazi Holocaust was compounded by the circumstances under which it was done. Aborted human beings die relatively quickly and, by comparison, with little or no mental anguish. (This is certainly not always true, but that’s another issue.) Jews, on the other hand, were treated like animals—terrorized, persecuted, raped, beaten, and then eventually murdered. The Nazi holocaust was worse than the abortion holocaust, not because the unborn are not human, but because of the barbaric conditions under which Nazis exterminated those they no longer valued. Both are unspeakably evil, purely on the merit of the number of human lives sacrificed. However, in the case of the Jewish Holocaust, the evil is compounded by the circumstances under which it was done.

Clearly, not all holocausts are equal. The numerous examples of ethnic cleansing in this century are made more egregious by the additional suffering, loss, and assault on human dignity they entail. Still, the destruction of over a million unborn children each year is a holocaust of significant magnitude simply because valuable human beings were wantonly destroyed.”

Here is the link to Koukl’s writing: http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5362

Kyl Schalk said...

Since elective abortion is a holocaust (read above), it is incredibly tragic that some people disguise the pro-life position (by calling it "one issue" or “one-issue voting bloc”). It is tragic that some people play down the importance of the abortion issue. The urgency of the elective abortion issue should be glaringly obvious.

Kyl Schalk said...

Nblaw,

I’m glad to hear that you are reading on the topic. There is another unfortunate thing about the abortion issue that is easy to notice. Some people act as if teaching the philosophical case, scientific case, etc., for the pro-life position and nominating Supreme Court justices can’t both be done at the same time. However, efforts can go into both the educational aspects and the nominating aspects simultaneously.

Sirfab said...

Kyl:

I am not sure if you think that "some people" includes people like me. In any case, I never said that elective abortions are not a tragedy. I simply said that the lives of those lost in elective abortions, in my opinion, are not more important (or less important) then the lives destroyed by pro-life politicians who vote for illegal wars, those lost to natural disasters that could have been managed, those ruined by the lack of socially supportive policies and so on.

What is also tragic is that you regard (some) people who are not ├╝bermilitant about defeating the pro-choice position, at the expense of everything else, as downplaying the abortion issue.

Besides, people like me think that battles won in the Supreme Court, and not in the court of public opinion (hearts and minds included) are ephemeral victories, destined to be reversed as soon as the political wind changes.

So I join you in the fight to eliminate elective abortions, but not at the cost of everything else we hold dear. Seeing that the number of abortions has been steadily declining for the last 20 plus years gives me comfort and hope that we are winning that battle of hearts and minds. We are on the right track, at least.

Best.

Fletcher said...

My view on abortion:

It is murder of the innocent and helpless. Why? Because I believe that life begins at zygote formation. The zygote is a human being in its' very earliest form.

In holding this view, I consider the characterizations of life, human life specifically.

An egg is not by itself a human being, nor is a sperm cell. However when they come together they form a new life, a new organism, a human zygote. The zygote, which fulfills the criteria needed to establish the existence of biological life, (such as metabolism, development, the ability to react to stimuli, and cell reproduction), is indeed terminated with early term abortions.

Abortion is ni fact painful in that the methods employed to kill a preborn child involve burning, smothering, dismembering, and crushing - and never forget this - on live babies who have not been specifically anesthetized.

Abortion kills innocent, defenseless human beings. The child that's terminated is the product of human parents. The child has a totally distinct human genetic code. Although the emerging embryo does not have a fully developed personality, it does have complete personhood from the moment of conception.

I have a 15 month old daughter, and all I have to do is look at her to realize how precious human life is. During the pregnancy we had a few ultrasounds, the first one before 8 weeks when Luci's little heart was already beating. Later, you could see her moving around, responding to stimuli, opening her eyes, etc. She was very alive long before she came out and breathed her first breath, she was just growing!

Kyl Schalk said...

Sirfab,

If we were talking about more than 1,000,000 three year old children being slaughtered per year, I don’t know if you would still be saying some of the things you are saying.

On a different aspect:

You write, “Besides, people like me think that battles won in the Supreme Court, and not in the court of public opinion (hearts and minds included) are ephemeral victories, destined to be reversed as soon as the political wind changes.”

Perhaps the change in the law would have a teaching role. David C. Reardon writes, “…a mechanism by which people are encouraged to do what they know is right, even when it is difficult to do so.” Reardon is talking about a function of law. Reardon points out that “studies in the psychology of morality reveal that the law is truly the teacher. One of the most significant conclusions of these studies shows that existing laws and customs are the most important criteria for deciding what is right or wrong for most adults in a given culture.” Citing legal philosopher John Finnis, Bernard Nathanson writes that “sometimes the law is ahead of public morality. Laws against dueling and racial bias preceded popular support for these attitudes.”

I’m not saying that the law is the only thing that teaches people. I am saying that it seems to be one of the things that teach people. In addition, there are schools, organizations, training groups, presentations, and many other resources that teach people about the absolutely crucial issues of our time.

Best.

Kyl Schalk said...

Fletcher,

Thanks.

Sirfab said...

Kyl:

Laws are passed by Congress, not by Supreme Court justices or by presidents. That's why changing people's minds and hearts is paramount. It takes a movement, and it takes large consensus to achieve durable change.

Best.

Kyl Schalk said...

