- - Thursday, February 7, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Socialism, open borders and abortion. Wherever you turn, Democrats are busily concluding a covenant with death, their new congressional majority ignoring a fair amount of history as well as any inkling of common sense.

Venezuela may be a humanitarian disaster but to the Bernie Sanders of the world, it teaches nothing about the pitfalls of socialism. And to Nancy Pelosi and Kirsten Gillibrand, borders are not the essential prerequisites of national security but immoral symbols of division. But if Venezuela explodes into anarchy, won’t the resulting flood of refugees make our border problems even worse — or is that possibility even a concern?

While history and logic may not be traditional Democratic virtues, simple decency is in short supply, abortion now attaining near-sacred status as the defining sacrament of the American left. To commemorate the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, the New York legislature passed the “Reproductive Health Act,” making “it legal for doctors and other health care professionals to perform abortions up to birth for any reason.”

Undeterred by the barbarity of killing a fully-formed human in the womb, legislators in Rhode Island and Virginia were considering similar provisions. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam went even farther, inexplicably defending post-birth infanticide.

Gov. Mike Huckabee may have had a point on Fox TV when he suggested that, rather than singing “God Bless America,” we should be praying God Forgive America. If the specter of aborting babies only moments before birth is not enough to produce either prayer or somber reflection, then consider the larger issue of how many babies have been killed as a direct result of the fateful 1973 Supreme Court decision. By some estimates, that number has now reached the staggering total of more than 58 million dead, although the real numbers are, of course, unknown and unknowable.



But by any estimate, these numbers constitute a holocaust of the unborn: But they also cast a new light on the nearly 50-year debate between a woman’s right to choose versus the societal costs of abortion. Forget the politics if you can. How should we balance the immediate issues of terminating a pregnancy against the longer-term effects on society and social mores? Those are hard issues taking decades to resolve, even while time and perspectives inevitably change.

When Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, I was a young intelligence officer assigned overseas during the Cold War; the decision barely registered. But a decade later, as a West Point instructor, I found myself moderating a formal campus debate on the Equal Rights Amendment. The protagonists: Conservative doyenne Phyllis Schlafly and Sarah Weddington, the victorious co-counsel in the Roe v. Wade case. Both sides of a vigorous public policy debate were well-represented, made even more poignant by women in the audience who wore the dress-gray uniform of West Point cadets.

That debate continued even after I reported to Washington for higher-level assignments. But then something happened which forever changed this academic argument into something much more personal. After years of heartbreak, my wife and I were blessed to become the adoptive parents of a 4-day-old baby girl. Something happened inside me when my daughter’s whole hand closed tightly around my little finger, a you-had-me-at-hello moment that has continued ever since. Suddenly and most improbably, my stance on abortion and my conscience had undergone a fundamental change: not from a newly refined policy position but from a basic change-of-heart. Or God finally getting my attention.

Happily, my daughter is nothing like me, disagreeing on every political issue, and both of us savoring the delicious irony that she met her husband at an Obama-for-president rally. We rejoiced at the arrival of our first grandson. But I found myself oddly unable to speak when his middle name turned out to be precisely the same as my daughter’s birth-mother. Had some of those deep-down lessons about her birth-heritage somehow sunk in?

In the midst of the current abortion debate, my daughter called with startling news. Thanks to genetic testing and social media, she had just made contact with her birth-mother, who had been overjoyed to hear from her. It tuns out that my daughter also has a half-brother, revealing an entirely new page of shared history. So I am now preparing a letter to our newest family member, profoundly thanking that once-pregnant teenager for doing the right thing so long ago. She preserved the life of our daughter while also transforming our lives and those of our future in-laws. Most of all: She helped to create our two grandsons.

Her simple courageous choice has thus transformed three generations, something most Democrats won’t tell you.

Ken Allard, a retired U.S. Army colonel, is a military analyst and author on national security issues.

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