President’s Day: A Pro-Life Reflection

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

One of the greatest compliments that can be paid to a mother and father is that their son or daughter could someday grow up to be President of the United States.

And so, on this day which honors the highest office in the land, it is altogether fitting that we reflect on the Presidency and the issue of “life” in America.

Our first President, George Washington, once stated, “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.”

Certainly, an ultrasound showing a baby sucking her thumb demonstrates the scientific truth that the preborn child represents human life in all its astounding glory.

The third President of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The website Vocabulary.com notes that synonyms for the word “Unalienable” include “non-negotiable” and “intrinsic.” Therefore, written onto the hearts of the founding fathers was the truth that the right to life was non-negotiable and intrinsic–in other words, a right not to be tampered with.

Notes for speeches by the nation’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, suggest the dangers that arise when people use the nation’s venerable Constitution for perverse purposes: “…the people — are the rightful masters of both Congresses, and courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it…”

Once a court has lost its way…as the Supreme Court did in the tragic 1973 decision Roe v. Wade…a course of correction is possible–but not easy.

Consider, for instance, the words of our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt: “It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.” For, as his successor, President William Howard Taft, observed, “Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever.”

Still, hope reigns in the soul of every American who believes that one of the country’s worst wrongs can be righted, that justice can be restored to the voiceless among us, and that the vision of a life-affirming legal system can be realized.

It is a question of not only prevailing in courts, but also opening eyes to the humanity of the child in the womb.

For, as our 40th President, Ronald Reagan, once remarked, “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”