LIBYA ANNOUNCES ISLAMIC STATE,
Democratic Reforms or Consolidation of Caliphate
UPDATE: Barack Obama's Arab Spring, which he claims holds such imminent promise of democratic reform for Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan, continues to unfold – in violence and bloodshed. Experts say it is "essentially awarding one part of the Middle East to Iran and the other part to the Muslim Brotherhood." Can this possibly be in America's strategic interest – and can it possibly bode anything but catastrophic dangers for our only democratic ally in the region, Israel?
Egypt, and its linchpin peace treaty with Israel, has been abandoned to the Muslim Brotherhood. Hezbollah dominates Iran, and is pressing upon both Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and is likely to dominate Libya. What next? The entire region is in tumult and dangerously destabilized.
Libya's 42-year villainous strongman Muammar Gaddafi this weekend was apparently captured by Islamist militia, tormented and executed with a gunshot to his head, then his corpse gruesomely paraded. Libya's transitional leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil declared his country's liberation from Gaddafi Sunday after a bloody 8-month conflict. He announced Islamic Sharia law would be the "basic source" of legislation and that existing laws that contradict the teachings of Islam would be nullified, and urged Libyans to express their joy by publicly chanting "Allahu Akbar," or God is Great, the Islamist warrior cry of victory – and stop murdering each other.
The UN "peace process" and Barack Obama pretends his policies in the Middle East seek freedom leading to peace. Yet his actions advance the power of murderous terrorists and violent factions warring against each other, spewing hate speech against real and imagined enemies, and inciting genocide against Israel. And the UN is the #1 enabler and facilitator for this Jew-hatred in the world! Why are our tax dollars funding $7.7 BILLION to the UN?
It is incomprehensible. The UN is an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, anti-American fever swamp of tyrannical and totalitarian states demonstrably inimical to justice, and overtly hostile to the survival of Israel as a Jewish state. The pro-Palestinian UN majority is now rabidly denouncing Israel's continued planning for Jewish "settlements" in East Jerusalem, asserting that any new settlements run contrary to the call by the Middle East Quartet – the diplomatic group comprising the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States – on all parties to refrain from "provocative actions."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated what he claimed to be the UN's position that settlement activity in East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank is "contrary to international law and to Israel's obligations under the Roadmap to a peaceful settlement of the conflict, and must cease."
A several-year old settlement plan, Givat Hamatos with 2,600 new living units would be the first major new Jewish settlement since Netanyahu approved the construction of nearby Har Homar in 1997, during his first term as prime minister.
The proposal was taken off hold, and building plans were revived and submitted for a 60-day public comment period, a last step before a final vote on approval. The decision will be made by the Jerusalem municipal council where there is broad support for settlements.
After the extreme provocation by Hamas and the PLO of unilateral application to the UN for Palestinian statehood – in violation of Resolution 242 and the Oslo Accords – it should be no surprise whatever that Israel continues to maintain with settlements her demographic interests in her capital city, Jerusalem. The Palestinians and the UN seek to divide the Holy City and hand over large sections to the Muslims – who whenever they have had "stewardship" of Jerusalem precincts, grossly desecrated Christian and Jewish holy places.
In this entire recent UN-Palestinian "statehood" debacle, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is covering for the Obama Administration's failure to protect Israel – by blaming the Jews. Two weeks ago, she attacked Jewish "settlement" building developments in the small town of Gilo, Israel outside Jerusalem:
"We believe that this morning's announcement by the government of Israel approving the construction of (1,100) housing units in east Jerusalem is counter-productive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties," Clinton told the Jerusalem Post at a news conference. "As you know, we have long urged both sides to avoid any kind of action which could undermine trust, including, and perhaps most particularly, in Jerusalem, any action that could be viewed as provocative by either side," she added.
But the 1,100 Gilo settlements are not in east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians falsely claim as theirs. Gilo in fact is southwest of Jerusalem, nowhere close to east Jerusalem.
Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Radina falsely claimed that Gilo was a unilateral effort on the part of the Israeli government to undermine legitimate efforts for a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightly repeated his call for an "indivisible, eternal" Jerusalem as the Jewish capital. He called the Gilo project "nothing new" and said, "We plan in Jerusalem. We build in Jerusalem. Period. The same way Israeli governments have been doing for 44 years, since the end of the 1967 war."
