The world is flat. People are property. Tobacco is harmless.
Like many other long-held but misguided beliefs, these ideas have proven wrong over time. As a result, people and societies function differently in light of what we know to be true.
Consider another strongly held belief: preborn life is an insignificant clump of cells, mere tissue that has no inherent dignity.
This belief was held by early abortionists who believed the origins of human life to be an insoluble mystery. Denial of the humanity and personality of the fetus was fundamental to the Roe vs. Wade decision of January 22, 1973.
But then science demystified the mystery.
As revealing as a spherical earth or revolutionary as the emancipation of an enslaved people, ultrasound technology has erased the myth of “clumps of cells” and given us a clear view of the previously invisible universe of the uterus. In 3D images, a heart beats as early as 18 days after fertilization. Brain waves are measurable after six weeks. After 10 weeks every organ system is in place and after 12 weeks the fingers grip and the unborn child swallows.
This science cannot be dismissed out of hand. Through this, our eyes become witnesses to the undeniable humanity and personality that each of us has possessed since conception. And this growing knowledge has consequences.
Writing the majority opinion for Roe vs. Wade years before such evidence was exposed, Judge Harry Blackmum stated that if personality could be established, the “applicant’s case … collapses because the fetus’ right to life would then be” special guaranteed by the [14th] Modification.”
If the personality were established, then the fetus’s right to life would be guaranteed.
That time has come. Science and law must be in harmony.
As we near the 47th anniversary of Roe, a case decided in a darker era, we need to abandon the cognitive dissonance that says that sometimes we are human and sometimes we are not.
We must acknowledge that our society has been misguided in our beliefs and we must accept the truths that have become apparent.
An abortion forcibly takes the life of a living person. That alone should stop us. But there is more.
Abortion did not keep its promises. Poverty still exists. Children are still being abused. Women are still being abused. Abortion didn’t solve anything.
Rather, abortion nourishes a culture in which the powerful destroy the weaker, in which “willfulness” determines the value, in which the supposedly safe haven of the womb has become the most difficult limit of all.
Abortion hurts women, abandons fathers, undermines families, and weakens society.
We’re less about abortion. 61 million Americans fewer. Less her talent, less her genius, less her love.
We are less moral because of abortion. Ending life at the very beginning makes it easier to end it at the very end or at any point in between. The sanctity of all life is at risk.
This is where abortion led us. Abortion based on a false proposition that has since been refuted.
Life, your life, my life, all life begins in the womb. Science recognizes that. Now our laws must too.
As we commemorate the 47th anniversary of legalized abortion on January 22nd, let us steadfastly clarify the truth lest we commemorate the 48th year of mass genocide.
Let’s work to end legalized abortion.
Bonnie Finnerty is the Director of Education for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.