Courage can change the way things are

Published 8:50 pm Thursday, February 15, 2007

Some 35 Mississippi state senators in a politically courageous moment voted recently for legislation prohibiting abortions except for mothers, whose life would be in danger, and for victims of rape or incest. Four senators voted against the bill.

In spite of the lopsided Senate vote, the future of the bill is bleak. House Public Health and Human Services Chairman Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, said resolutely he has no plans to consider the legislation, and accused the Senate of bringing the issue up because it’s an election year.

“I have no intentions of taking up any pro-choice or pro-life bill,” groused Holland. “I’m not going to put the House through that again. I just don’t think it’s the right time. It’s just the same-old, same-old that we go through. Nothing’s changed since Roe v. Wade.”

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Nothing has changed, Mr. Representative?

In reality, much has changed, sir, since Roe v. Wade. For starters, more than 40 million unborn children have died in American abortion clinics since the court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision.

And each year, even though the number of abortions is declining nationwide, about 1.3 million babies will die, despite two amendments to the U.S. Constitution which said no one should be deprived of life without due process of the law.

For your information, Mr. Representative, the annual death toll for abortions is greater than all the deaths in all the wars America has ever fought.

It used to be cancer and heart disease were the bigger killers in America. Not any more though. Since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land, abortion deaths in America are also greater than the combined toll of everyone who dies from cancer and heart disease.

And, Mr. Representative, since you’re mindful that this is an election year, you might consider that a recent poll showed 53 percent of the people of our great state stand against abortion, while only 39 percent are in favor of it, and 8 percent are undecided.

The pro-abortion crowd is saying that the abortion ban will subject Mississippi to an unnecessary and expensive legal fight since it contradicts the Roe v. Wade. Furthermore, it contends the bill will eventually be struck down.

And that very well may be true.

Even so, there is something to be said for people, like the 35 senators, who have the courage of their convictions, for history teaches us that when people stand up for what is humane, what is just what is proper and what is good-and the fight against abortion is all those things-you can never tell what they might be able to accomplish.

For example, when Honorius was emperor of Rome, about the year A.D. 400, the great Coliseum was frequently filled to overflowing with spectators. From far and near, the assembled multitudes came and made the Coliseum events a Roman holiday. They found their highest delight in the death of a fellow human being. On one such day, when the crowd was watching the Coliseum contests, a Syrian monk, named Telemachus, stood up in the vast arena.

Torn by the utter disregard for the value of human life, he leaped into the arena in the midst of the gladiatorial show and cried out, “This thing is not right! This thing must stop!”

Because Telemachus was interfering with their pleasure, the authorities gave the command for him to be run through with a sword, which was done.

Thus he died, but in dying he kindled a flame in the hearts and consciences of thinking people. History records that because of this within a few months the gladiatorial combats began to decline and shortly thereafter they passed from history. Why? Because one man dared to speak out for what he felt was right.

The Mississippi Senate has spoken out against abortion. The voice of one state Senate may be too weak to stop injustice in this nation of 50 states, but at least the Mississippi Senate, like Telemachus, had the courage to cry out, “This thing is not right! This thing must stop.”