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What the Presidents Have to Teach us About Abortion


Feb 19, 2013 / By: Michael Spielman
Category: Abortion Arguments

Yesterday, in honor of President's Day, Abort73 released a new video titled "Presidential Wisdom." It includes an assortment of presidential quotes that speak to the issue of abortion. Most of the quotations speak to abortion indirectly, and most were made long before anyone in public office could have imagined that abortion would someday be legal. Of the three quotations that postdate the legalization of abortion, only one was made with abortion in mind. The other two come from our current president, who tragically professes a commitment to both child safety and abortion on demand. Pray he comes to recognize the incompatibility of those two positions.

In the video, all of the presidential quotes are presented without context or commentary. They are meant to speak for themselves. But in case there is any uncertainty as to how they relate to the issue of abortion, I've added a quick note of explanation to each one in the space below. I'm also including the quotations that were considered for the video but were ultimately left out for the sake of brevity. These are some of the most highly regarded presidents in American history, and they have plenty to teach us about abortion.

  • "The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government." George Washington—Making it lawful to execute the most helpless members of the human community, without trial or consent, is the height of injustice.

  • "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government." Thomas Jefferson—The right to life is the most fundamental of all human rights. If that right is not protected, all other rights cease to matter.

  • "We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out." Franklin D. Roosevelt—Abortion is entirely built on excluding the most helpless and vulnerable members of the human race from the most basic, governmental protection. Abortion does not promote a more inclusive society.

  • "Too often… we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." John F. Kennedy—From the very start, abortion on demand has been propped up by slogans and ignorance. Most of those who count themselves "pro-choice" have given little serious thought to the ethics of abortion. It's more comfortable to just embrace the opinion of the masses.

  • "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both." Dwight D. Eisenhower—As a nation, we have sacrificed a sacred principle (do not shed innocent blood) for the "privilege" of commitment-free sex. Civilizations that abandon the most basic ethical principles do not last.

  • "Important principles may, and must, be inflexible." Abraham Lincoln—Just as there could be no compromise on the issue of slavery, there can be no compromise on the issue of abortion. Fundamental human rights leave no wiggle room.

  • "No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expedience." Theodore Roosevelt—In most corners, abortion is sold as a "necessary evil." Everyone who argues that we should take measures to reduce the frequency of abortion concedes on some level that it is an "evil" practice. People of sound character do not do what is morally wrong, no matter how advantageous the result.

  • "Self-interest is the enemy of all true affection." Franklin D. Roosevelt—Abortion is the decision to sacrifice the life of a child for the well-being of the parent. This is the pinnacle of self-interest and the antithesis of true love.

  • "There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child." Dwight D. Eisenhower—Abortion causes the deaths of more than 3,300 American children every day. This is a tragedy like no other.

  • "This is our first task as a society: keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged." Barack Obama—If we are to be judged by how well we keep our children safe, then we must be judged an utter failure. Abortion has killed more than 50 million American children in the 40 years it has been federally legal.

  • "Individuals entering into society, must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest." George Washington—The right to abort is built on the assertion that the mother is a free moral agent whose reproductive choices cannot be interfered with. This completely misses the point that all of our individual rights end at the point where the rights of others begin. We all must give up those liberties that harm or destroy another person. This is the only way true liberty can persist.

  • "To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson—The close to $500 million Planned Parenthood annually receives in tax payer revenue stands in direct contrast to this Jeffersonian principle. So does the Obamacare mandate that requires all employers to include contraceptives and abortifacient drugs in their company health plans.

  • "To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." Abraham Lincoln—Standing in opposition to abortion today is every bit as contentious as it was to stand against slavery in Lincoln's day. It is the sin of silence that enables the sins of slavery and abortion.

  • "We look forward to working with Congress… to [protect] America's most valuable asset—our children." Barack Obama—USA Today recently reported that U.S. births have dropped to their lowest level since 1920 and is sounding alarms about the nation's ability to support its fast-growing elderly population. The article failed to point out that it is abortion that is destroying America's most valuable asset en masse.

  • "I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born." Ronald Reagan—Abraham Lincoln once said, "Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." It works for abortion too: Whenever I hear anyone arguing for abortion, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.

The quotes below were not included in the video, but are still worth considering.

  • "Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected." George Washington—Abort73's testimony section provides abundant evidence that the abandonment of moral duty and the loss of happiness often go hand in hand.

  • "The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just." Abraham Lincoln—The injustices of slavery and segregation were even more culturally entrenched than abortion. The obstacles to their removal were no less daunting and the prospect of success just as uncertain. But none of that matters.

  • "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson—Like the quote above, the most important causes generally require that you go against the grain—at least for a while.

  • "Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone..." George Washington—That includes the afflictions of unborn children, whose very lives hang in the balance and the distress of unwed mothers who are so desperate they are willing to kill their own child.

  • "I do not believe there is a problem in this country or the world today which could not be settled if approached through the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount." Harry S. Truman—At the heart of the Sermon on the Mount is the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. No matter how you spin it, nobody would choose for their own life to end in violent assault—which is precisely what abortion does to unborn children.

  • "If to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair." George Washington—Public officials have an obligation to their constituents, but some lines must not be crossed. The removal of basic human rights should never be up for vote.

  • "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever." Thomas Jefferson—For forty years, injustice has been enshrined in law. That does not bode well.

  • "Property as compared with humanity... must take second place, not first place." Woodrow Wilson—Abortion and slavery are both justified on the assertion that it is just and reasonable to regard certain human beings as property under the law. This is a barbaric claim. Human rights trump property rights every time.

  • "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts." Abraham Lincoln—The real facts about abortion are available in remarkably few places. They are not provided in the classroom, in the clinic, in the news or even in most churches. If we really trusted people, we would trust them enough to know the ugly truth about abortion.

  • "It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself." Thomas Jefferson—For 40 years, legal abortion has been propped up by a horrible misreading of the constitution, orchestrated by seven non-elected judges who were appointed for life. Abortion is not an institution of truth and transparency. It is an institution of shadow and deceit.

  • "For unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children… certainly all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison." Theodore Roosevelt—Children are a source of great expense and a source of great joy. All manner of earthly achievements ring hollow for those who have no one to share them with.

  • "Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light." George Washington—Our media, our schools, and our churches are not taking great pains to bring the injustice of abortion to light. Will you?

  • "To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." Theodore Roosevelt—Higher education is increasingly built on educating minds apart from morals. Children intrinsically recognize the injustice of abortion. College grads have been taught how to explain it away.

  • "If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships—the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace." Franklin D. Roosevelt—Abortion does not cultivate healthy human relationship. It teaches us that violence is an acceptable way to eliminate the problematic relationships in our lives.

  • "Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe." Theodore Roosevelt—Don't miss the forest for the trees. The mainstream press loves to highlight the abortionist-killing fringe. If you're writing off the entire pro-life position for the actions of an isolated few, you're not being honest.

  • "He who molds the public sentiment... makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to make." Abraham Lincoln—Changing the way the public thinks about abortion. That is our great challenge, for until we do so, meaningful, anti-abortion legislation will remain an impossibility.

Michael Spielman is the founder and director of Abort73.com. Subscribe to Michael's Substack for his latest articles and recordings. His book, Love the Least (A Lot), is available as a free download. Abort73 is part of Loxafamosity Ministries, a 501c3, Christian education corporation. If you have been helped by the information available at Abort73.com, please consider making a donation.

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