41 years after Roe v. Wade, abortion still demands consideration

Posted on Jan. 19, 2014

For The Maine Campus

Wednesday is the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States. About 57 million fetuses have been aborted in the U.S. since then.

Looking back at history, we often struggle to understand how people can be blind — or just silent — to the evils around them. We don’t understand how the idea that racism and slavery are normal and unproblematic could be popularly held, or how Germans under Hitler could fail to notice the persecution of millions of Jews. But we are so much a product of our own time that it is nearly impossible to step back from ourselves and identify what we are doing wrong, and even if we do, we are usually too scared to say or do anything. This is not merely a passive mistake. In the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor during World War II who was executed for his participation in a plot to assassinate Hitler: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

This is not a sideline issue: If these are human beings being aborted, then since 1973, as a nation, we are guilty of 57 million murders. That is what is at stake if you think abortion is right and you are actually wrong. To apathetically write this off is to choose to ignore a practice with more than nine times the death toll of the Holocaust.

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