The Netanyahu government also noted in a statement at the UN that "Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people; this is our heart. Jerusalem was the capital of the Jewish people when London was still a swamp…"
Tell Congress to DEFUND the UN, and let them know they will BE VOTED OUT OF OFFICE if they do not protect the indivisible, eternal Jerusalem as the capital for Eretz Israel.
I implore you – STAND FOR ISRAEL and DEMAND CONGRESS DO THE SAME!
With denunciations like these, the United Nations aids and abets Obama and his pro-Muslim strategy, granting undeserved legitimacy to HAMAS, the terrorist Islamic group, and to the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas. And ultimately, any vote to add to the United Nations a new member state that relentlessly calls for the elimination of the Jewish state, the death of all Jews, and that glorifies terrorism obviously makes all but the peace of the grave harder – not easier – to achieve.
While Hamas's open calls for the genocidal slaughter of the Jews is politely condemned in some quarters (when this appalling but persistent fact is occasionally reported), it doesn't seem to matter. Obama and the UN have accepted Hamas, in the position Abbas has taken on Hamas' legitimacy as co-governing with the PLO within the Palestinian Authority. This should be utterly condemned and the Palestinian Authority isolated, shunned and DEFUNDED from all multi-lateral and diplomatic participation until they sever ties with known, self-avowed terrorist fronts like Hamas. Yet power-sharing with Hamas is fine with Obama and the UN, as witnessed when Abbas submitted to the United Nations an application for "statehood." This should be caution enough to the decent world that Israel stands in mortal peril from Obama.
Do I exaggerate? Take it from Abbas himself. Any responsible monitoring of Palestinian media reveals the duplicity and deception of the Palestinian Authority, even during moments of peace talks. For example, while portraying himself to the West as a man of compromise, Abbas said flatly last October that "we refuse to recognize a Jewish state."
To cite a more classic example, the speaker of the Hamas parliament, Ahmad Bahr, called in April 2007 for the murder of Jews, "down to the very last one."
This Palestinian "statehood" ploy is an outrageous betrayal and diplomatic assault against Israel that should never have advanced! It is a diplomatic failure by Obama unequaled in 63 years of the U.S. successfully repelling UN orchestrated anti-Israel abuse and attacks! What a travesty!
Abbas has relentlessly pressed his demands for a United Nations vote recognizing "statehood" for Palestine and although he has prevailed in insisting the UN Security Council expedite their decision to move forward his gambit to the credentials committee, AMERICAN PUBLIC OUTCRY AND FUNDING SANCTIONS THREATENED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS ARE HAVING AN EFFECT ON SLOWING DOWN THE PALESTINIAN BANDWAGON!
Any application for UN membership is considered by the Council, which decides whether or not to recommend admission to the 193-member General Assembly, which then has to adopt a resolution for the admission of a Member State.
Palestine, which currently has special, limited observer status at the UN, submitted the application for full membership allegedly "based on the Palestinian people's natural, legal and historic rights" invoking UN Resolution 181 as adopted by the General Assembly in November 1947, authorizing the partition of Palestine.
However, the problem for the Palestinians with invoking Resolution 181 is that the UN General Assembly ALREADY partitioned Palestine into Jewish and Arab States, and these states have existed for decades – Israel, the Jewish state, and Trans-Jordan now known as Jordan, the Arab state.
Now the Palestinian Authority is acting to circumvent UN Resolution 242 and the Oslo Accords, which mandate bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to resolve border and territorial disputes.
The future of Jerusalem, and indeed Israel's very survival, may well still depend upon a United States veto in the Security Council – will pro-Muslim Barack Hussein Obama continue to refuse to uphold America's moral, diplomatic, and strategic interests, or will he finally have AMERICA STAND WITH ISRAEL?
AND IF OBAMA CONTINUES TO PLAY A DOUBLE GAME, PANDERING TO THE ARAB WORLD, WILL CONGRESS INTERVENE?
407 Congressmen voted for House Resolution 268 which clearly reminds us WHAT U.S. LAW CURRENTLY SAYS:
"Resolved: That the House of Representatives … reaffirms the United States statutory requirement precluding assistance to a Palestinian Authority that includes Hamas unless that Authority and all its ministers publicly accept Israel's right to exist and all prior agreements and understandings with the United States and Israel."
