HomeoldPeggy Noonan: Abortion has released a kind of poison into the air

Peggy Noonan: Abortion has released a kind of poison into the air

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Editor’s Note: The aforementioned text was published in 2022, shortly after the Dobbs decision was leaked, but several months before the Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade. The piece was laudable at the time of its initial publication and remains so today.

Peggy Noonan’s “The End of Roe v. Wade Will Be Good for America” makes the preliminary assumption that the leaked first draft of Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion on Mississippi‘s abortion law is representative of the final version. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade and its companion case, Casey v. Planned Parenthood, will be overturned. As has been observed by many commentators, this may or may not be the case. However, those who are pro-life are fervently hoping that it is.

While Noonan addresses a multitude of facets of Roe’s deleterious impact on our culture, what I find most compelling is her rationale for her pro-life stance.

I am pro-life for the most fundamental reason: That’s a baby in there, a human child. We cannot accept as a society – we really can’t bear the weight of that fact, which is why we keep fighting – that we have decided that we can extinguish the life of our young. Another reason, and this is perhaps mystical, is that I believe that the fact of abortion, that it exists throughout the country, that we talk about it endlessly, that children grow up hearing about it and absorbing it and thinking ‘we are ending the life in the mother here’, ‘it’s just a few cells’ – that all of this has put a kind of poison in the air that we have been breathing for 50 years and it has damaged everything.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade did indeed have a profound impact on the legal landscape of the United States. The decision in Roe v. Wade undermined the moral obligation of mothers and fathers alike. This has implications for the way in which women are expected to treat their unborn children. The decision in Roe v. Wade had a corrosive effect on the foundations of our culture, rendering abortion a seemingly acceptable solution.

Nevertheless, throughout the year, those who are pro-life maintain an optimistic outlook. The question thus arises: why? We believe that the better angels of our nature will not be forever silenced. As a nation, it is evident that we are better than turning a blind eye to the reality that almost 900,000 abortions occur annually. It is of the utmost importance that citizens are reminded of this tragedy on a daily basis.

Noonan’s conclusion is of considerable significance.

And if Roe is indeed overturned, God bless our country that can make such a terrible, cold-hearted mistake and yet, half a century later, correct it, right it, turn it around. Only a thinking nation could do that. Only a feeling nation could do that. We’re not dead yet, there are still great things to be done.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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