photo credit: Taz etc.

By the time their reign of terror had finally come to an end, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis) had murdered roughly 20 million people. So abhorrent were these crimes (though they pale in comparison to Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong’s), that in an attempt to distance themselves from the sins of those responsible, Germany has made it a criminal offense to even display or use the Swastika (the party’s symbol), except for academic purposes. Documentaries have been made, books written, and a cultural disgust for all things Nazi has permeated society—and rightly so.

What, then, has been the cultural reaction to the collective mass murder of over twice the number felled by the Nazis? Today marks the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a Supreme Court case that serves as a large stain on America’s heavily-soiled standard of liberty. Since that time, the lives of roughly 52 million unborn children have been extinguished outright with the blessing of the federal government.

Clearly, there are rare instances in which abortion may be merited, or even necessary. However, the data clearly shows that the process of terminating an unborn individual’s life has become legalized, institutionalized, and embraced by many as a part of “family planning”, a “woman’s choice”, of a “private decision”.

Troubling details emerge as one begins to inquire further into the underlying issues. Consider, for example, that abortion kills more black Americans than the seven leading causes of death combined. Black women are more than three times as likely as white women to have an abortion; Hispanic women are roughly twice as likely. This imbalance is so accepted, apparently, that one Planned Parenthood (an organization heavily funded by the government) employee responded that a donor’s request to have his funds applied to the abortion of a black baby was “understandable”. Ironically, the first black president overturned a restriction one year ago that prevented American taxpayers’ money from going to organizations who provide abortions, with these operations being largely financed and operated in Africa.

Whatever the color of the unborn child’s skin, abortion has become a widespread method of terminating life. The Guttmacher Institute—Planned Parenthood’s own research arm—highlights a number of statistics that are both shocking and depressing.

  • Nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unintended, and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion.
  • Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.
  • Each year, about two percent of women aged 15-44 have an abortion; 47% of them have had at least one previous abortion.
  • Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner
  • Women who have never married obtain two-thirds of all abortions.

The reasons listed above for abortion are not the only ones, however. Consider the troubling fact that an estimated 92 percent of all women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome choose to end their child’s life.

Despite how embraced this process is, some have reversed course and seen the light. One Planned Parenthood leader, for example, quit after watching an abortion procedure take place. More interestingly, Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” in Roe v. Wade, had a change of heart and has since become an anti-abortion activist, even being arrested for her protests.

Even as the government’s actions repeatedly and fundamentally betray the statement, many Americans still verbally affirm their enjoyment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—three pillars of freedom referenced in the Declaration of Independence. And yet, after 37 years of a Court-imposed “fundamental right” to snuff out the life of one’s unborn child, tens of millions of individuals have been denied these protections and potential enjoyments.

Even the current President, Barack Obama, feels that a child can be a punishment instead of a natural consequence of one’s actions. This evasion of consequences has become an institutionalized attempt to enjoy one’s own life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness at the expense of another’s equally important life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. It bespeaks an underlying sentiment in public policy agreed upon by far too many—that, as Frédéric Bastiat once said, “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

Our values mean little if they are not equally applied, including and especially to those who cannot defend them on their own. To excoriate the actions of power-hungry German Nazis while glowingly praising the ability for mothers to choose to kill, in sum, twice as many innocent lives is something for which every American should be ashamed on this, the 37th anniversary of one of the worst decisions ever made in American history.


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