Editor’s note. I wrote this last year on the 16th anniversary of 9/11. Every word applies equally well today. This first appeared in the September 2017 digital edition of National Right to Life News.
As I drove into work this past Monday, I heard President Donald Trump’s eloquent remarks delivered at the Pentagon on the 16th anniversary of 9/11. Since I am old enough to vividly remember where I was when President Kennedy was assassinated, another national tragedy that took place just 16 years ago seems almost like it took place yesterday.
Bear with me, please, while I relate what happened on that day in 2001. It bears directly on what I’d like to say in this space.
On 9-11, I was scheduled to go to my graphic designer to put the final touches on the September issue of National Right to Life News, in those days a print newspaper. I had just come out of a 7/11 convenience story when I heard the stunning news that a plane had crashed into North Tower of the World Trade Center.
I was 40 miles from my graphic designer’s office. Communications were spotty, at best, impossible, at worst. There was no realistic reason to believe my graphic artist would be able to send the files over the Internet to the printer.
But for reasons to this day I cannot fully explain or even understand, I was determined that the issue go out that night. A lengthy series of interruptions and complications ensued, but we printed NRL News within a couple of hours of the time we had originally planned to have the edition roll off the presses.
I don’t want to overdramatize what we did. But, to me, it is symbolic–representative–of the never-give-up spirit that is embedded in the DNA of every true pro-lifer.
Such an indomitable spirit is necessary. We are up against the most powerful institutions in our culture, beginning with the Media Elite, most foundations, leading law schools, and a judiciary whose hostility to virtually all protective laws demonstrates that the arc of history (at least in the short-to-midterm) doesn’t always bend toward justice.
But if a handful of federal judges reflexively hammer pro-life laws, the glass-is-fourth-fifths-full response is that they couldn’t wield their judicial mallets if pro-life legislatures weren’t habitually passing protective legislation. And they are! And they continue to do so. And eventually, perhaps in the not too distant future, these commonsense laws will receive a more hospitable response at the United States Supreme Court.
Already common sense does occasionally peek its head out. Take for example, last week’s Myers v. Schneiderman decision rendered by the New York Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court.
The usual suspects wanted the state’s long-standing ban on assisted suicide to be tossed out. In typically disingenuous fashion, the plaintiffs argued that the state’s ban on assisted suicide doesn’t ban “aid-in-dying.”
However all five judges said no. They rejected all of the various challenges and in the process maintaining the distinctions assisted suicide advocates are determined to erase.
The judges wrote
Contrary to plaintiffs’ claim, we have never defined one’s right to choose among medical treatments, or to refuse life-saving medical treatments, to include any broader “right to die” or still broader right to obtain assistance from another to end one’s life.
We have consistently adopted the well-established distinction between refusing life-sustaining treatment and assisted suicide.
In many ways, this illustrates arguably the most important overarching conclusion of the 17-page decision: the court’s insistence on bright line distinctions without which it’s a jurisprudential Wild, Wild West. Referencing Washington v. Glucksberg, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1997 decision which unanimously rejected the notion of a “right” to be assisted to die, they wrote
In any event, the State may permissibly conclude that an absolute ban on assisted suicide is the most reliable, effective, and administrable means of protecting against its inherent dangers.
“Inherent dangers”? Indeed. As we have seen in Europe and Canada, the “right” to assisted suicide has metastasized, attacking categories of people that even five years ago we would never have anticipated.
There are a number of other stories that appear in the September digital edition of National Right to Life News, the “pro-life newspaper of record” that illustrate the importance of pro-life state officials vigorously defending protective laws, and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of daunting challenges.