Imagine you lived in a country where:
- 2,500 people were murdered every day…the equivalent of 6 September 11th attacks every week…
- With a government that not only did nothing to defend its citizens, but is complicit in their deaths…
- Where the fundamental rights to life and liberty of the weakest members of society are routinely and legally violated…
This isn’t 1939 in the Third Reich or Soviet Russia… Welcome to the United States in 2011.
The military dead of all the conflicts in the history of the United States total less than one and a half million.
Military Deaths in conflicts involving the US 1776 to 1975 (1)
Revolutionary War ~25,000
War of 1812 ~20,000
Mexican War 13,283
Civil War ~625,000
First World War 116,516
Second World War 405,399
Korean War 53,686
Vietnam War 58,209
Total = ~1,310,000
Each figure represents 10,000 deaths
The sacrifice of these brave men and women, citizen soldiers, mostly volunteers, have preserved the freedoms and liberties which we enjoy to this day…and still preserve them. Our rights have been maintained by military as well as civilian sacrifice. Yet there is a class of citizen that is rountinely denied their civil rights and through a legal fiction, are said “not to be human beings” until they are 23 weeks old. These citizens are defenseless, not young men and women in their prime with all the arms, equipment and support of their nation behind them. What has been the toll among the innocents?
Estimated Abortion Deaths in the US from 1973 to 2010
Total = ~50,000,000
Each figure represents 10,000 deaths
50 million dead. That’s equivalent to the 2010 population of every man, woman and child in the states of Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming and the District of Columbia (2010 US Census).
It’s the same number as we would have expected from a limited nuclear war with the Soviet Union (3).
Are we happy being #2 on the list of all-time murderers of their own citizens? We’re in good company:
#1. Mao Zedong ~70 million Chinese dead (4)
#2. USA ~50 million American dead (2) (Alan Guttmacher Institute)
#3. Joseph Stalin ~17 million Russian dead (5)
#4. Adolf Hitler ~9 million German dead (6)
There is no justification in law or ethics for the one person to arbitrarily take the life of another without due process. Our entire government is sustained by the rule of law over arbitrary and despotic power, whether exercised by governments or individuals.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
- Declaration of Independence
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
- Constitution of the United States
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
- Section 1, Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
The right to life and the responsibility of the state to protect life are enshrined in our most fundamental charters of government. Government cannot abdicate this duty, nor delegate it to any individual.
Where do we draw the line when we begin to choose who lives and who dies? The Supreme Court ruled that in the first trimester of pregnancy, the state has no right to restrict abortion because the fetus has no viability outside the womb at that time. That is not only a grossly arbitrary measure, but one that opens an awful chasm to euthanasia and eugenics.
Medical technology advances faster than the law, and there is no reason why a fetus in the first trimester might not be viable outside of the womb in the near future. And why should any arbitrary measure be allowed to limit the potentiality of a human life? These fetuses don’t grow into wombats, or fruit flies. Every single one will eventually become a boy or girl with unlimited potential. If we make viability or self-sustainability the standard by which we measure the right to life, what is to prevent us from “eliminating” the terminally ill? Children with Down’s Syndrome? Adults with Alzheimer’s Disease? There is no difference between any of these categories.
Strip away the casuistry and self-justification and you end with the same thing: a dead human being.
The Supreme Court errs in again reducing people to objects and stripping them of their unalienable rights. This is not the first time this has happened.
- Justice Blackmun, in Roe vs. Wade, based the Court’s majority opinion on the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments “right to privacy” and liberty from state interference in the personal matter of the termination of a pregnancy
- The Court found that a fetus has no “right to life” to be protected because it was not defined as a legal person, nor did the Constitution intend that the unborn should be so defined.
Justice Taney, in Dredd Scott vs. Sanford, seems to have followed a similar logic with African American slaves, another category of “non-person”:
- In 1857, the Court found that Dredd Scott had no recourse to law whatsoever because he was not a legal person, nor did the Constitution intend that negroes should be so defined;
- Since negroes were chattel and Congress could pass no law which deprived citizens of their property without due process of law, slavery could not be barred from any state;
- This led directly to the bloodiest war in American history and the eventual destruction of the infamous institution of human bondage.
It seems that the Supreme Court has some strange ideas of what defines a legal person: Corporations? YES!!! Blacks and unborn babies? HELL NO!!! The Supreme Court fails our Common Sense test (again).
If Scott vs. Sanford sparked the Civil War in expiation for the crime of slavery, what can our generation hope for? Is it any surprise that our society seems to move without benefit of a moral compass?
“… The Almighty has His own purposes. ‘Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.’ If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? … Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’”
- President Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, 04 March 1865
It is with solemn and ominous echoes that President Lincoln’s words reach out to us from across the ages. Surely, infanticide is as terrible and bloody a debt as that of slavery. What kind of violent and barbarous society can we expect to live in if we sacrifice our weakest members, our own infants, on the altar of our own convenience? What hope have we of ethical and moral government if we allow it to abdicate its most solemn responsibility to defend the lives of the innocent? If we ourselves are complicit in this modern barbarism, how can we expect higher standards of behavior from politicians?
It is easy to do nothing, to turn a blind eye on suffering.
All that is required for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Qui tacet consentire.
Most, perhaps a majority, of Americans consider abortion to be a moral wrong (7), yet abortion remains legal in every state of the Union. It is, perhaps, a cynical question to ask if abortion remains legal because it so disproportionately women of ethnic minorities?
- The incidence of abortions among Hispanic females is 2.5 times greater than that of white females;
- The incidence of abortinos among black females is 4.5 times greater than that of white females. (8)
Is it possible that politicians would be less complacent (talk remains cheap and there is plenty of rhetoric on the subject) if it were white females that were aborting at these rates?
There are alternatives to abortion.
- Support an end to legal abortion (with due exceptions in the case of rape, incest and risk of life to the mother);
- Make adoptions easier;
- Provide more help for single mothers and foster parents;
- Invest in sex education and subsidized contraceptives.
There is no reason for this to continue except our own complacency.
(1) Estimate taken from a variety of sources found on Wikipedia site: “US military casualties of war”
(2) Alan Guttmacher Institute
(3) Assumes 100 missiles of 10MT each with implementation of a national fall-out protection program. Taken from Robert McNamara, “Memorandum for the President; Subject: Recommended FY 1966-1970 Programs for Strategic Offensive Forces, Continental Air and Missile Defense Forces, and Civil Defense (U),” draft, December 3, 1964
(4) Jonathan Fenby, “Modern China: The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850 to the Present”
(5) Steven Rosefielde, “Documented Homicides and Excess Deaths: New Insights into the Scale of Killing in the USSR during the 1930s”
(6) “Source List and Detailed Death Tolls for the Twentieth Century Hemoclysm” . German military & civilian deaths in the Third Reich
(7) Gallup 2011 Values and Beliefs Survey (May) – 51% of respondents felt abortion was morally wrong, 39% of respondents felt abortion was morally acceptable.
(8) Alan Guttmacher Institute