This is to say that U.S. federal law already prohibits our taxpayer funding of the Palestinian Authority should they violate Res. 242 and/or the 1993 Oslo Accords, and join the Hamas terrorists to illicitly seek a rogue "state." This is precisely what they have now done at the UN. American law requires defunding the Palestinians, and now that they have acted in violation of prior agreements, CONGRESS MUST DEMAND THAT U.S. LAW BE ENFORCED!
I implore you – STAND FOR ISRAEL and DEMAND CONGRESS DO THE SAME!
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Obama, the UN and Eco-Marxists
Enemies – with Obama's help – who hate America, despise liberty, and want the United States transformed from a thriving Constitutional, commercial republic into a global warming scammed, energy starved, eco-Marxist tyranny are relentlessly advancing a seditious new plan – Agenda 21 – to make our nation a vassal state of the United Nations.
And, for the first time ever in America's storied history, these opponents of American exceptionalism have a willing accomplice in the White House, Barack Hussein Obama. Obama leads the majority party, the Democrats, in the U.S. Senate where international treaties and U.N. pacts are ratified.
Obama has ALREADY ENACTED EXECUTIVE ORDERS to start putting these policies, being advanced by the UN under a global initiative known as Agenda 21, into place – AND HE MUST BE STOPPED!
So the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives will only be of assistance in mobilizing elite opinion, but not in the ratification vote. It's up to "we the people" if Agenda 21 is to be fended off, and America kept the land of the free!
Since my years of service as U.S. Ambassador under President Ronald Reagan, I've alerted America to a myriad of United Nations threats to America's sovereignty and security. But Agenda 21 is the most aggressive and ambitious attack on our nation to be put forth by the U.N. one-worlders for decades. Its Preamble states:
"Effective execution of Agenda 21 will require a profound reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world has ever experienced: a major shift in the priorities of both governments and individuals and an unprecedented redeployment of human and financial resources. This shift will demand that a concern for the environmental consequences of every human action be integrated into individual and collective decision-making at every level."
Agenda 21 is overtly totalitarian, and inimical to our liberty in countless ways. But there is still time to alert the Congress and your Senators to this menace and repel it before it is too late.
You see, the Providential principles of our God-ordained Declaration of Independence are prudently applied in the U.S. Constitution, which states we the people are in charge of our Senators and Representatives.
And America is in such jeopardy from Agenda 21 that patriots like you must act immediately or we can't stop its efforts to:
And should you think I am exaggerating the threat, listen to what the U.N. itself says the treaty entails:
Underlying Agenda 21 is the notion that humanity has reached a defining moment in its history. We can continue our present policies which serve to deepen the economic divisions within and between countries; which increase poverty, hunger, sickness and illiteracy worldwide; and which are causing the continued deterioration of the ecosystem on which we depend for life on Earth. Or we can change course… New concepts of wealth and prosperity should be developed which allow higher standards of living through changed lifestyles that are less dependent on the Earth's finite resources and more in harmony with its carrying capacity. This idea should be reflected in new systems of national accounts and other indicators of sustainable development. "No nation can achieve this on its own," states the preamble to Agenda 21. "Together we can – in a global partnership for sustainable development."
Can't happen here, you say? Think again, because Agenda 21 is already being put in place with little notice, as Obama makes good on his vow to "fundamentally transform America!"
On June 9th 2011, Obama signed Executive Order 13575, establishing a new Executive administrative body, the White House Rural Council, tasked to "federally coordinate and implement environmental development locally in 'sustainable rural communities.'"
That might not sound threatening on the surface, but in my long experience with the worst of federal government AND United Nation power grabs, the phrase "sustainable rural communities" is a red flag of danger, because that term is straight out of Agenda 21!
In fact, "sustainable" has been the eco-extremist buzzword for two decades – since the 1992 U.N. "Earth Summit" Conference on Environment & Development (UNCED) was held in Rio de Janeiro to advance the green agenda of anti-oil alternative energy, global warming alarmism, and supression of "deadly" CO2 and "greenhouse gas" emissions.
Most American authorities at the time dismissed that global forum as inconsequential venting by "eco-conspiracy" extremists unworthy of rebuttal. That was a huge mistake because…
…growing unchecked since, UNCED and its spawn have hatched a plot for a centrally governed global society – environmentalism's version of the Marxist "utopia" of communism – that will dictate:
You must alert your Senators to how Agenda 21 openly targets private property – control of which is a long-time aspiration of the United Nations. The U.N. wrongly contends private land ownership causes inequitable concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice. Healthy societies can only be achieved, these leftists insist, if land is communal and all used in the interest of society, not individuals.
