The Roe v. Wade opinion of the 1973 Supreme Court virtually altered the Rights of Man doctrine—the universal acknowledgement that every person has the right to life, liberty, and property. The heretofore intelligibly ordained and unalienable social standards by which Americans lived was thereby altered into one wherein the line between right and wrong, true and false, real and imaginary, fact and fiction became blurred and indistinguishable. The Roe court’s confounding influence on the prevailing social standards—especially those pertaining to human life—gave impetus to the pro-choice movement. This movement denies its adherents are pro-abortion but supports an individual’s right to choose abortion thereby inviting the question: What about pro-choice? Is pro-choice a reaction to the blurring of social standards? Is pro-choice indifference or, maybe, ignorance? Or, is pro-choice a false pretense to assure the retention of legalized abortions?
Pro-choice advocacy became evident during the 1984 United States presidential campaign when Democratic vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro said “she personally opposes abortion but supports a woman’s right to choose for herself on the subject.”1 In support of this dichotomous social conscience, then-Governor of New York Mario Cuomo declared in a 1984 speech at the University of Notre Dame that, because “the Supreme Court has established a woman’s constitutional right to abortion,” he could morally oppose abortion but support it on the grounds that otherwise “it would only impose financial burdens on poor women who want abortions.”2 (Note: A dichotomous social conscience is a contradiction between thought, i.e., the intellect, and action, i.e., the free will. A dichotomous social conscience accepts any selection within a contradiction to be of equal value: There is no right or wrong, no true or false, no real or imaginary, no fact or fiction; either option is acceptable.) However, contrary to the pro-choice formulation of Geraldine Ferraro, Mario Cuomo, and others, not a single phrase from the United States Constitution is cited within the whole of Roe v. Wade that supports the right to abortion, nor is abortion a religious issue: Abortion is a humanity issue. And, the entire case of Roe v. Wade rests on a series of disconnected suppositions, innuendos, and extrapolations from previous court decisions. What the Supreme Court did, however, was grant a license to the right to abortion. This license—devoid of any constitutional benefit—provided added momentum to the pro-choice movement.
The pro-choice social conscience—declared by Ferraro and Cuomo—amounts to a contortion of the quotation attributed to St. Thomas More. At his execution, Thomas More was quoted as saying: “I die the king’s faithful servant, but God’s first,”3 but the dichotomous social conscience of Ferraro, Cuomo and affiliates seems to be: I am God’s faithful servant, but the Democratic Party’s first. These pro-choice advocates are not necessarily perpetrators of abortion, but they are willing accomplices to and promoters thereof to assure the retention of legalized abortion.
Democracy, Pro-choice, and Crimes against Humanity
We can better see how Ferraro’s political statement is cause for bewilderment by intertwining the notion of pro-choice with so-called crimes against humanity—social crimes of historical significance—especially those committed by democratic societies. (Note: “Crimes against humanity” was the term used during the Nuremberg Trials after the Second World War, court trials that were administered by the victors to prosecute Nazi perpetrators of crimes against Jews and numerous others in the Holocaust.4) For instance, during the era of legalized slavery in the United States, who were the prochoice advocates? During the era of the legalized removal of Native Americans from their ancestral lands, who were the pro-choice advocates? During the era of the legalized genocide of Jews in Nazi Germany, who were the pro-choice advocates? During our current era of legalized abortion, who are the pro-choice advocates?
Consider first the era during legalized slavery. We know that John Brown, Frederick Douglass, and affiliates were abolitionists and clearly not pro-choice advocates of slavery, but what about others? The Democratic Party Platform of 1860 emphatically states: “Resolved, That the enactments of State Legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Law are hostile in character, subversive of the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect.”5 The pro-choice advocates during this legalized slavery era were not necessarily slaveholders, but they were pro-slave proliferators in that they supported economic growth over the unalienable rights of all human persons; to the pro-choice electorate of the time, free enterprise individualism seems to have held far more importance than the triviality of emancipation—especially since the pro-choice electorate of the time was already emancipated. Economic growth and free-enterprise individualism also became intertwined with what seems to have been the prevailing social distortion that a Black man was less human, that is, a lesser person, than a White man, i.e., white supremacy. Constitutionally, a Black man was considered to be three-fifths of a person or less before the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) and passage of the Thirteenth Amendment (1865).
