No Crib for a Bed

This week the Senate plans to vote on whether or not to outlaw partial-birth abortions, without a doubt the most sadistic method ever devised for destroying a human baby. But if our Senators do support the ban, beware: The law may be so full of loopholes that not a single infant's life will be saved. The crux of the problem is the so-called "health of the mother" exception that pro-abortion senators want to attach to the bill. On the surface, that sounds reasonable enough. And of course, the bill does contain an exception to save the life of the mother. But the problem is, our courts have interpreted "health of the mother" to include almost anything, even temporary psychological problems. The new "ban" wouldn't be worth the paper it's written on. The good news is that the very fact that abortion supporters are resorting to this phony "health of the mother" strategy shows that pro-lifers are beginning to win the most important battle—the one for the hearts and minds of Americans. One of the best arguments for what I mean was made by George McKenna in The Atlantic Monthly. McKenna compares the abortion debate with the great moral question of the 19th century: slavery. McKenna writes, "Lincoln knew that in the final analysis durable judicial rulings on major issues must be rooted in the soil of American opinion." As Lincoln put it, public sentiment "is every thing . . . with it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed." It's a political lesson the abortion lobby has learned well. That's why they've always played the politics of euphemism, hiding behind words like "choice" and "product of conception." They know abortion stays legal in part because so few Americans fully grasp the horror of it. And that's why we heard loud howls of protest when pro-life lawmakers displayed drawings of what actually happens during a partial-birth abortion. The abortion lobby realized that this time, there was no hiding the horrible truth: Partial-birth abortion brutally kills living babies. And that knowing the truth, Americans just might begin questioning the morality of all abortions, just as our ancestors began questioning the morality of slavery. How ironic that during the season we celebrate the birth of Jesus we should even have to debate whether or not to outlaw the killing of other innocent babies. History warns us, however, that no nation can survive if it condones such utterly depraved behavior. So it's good news that the abortion lobby can no longer sell unrestricted abortion on demand to a country growing increasingly aware of the humanity of the fetus—that it has to resort to the desperate legislative ploys we're witnessing today. But you and I have to continue educating our neighbors about the full horror of abortion, just as an earlier generation of Christians patiently educated their neighbors about the horrors of slavery. We have to help them understand that if our senators aren't even willing to ban partial-birth abortion—a barbaric procedure that kills babies who have virtually been born—then we can no longer make the claim to being a civilized society. And we will deserve—and get—God's judgment.


Chuck Colson


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