Today is the anniversary--if one can use so positive a word for so horrible a thing--of the lying court declaration in Roe v. Wade that a woman has a constitutional right to have her unborn child murdered. Redstate has an excellent post here.
Whenever this yearly remembrance of the atrocity that is Roe v. Wade comes around, I am left without words. I have not always put up a blog post on the day. And I have little to add to the Redstate post or to the words of Fr. Neuhaus (below).
But I do have this to add: As pro-lifers, we must keep our eyes focused on the goal. Our goal is that every child be protected in law and welcomed in life. Our goal is not merely to counter the latest insanity being visited on us by the left, such as abortion funding in nationalized healthcare. Our goal is not merely to reduce the number of abortions, as though abortion were merely some unhealthy activity like eating fatty foods rather than murder most foul.
Our principle is that unborn children should not be legally killed. The legality of their murders, the fact that their murders do not simply happen de facto but are protected de jure, is no small part of the horror that we fight. Pro-lifers believe that women should not have the legally protected choice to kill their babies and that doctors should not have the legally protected choice to kill women's babies. It's that simple. That's what being pro-life means, what pro-lifers stand for.
There are, and always have been, differences of opinion about strategies and compromises within the pro-life camp. Doubtless there will be for as long as this issue remains on the national scene, and probably even if (God speed the day) Roe v. Wade is overturned.
But let us make no mistake: If individual pro-lifers choose to endorse or vote for pro-choice candidates, candidates who openly and entirely oppose the legal protection of unborn children, then that is what they are doing. Such candidates do not magically become "pro-life" by a kind of weird, nominalistic baptism, simply in virtue of being the "lesser evil." If compromises are made, they must be strategic and temporary, yet they will be permanent if "pro-life" becomes a term of radically shifting definition.
On this sad anniversary of an evil judicial act, let us commit ourselves once more to keeping our eyes on the goal--the legal protection of unborn children.
The words of Fr. Neuhaus (and if you have not read the whole speech, you will be refreshed by it, so read it all) speak to us today as freshly as on the day when they were uttered:
Whether, in this great contest between the culture of life and the culture of death, we were recruited many years ago or whether we were recruited only yesterday, we have been recruited for the duration. We go from this convention refreshed in our resolve to fight the good fight. We go from this convention trusting in the words of the prophet Isaiah that “they who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
The journey has been long, and there are miles and miles to go. But from this convention the word is carried to every neighborhood, every house of worship, every congressional office, every state house, every precinct of this our beloved country—from this convention the word is carried that, until every human being created in the image and likeness of God—no matter how small or how weak, no matter how old or how burdensome—until every human being created in the image and likeness of God is protected in law and cared for in life, we shall not weary, we shall not rest. And, in this the great human rights struggle of our time and all times, we shall overcome.