Next, consider the era during the legalized removal of Native Americans from their ancestral lands. The Indian Removal Act—recorded in the Congressional Record of the Twenty-First Congress, May 28, 1830—provided “for an exchange of lands with the Indians residing in any of the states or territories, and for their removal west of the river Mississippi.”6 On February 10, 1832, President Andrew Jackson appropriated $500,000 to Secretary of War Lewis Cass for the removal of the Indians from these states.7 Historians have noted that during the course of these removals an estimated one-quarter of the Native Americans so removed perished on the Trail of Tears.8 Stories of Native Americans during this removal era are moving. One such is that of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, who is said to have spoken the following when he laid down his rifle and surrendered to General Oliver Howard on October 5, 1877:
Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our Chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Ta Hool Hool Shute is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are—perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my Chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.9
(Note: A somewhat literal translation from the spoken Nez Perce language to the written English language.)
Even so, there was political opposition to the Indian Removal Act, to wit: “Jeremiah Evarts, a leader of the opposition campaign from Vermont, and Peleg Sprague, a stalwart opponent in the Senate from Maine, argued that the country faced a problem of the destructive assault on Indian land and social life caused by the continued encroachments of white settlers and federal and state policies that Indian Removal threatened to exacerbate.”10 Although people like Evarts and Sprague were not pro-choice advocates of the Indian Removal Act, the predominant subject in the minds of the pro-choice electorate during this time of United States expansionism seems to have been free-enterprise individualism; the plight of Native Americans seems to have caused little or no concern to pro-choice advocates compared to their hope of personal economic gain from national expansionism. Again, all of this became intertwined with what seems to have been the prevailing social distortion that Native Americans were less human, i.e., lesser persons, than their European conquistadors—probably because Native Americans lived a Stone Age culture. More simply, Native Americans were an obstacle to national expansionism and, constitutionally, Native Americans were not considered persons before the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.
Moving to the era during the legalized persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany (later prosecuted as crimes against humanity), we know for sure that Miep and Jan Gies—protectors of the Jewish Frank and Pels families in the Netherlands—were not pro-choice advocates of genocide, but what about others? The so-called Nuremberg Race Laws—signed by Adolf Hitler and others—were “Two distinct laws passed in Nazi Germany in September 1935 (and) known collectively as the Nuremberg Laws: the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor. These laws embodied many of the racial theories underpinning Nazi ideology. They would provide the legal framework for the systematic persecution of Jews in Germany.”11 The pro-choice advocates in Nazi Germany seem to have been those who supported the socialistic agenda of Nazism that empowered industrial expansion and public works, e.g., construction of the Autobahn, the Olympic Stadium, etc., at the expense of the human rights of those absent of Germanic blood. And, just as Ferraro and Cuomo were not abortionists per se—they were promoters of and accomplices to legalized abortion—Adolf Hitler did not personally massacre “Approximately six-million Jews and some five-million others, targeted for racial, political, ideological and behavioral reasons,”12 but he was an instigator and accomplice of these deaths. Thus, to the pro-choice German electorate of the time, pure blood Germany and National Socialism seem to have been regarded as far more important than the human rights of Jews. All of this became intertwined with what seems to have been the social distortion that Jews were less human, i.e., lesser persons, than descendants of German blood, i.e., descendants within the Aryan Race; Jews seem to have been considered repugnant persons throughout the era of the Third Reich (1933-1945).
