We must do anything to preserve life
May 31, 2005
Without life there is no liberty.
Look at how America’s Founding Fathers expressed it in the Declaration of Independence: “… they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Notice what was listed first. How can one have liberty and the pursuit of happiness if one is denied life? There will never be any liberty for the human embryo slaughtered on the altar of speculative embryonic stem cell research, or for the infant who helplessly succumbs to the gruesome insertion of a needle into its head so that its brains can be sucked out.
I am pro-life and I support Gov. Matt Blunt’s call for a special session to pass pro-life legislation. Blunt and the General Assembly are unable to rescind Roe v. Wade, but they can help reduce the number of Missouri abortions — and even if their actions save but one life, their efforts will have been noble and just. I was encouraged to read the governor’s view on this matter in a thoughtful editorial he recently penned for The Springfield News-Leader: “The most important reason (to pass new pro-life legislation) is to reduce the number of abortions that occur in our state.” A special session will give the governor a “bully pulpit” to bring special, statewide attention to this issue. He is going to put the abortionists on the defensive and after years of anti-family, anti-life rule by liberal Democrats it is about time.
When it comes to protecting life in America, none of us can do enough – and it is certainly not a waste of taxpayer dollars to call a special session to deal with saving lives. I cannot help but recall what President John F. Kennedy said in his 1961 Inaugural Address in which he focused on the importance of human liberty. To paraphrase his famous remark: When it comes to saving human life, let all those who oppose us know that we will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival of every human life.
This uncompromising view smashes head-on with the anti-life judicial activism that too often surfaces among America’s judiciary. Allen Palmeri’s pessimistic outlook is understandable given rulings by the federal bench since Roe v. Wade. So why shouldn’t the governor and pro-life supporters just throw up their hands given the seeming inevitability that some federal judge will strike down any law passed by the Missouri General Assembly when it meets in September’s special session?
Because to do anything less would be to surrender the legislative role needed for our constitutional republic to survive. Our nation was born – and has survived – on a system of “checks and balances” between the executive, legislative and judicial branches. To abandon all attempts to legislate against abortions would be to surrender to judicial tyranny and upset the “checks and balances” America must sustain for its survival. Capitulation is unacceptable — even if some despicable organization like Planned Parenthood can somehow manipulate the federal court system so its lawsuits challenging pro-life laws can be heard before sympathetic liberal judges who rule as if humans and barnyard animals are indistinguishable.
Allen is correct when he writes that America will either have judges who are bent on rewriting the Constitution or judges who only interpret the original intent of the framers. I also agree with friend and former Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice John Holstein in that I have not yet given up on America’s judiciary. “I’m not ready to pronounce my profession dead yet,” he said. Perhaps the most telling word in his candid comment was “yet.”
It is encouraging to see elected leaders like U.S. Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Missouri’s two, strong pro-life senators, Kit Bond and Jim Talent, fight for – and win – federal judgeships for pro-life conservatives like Priscilla Owen and William Prior. Many more are needed, but if we quit and throw up our hands, such things will never happen.
Social conservatives have a tendency to try for too much all at once. I am convinced that our best chance to overturn Roe v. Wade is to do it piecemeal. The liberals are masters at chipping away at our liberty. It is time conservatives took a play out of their playbook in order to save liberty.
It has been stated that the original sweeping, omnibus abortion bill that died in this legislative session could have saved the lives of as many as 800 Missouri babies a year. However, if our elected leaders feel that a shortened, or so-called “cleaner” bill that could save, say, 400 babies has the best chance of withstanding a reversal by an unelected federal judge, then they should pass it immediately. We can always try for more in coming years. It is horrible that the pro-life fight must be fought in such an agonizingly drawn-out manner, but perhaps this is the price we must pay for our sin in allowing the passage of Roe v. Wade to begin with.
The Lord Jesus Christ has called those of us who believe in Him for our salvation to be the “salt and light” of the world. If we quit being “salt” in the face of judicial activism, then we disobey the Judge who will judge us all someday. It will also mean that the judiciary will be left to pagan thought. Someone – and it should be the church of the Lord Jesus – must stand before them and say, “Thus saith the Lord.” We must resist capitulation, overcome pessimism and recall the words God spoke to Joshua following Moses’ death: “Be strong and courageous, for the Lord thy God is with you wherever you go.”
That promise is extended to all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. And it should humbly embolden us to never stop trying to rescue the perishing and care for the dying.
Soli Deo gloria!