Agenda 21 thus is a transnational, eco-Marxist plan to erode property and other rights, destroy individual liberty, gut our Constitution and make America submissive to foreign bureaucrats!
It should be enough to know that George Soros, the America-hating billionaire, is pushing Agenda 21 through his International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives. Barack Obama's shadowy ally and funder is pouring his money into its ratification – funds that are not yet being matched by those seeking its repudiation.
If we are to prevent this totalitarian treaty from becoming the law of our land, we must act QUICKLY! Activate your Congressmen to outrage and seek legislation to overturn Obama's Trojan horse White House Rural Council!
Demand your U.S. Senators be true to their oath of office: "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States." Let them know how Obama's Executive Order for Agenda 21 is utterly at odds with our Constitution, inimical to our republican form of governance, and hostile to America's history and tradition as "land of the free and home of the brave"!
Open their eyes to the fact that – by first targeting and then eliminating private property in the land of the free – this subversive eco-scam would effectively end our Constitutional republic by transforming the United States into a subordinate, vassal state of the United Nations. Tell them a vote FOR Agenda 21 is a vote AGAINST the Constitution, AGAINST the United States of America, AGAINST the will of the people they were elected to serve.
And because Soros' money is flowing toward Agenda 21's bloodless coup of the United States, please consider including a generous, even sacrificial, gift to help Declaration Alliance sound the alarm across our land, so we can DEFEAT this stealthy attack on our freedom!
To stop the capitulation into the socialist nightmare of Agenda 21, it's absolutely imperative that patriotic Americans speak out and make their voices heard. This is our moment! Now is not the time to be found wanting.
The very safety of your family and our nation is worth true sacrifice. Please act right now by sending your signed petition to Congress and the Senate – and consider including a generous gift that will help us send this alert to warn many thousands more Americans, so we can prevent this extreme, globalist environmental Marxism from becoming the law in our nation by Obama Executive Orders, by treaty, or by any other nefarious means.
P.S. It's appalling the number of elected officials who, by design or incompetence, neither uphold nor defend our Constitution. Anyone with more than a cursory knowledge of our Founding would see, as you do, that Agenda 21 in diametrically opposed to all for which America stands! Yet, sadly, it's down to you. Help "we the people" speak up loud and clear – for our nation's sake!
DeclarationAlliance.org is authorized and paid for by Declaration Alliance (DA), a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization
Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation
By Ronald W. Reagan
(Editor's note: This essay originally ran in the spring of 1983 in the quarterly journal Human Life Review.)
The 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade is a good time for us to pause and reflect. Our nationwide policy of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy was neither voted for by our people nor enacted by our legislators — not a single state had such unrestricted abortion before the Supreme Court decreed it to be national policy in 1973.
But the consequences of this judicial decision are now obvious: since 1973, more than 15 million unborn children have had their lives snuffed out by legalized abortions. That is over ten times the number of Americans lost in all our nation's wars.
Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right granted by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court's result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right. Shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision, Professor John Hart Ely, now Dean of Stanford Law School, wrote that the opinion "is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be."
Nowhere do the plain words of the Constitution even hint at a "right" so sweeping as to permit abortion up to the time the child is ready to be born. Yet that is what the Court ruled.
As an act of "raw judicial power" (to use Justice White's biting phrase), the decision by the seven-man majority in Roe v. Wade has so far been made to stick. But the Court's decision has by no means settled the debate. Instead, Roe v. Wade has become a continuing prod to the conscience of the nation.
Abortion concerns not just the unborn child, it concerns every one of us. The English poet, John Donne, wrote: ". . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life — the unborn — without diminishing the value of all human life. We saw tragic proof of this truism last year when the Indiana courts allowed the starvation death of "Baby Doe" in Bloomington because the child had Down's Syndrome.
Many of our fellow citizens grieve over the loss of life that has followed Roe v. Wade. Margaret Heckler, soon after being nominated to head the largest department of our government, Health and Human Services, told an audience that she believed abortion to be the greatest moral crisis facing our country today. And the revered Mother Teresa, who works in the streets of Calcutta ministering to dying people in her world-famous mission of mercy, has said that "the greatest misery of our time is the generalized abortion of children."