We now come to our era of legalized abortion. It is obvious that Geraldine Ferraro and Mario Cuomo did not kill sixty-million-plus13 pre-born persons since Roe v. Wade (1973), but they were accomplices in these killings; they were pro-choice advocates of legalized abortion. What about others? It seems the Democratic Party has been an avid supporter of Roe v. Wade at least since the 1976 Presidential election, when the Democratic Party Platform briefly stated: “We fully recognize the religious and ethical nature of the concerns which many Americans have on the subject of abortion. We feel, however, that it is undesirable to attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court decision in this area.”14 Four years later, the 1980 Democratic Party Platform “supports the 1973 Supreme Court decision on abortion rights as the law of the land and opposes any constitutional amendment to restrict or overturn that decision.”15 The 2012 Democratic Party Platform even more boldly stated that the “Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”16 This uncompromising affirmation was repeated in the 2020 Democratic Party Platform:
Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion. We will repeal the Title X domestic gag rule and restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides vital preventive and reproductive health care for millions of people, especially low-income people, and people of color, and LGBTQ+ people, including in underserved areas.17
And, continuing, “Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said that, if elected, he’ll protect abortion rights should the Supreme Court strike down Roe v. Wade, vowing he would enact legislation making Roe v. Wade ‘the law of the land’ if it were overturned by the court.” Further, “As president, Biden will work to codify Roe v. Wade, and his Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate the constitutional right to an abortion, such as so-called TRAP laws, parental notification requirements, mandatory waiting periods, and ultrasound requirements.” “Biden has also said he plans to restore federal funding to Planned Parenthood and, following some criticism from liberal Democrats, stated he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds for abortion except in rape cases, incest or life-threatening circumstances.” Biden’s support of “the constitutional right to an abortion” hypocrisy echoes that of Mario Cuomo nearly one-half century earlier, and establishes him as an avid accomplice to legalized abortion. In following the guidance of Ferraro and Cuomo’s dichotomous social conscience, Biden and affiliates seem to have adopted the same contortion of St. Thomas More’s quotation: I am God’s faithful servant, but the Democratic Party’s first. But, then, legalized abortion is a relatively trivial matter to either the pro-choice electorate or the pro-abortion electorate compared to their hope of receiving entitlements; besides, the lives of adult electors are not jeopardized by legalized abortion anyway. The foregoing historical events—coupled with the notion that a dichotomous social conscience accepts either selection within a contradiction to be of equal value—evoke the social understanding that prochoice adherents choose selfishly, if not negligently, as characterized in the following presentations of pro-choice opinion in each case:
- You may harness a Black man to your plow to cultivate your cotton field, or you may assist him to guide his own plow to cultivate his own cotton field. Your choice.
- You may dispossess Native Americans of their ancestral lands, or you may facilitate their assimilation into your neighborhood on land you seized from them. Your choice.
- You may surrender your Jewish friends to Nazi executioners, or you may seek and find and escort them to safe harbor. Your choice.
- You may kill your pre-born children, or you may nurture them into fulfillment. Your choice.
How Is Pro-choice Propagated?
How is pro-choice infused into the minds of the American public or, as Joe Biden put it, into the minds of “the majority of Americans?” St. Augustine’s autobiography, The Confessions of St. Augustine, gives us a hint. In his youth, Augustine attended games in Roman amphitheaters and admitted in his Confessions that he would become enraptured by the games, and engulfed in the rush created by the crowds. Those of us who attended athletic events of our own children experienced this same rapture and rush all too well. With Augustine’s and our own crowd experiences in mind, it seems we unconsciously become psychologically permeated with and receptive to the “social noise” of the environment in which we live.
A more subtle method of pro-choice proliferation and acceptance exploits the media—especially entertainment television—that depicts pro-life characters as unattractive, narrow-minded nutjobs while pro-choice characters, i.e., pro-abortionists, are depicted as attractive, empathetic personages. Such repetitive media campaigns instill the pro-choice message into the viewer’s unconscious mind—like an advertisement; viewers do not even realize their thinking is being altered. Coupled with this type of media proliferation is the widely publicized notion that taking the life of a pre-born person is a health procedure—a seemingly deliberate ruse created and perpetrated by the 2012 and 2020 Democratic Party platforms, so-called Obamacare, et al.—whereas, in fact, abortions are intentional execution procedures; abortions deliberately kill pre-born children.
Perhaps a more eloquent and mind-penetrating notion of social conformity or pro-choice advocacy—especially of that which is evil—is recounted in a poem frequently recited by Martin Niemöller—a German citizen—following the Second World War and his release from Nazi captivity. This poem expresses that in a democratically free society—which Germany was prior to the ascension of Adolf Hitler to the country’s helm—an individual experiences free choice. Niemöller admits that he chose what he thought most beneficial to his self and disregarded that which might negatively affect others. That is, since he was not a Communist, he shrugged his shoulders at the plight dealt them by the Nazis; the same for Socialists; the same for unionists; and the same for Jews. But when the Nazis came for the likes of him, it was too late; there was no one left who would or who could speak in his defense.
FIRST THEY CAME18
First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.
