Celebrating Roe v Wade’s Anniversary (or Why Hardly Anyone Is)

January 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

RoeWadePartyIt’s been 40 years since the landmark Supreme Court Roe v Wade ruling legalized abortion in the United States. Since then, by some estimates, over 55 million unborn children have been aborted.

For something that many hailed as a victory for freedoms in this country, there is a strange lack of what we would call celebration on its anniversary. This is unlike other victories we commemorate, like Independence Day. It’s unlike any number of holidays or anniversaries of a wedding or birth, where the beginning of something wonderful is remembered with parties and celebration. An internet search will show that very few use the word “celebration” in conjuction with the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade, even among proponents and sympathizers of abortion. Roe v Wade is far more often “marked” or “remembered” by benefit dinners and events, but most don’t assume the gaiety and joy that usually accompanies the anniversary of something good.

Could it be that the anniversary is marred by opposition to abortion that never waned, but actually increased, highlighting a 40 year conflict that advocates didn’t expect? Or could it be that those in a position to celebrate the victory for abortion don’t feel the moral liberty to celebrate something that they somehow know is evil?

Abortion proponents may say the polarizing debate is the reason for the shortage of “celebration” of legalized abortion, but I think the latter explanation may have some validity. The human conscience bears witness to moral law written on every heart, according to Romans, law that tells us that abortion is murder, and murder is wrong. The conscience is often seared, but it’s an intellectual inhibitor as well as an emotional one. It may be that the divine law in the heart of the pro-abort serves as an annoying reminder that the heart that beats deep within the womb has the right to live. That’s a downer.

We generally celebrate life, not death.

If Roe v Wade was a victory for freedom, then we all ought to feel free to celebrate. If abortion is murder, we should mourn, and even the hardened may be at least reluctant to pop a cork and dance. There is no widespread jubilee about Roe v Wade, unlike what we will probably see from many the day it overturned. That would be a victory worth celebrating.

[Related post: Pro-Abortion, Pro-life and the Importance of Consistency]

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