Over the first two years of my Administration I have closely followed and assisted efforts in Congress to reverse the tide of abortion — efforts of Congressmen, Senators and citizens responding to an urgent moral crisis. Regrettably, I have also seen the massive efforts of those who, under the banner of "freedom of choice," have so far blocked every effort to reverse nationwide abortion-on-demand.
Despite the formidable obstacles before us, we must not lose heart. This is not the first time our country has been divided by a Supreme Court decision that denied the value of certain human lives. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 was not overturned in a day, or a year, or even a decade. At first, only a minority of Americans recognized and deplored the moral crisis brought about by denying the full humanity of our black brothers and sisters; but that minority persisted in their vision and finally prevailed.
They did it by appealing to the hearts and minds of their countrymen, to the truth of human dignity under God. From their example, we know that respect for the sacred value of human life is too deeply engrained in the hearts of our people to remain forever suppressed. But the great majority of the American people have not yet made their voices heard, and we cannot expect them to — any more than the public voice arose against slavery — until the issue is clearly framed and presented.
What, then, is the real issue? I have often said that when we talk about abortion, we are talking about two lives — the life of the mother and the life of the unborn child. Why else do we call a pregnant woman a mother? I have also said that anyone who doesn't feel sure whether we are talking about a second human life should clearly give life the benefit of the doubt. If you don't know whether a body is alive or dead, you would never bury it. I think this consideration itself should be enough for all of us to insist on protecting the unborn.
The case against abortion does not rest here, however, for medical practice confirms at every step the correctness of these moral sensibilities. Modern medicine treats the unborn child as a patient. Medical pioneers have made great breakthroughs in treating the unborn — for genetic problems, vitamin deficiencies, irregular heart rhythms, and other medical conditions. Who can forget George Will's moving account of the little boy who underwent brain surgery six times during the nine weeks before he was born? Who is the patient if not that tiny unborn human being who can feel pain when he or she is approached by doctors who come to kill rather than to cure?
The real question today is not when human life begins, but, What is the value of human life? The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother's body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being. The real question for him and for all of us is whether that tiny human life has a God-given right to be protected by the law — the same right we have.
What more dramatic confirmation could we have of the real issue than the Baby Doe case in Bloomington, Indiana? The death of that tiny infant tore at the hearts of all Americans because the child was undeniably a live human being — one lying helpless before the eyes of the doctors and the eyes of the nation. The real issue for the courts was not whether Baby Doe was a human being. The real issue was whether to protect the life of a human being who had Down's Syndrome, who would probably be mentally handicapped, but who needed a routine surgical procedure to unblock his esophagus and allow him to eat. A doctor testified to the presiding judge that, even with his physical problem corrected, Baby Doe would have a "non-existent" possibility for "a minimally adequate quality of life" — in other words, that retardation was the equivalent of a crime deserving the death penalty. The judge let Baby Doe starve and die, and the Indiana Supreme Court sanctioned his decision.
Federal law does not allow federally-assisted hospitals to decide that Down's Syndrome infants are not worth treating, much less to decide to starve them to death. Accordingly, I have directed the Departments of Justice and HHS to apply civil rights regulations to protect handicapped newborns. All hospitals receiving federal funds must post notices which will clearly state that failure to feed handicapped babies is prohibited by federal law. The basic issue is whether to value and protect the lives of the handicapped, whether to recognize the sanctity of human life. This is the same basic issue that underlies the question of abortion.
The 1981 Senate hearings on the beginning of human life brought out the basic issue more clearly than ever before. The many medical and scientific witnesses who testified disagreed on many things, but not on the scientific evidence that the unborn child is alive, is a distinct individual, or is a member of the human species. They did disagree over the value question, whether to give value to a human life at its early and most vulnerable stages of existence.
Regrettably, we live at a time when some persons do not value all human life. They want to pick and choose which individuals have value. Some have said that only those individuals with "consciousness of self" are human beings. One such writer has followed this deadly logic and concluded that "shocking as it may seem, a newly born infant is not a human being."
A Nobel Prize winning scientist has suggested that if a handicapped child "were not declared fully human until three days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice." In other words, "quality control" to see if newly born human beings are up to snuff.
