Thursday marks the 36th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme
Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in
the United States.
Since that day in 1973, 50 million Americans have been
eradicated, primarily by those among us who should have
the highest regard for human life: mothers and medical
Fifty million is a staggering number. For most of us, it
is beyond our ability to comprehend. Fifty million dead
would make the Vietnam Memorial Wall 80 miles long instead
of 500 feet long. Fifty million gone, and we will never
know what they had to offer.
I go weekly to the abortion mill in Bellevue to pray and
to speak to those who are going in and out of that place.
What I see and hear sickens me.
I see a teenager getting out of a car to throw up. She
looks up at me with tears in her eyes as her mother yells
at me and at her. They park the car, and the mother takes
her daughter in.
I see a man, angry and vulgar, escorting a woman in, her
eyes downcast. She never looks up, and she never speaks.
I see an affluent, professional couple in an expensive
vehicle with a child in a car seat in the back. The
attractive, well-dressed woman gets out and reaches in the
back to kiss her child before she goes in.
The man, who tells me he is her husband, responds to my
plea to save the life of his child by telling me it is not
human life because there is not sufficient brain
development. I encourage him to check the medical
textbooks, and he smugly says, “I am a doctor.”
I see a young man who comes out to smoke and who tells me
he is not ready to be a father yet. When I reply that it
is too late, he is already a father, and I ask, “Why not
adoption?” he tells me that he wouldn’t want someone else
raising his child.
I talk to the workers who tell me that this is a better
alternative: These babies are unwanted and would likely be
abused, become criminals and burdens to society.
This is the culture of death.
Years ago, when I first heard Pope John Paul II use the
term and apply it to our country, I remember feeling
surprised — and defensive.
We live in a country that has welcomed millions of
immigrants, a country that rallies to protect democracy
and freedom throughout the world, a country that sends
billions of dollars of relief to the less fortunate. How
could anyone think that ours was a culture of death? What
I didn’t understand then, I do now.
Our affluence, our technology, our secularism and our
materialism have brought us to this point. We are wealthy
and powerful. We can have what we want, when we want it,
even if we can’t afford it. We have kicked out God and
traditional morality and embraced “whatever makes you
Can’t have a baby? We’ll make one for you in the
laboratory. Don’t want the baby you have? We’ll help you
get rid of it at the Planned Parenthood clinic.
Want to marry someone of the same sex? We’ll change the
laws and reinterpret centuries of prohibitions. Don’t like
your hairline or your gender? We’ve got the doctors.
Worried about aging and death, suffering from Alzheimer’s
or Parkinson’s? Those frozen embryos and aborted fetuses
will be put to good use to find a cure. Otherwise, we’ll
just mercifully put you out of your misery (when your
intake exceeds your output).
This is the culture of death.
Roe v. Wade is both a cause and a symptom of what ails us.
Our nation will never rise to previous heights of
greatness. Indeed, our beloved country will continue its
downward spiral into moral depravity and all that
accompanies it as long as we continue to destroy what is
truly our most precious natural resource: our children.
The writer, of Omaha, is a teacher and
counselor with a master’s degree in guidance counseling.
She has worked in medical and psychiatric hospitals, in
the field of substance-abuse prevention and as a volunteer
sidewalk counselor near a Bellevue abortion provider.