Today marks the 36th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision by the Supreme Court, and this article by Robert George is a brilliant reflection on what is at stake in the present battle for the lives of the unborn. Here is a short excerpt:
"Of course, it is not given to us to know just how much we will, in the end, be able to achieve. Despite the triumph of the pro-abortion party in the recent elections, there is no good reason to believe that our efforts in the domain of law and policy are futile or doomed to fail. Yet we have no guarantee of success. As the great Fr. Richard John Neuhaus so often said: for us, there is only the trying. The rest is God's business, not ours. Yet we are given to know that in trying, we fulfill God's commands, and build up His kingdom."
As I watched President Obama take the oath of office on Tuesday, I was touched to the point of tears. Yes, I was touched by the historicity of the moment: President Obama is of a race that just 40 years ago was treated very poorly in our country, and I do believe that his election brings great hope to those who still feel the effects of racial prejudice today. But I believe that my tears were also for President Obama, who heretofore has demonstrated a terribly misguided position on the issue of abortion. I pray for President Obama, and as I pray I find myself trying to figure out how this man can believe what he believes. How can this man, who shows such great love for his family, such grace in recent days when he could have poked fun at Chief Justice Roberts, such a desire to protect the weakest in our society, how can this same man afford no rights to the unborn? It seems that he truly believes his stance to be the most just one, and it seems that he is ready to fight for increased "reproductive rights" for women because he believes that it is the right thing to do.
So, today I pray for a complete change of heart in President Obama, and I believe in the power of prayer. At Mass this morning, I again found myself moved to the point of tears as I walked forward to receive the Eucharist. The weight of the moment did not escape me: here I was, with my daughter in my arms and my son at my side, participating in the heavenly banquet with all of the angels and saints, including all of those innocent souls who never had a chance at life. Today, around the world, millions of Catholics will celebrate Mass, participate in Marches for Life, and pray for an end to a culture that supports abortion. There is great power in all of these acts, and I am again reminded of the words of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus: "For us, there is only the trying. The rest is God's business, not ours. Yet we are given to know that in trying, we fulfill God's commands and build up his kingdom."