January 22 marks the completion of the seventh year of one of the greatest shames in the history of the United States. Seven years ago, on that day, the U.S. Supreme Court officially approved abortion. When we consider that opinion surveys held as late as 1968 (The New York Times, Oct. 28,1971) showed that 85% of the American public opposed abortion, we can see that this decision was made against the will of the majority of the people.
During the past eight years, the movement against abortion has grown in numbers, experience, and influence. In spite of many disappointments, a usually hostile and biased treatment by the news media, as well as betrayals by those who should be their staunchest allies, the pro-life movement is growing. Their perseverance, combativity, and farsightedness are winning the pro-life people recognition as a very important factor in the political arena and in our national life.
In the months immediately preceding the fateful Supreme Court decision, the founding members of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP) began to establish their movement to strengthen and protect the fundamental values of our heritage. We have since followed with great interest and sympathy, and frequently have participated through articles, lectures and demonstrations, in the nationwide reaction against the institutionalization of the murder of innocents. Analyzing certain aspects of this important issue in this document, we hope to make a further contribution to the victory of such a distinguished and vital cause.
A Moral Issue
A moral wrong cannot make a civil right! Abortion cannot be classified merely as a civil rights question. It is above all a moral issue. The right to life is a primary right stemming from both Divine Law and the natural law. Abortion is a crime condemned by the Fifth Commandment, a sin that “cries out to Heaven for vengeance.”
The implications of this practice are even more far-reaching when it is carried out not only by individuals but legalized by the nation. And a nation that legalizes abortion lives in a state of complicity with error and loses its moral credibility.
Furthermore, Saint Augustine teaches that since nations, as such, cannot be judged in the next life, they are judged, rewarded or punished on this earth.
Counselors of Ruin
It is well-known that those who commit abortion do not always have a criminal mentality. Many times, they are weak-willed people lacking means and guidance. Victims of a faulty education and of perverse influences, they find themselves confronted with one of those apparently “impossible situations” so common in today’s society. At this critical moment, a word of good counsel or a strong obstacle placed in the way of a criminal solution could prevent the unfortunate person from committing this crime. Such a saving obstacle could be either a legal prohibition, a strong repudiation by the whole of society, or the mere difficulty of performing the crime.
But what actually happens is the opposite. A very well organized and financed system takes charge of ridding the consciences of the mother or father of any scruples while making everything easy for the future criminals. Those who are responsible for such a system thus become the counselors of ruin, the black stain of our nation.
With legal and financial support, this system has all the means necessary to persuade its victim to commit murder and thereby cause her to lose her self-respect for the rest of her life.
Replacing Honor with Degradation
A nation’s greatest obligation is to protect its people from error and ruin by fostering good and persecuting evil, be it merely by raising obstacles to its action. This duty rises from a nation’s very dignity.
On the contrary, by accepting error and legalizing it on the same footing with what is right, a nation loses its sense of good and evil, of right and wrong. It becomes a nation without principle, one that no longer lives in accordance with moral values. By attempting to resolve problems on pragmatic grounds rather than moral ones, the nation, in fact, capitulates before them. The result is the victory of pragmatism over morality, intemperance over temperance, in a word, of matter over spirit. As such, the nation loses its moral identity and can no longer maintain its dignity and honor.
From this standpoint, should we be surprised for losing the respect that is due to us in the concert of nations? Should we be surprised at Iran’s treatment of our country and our failure to respond accordingly? Should we be surprised that the U.S. is not doing enough to halt another massacre – this time not of the unborn, but of a whole nation? Can we not see the total liquidation of the Cambodian people being carried out right before our very eyes?
Once considered the champion of liberty and human rights, our country is now doing nothing to prevent this other slaughter, which is, like abortion, without precedent in history. It should come as no surprise, then, that the most criminal philosophy of all time, Communism, continues with impunity to invade countries, enslave and slaughter its subjugated peoples as it is doing in Afghanistan at this moment.
All of this is happening because our nation and the West are losing both their capacity to react and the very fibers of their dignity and honor. Can we not expect those who have accepted the legalization of the greatest massacre of innocents in history, to accept the cruel destruction of whole nations as well?
Reconquering Our Nation’s Honor
In its arduous and persevering struggle in defense of the immutable values of Christian civilization, the American TFP, filled with hope, considers that among those resisting abortion and opposing it, there yet remains a flame of the valorous fiber of the idealistic, generous, and heroic soul of America.
It is, therefore, with great hope and enthusiasm, that we raise the above points for reflection so that those fighting against an evil as great as abortion may see that it is not an isolated problem but rather a part of a whole series of other calamitous evils. Like only one, all-encompassing fire, these evils are devouring the entire West.
From our hope arises another desire: that true America may awake from the lethargic sleep into which it has been lulled so that it may fulfill the great role Divine Providence has destined for our country.
But the awakening of the giant hinges on the action of a few. Perhaps it depends upon you, pro-lifer, who are reading this pamphlet.