Sirfab,


Even if it was true that Supreme Court justices are not important for the unborn, there are still many other important points. Below is information from Hadley Arkes and Scott Klusendorf:

“Moreover, history often demonstrates that just laws function as a moral teacher that, over time, helps change hearts for the better. As Hadley Arkes points out in "First Things," prior to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, popular opinion in southern states overwhelmingly opposed desegregation and other anti-discrimination efforts. Within five years of passage, however, public opinion had shifted dramatically, with better than sixty percent favoring the new laws. Clearly, the law served as a moral teacher that helped mold public opinion.” Although popular opinion was overwhelmingly opposed to the new laws, within five years of passage public opinion had shifted. The laws were changed during the time that people were overwhelmingly opposed to those types of laws. There can be new laws even when there is overwhelming opposition to the potential laws.

http://lti-blog.blogspot.com/2007/02/bad-thinking-about-laws-and-hearts-sk.html

Sirfab said...
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Sirfab said...

Kyl:

It is not that SCJs are not important for the unborn. They are. In fact, they wield enormous power in interpreting law. With their opinion, they can reverse long-standing jurisprudence. But they cannot change laws, they can only judge their constitutionality.

I would like to move away from that argument for a moment, and give you two examples. Please bear with me.

When the 18th Amendment was established to ban the manufacture, transportation, sale, and consumption of alcohol, largely on religious and moral grounds, the attempt to ban alcohol from the lives of Americans ultimately failed.

When Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, to end segregation, it encountered a lot of opposition. And yet, while it did not end racial problems in this country, it did succeed in changing the course of history and the way non-whites were considered and seen by most of society.

What is the difference between these two examples? Prohibition was seen as an issue of morality by some, but as an issue of freedom by most. It failed. The Civil Rights Act was "sold" to the American public as an issue of fairness and of justice (which it is). It largely succeeded.

See where I am going with this? Over the years, abortion has been framed predominantly as an issue of personal freedom by those who support it. When people think that their freedom is being taken away, they naturally react defensively. I believe that abortion is an issue of fairness and of justice, and it is an ethical issue. But as long as the majority of people perceives abortion as an issue of freedom, it will be very difficult to achieve significant and permanent change.

That is why I insist that people's attitudes on abortion need to be molded, and a shift needs to occur in how abortion is seen, before the course of history can be altered, regardless of what politicians think or do.

By the way: I think that another thing that hurts the efforts of those trying to reverse the course of history on abortion is that the pro-life segment is too easily identified with religious extremists (nuts, pro-choicers might say, non incorrectly in some instances). This perception may not be justified in all cases (in most cases), but it is an undeniable and widespread perception. To make things harder, those who oppose abortion are often very militant in trying to limit or abolish sex-education in schools, in limiting teenager's access to education about contraception, and in denying teenage girls access to the HVP vaccine, etc. It becomes very easy then, for the pro-choice camp, to caricature pro-lifers as religious extremists whose real goal is not to save lives, but to control sexuality and "reproductive freedom".

I think the pro-life cause would do much better if the religious overtones were abandoned. We must explain to skeptics that we need to reverse the course of history not because God says so, or because abortion is antithetical to Christian values, but because abortion is not the moral thing to do. Different people draw their ethical and moral compass from different sources. By pushing abortion as a religious cause, I am afraid even the most well-intentioned Christians do more harm than good to the cause.

Marty "the fly" Rosenbloom said...

Dear Pastor Groothius:

Please answer this question, I esteem your thoughts.

Do you think divorce should be legal IF it destroys lives?

While it may not lead to as many destroyed lives as abortion, it certainly destroys many (and I suspect is the trigger for more than a few abortions).

It is prohibited by scripture.

Lastly, it is a virtue and I hope as Christians we strive for virtue rather than the simple elimination of vice.

I feel as convicted about divorce as abortion. I also feel that we should only decry something if we are willing to rectify the solution. If we aren't willing to adopt the aborted children then we can't condemn those who pull the trigger because we aren't willing to help.

Do you think that we should be willing to put our money where our mouth is? Or do you think it is okay to sit by idly.

PS I might come to study theology with you or Richard Rorty next year!!

Mr. Brooks said...

It's interesting that Ronald Reagan was the author of that article considering his signing of the Therapeutic Abortion Act while governor of California in 1967.

http://civitatedei.wordpress.com

Kyl Schalk said...

We are making progress. Even abortion-choice advocates are talking about the progress we are making. They even gave a respectable articulation of our position! Read this article to find out what I’m talking about. This should encourage us. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-kissling22jan22,0,7688545.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail

Bjorn said...

As much as I admire this enduring quest to overturn Roe, there is one painful truth that we should face:

Overturning Roe will not turn back the time.

Roe is not the root of the problem; it is merely a symptom. What value we attribute to human life is not determined by a Supreme Court ruling or by any act of legislature. Roe v. Wade did not kill 45 million human beings. True, Roe opened the door for abortion on demand; but it took 45 million individual decisions each placing some other values higher than the value of human life.
A restrictive abortion law and a more repressive policy will certainly make it more difficult to have an abortion. However, it will not change the fact that a large portion of our society finds abortion perfectly acceptable. The problem not a bad jurisdiction; the real problem is the moral decay in our modern society.