Obviously, some influential people want to deny that every human life has intrinsic, sacred worth. They insist that a member of the human race must have certain qualities before they accord him or her status as a "human being."
Events have borne out the editorial in a California medical journal which explained three years before Roe v. Wade that the social acceptance of abortion is a "defiance of the long-held Western ethic of intrinsic and equal value for every human life regardless of its stage, condition, or status."
Every legislator, every doctor, and every citizen needs to recognize that the real issue is whether to affirm and protect the sanctity of all human life, or to embrace a social ethic where some human lives are valued and others are not. As a nation, we must choose between the sanctity of life ethic and the "quality of life" ethic.
I have no trouble identifying the answer our nation has always given to this basic question, and the answer that I hope and pray it will give in the future. American was founded by men and women who shared a vision of the value of each and every individual. They stated this vision clearly from the very start in the Declaration of Independence, using words that every schoolboy and schoolgirl can recite:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
We fought a terrible war to guarantee that one category of mankind — black people in America — could not be denied the inalienable rights with which their Creator endowed them. The great champion of the sanctity of all human life in that day, Abraham Lincoln, gave us his assessment of the Declaration's purpose. Speaking of the framers of that noble document, he said:
"This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. Yes, gentlemen, to all his creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on. . . They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children's children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages."
He warned also of the danger we would face if we closed our eyes to the value of life in any category of human beings:
"I should like to know if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle and making exceptions to it where will it stop. If one man says it does not mean a Negro, why not another say it does not mean some other man?"
When Congressman John A. Bingham of Ohio drafted the Fourteenth Amendment to guarantee the rights of life, liberty, and property to all human beings, he explained that all are "entitled to the protection of American law, because its divine spirit of equality declares that all men are created equal." He said the right guaranteed by the amendment would therefore apply to "any human being." Justice William Brennan, writing in another case decided only the year before Roe v. Wade, referred to our society as one that "strongly affirms the sanctity of life."
Another William Brennan — not the Justice — has reminded us of the terrible consequences that can follow when a nation rejects the sanctity of life ethic: The cultural environment for a human holocaust is present whenever any society can be misled into defining individuals as less than human and therefore devoid of value and respect.
As a nation today, we have not rejected the sanctity of human life. The American people have not had an opportunity to express their view on the sanctity of human life in the unborn. I am convinced that Americans do not want to play God with the value of human life. It is not for us to decide who is worthy to live and who is not. Even the Supreme Court's opinion in Roe v. Wade did not explicitly reject the traditional American idea of intrinsic worth and value in all human life; it simply dodged this issue.
The Congress has before it several measures that would enable our people to reaffirm the sanctity of human life, even the smallest and the youngest and the most defenseless. The Human Life Bill expressly recognizes the unborn as human beings and accordingly protects them as persons under our Constitution. This bill, first introduced by Senator Jesse Helms, provided the vehicle for the Senate hearings in 1981 which contributed so much to our understanding of the real issue of abortion.
The Respect Human Life Act, just introduced in the 98th Congress, states in its first section that the policy of the United States is "to protect innocent life, both before and after birth." This bill, sponsored by Congressman Henry Hyde and Senator Roger Jepsen, prohibits the federal government from performing abortions or assisting those who do so, except to save the life of the mother. It also addresses the pressing issue of infanticide which, as we have seen, flows inevitably from permissive abortion as another step in the denial of the inviolability of innocent human life.
I have endorsed each of these measures, as well as the more difficult route of constitutional amendment, and I will give these initiatives my full support. Each of them, in different ways, attempts to reverse the tragic policy of abortion-on-demand imposed by the Supreme Court ten years ago. Each of them is a decisive way to affirm the sanctity of human life.
We must all educate ourselves to the reality of the horrors taking place. Doctors today know that unborn children can feel a touch within the womb and that they respond to pain. But how many Americans are aware that abortion techniques are allowed today, in all 50 states, that burn the skin of a baby with a salt solution, in an agonizing death that can last for hours?
Another example: two years ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a Sunday special supplement on "The Dreaded Complication." The "dreaded complication" referred to in the article — the complication feared by doctors who perform abortions — is the survival of the child despite all the painful attacks during the abortion procedure.
Some unborn children do survive the late-term abortions the Supreme Court has made legal. Is there any question that these victims of abortion deserve our attention and protection? Is there any question that those who don't survive were living human beings before they were killed?
