“Mein Fuehrer! I congratulate you! Roosevelt is dead!”
So proclaimed one of his advisors to Adolph Hitler in April 1945, after the news of Franklin Roosevelt’s death was released. It was the “miracle” that Adolph Hitler hoped would salvage the Third Reich’s war-effort by collapsing the alliance headed by FDR and Stalin.
As history teaches, however, this vain hope went unrealized. No such thing happened because Hitler and his dreamers had incorrectly imagined that the UK-USSR-USA alliance was stitched together only by personalities of its leaders. To be sure, some rough patches were encountered between Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin and new President Harry Truman after FDR’s death. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, but the central dynamic remained solid national commitments to completely defeat Hitler and his Axis of Evil.
I mention this eccentric vignette from the past because something like the “hoped-for miracle” aspect has occurred this week, following the leak of a U. S. Supreme Court draft opinion which appears to indicate that the Court plans to reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. Roe had declared a previously unnoticed Constitutional right to abortion in the “penumbra” of the 14th Amendment1.
Democrat pols and Big Media instantly proclaimed that this was the “miracle” that would energize the “abortion-now-abortion-forever” faction, divert the public’s attention away from Joe Biden’s disastrous policies (i.e., inflation, high gas-prices, soaring crime-rates and uncontrolled borders), head off a Democrat election-catastrophe in November, and salvage Joe’s presidency for a second term. (Mein Fuehrer! I congratulate you!)
All over the country Democrats have been popping champagne-corks and thanking the Great Whoever that deliverance had finally arrived to pull them out of Joe Biden’s “Slough of Despond.” What a happy day! At this writing, Big Media has been wall-to-wall with reporters and political analysts gravely predicting the “death” of American Democracy if the Supreme Court executes this “attack on American women.”
One hysterical commentator declared that the end of abortion will mean the “end of life as we know it” – with not the slightest recognition of the irony of his statement. And conservative wags have been cracking wise about Democrats’ miraculous re-discovery of what a woman actually is.
Flash-mobs, reporters and politicians are shouting from the housetops that the Court must not be allowed to “make abortion illegal,” although the draft ruling, written by Justice Samuel Alito, obviously does not do that. My inference from all the uproar is that abortion aficionados are upset because what they thought was “settled law” no longer is. With Roe struck down, they will have to fight through all 50 states to achieve what the ’73 ruling had done with the stroke of a pen. But that might prove impossible.
“We hold that Roe and Casey2 must be overruled,” writes Justice Alito in a 98-page draft decision on Mississippi’s strict new abortion law. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives. The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions…Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.”
If SCOTUS actually hands down Justice Alito’s draft ruling in June, legislative bodies of each state will be able to enact laws on abortion, as they did before Roe v. Wade. The will of each state’s citizens, as expressed through their elected representatives, will determine when or whether a woman may legally obtain an abortion, and what penalties can be assessed if she disobeys those restrictions. This should not be considered a radical move, since laws on human life have always been the purview of individual states – not of the federal government. Thus, some states may enact laws which prohibit abortion entirely, or allow it in only a few specific circumstances. Other states will legalize abortion more widely.
Activists will undoubtedly bring lawsuits to contest some strict state abortion laws, but Roe v. Wade will no longer be the backstop for court-decisions on those laws. The issue of abortion will be brought back to the level of morality in the courtroom. Instead of being able to say, ‘my hands are tied by Roe,’ a judge will have to decide whether a woman’s desire to destroy her unborn child for her personal convenience passes the morality test. This was always the central issue with abortion, until 1973 when the Supremes said it could be ignored.
A national argument has raged over when an embryo becomes a child that must be protected by law. Progressives claim that a fetus is just a “blob of tissue,” while conservatives say destroying it kills a child. Even people of faith are divided on the issue – although not as divided as the general population.
Years ago I heard psychologist and evangelical activist James Dobson speak to this issue in a radio interview. He said the question came down to whether Christians believed their own rhetoric – i.e., that abortion really is the murder of a child. To clarify the point he asked listeners to imagine that a facility outside of town is found to be actually killing already-born children.
“What should we do?” He asked. “Take care not to trespass on private property? Respect the views of others that differ from ours?” The doctor answered his own question: “God help us! We would do no such thing. We would go out there with fire and sword and destroy that evil place – driving out all who worked there, and freeing every child awaiting execution.”
In the forty-nine years since Roe v. Wade, the USA’s grisly abortion-tally exceeds 63 million. Population analysts say that total includes 20 million black children. This explains why three-quarters of Planned Parenthood abortion facilities are located in black neighborhoods. (Margaret Sanger3 would be so proud.) Millions of women (and men) today carry the permanent grief of having destroyed a precious life. Nothing on that scale was occurring during my childhood, or at any earlier time in the country.
Years ago, when my wife and I were raising our family in Maryland, a neighbor had a younger brother who was a wild young bucko in his teen years. Because he was incautious about his romantic activities, he soon ended up with a pregnant girlfriend and no realistic prospect for marriage. They were Catholics, so abortion was (fortunately) not an option. The young couple gave up the child for adoption.
My neighbor told me of these events long after they had occurred. She said that although twenty years had passed, her brother still observed the birthday of that lost child every year by closeting himself in his room all day to drink and cry and grieve. Thank the Lord, he didn’t have to regret an abortion, but the grief from the loss of his child weighed on him through his whole life. The lasting grief produced by an abortion is rarely mentioned in public discourse, but it would certainly exceed what that young guy experienced.
For a half-century we have lived under the shadow of a misguided court-ruling that legalized evil and made it into an ersatz political issue. Finally, though, it looks like the sunlight of righteousness might pierce through that shadow and restore our respect for every child’s life. We might have a deuce of a scrap over this before it’s settled, but in the Lord’s timing justice will prevail, and the life of our nation (in Winston Churchill’s famous words) “will move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.” The deliverance is much needed. Bless the Lord for His mercy.
“Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963)
- See https://constitution.congress.gov/constitution/amendment-14/
- Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case regardingabortion. In a plurality opinion, the Court upheld a right to have an abortion that was established in Roe v. Wade (1973), and altered the standard for analyzing restrictions on that right.
- Eugenics champion Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) advocated widespread use of abortion to eliminate what she called the “weed races” from the USA.
- Claire Culwell is an abortion survivor. Her birth mother was 13 when she underwent a procedure which aborted one of the twins she was carrying. Claire survived and was adopted into a loving family. Years later she met her birth mother who told her about the twin who was lost. Claire says learning that she had survived an abortion that was meant to take her life never changed her conviction of being wanted, chosen and loved. In her public addresses she reminds audiences that every life lost due to abortion cannot be taken back, but every child saved from abortion is a profound witness of God’s hope and love for every human life.