Special Report

Abortion Is Un-American

Live from the March in Washington, D.C.

By 1.24.05

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WASHINGTON -- Abortion is un-American. It baldly violates the first principles of the country, cracking the foundation on which all rights for Americans rest -- the right to life. Unless the right to life is inviolable, none of the rights that presuppose it are inviolable either. The Founding Fathers could not have imagined that the most perilous place in America would end up being a mother's womb.

The Washington Post on Sunday noted that President Bush has been reading Natan Sharansky's book, The Case for Democracy. Sharansky establishes in the book a "townsquare" test for democracy: it exists if citizens can protest the government in a townsquare without interference. A fine test, but I would propose a more fundamental one: democracy exists if you can be born into it without an attempt on your life.

Monday's March for Life served as a reminder that for all our renewed rhetoric of freedom America, 32 years after Roe v. Wade, continues to deny freedom to unborn babies. The fire of freedom of which President Bush spoke last week still hasn't illuminated the shadows and penumbras under which more humans are aborted each day in America than were killed on 9/11.

President Bush, in his remarks to the March for Life attendees (piped in via phone from Camp David), used a word rarely heard these days: civilization. The proof of civilization, he said, is whether the strong protect the weak. By that standard, many democracies don't qualify as civilizations, including our own if it betrays the principles of America's founding.

As democratically elected savages like Adolf Hitler illustrate, democracy is not an automatic guarantor of civilization. Separated from moral truth contained in a rule of law, democracies can be as tyrannical as the most rapacious undemocratic governments.

America should only be on the side of "democracy" if it produces civilization; otherwise the tyranny America seeks to end will spread through the very rhetoric of democracy it uses, should the bin Ladens and Hitlers be democratically elected to power. The Founding Fathers, it is worth remembering, didn't call King George III a tyrant because he was a monarch; they called him a tyrant because he violated basic human rights. They knew democracy could devour itself through its own tyrannies unless it was subject to a truth higher than democracy itself.

A nation that kills its own children is a democracy without civilization and a people without a future -- literally. Not surprisingly, pro-life events such as the March for Life are popular with children, the survivors in the random lottery of life Roe v. Wade conducts year by year.

Unlike the children dragooned into service at last year's pro-abortion "March for Women's Lives" on the national mall -- those children looked about as happy as tots at a casting call for The Omen -- the youth attendees at the March for Life braved the freezing weather willingly to protest an obvious injustice against their generation. Naturally, the mainstream press took little to no interest in this largely youth event.

Most youth causes -- particularly if they are infantile and dangerous to the common weal -- command the media's most solicitous attention. But if thousands of youth descend on Washington, D.C. in biting weather to protest abortion, that's a non-event. The Washington Post barely mentioned the march, though it did find a paragraph in its brief Metro story on Sunday to let a Planned Parenthood official smear pro-lifers as "people who love fetuses but hate babies and children."

Would the Washington Post have published a pro-lifer saying that Planned Parenthood hates fetuses, babies, and children? They do. As Margaret Sanger's son Alexander has put it, the unborn child is a "liability, a threat, and a danger to the mother." Child abuse follows from abortion in principle, a fear children whose siblings were aborted have confessed to psychologists. If they could have done that to my brother or sister, why did I survive? they wonder. And why couldn't they do violence to me now?

This year's March for Life featured among other politicians Senator Sam Brownback ("Brownback in 'O8" signs dotted the crowd), Hoosier Rep. Mike Pence, and a slew of Kansas congressmen. The insipid Main Street Republicanism of Nancy Kassebaum and Bob Dole is now a dim memory -- no wonder elite journalists are shrieking, "What's the matter with Kansas?" There were plenty of clergy too, plus a new group of activists the mainstream media certainly won't cover -- women who regret their abortions. Abortion is violence against women, they testified, both for mother and child.

But violence against women and child abuse, normally topics of lively interest to the press, are of zero interest to a pro-abortion press corps that regards abortion as a glorious "freedom" -- perhaps the only one they demand Bush export to the ends of the earth. What they don't realize is that the pro-life movement will succeed without their attention. If the country is to survive and prosper, a practice as abhorrent to its founding principles as abortion can't.

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About the Author
George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author, with Phyllis Schlafly, of the new book, No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.