By James Wilson
It is nearly fifty years since the Supreme Court discovered a constitutional right to take human life if that life resided inside another person’s body. That right has been exercised some sixty million times in this country alone; it is easily the most contentious political issue in our nation and certainly the social issue carrying the greatest moral and spiritual weight. Many Americans believe the reversal of Roe v Wade – the case over which that right was established – will be overturned during the Trump presidency. Many rejoice – and some dread – the end of abortion on demand in our land. However, the reversal of Roe v Wade will not end abortion on demand; it will only make its end possible. It will still be necessary to enact legislation in each state declaring the human personhood of each conceived child…or enact a human life amendment to the Constitution. As difficult as it is to amend the Constitution, changing it will be far easier than persuading states such as New York and California to respect life for all. It is imperative that lovers of life work now to enact this amendment.
One of the many promises outfits like Planned Parenthood trumpet as the fruit of ready access to abortion is a reduction in the number of out-of-wedlock births coupled with increased equality of opportunity for women. The reasoning is something like, “If women have access to abortion their capacity to become pregnant can no longer be used against them in employment practices.” In fact, the percentage of children born out of wedlock has more than tripled since the 1980s while gender-selective abortions targeting women have become commonplace. Opportunity gains for women have come about through other legal and cultural means despite access to abortion. Abortion itself simply puts the onus on women to eliminate obstacles – like babies – to the plans a couple may have for their future. A human life amendment would close the door to what seems an easy solution but in reality leads only to guilt and shame for women accompanied by occasional medical complications that can be catastrophic.
The biggest promise Planned Parenthood cannot keep is that easy access to abortion will reduce child abuse and neglect. They say only wanted children will be born alive – forgetting abortion itself is the most radical child abuse imaginable; babies can feel pain and will struggle to survive very early in pregnancy. Outside the womb the number of reported child abuse cases has risen – since 1973 – from fewer than two hundred thousand annually to more than three million. Cases of infanticide – children murdered between birth and their first birthday – have risen from seven-point-two per one hundred thousand in the 1980s to nine-point-one in 2000. Child homicide was the only cause of infant death to rise during this period, and we have known for decades the vast majority of abused children were wanted children. A human life amendment – necessarily adopted by an overwhelming majority of American voters through their representatives – would begin to reverse the cultural atmosphere that turns a blind eye to adults venting their frustrations on the nearest innocent and helpless target.
There has never been a better time to push for a life amendment. The success of films such as Unplanned is increasing and solidifying the existing pro-life majority in the United States. The current younger generation is reputed to be one of the most pro-life in our history. Despite big states like California, New York, and Illinois becoming more radically pro-death it should be possible to get the required thirty-eight states once Congress is again in the hands of a pro-life majority; one can hope fall-out from the Mueller report and the coming scandals as its instigators are exposed will make that a near term reality. In the meantime – once Roe v Wade is reversed – we can work on the additional front of passing life legislation where possible.
The most important task for all of us remains to bring the message of God’s peace and abundant life to all those we contact. Unplanned starkly illustrates the contrast between those who share this message and those who can only shriek of coming retribution. The historical record reflects the success of the one and the failure of the other. When we recognize and behave like the Lord who came not to condemn but to offer life and that abundantly to all – all – we will find a pro-life amendment is a sidebar to the culture of life we are rebuilding in America.
The abortion holocaust is nearing fifty years of age. It is time for a jubilee.
James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships, The Holy Spirit and the End Times, Kingdom in Pursuit, and his first novel, Generation – available at Bounty Books, or at firstname.lastname@example.org