I recently received pictures from a family friend showing her beautiful baby boy. The pictures showed a perfect baby with an adorable face. My wife and daughter cooed over him.
The pictures were by ultrasound, and her baby is still two months from birth. This beautiful little baby could still be killed should his mother “choose” and should a doctor be paid to take his life. Beautiful babies like this are killed daily in this country, most of them for the convenience of the parents. That is why the issue of abortion remains such a volatile and intensely fought battle in our country.
Not long after the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down by the Supreme Court on Jan. 22, 1973, Carl Sagan, the popular TV astronomer, wrote an article in Parade Magazine, a magazine inserted in many Sunday papers. The headline read, “Abortion, Finding the Middle Ground.” I read on to see if there could be such a thing.
Sagan wrote, “One would have thought that the controversy was over when the Supreme Court took the middle ground.” The middle ground? How could Roe v. Wade, a decision that virtually allows abortion for any reason, be called the middle ground? No, that is the most extreme position.
One would have thought the controversy was over when the Fourteenth Amendment to our Constitution reiterated the Fifth Amendment and the Declaration of Independence by saying, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” Our Constitution guaranteed the right to life.
Now the right to privacy has trumped that right, and abortion is the law of the land. As a result, 50 million precious babies have been denied the right to live.
For those of us who believe that every life is a gift from God and that we are created in the image of God, this is an atrocity. That we have legalized the killing of our own children is barbaric. Add in the fact that decent human beings should protect innocent life, and it is obvious why we can never give up the pro-life fight.
That’s why I find it encouraging that bills have been drafted and sent to the Judiciary Committee in Augusta calling for a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can have an abortion and to require parental notification before a minor can get an abortion. These are logical first steps, but only the first steps, in the effort to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Some argue that Roe v. Wade is established law. As established law, they claim, it has somehow become sacred and untouchable.
Unfortunately, that was the same argument that was used to preserve slavery. The Dred Scott decision by the Supreme Court was established law, and it allowed property rights of slave owners to trump the right of the slaves to be free. It should have been the moral imperative of every decent citizen to oppose that wrong-headed decision. It should be the moral imperative of every decent citizen to fight for the right to life for our unborn children.
When laws are made by man regardless of the transcendent laws of God, those laws are not sacred. They should be changed. As long as wrong laws are in force, people of character like William Wilberforce, who spent a lifetime fighting the slave trade, will be around. As long as abortion continues to take the lives of innocent, unborn babies, there will be people who oppose it.
Rev. Daniel R. Packer is pastor of the Orrington Center Church. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.