A grim anniversary
A grim anniversary
Waukesha Freeman, Page a6 Opinion, 1/24/13
We don’t need Jeanne Dixon to note that some strange stars are in alignment this week.
On Sunday, President Barack Obama was sworn in for his second term. His inauguration was on Monday, also the observed holiday for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Monday was also “Orwell Day,” the anniversary of the great author’s death. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t celebrate properly. I didn’t know until the day after, myself.
Tuesday was the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. This act removed abortion from the purview of the states and Congress, making the limits of abortion the private, anti-constitutional concern of nine people unbeholden to the electorate.
This dark anniversary was greeted by the president with a statement of support for reducing the need for abortion and respecting privacy. It’s probably too much to ask him to justify the Supreme Court’s decision on legal grounds, and even its late author gave up trying.
But give Obama credit for at least mentioning the “A” word. Such is the Orwellian nature (see how the stars aligned?) of those defending legalized abortion under any circumstances that they dare not speak of the supposed right they defend.
The National Abortion Rights Action League is now simply NARAL, or NARAL Pro-Choice America. Pro-choice was the euphemism for abortion adopted by the abortion defenders and given validity in the Associated Press Stylebook.
Now “pro-choice” is no longer politically correct, according to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood, of course, is a euphemism that Orwell would have criticized, as its purpose is to avoid parenthood by aborting a child.
“Pro-choice” was too frivolous, akin to selecting a pair of shoes (but not baby shoes). I would agree that any euphemism for abortion is too frivolous.
Now it’s a “personal decision.” Not sure if that lends the necessary solemnity to the deliberate decision to terminate a pregnancy, but if challenged long enough on the language, they may yet turn to saying “abortion.”
Ironically, the less Orwellian term in the abortion debate, pro-life, is the one that does not have the imprimatur of the newspaper stylebook.
The pro-life movement had been gaining ground steadily in public opinion while it pursued incremental victories. Recent polling would indicate that the pro-life cause has lost ground again, with more of the American public supportive of the Roe v. Wade decision.
Part of the problem lies with the messengers. In the last national election cycle, two Republican pro-life Senate candidates stumbled when explaining a pro-life position in the rare situation of an unwanted pregnancy that was the result of rape.
If their answers on abortion and rape demonstrated anything, conservatives and the pro-life movement are better served by candidates that are able to speak articulately about the cause rather than supposed purists.
What should they have said? How about, “Pregnancy that is the result of rape is a terrible situation and, regardless of my personal beliefs, there will never be a federal law prohibiting abortion in those terrible circumstances.” No euphemisms, and a realistic prediction of the future course of law.
We can turn to science for hope – and despair. Hope, as more of us see clearer images of children in the womb. But beyond the aesthetic attachment to life, modern medicine is capable of rescuing many more of these children at earlier stages of pregnancy when their premature lives are threatened.
Despair, because science now allows parents to decide to terminate pregnancies that do not conform to the “right” sex of the child. In South Korea, there is a “shortage” of girls (there is that political euphemism again) because of the “choices” made by parents.
We mark the anniversary at a time when we have re-elected the most radical pro-abortion president since Roe v. Wade was decided. Obama’s obeisance to the abortion agenda is so strong that he has elevated an unenumerated right to abortion over the First Amendment right to religious freedom for religious organizations.
So we will use blunt language as we mourn the taking of lives of children despite whatever euphemism the abortion defenders choose. And we’ll note the grim passage of another anniversary, and pray for the day when this injustice is undone.
(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at http://www.wigderson.com and a Waukesha resident. His column runs Thursdays in The Freeman.)