By Dave Andrusko
There are a handful of genuine pro-life literary classics. I will not begin to list them for fear of omitting others that rightly belong on a list of books and videos that shaped our Movement.
However, for purposes of illustrating a point, I will mention one: President Ronald Reagan’s “Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation.”
I’ve written about this powerful little book on many occasions, most recently in February (www.nrlc.org/news_and_views/Feb11/nv020411.html). This little classic is part of today’s discussion because I was reminded yet again of a lesson that I seem to relearn daily: even the most pro-life, wired-in authorities may be new to tremendous educational resources such as President Reagan’s 1983 book.
Chuck Colson is a staunch pro-lifer, an author, lecturer, and radio broadcaster of the first order. On his “Breakpoint” radio commentary today, Colson spoke about “The Value of Human Life: The Gipper Got It Right” (www.breakpoint.org/bp-home).
Two observations might be appropriate about his remarks which begin with a keen observation: “English author Samuel Johnson once wrote that some truths are too important to be new. I’ll share with you some important old truths about human life.”
First, hard as it to believe, it was not until a friend sent him a copy of the book a few weeks again that Colson read the book, which was first published, he noted, as an unsolicited manuscript sent to the Human Life Review.
If a guy who appears to have read (or written) half the books compiled in the last four years hadn’t encountered “Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation,” then obviously many, many younger people will not have been benefited from the great lessons President Reagan taught in his book.
Second, President Reagan, as was his gift, addressed the heart of the matter. Even in 1983, all but the pro-abortion ideologues had moved past the question of when human life begins. Biology 101 established that human life begins at conception.
Rather the issue is, as the President wrote,
“What is the value of human life? The abortionist who reassembles the [torn-apart] arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been [removed] from its mother’s body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being. The real question for him and for all of us is whether that tiny human life has a God-given right to be protected by the law — the same right we have.”
And, fortunately, the text of “Abortion and The Conscience of America” is available online here.