Michael Reagan: Ending abortion, one baby at a time
Thanks to Alabama, abortion is back on the national stage again. It was already becoming a hot political topic when Alabama’s legislature shocked the country this week with its super-strict anti-abortion law.
The Alabama Human Life Protection Act prohibits virtually any abortion to be performed in the state, not even for rape and incest, and severely punishes doctors that perform them.
Like the so-called “heartbeat bills” passed by other states that prohibit abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, it will never be enforced because lower courts will rule against it.
But many think the politically provocative Alabama law — which was passed by the votes of 25 white Christian state senators and signed by a white Christian female governor — is ultimately headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Pro-life people are hoping — and praying — that the Court will declare the Alabama law constitutional and effectively overrule Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
But Alabama’s law is so strict, I’m afraid it might end up doing the opposite of what its backers want and result in upholding Roe v. Wade.
Despite the headlines and the chorus of outrage from celebrities like Lady Gaga, it’s going to take a long time for this new abortion fight to play out in the courts.
Meanwhile, we’re back to the same old tough question: What can we do about abortion?
The good news is that abortions in the United States have been dropping slowly each year since 1996, when the number was 1.36 million. The bad news is that the death toll today is still nearly 900,000.
According to government statistics, unmarried women account for 86 percent of all abortions. About 58 percent of abortions are women between the ages of 20 and 29 and almost 10 percent are between 15 and 19. How do we reduce that terrible 900,000 number? What can we do to ensure that fewer unmarried pregnant women — the youngest ones, especially — have to resort to abortion?
I have one simple idea I like to share with people around the country that can begin the process of lowering the abortions in their state, their county, their town — one baby at a time.
When I speak to pro-life Christian groups I always point out that the preponderance of young girls who get abortions believe in God and come from Christian homes.
How can this be?
One reason is that too many young girls are getting abortions because they are being raised in good Christian homes by fathers who warn them over and over to never disgrace their family by getting pregnant.
Because they know if they get pregnant they will be shunned by their family and friends, or in some cases no longer even welcome in their own homes, the girls find a way to secretly have an abortion.
When I speak to these pro-life groups, I ask the audience, “How many of you know John 3:16?”
“’For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’”
A hundred percent of the people in the room will raise their hands and say, “Yes, I know John 3:16.”
“Yes, you do,” I say. “And how many of you really live it and understand it?”
What I ask next is, “As God gave his son to die on the Cross for our sins, how many fathers are willing to get on that Cross to die for their own daughter’s sins?”
It’s not complicated: Fathers need to have a loving, forgiving heart, as God had a loving, forgiving heart.
When fathers become the loving, forgiving God in their home who embraces their child even though she has made mistakes, I tell the audience, their daughters will no longer feel they have to run to the government or Planned Parenthood to get a secret abortion.
Instead, I say, they’ll be able to feel they can come home, be loved and embraced by their father as we are all loved and embraced by God - and have their baby.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “Lessons My Father Taught Me: The Strength, Integrity, and Faith of Ronald Reagan.”