Another way to understand the manner of inducing pro-choice into society is to consider the distribution of the main characteristics of any human society: the human intellect, free will, physical well-being (i.e., health), and external conditions or fortune (i.e., wealth). The Most Capable of social leadership—those having the most intellectual ability to determine truth and simultaneously having a resolute free will to socially engender it—naturally make up a small percentage of the population, leaving the majority as the Most Wanting. This latter group, which exhibits the lowest rank in physical well-being or fortune, seems to be predisposed to ultimately become pawns of the social leadership. It is fairly easy to understand that this lowerranking group will likely cater to the upper rank in order to receive benefices from them. It is also reasonable to suggest that a substantial part of any society—those that are Most Weak-minded or Most Weak-willed—are probably more inclined to subject their selves to whatever is prescribed by the upper rank of society. Now, it should be readily understood that the Most Wanting in a democratic society are the most vulnerable to enticements, and, therefore, are most likely to vote for those government officials that promote or provide alleviation of their woes. So, in a democratic society, pro-choice electors seem more apt to cast their ballots for politicians that propose magnanimous beneficences, i.e., entitlements, even though those same politicians—according to the era in which they live and the issues of their time—are avid promoters of the legalized slavery of others, or of the legalized dispossession of others’ property, or of the legalized genocide of others, or of the legalized abortion of others; legalized abortion is a trivial matter to a contemporary pro-choice voter whose adult life is not in jeopardy.
In response to the social upheaval occasioned by Roe v. Wade, political party advocates began to modify their ideologies to better pander to the electorate. The Democratic Party, for its part, coupled pro-choice (pro-abortion?) to its traditional tenets that embolden majority-rule socialism and social liberalism, whereas the Republican Party coupled pro-life (anti-abortion?) to its traditional tenets that embolden free-enterprise individualism and social conservatism. The contrasting ideologies of these political parties have always been cause for social confusion, dysfunction, and outright animosity, but Roe v. Wade widened and deepened that chasm beyond negotiable accord and ushered in a social climate of civil divisiveness and turmoil not unlike that which lingered between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions during the era of legalized slavery in the United States. A review of the pro-abortion planks from the 1976 through the 2020 Democratic Party platforms show them to have escalated in militancy and intransigency, a progressive escalation that acts as an incendiary to an already inflamed pro-life (anti-abortion?) faction and that intensifies the malevolence between the parties.
Nature Embodies Each Human Being with an Intellect to Know Truth and a Free Will to Enact It
Why does humanity put so much effort into the discovery of truth only to ignore it or even to reject it? The intentional acceptance of the Roe v. Wade hypocrisy by Ferraro and Cuomo is unconscionable; they knew better; they even said so, claiming to be personally opposed to abortion. Why did they reject the truth of the matter? And, the dichotomous social conscience: Why does a person intentionally act in opposition to their known truth? “Biden’s position on reproductive rights has shifted throughout his political career. In a 1974 interview with Forbes, Biden, a practicing Catholic, criticized Roe v. Wade. ‘I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion.’”19 Now, fortyfive years later, Biden and affiliates seem to have adopted the contortion of St. Thomas More’s quotation: I am God’s faithful servant, but the Democratic Party’s first.
It is disturbing—upon review of the statements by Ferraro, Cuomo, and Biden—that social leaders like them reveal their knowledge of truth regarding abortion, but demonstrate a lack of willingness to enact it. The words of Ferraro and Cuomo, in particular, suggest the traditional leadership of the United States, i.e., the Most Capable, is becoming a pawn of the traditional followership of the United States, i.e., the Most Wanting, the Most Weak-minded, and the Most Weak-willed; the leadership is regressing into a followership.
When the leadership of a nation—the Most Capable (i.e., Ferraro, Cuomo, Biden, et al.)—chooses to promote that what it does not believe, how can the body politic—the most vulnerable (i.e., the Most Weak-minded, the Most Weak-willed, and the Most Wanting)—rely on that leadership to secure universal and unequivocal rights to life, liberty, and property? What about teachers who choose to instruct that what they do not believe? What about journalists who choose to report that what they do not believe? What about financial advisers who choose to advise that what they do not believe? What about judges who choose to adjudicate that what they do not believe? What about engineers who choose to validate that what they do not believe? What about boards of directors who choose to decide that what they do not believe? What about physicians who choose to prescribe that what they do not believe?
Contemporary pro-choice electors promote the notion that a mother has the rightful option to legally kill or not kill her pre-born child. Now, an option requires the capability to select between at least two alternatives. So, to have the legal option to kill one’s own pre-born child, it is necessary for one of those options to be legalized abortion. Therefore, a contemporary pro-choice elector is—by default or by indifference or by ignorance or by negligence or by selfishness or by hypocrisy—an advocate of legalized abortion.