Late-term abortions, especially when the baby survives, but is then killed by starvation, neglect, or suffocation, show once again the link between abortion and infanticide. The time to stop both is now. As my Administration acts to stop infanticide, we will be fully aware of the real issue that underlies the death of babies before and soon after birth.
Our society has, fortunately, become sensitive to the rights and special needs of the handicapped, but I am shocked that physical or mental handicaps of newborns are still used to justify their extinction. This Administration has a Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, who has done perhaps more than any other American for handicapped children, by pioneering surgical techniques to help them, by speaking out on the value of their lives, and by working with them in the context of loving families. You will not find his former patients advocating the so-called "quality-of-life" ethic.
I know that when the true issue of infanticide is placed before the American people, with all the facts openly aired, we will have no trouble deciding that a mentally or physically handicapped baby has the same intrinsic worth and right to life as the rest of us. As the New Jersey Supreme Court said two decades ago, in a decision upholding the sanctity of human life, "a child need not be perfect to have a worthwhile life."
Whether we are talking about pain suffered by unborn children, or about late-term abortions, or about infanticide, we inevitably focus on the humanity of the unborn child. Each of these issues is a potential rallying point for the sanctity of life ethic. Once we as a nation rally around any one of these issues to affirm the sanctity of life, we will see the importance of affirming this principle across the board.
Malcolm Muggeridge, the English writer, goes right to the heart of the matter: "Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other." The sanctity of innocent human life is a principle that Congress should proclaim at every opportunity.
It is possible that the Supreme Court itself may overturn its abortion rulings. We need only recall that in Brown v. Board of Education the court reversed its own earlier "separate-but-equal" decision. I believe if the Supreme Court took another look at Roe v. Wade, and considered the real issue between the sanctity of life ethic and the quality of life ethic, it would change its mind once again.
As we continue to work to overturn Roe v. Wade, we must also continue to lay the groundwork for a society in which abortion is not the accepted answer to unwanted pregnancy. Pro-life people have already taken heroic steps, often at great personal sacrifice, to provide for unwed mothers. I recently spoke about a young pregnant woman named Victoria, who said, "In this society we save whales, we save timber wolves and bald eagles and Coke bottles. Yet, everyone wanted me to throw away my baby."
She has been helped by Save-a-Life, a group in Dallas, which provides a way for unwed mothers to preserve the human life within them when they might otherwise be tempted to resort to abortion. I think also of House of His Creation in Catesville, Pennsylvania, where a loving couple has taken in almost 200 young women in the past ten years. They have seen, as a fact of life, that the girls are not better off having abortions than saving their babies. I am also reminded of the remarkable Rossow family of Ellington, Connecticut, who have opened their hearts and their home to nine handicapped adopted and foster children.
The Adolescent Family Life Program, adopted by Congress at the request of Senator Jeremiah Denton, has opened new opportunities for unwed mothers to give their children life. We should not rest until our entire society echoes the tone of John Powell in the dedication of his book, Abortion: The Silent Holocaust, a dedication to every woman carrying an unwanted child: "Please believe that you are not alone. There are many of us that truly love you, who want to stand at your side, and help in any way we can." And we can echo the always-practical woman of faith, Mother Teresa, when she says, "If you don't want the little child, that unborn child, give him to me." We have so many families in America seeking to adopt children that the slogan "every child a wanted child" is now the emptiest of all reasons to tolerate abortion.
I have often said we need to join in prayer to bring protection to the unborn. Prayer and action are needed to uphold the sanctity of human life. I believe it will not be possible to accomplish our work, the work of saving lives, "without being a soul of prayer." The famous British Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, prayed with his small group of influential friends, the "Clapham Sect," for decades to see an end to slavery in the British empire. Wilberforce led that struggle in Parliament, unflaggingly, because he believed in the sanctity of human life. He saw the fulfillment of his impossible dream when Parliament outlawed slavery just before his death.
Let his faith and perseverance be our guide. We will never recognize the true value of our own lives until we affirm the value in the life of others, a value of which Malcolm Muggeridge says:. . . however low it flickers or fiercely burns, it is still a Divine flame which no man dare presume to put out, be his motives ever so humane and enlightened."
Abraham Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should therefore be slaves.
Likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide. My Administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land, and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.
(This article is reprinted courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library.)
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