Tennessee’s new senator, Marsha Blackburn, has just introduced the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act. This coincides with this year’s March for Life, noting 46 years since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
The legislation would end all federal funding to all abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood.
This is the first legislative initiative by Blackburn, elected to the Senate in 2018 after serving eight terms in the House of Representatives. Blackburn has been a principled, unwavering pro-life conservative in all her years of public service, and I commend her for this.
It is about time that as a nation we understand the scourge of abortion in the broadest context of how it impacts our nation’s health and wealth.
I have spoken and written often about this, comparing our social upheavals of today to those of the 1850s, when slavery was the issue tearing our nation apart.
The 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, championed by Sen. Stephen Douglas, provided that citizens of these new territories could vote to determine whether slavery would be permitted.
The act was, on the issue of slavery, pro-choice.
Abraham Lincoln touched the heart of the matter in his famous speech Oct. 16, 1854, in Peoria, Illinois.
“Judge Douglas interrupted me to say,”said Lincoln,
“that the principle [of] the Nebraska Bill was very old; that it originated when God made man and placed good and evil before him, allowing him to choose for himself, being responsible for the choice he should make.”
Lincoln answered that
“the facts of this proposition are not true as stated. God did not place good and evil before man, telling him to make his choice. On the contrary, he did tell him there was one tree, of the fruit of which, he should not eat, upon pain of certain death. I should scarcely wish so strong a prohibition against slavery in Nebraska.”
Many sided with Douglas then on the proposition that it made sense that legality of slavery in a given territory be decided by vote, by choice. What American today would agree with this?
On the contrary, who among us did not learn American history without a sense of disbelief that once slavery existed in our nation, founded on the principles of freedom and equality?
On the issue of slavery, Lincoln was pro-life.
He knew that human life is not a creature of political definition, but a divine truth toward which we need to be in deference and awe, as we are in awe of the God that created it.
There is little doubt in my mind that one day Americans will look back on our history with disbelief that it was once legal in America for women to be judge and jury of life itself and to destroy the miracle of life within them.
Meanwhile, we see the warning signs around us of a society falling apart as result of a sickness in the soul.
Family and marriage are collapsing. Birthrates are collapsing.
New Census Bureau data show U.S. population growth this past year is the lowest in 80 years. They project that in just 17 years, for the first time ever, our population over the age of 65 will exceed our population under 18.
For some reason, we seem to need to plunge into the darkness before we see the light.
But the good news is we have leaders like Blackburn and Americans like the hundreds of thousands who will arrive in Washington for the March of Life.
The incidence of abortion has dropped dramatically since its peak after Roe v. Wade, and it has dropped significantly among young women. Activism by pro-life groups is making a difference.
Slowly, albeit too slowly, awareness is building in America that true freedom starts with respect for the mystery and sanctity of life.