Now, then, remember that a dichotomous social conscience is a contradiction between “thought” and “action”—between intellect and free will—such that the dichotomous social conscience does not recognize any one of the alternatives within a contradiction to be right or wrong, true or false, fact or fiction, etc. Also, remember the pro-choice words of Ferraro, Cuomo, and Biden that promote an “action” i.e., the right to abortion, in contradiction to their “thought” i.e., abortion is morally wrong, thereby demonstrating a dichotomous social conscience. Further, a dichotomous social conscience accepts either alternative within a contradiction to be of equal value, i.e., moral equivalency of contradictory options. Therefore, the choice to abort one’s own pre-born child or the choice to birth one’s own child are morally equivalent to the pro-choice advocate of legalized abortion. In consequence thereof, a pro-choice advocate embodies a dichotomous social conscience and a dichotomous social conscience embodies pro-choice advocacy; prochoice advocacy and dichotomous social conscience are interchangeable; the one implies the other; they are synonymous.
In conclusion, contemporary pro-choice is but a false pretense to assure the retention of legalized abortion, and the United States body politic reveals a dichotomous social conscience in the making.
1. Atkinson, Rick, and Sawyer, Kathy, “Ferraro Defends Her Abortion Stand, But Is Criticized by Scranton Bishop,” The Washington Post, September 13, 1984, https://www.washingtonpost. com/archive/politics/1984/09/13/ferraro-defends-her-abortion-stand-but-is-criticized-by-scrantonbishop/953ea75c-f762-4a2d-9b21-e90c88d9409d/ (Accessed December 19, 2020).
3. St. Thomas More Quotes, https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/thomas-more-quotes (Accessed December 23, 2020).
4. Nuremberg Trials, https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-nuremberg-trials (Accessed December 22, 2020).
5. 1860 Democratic Party Platform, https://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/dem1860.asp (Accessed December 19, 2020).
6. Indian Removal Act, https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=004/llsl004.db&recNum=458 (Accessed December 19, 2020).
7. Appropriation to Remove Native Americans, https://www.gilderlehrman.org/news/indianremoval-act-passed-congress-day-may-26?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjue6mvHV7QIVSrzACh1pcAqFE AAYAiAAEgJbjPD_BwE (Accessed December 20, 2020).
8. Trail of Tears, https://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/trail-of-tears (Accessed December 20, 2020).
9. Chief Joseph Speech, https://www.historyplace.com/speeches/joseph.htm (Accessed December 20, 2020).
10. Goss, George William, The Debate over Indian Removal in the 1830s, University of Massachusetts Boston, (Accessed December 20, 2020).
11. Nuremberg Laws | The Holocaust Encyclopedia, Nuremberg Laws: The Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor (ushmm.org), https:// encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-nuremberg-race-laws (Accessed December 18, 2020).
13. Abortion Statistics, based on numbers reported by the Guttmacher Institute, http://www.nrlc. org/uploads/factsheets/FS01AbortionintheUS.pdf (Accessed December 30, 2020).
14. 1976 Democratic Party Platform, Civil and Political Rights, https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ documents/1976-democratic-party-platform (Accessed December 19, 2020).
15. 1980 Democratic Party Platform, Health, https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/1980democratic-party-platform (Accessed December 19, 2020).
17. 2020 Democratic Party Platform, Securing Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice, https:// democrats.org/where-we-stand/party-platform/achieving-universal-affordable-quality-health-care/ (Accessed December 19, 2020).
18. Niemöller, Martin, First They Came, https://www.amnesty.org.uk/files/2019-01/First They%20Came%20by%20Martin%20Niem%C3%B6ller_0.pdf?l6HOtWW1N8umC_ ELxnQI6NpaAYbxRCJj= (Accessed December 21, 2020).
19. Beer, Tommy, “Biden Vows To Protect Abortion Rights, Provoking Harsh Response From Trump,” Forbes, Oct 6, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/tommybeer/2020/10/06/biden-vows-toprotect-abortion-rights-provoking-harsh-response-from-trump/ (Accessed December 21, 2020).
Lyle R. Strathman is 85 years old, married for 52 years, and the father of five children. He graduated from St. Benedict’s College (now Benedictine College) with a BA degree and from Marquette University with a BS in electrical engineering. A retired electronics engineer, he served on his parish school board, is a member of the Knights of Columbus, and author of the non-fiction book Toward Peace.