by Brian Bustle
I applaud John Leo’s column concerning the Republican platform on abortion. As a history teacher, I am constantly reminded of the parallels between past events and those surrounding us today. The similarities of today’s abortion debate to the slavery debate of the mid-1800s are profound.
In order to justify their position, pro-slavery forces argued that blacks were best suited for slavery and were most content having a master telling them what to do. Too often I have heard pro-choice advocates express the same perverted “mercy” in explaining how the unborn are better off being aborted than being born into the world as an “unwanted” and neglected child.
Others defended slavery by relegating the black man to a status of “not quite human.” Likewise, pro-choice forces have tried to maintain that unborn children are not quite persons, but merely fetuses, just part of the mother’s body.
Slave owners tried to make the issue a matter of choice. Those opposed to slavery, they said, should not own slaves - “just don’t prevent us from exercising our right to have slaves.” In the same way, pro-choice groups today tell us, “If you are opposed to abortion then don’t have one, but don’t interfere with a woman’s right to choose.”
The interesting thing about the matter of choice is how those most affected have no choice. Slaves were told how they would be most content, though I doubt involuntary servitude would have been their choice in their pursuit of happiness. And neither do I believe that the unborn, if they could speak, would appreciate the freedom of choice given to those who rob them of the most precious choice of all - the choice to live.
A century and a half ago, abolitionists were described as self-righteous peoples trying to impose their morality upon others. Today in my classroom we celebrate them as heroes. I hope that in classrooms of wiser, future generations, those who speak out for the rights of the unborn will be accorded a place of prominence instead of ridicule.