*Posted by Kirk Spencer
I happened upon some promotional material for a fancy dinner. It’s being hosted by pro-choice leaders from across the country. They are gathering together to mark the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that deemed abortion a fundamental constitutional right. I found it interesting that this dinner was being promoted to “mark” and not “celebrate” the decision; though I suspect it will be a gala event with much pride being taken in such an “accomplishment.” The idea of festivities around such a supremely improvident supreme court decision brings to mind a similar feeling I had a few weeks ago when major news organizations were reporting that Planned Parenthood had just announced a record year for abortions—333,964 abortions in one year and 995,687 for the last three years (or was it 995,688?). And those are just Planned Parenthood’s numbers; I’m sure that “total abortions” was a much higher number. It just seemed strange; to me at least, that someone would publish such numbers for folks to admire. Forty years ago, in the ‘70s, when they were trying to decide on this decision, there was a common mantra that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” As a matter of fact, this phrase was a part of the Democrat Party Platform until 2008 when it was removed. I’m guessing it was because of the “rare” part. I suppose the word just seemed a little disingenuous in this day and age. Abortions are certainly not rare. It has become an important industry as of late—an industry with impressive growth numbers in its “productivity” (or at least Planned Parenthood’s share).
I will not be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision; I will be mourning it… and mourning the 50 million innocent human beings that this decision decided should not be allowed to make any decisions or even live beyond the womb (50 million is also the number of babies we lose to abortion each year worldwide). I will not be celebrating but rather contemplating the irony surrounding this infamous anniversary. How it is occurring the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the second inaugural of the first African-American president, yet it is the anniversary of the decision that took away the most basic civil (and human) right. How it is occurring concurrently with an attempt by one person, our top executive, through executive orders, to restrict the exercise of a clear constitutional right; when forty years before, to the day, seven men, on the Supreme Court were deciding to read into the constitution the fundamental constitutional right to an abortion (The constitution itself provides a means to read out of, or read into, the constitution any rights that we want through the amendment process; and not by the will of one person, or seven people, to simply fashion rights into existence, or restrict rights out of existence, by simple announcement).
And on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I will take time to consider the fact that the anniversary of this improvident decision to end innocent life will take place at a time when this country’s concern for the safety of our children is dominating the news cycle every day. A time when we are stunned in horror at a person who could (and did) heartlessly and brutally end the lives of 20 helpless children, and yet all around us the most helpless little children are heartlessly and brutally killed… and these little children do not even have the ability to huddle together or run away and hide from the one who would take their lives. In forty years, it has happened more than 1.5 billion times worldwide! More than 50 million times in the United States! That’s more than 3,400 times a day. Considering the “productivity” of the abortion industry, working an 8-hour day, working weekends with no holidays, that is one baby dying every seven seconds in America! Where is the stunned horror at this!? Where are the picketers saying “Enough is Enough!”? Where are the celebrities saying, “We demand a plan!”? What is the difference? Is it indifference? Is it ignorance? Is it that the unborn are not cute enough, or wanted enough? Is it because seven men decided it was right and called it a right?
There should be no celebrating on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. And those who would “mark” it with a fancy dinner should rather recognize that our country has mark itself with a mark of shame—shame that we would allow it, shame that we would make it a “right” and shame that we would grow indifferent in our willful ignorance. And it is especially shameful that in the midst of all of this, we would think, as a country, we really care about children. Do we not even recognize when children are used as political props!? We may say we care about children, but we don’t—not as a country—when we end their lives by the millions for our own convenience and then we mortgage the future of the two-thirds that are afforded a live birth with our growing national debt… and why? Just to make our lives even more convenient! When we allow these things, we dare not say we care for children. And when those who would work to end the lives of children by protecting, and even subsidizing, the abortion industry—those who work to steal the fortunes of their own children’s generation through dramatically increasing the national debt—when those very individuals use children as political props to further their own radical agendas of fundamental transformation, all the while saying “It’s all for the children”—when these things happen, we add absurdity and hypocrisy to our shame as a generation. And half the nation doesn’t seem to care. And a significant portion of the other half doesn’t care enough to vote. If our generation quickly “spends” our inheritance from “the greatest generation,” then ransacks the social security of the baby boomer generation (means testing), all the while mortgaging the future of our children’s generation (national debt), we will certainly not be called “great” (or even good). If things don’t change, our generation will be known by the name that has already begun to take root—the “Me Generation.”
I will not “mark” the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade with a gala dinner, but rather with fasting and prayer… and by posting these words from Ovid’s “Amores.” As you read them, consider they were written in the corrupt Roman Empire, long before the seven “wise” men of our Supreme Court made abortion a fundamental right. And consider that these words were written by one of Rome’s most notorious libertines. And lastly, take a moment and consider the implication that these words were written about the same year that Jesus Christ was born of an unmarried girl.
“What profit is it to women that they are free from the gruesome battles of war and do not have to go to battle arrayed in armor, nor suffer wounds inflicted by the spears of their enemies, when they so readily do damage to themselves. She who practiced the first abortion and plucked forth the tender life ought to have perished of her own invention. To avoid a few wrinkles around your belly, you insist upon leaving a bloody carnage upon the sands. If these fashions had always been in favor, the race of mortal men would long have perished from the earth… And what would have become of you, my fair one, had your mother cherished such notions? And though I am destined to perish of love, it is a fate preferable to having my life extinguished by an unnatural mother. Why pluck green grapes before their time? Let what is destined to grow ripe fulfill itself; a short delay bears in its train the gift of life. Why will you butcher yourselves with instruments and poison your unborn children?”
It’s not a popular question in this day and age. Pagan Romans would ask it, but our nation, Christian or not, no longer asks it, because we settled it with the decision of seven men on January 22nd, 1973—an infamous decision which provided a sanctioned way to terminate the lives of babies and the conscience of their mothers (for a while). Fifty million babies aborted means the same number of mothers living with lonely buried guilt (suicide rate of mothers following live birth 6/100k, suicide rate of mothers following abortion 34/100k).
This day that we mark such an improvident decision can be a day for making a providential one. For in Christ, there is still hope. No matter what we have done in the past—as a nation or as an individual—Christ has made a way of forgiveness, and healing, and reconciliation. For only Christ—the true Messiah—can fundamentally transform us.