“Abortion brings into the public arena a Van Tilian fact of life: an aborted baby is either dead or alive. There is no neutral ground, no halfway condition, in between dead or alive. The abortion issue was the wedge of Van Tilian self-consciousness for millions of Christians. They gained the first glimmer of awareness regarding a Van Tilian truth applied to civil law: the State is not neutral.
“We began to see placards: ‘Abortion is Murder.’ But then … that terrifying judicial question: ‘What is the proper civil penalty for murder?’ The answer was obvious: execution. The anti-abortionist leaders all began to waffle, and they have waffled ever since.”
– Gary North
I used to own a house across the street from an abortion clinic, before it was closed and then bulldozed. We have an extensive web site dealing with pro-life happenings from the mid-1990s until present.
I conceived the site as a way to identify a “mystery abortionist” who wanted to keep his identity secret. Meredith Raney now runs the site and has added volumes of information. Mademoiselle Magazine wrote a critique of the web site a few years ago. The abortuary owners used to accuse the local pro-lifers of being responsible for cutting their business in half. They even filed four federal lawsuits against us as a group claiming that the existence of the web site was a tortious (yes, that’s actually a word) offense.
I wrote an “Open Letter to the Pro-life Community” a while back, making the same point North makes above.
Pro-life activists have done a lot to stop individual abortions from occurring. But if we want a permanent solution, that we do have to come to grips with the fact that although abortion has been restricted in American history, we are one of the few nations on earth that has not ever criminalized abortion.
There IS a lot we can do in the meantime. I chronicle some of these in my “Open Letter.”
But few want to deal with the weighty question of what criminal sanctions need to be enforced.
While it is widely held that abortion was legalized in 1973 through Roe v. Wade, this idea is absolutely wrong. While abortion was restricted in various places, abortion has never been nationally criminalized in American history. We must begin to create the kind of tension in the minds of people that will help them to extend beyond the current debate over the morality of abortion versus a woman’s right to choose. We must change the argument. Should abortion be restricted by the state in the same way that the FDA puts restrictions on food production? Or should an abortionist be tried as a murderer and executed?
See my “Open Letter to the Pro-life Community” for more details.
- Jay Rogers