Abortion / Government Watch / Politics / We The People

When Seeds Bloom – Abortion, Conscience of a Nation

Abortion
Photo courtesy of TheFirstEdition.com

Sometimes, you sit perfectly still – and history intersects before your eyes, like watching two birds in flight discover a birdfeeder, two lives ignite with a timeless truth, some distant written word – planted like a seed – bloom and flower in time, changing everything around it. That just happened.

Pouring through old books, a passion that occasionally overcomes me, I stumbled upon a little-known volume – “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation.”  Curious how that book came to be, first published as an essay in 1983, I opened it.

Funny, I thought, how our nation has struggled painfully with issues of conscience since our founding, been unusually self-critical, each generation preoccupied with bringing ideals to life, pointing out how life conspires to frustrate “heaven on earth,” how human nature must constantly be rallied to the right.

“In the beginning,” to borrow a phrase, we were a nation of profound idealists and inglorious compromisers, knowing we wanted a nation built on individual liberty, limited government, equal opportunity, and yet dragged down by the ignominious institution, then a global plague, of slavery.

Decades on – fighting within our ranks for all kinds of ideals, we came to a terrible impasse on that issue, and suffered a wrenching civil war. We then recommitted ourselves to a higher road, with the 13th and 14th Amendments, outlawing slavery and applying 5th Amendment guarantees of “due process” and “equal protection” to the States.

Later, the 19th Amendment gave women the vote, as Title 9 half a century later gave girls the right to equality in sports and academics, triggering an updraft in everything from professions to Olympics.

With ebbs and flows, we continue to believe – unlike most countries – that we are held together by a common understanding.  What understanding? That liberty, equality, justice, fidelity to our Bill of Rights, and a sound moral compass matter – which we are at risk of losing – center us and always should.

True, we get off track sometimes – and there is a strong argument we are way off right now. Instead of being judged – as Martin Luther King hoped – by “the content of our character” not “the color of our skin,” we are somehow teaching racism under the rubric of “Critical Race Theory,” redefining boys and girls, dishonoring law, science, precedent, and conscience.

But the nation’s historic identity is built on conscience, taking the hard road because it is hard, choosing endurance, self-denial, self-discipline, and self-effacing action – because that empowers us. By contrast, Roe v. Wade, found a “right” to abort a baby in the 14th Amendment, with no historic basis for imputing it.

Then, in another show of disrespect for institutions, the draft opinion reversing Roe was, returning the right to end a sentient child’s life to the States, was leaked. But this is where that intersection of history comes in. 

Half a century ago, one of the most powerful arguments for reversing Roe was – that little book. Some of the arguments now well-known were first trumpeted there. As this small volume set forth, some decisions impugn our moral fiber, conscience, and “the conscience of the nation.” Roe did. Political expediency wire-brushed our national conscience.

Now, in a thoughtful act of judicial review, much like the review that reversed treating people as “separate but equal,” the Dobbs case appears likely to reset the moral dial to respect for life.

The Kicker:  The courage to question a bad legal decision, the fortitude required to set arguments out with clarity, imagine a “someday” national rethink and reversal, is rare. That is why the little volume penned just after Roe, published in a journal called Human Life Review, was so important.  It was the first time a person of the writer’s status, influence, and impact had penned such an argument – been so bold.

As the author noted: “Abortion concerns not just the unborn child, but every one of us. The English poet, John Donne, wrote: ‘… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Arguments found in the volume, show up in the draft opinion. “Abortion presents a profound moral issue …,” “Constitution makes no mention of abortion…,” and “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” Yes, these are now standard fare – but early courage made them so.

Looking back, rereading the little book which asks we ponder again “the conscience of the nation” through the lens of abortion, one can only imagine that the book had a lasting impact.

So, who penned that volume?  Who helped start the snowball to reverse Roe? What major national figure calmly argued God alone knows life – stakes high, we cannot make a mistake.

“We will never recognize the true value in our own lives until we affirm the value in the lives of others … [as] Malcolm Muggeridge says: ‘… however low it flickers or fiercely burns, it is still a Divine flame which no man dare presume to put out, be his motives ever so humane and enlightened.’”

Who ended it this way? “There is no cause more important for preserving [America’s] freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.” 

Who wrote “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation”? A leader without whom Dobbs might not be about to issue, America’s 40th president, Ronald Reagan. Yes, distant words, planted like seeds, sometimes bloom and flower, changing everything.


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Max
1 month ago

BOTTOM LINE: Every child is a gift from GOD. Abortion is the deliberate MURDER of that child/gift that has come from the CREATOR. Practice safe sex using the items/devices to help prevent pregnancy. If pregnancy occurs, it is best to get ready to receive this gift of life. ABORTION IS NOT THE ANSWER. In the end, GOD will judge all who REJECTED his gift of life through ABORTION.

ops
1 month ago

Abortion the PC word for murder. 67 million murders since Roe vs Wade in 73. Not all abortions placed the mothers life at risk! Moral decay in society when we no longer value the sanctiity of life. A life created by God and a law protecting the mother to murder her unborn. A mother’s right?

Judy
1 month ago

Thank you so much for sharing this timely and much needed article. The lives of preborn human babies are worthy to be cherished, defended and protected. The heart of our Nation needs a returning back to God. I pray Almighty God move and convict the heart and mind of all our Supreme Court Justices to overturn the evil of “Roe V Wade”.
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but a nation that forgets God, shall be turned into hell.”

dee
1 month ago
Reply to  Judy

That should be the law of the land – but it will send women back to back-alley abortionists where babies die and sometimes the mothers.

Dan W.
1 month ago
Reply to  Judy

Agreed but you need to go further.

Most states throw in the towel after the baby is born. States need to provide much better child care assistance; family leave programs; nutritional and medical services; and pre-school programs.

Otherwise, we are going to go back to the time when women who could not afford to travel to states where abortion was legal would seek out “other alternatives” locally.

D.P.
1 month ago

Read this book!!!! Enough has been said about tax money, birth control and all the rest of the
ploys that still allow people to defer their morality. Read this book!

JOE SIRACUSA
1 month ago

I BELIEVE THAT HALF OF OUR TAX MONEY SHOULD GO TO PREGNANCY CENTERS TO HELP PREGNANT WOMEN , NOT ALL OF THE MONEY TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD . IT’S NOT FAIR
” THE WORLD IS A DANGEROUS PLACE TO LIVE, NOT BECAUSE OF THE EVIL PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN IT , BUT BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE WHO DON”T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT .” ALBERT EINSTEIN

ops
1 month ago
Reply to  JOE SIRACUSA

All it takes for evil to flourish, is for good people to do nothing.

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