We all agree that something has gone very wrong with our nation, but we all blame different villains, which is itself a symptom of our brokenness. There have been insightful efforts at diagnosis, but too many explanations have remained superficial, presuming that we are just an election away from happy days being here again.
To understand what ails our nation, we must first understand the things that haunt us — the things we don’t even like to talk or think about. We must face the ghosts we don’t want to see, but nonetheless torment us. Among the foremost of these spirits is the ghost in the cradle.
This is the week of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision requiring states to permit abortion on demand. At the time, it might have been said: forgive them, for they know not what they do. For most people in 1973, the womb was a black box; and few knew much about fetal development.
But we know now. We excitedly share ultrasound photos via text and social media, and we stick the printouts on our fridges or display them in picture frames with “sneak peek” emblazoned on the border. We definitely know. We have seen the moving limbs, tiny fingers and the beating hearts.
The advocates for our regime of elective abortion know, which is why they hide behind euphemisms — preferring instead to speak of reproductive freedom and choice, without mentioning the “A” word. Most people’s consciousnesses are not as seared & jaded as those of the zealots of “Shout Your Abortion” and similar campaigns. For the majority of abortion supporters, any rhetorical dodge in the book will do so long as it avoids invoking the truth of the violent reality of abortion. Rather, they prefer to cover abortion in the moral haze of a necessary evil in an imperfect world, and then cease thinking about it.
They justify abortion as the distasteful protector of individual autonomy, personal achievement, material riches, and sexual satisfaction that our culture so intensely glorifies. But the effects of abortion are not to be so easily ignored. It is, of course, obvious how abortion has also broken our politics.
Because the Supreme Court invented & created the constitutional right to abortion on demand, the pro-life movement has been compelled to try to take control of the federal courts, lest these courts strike down all democratically enacted abortion restrictions. Faced with a Democrat Party now completely committed to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand up until birth, many good men and women voted for Trump and his pro-life judicial appointments.
However, the corrupting influences of abortion go far beyond unpalatable political choices. Making abortion-on-demand part of the culture changes the very culture itself because its evil effects are systemic in nature, as well as individual; and, they do not simply end with the violent killing of the unborn.
Our nation is also haunted by what abortion does to the living. Trying to solve our problems by killing developing human beings makes us worse overall; individually and collectively. If elective abortion seems necessary, it is because our sexual appetites dominate our willingness to care for the children who are the natural outcome of sex. Elective abortion is a violent & barbaric form of birth control, which is often chosen either instead of, or as a backup to, a proliferating array of modern contraceptives.
Abortion damages the fundamental relationships of our humanity, shattering the primeval union of family; mother, father, and child. Instead of the familial solidarity that is naturally foundational to human society, the begetting and bearing of new human life becomes a battleground of competing selfish interests.
Abortion, even as a possibility, separates mothers and fathers from their children, and each other. A regime of abortion on demand affirms a view of human sexuality as essentially selfish, and of relations between men, women, and children as fundamentally contentious. It replaces love and responsibility with selfishness and violence.
America’s abortion culture sets men and women against each other. Even the justification of abortion as a private matter of female freedom implicitly relieves men of their biological responsibilities as fathers: why should a woman’s choice be a man’s problem? He signed up for a good time, not diapers and a minivan.
Similarly, women’s workplace equality often advanced on the tacit assumption that female fertility would be suppressed to require little or no accommodation from employers. Children are now considered to be a lifestyle choice, and that is not an employer’s responsibility. In each case, abortion provides a failsafe that allows men to get what they want from women with a minimum of commitment and responsibility.
The effects of abortion also pervade & corrupt our culture, from dating and marriage to business and education. Instead of striving to build a better culture encouraging us to be more virtuous, abortion enables us to be more vicious and exploitative of each other.
It should not surprise us, therefore, that after decades of abortion on demand, we live in a nation with cratering marriage and birth rates, and an epidemic of deadly loneliness. Abortion is not solely responsible for this, but the ghosts in the empty cradles undoubtedly haunt us. Many prefer to just look away; but, if we are to understand the ills of our nation, then we must also face the cost of abortion
There is a additional, even more dreadful possibility; which is the choice is between looking now or looking later. If the dead rise again for a judgment in which all secrets are finally revealed, then the aborted children of this nation will be waiting for us to face them. When we look at them, and they at us, what excuses will we offer? ✪