The sad anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision is once again upon us. Our nation continues to live under the shadow of one of the greatest injustices in our history — a legal regime that holds that unborn children have no rights that born people are bound to respect. It is a legal system that violates all notions of human rights by permitting acts of lethal violence with impunity against an entire class of human beings, solely because of their age and vulnerability
The radical nature of our abortion laws is woefully misunderstood. The news media and commentators frequently mislead people into thinking that Roe merely legalized abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy, and permitted many restrictions thereafter. The fact of the matter is, and always has been, that Roe struck down the abortion laws of every state in the Union, and guarantees the right to an abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason whatsoever. This is important to understand, especially when demagogic public officials like the Governor of New York trumpet their desire to enact Roe into law
Here in a very liberal state, it is sometimes easy to forget that abortion is not as widely supported in the rest of America. A new poll from the Knights of Columbus and Marist College demonstrates the depth of pro-life feelings in our nation. Only a bare majority of Americans (51%) call themselves "pro-choice", while 44% say they're "pro-life". But labels are deceptive — they conceal the real pro-life majority. This can be seen when the poll asks more specific questions about people's actual beliefs:
- 76% of Americans support limiting abortion to the first three months of pregnancy.
- There is strong support for this limit across the political and ideological spectrum — Republicans (92%), Independents (78%), Democrats (61%) and even those who call themselves Pro-choice (60%).
- 63% of Americans would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and 60% oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortion.
- 56% of Americans continue to believe that abortion is morally wrong, and 64% believe it's immoral to abort unborn children with genetic ailments like Down syndrome — a position that even 49% of those who are Pro-choice agree with.
- In a sign of hope for authentic conscience protection, 54% of Americans agree that medical professionals and organizations with moral objections should not be required to be involved in abortions or cover them with health insurance.
- Abortion continues to be a major issue in how people decide to vote for President (42%), Congress (45%) and local races (38%).
- And despite decades of pro-abortion propaganda intended to establish that abortion is a positive good, a strong majority of Americans (52%) say that abortion does a woman more harm than good in the long run, while only 29% have bought the lie that abortion improves a woman's life.
It has proven frustratingly difficult to translate pro-life support in polls into public policy and judicial decisions. This is especially true in our current dysfunctional political system, especially here in New York. But what this new poll demonstrates is that however deeply embedded abortion may be in our law and society, the pro-life position is still strong in the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans
The cause of life can never be defeated, because it is the cause of truth and it's the cause of God. And so on this Friday, January 19, we once again march to give witness to our belief in the sanctity of every human life, confident that there are millions of others who can't be with us but who share our beliefs
The Resistance goes on.