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Hans Zeiger









The Lost Generation: 31 Years of Roe v. Wade

By Hans Zeiger

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In a sad sort of way, I am blessed to have survived the year 1985. That was the year I was born, and the year that 1.6 million of my fellow American citizens were murdered in abortion clinics.

1985 was the year that more abortions were performed than in any other year before or since except 1988 and 1990. Numbed by the widespread cultural acceptance of abortion, I lack the emotional regrets that old soldiers have when they reflect on their friends lost in battle. But the year I was born, abortion claimed more of my peers than all of the deaths in all of America's wars combined.  


In the 31 years since January 22, 1973, abortion has become one of the most common surgical procedures performed, and it is done in the safety and serenity of modern, plush clinics operated by exceptionally profitable non-profits like Planned Parenthood. Since Roe v. Wade, government social service agencies have taken advantage of the legality of abortion to add it to the list of public services provided to low-income citizens. Today, three of ten abortions are taxpayer-funded. Since 1973, one in four pre-born children have been numbered among the victims of the war against life.

If we accept the obvious, the most recent World Almanac should have listed the leading cause of death as "abortion." 

I once heard someone reflect on the terrible, hypothetical concept that certain great men and women of America's past had never been born. Flip through a history book and begin crossing out the names of the presidents, the pioneers, the inventors, the writers, the scientists. Spread black ink over the photographs and paintings and names of Washington and Jefferson, of Edison and Ford, of Lincoln and Martin Luther King.

We have witnessed a purge of horrific proportions within the past couple of generations, and abortion's count in America alone is around 43 million. But I don't suppose that young Americans, born in the past thirty years, have taken much time to reflect on the idea that a great number of their generation has already departed from this world. 43 million souls is quite a significant number. But since they aren't really souls, as we're told, it doesn't matter. They are fetuses; they are tissues; they are inconveniences. We are better without them, say their killers.

Even if we accept the humanitarian justifications of the burgeoning abortion industry, that my late peers were mere fetuses that lacked any type of spiritual dimension, there is no reasonable person who doubts that they were once living human beings. The great national debate no longer questions the definition of life, it questions whether there is any value in life at all.

Abortion doctors and pro-choice activists know quite intimately the fact that pre-born children are alive from conception. The contention of the pro-abortion movement is that life has no intrinsic value, and if possible, we ought to avoid it. Indeed, if the fetuses butchered around me in 1985 were simple organisms taken mercifully from this world to spare them from the hardships of life, and to make the burden less stressful for society, we owe our prosperity and our low poverty levels to the unborn generation. 

But what if my missing contemporaries were souls created by and in the image of an Almighty God?

I reflected on this question when I protested at the grand opening of a Planned Parenthood teen clinic in my hometown a few weeks ago before returning to college for the new semester. I watched as young people drove up to the clinic and filled the parking lot to capacity. I have seen that the abortion industry has done the necessary work to maintain itself for yet another generation.

But can America survive?

Can America continue to exist through the dilation and evacuation procedure during which a crushing instrument is inserted into a mother's uterus and pieces are pulled off of the child and assembled on a sterile, white table to make sure they all came out? Can America continue to endure the ammonite burning of children by saline amniotic infusion that concludes in a hopeless struggle against the severe pain of arsoned lungs and skin?

Today, 43 million ghosts of infanticide walk the fields and roads and city streets of America. Victims of murder, their invisible presence moves hauntingly, silently through our nation. The abject condemnation of life, legalized and advertised since 1973, thrives and grows in every state. But the innocent ghosts of infanticide cannot speak for themselves. We must do all we can to speak for them.

How do we speak for the dead? We join the pro-life movement as Americans joined the abolitionist movement of the 1850s. We speak and we write, we rally and we minister, we encourage and we contribute, we pray, until every life in every place of America is legally - and culturally - protected.

The Life War has gone on for too long. For the 43 million dead, we must carry on the fight.

Hans Zeiger is president of the Scout Honor Coalition, he writes a weekly column, and he is a student at Hillsdale College. Contact: hazeiger@hillsdale.edu






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