Letting Life Shine Requires Changing Public Opinion
Each person has unique abilities and talents with which they can contribute to the world. Whether it be through sharing God's Word, playing music, painting, writing, cooking and baking, or anything else, everyone can do something to be a blessing to others given the opportunity. Tragically, abortion has taken this opportunity from over sixty-three million people – more than the populations of California and Florida combined – in the United States alone since 1973. These are 63,000,000 unique human beings who could have made incredible contributions to society had their lives not been violently taken through abortion. While a person's value is, of course, not determined by what they can do for others, this is yet another reason why abortion must be abolished. The lives already lost to abortion can never be replaced, but we can, and must, work to prevent more lives from being taken.
Abortion is inherently immoral, as its sole goal is to cause the death of an innocent person. Despite the clear moral issue, many people believe that abortion is necessary, or that it is justified under most or all circumstances. This is not true; nothing can justify the deliberate, premeditated taking of an innocent life. In many ways, today's abortion debate is similar to the debate over slavery in the early nineteenth century. At that time, many people thought that it would be impossible to abolish slavery and even believed slavery was good; it was seen as an essential part of the economies of the southern states. Some people who did recognize the moral problem saw slavery as a necessary evil. Even in the North, only a small fraction of people were abolitionists. While slavery was legally abolished as a result of the Civil War, it would almost certainly have still became unpopular with the people had the war not taken place, as shown by the fact that slavery did not immediately lose all public support after the war, but has now been universally rejected for many years. This would have led to the abolition of slavery through peaceful political processes. The same type of change in public opinion can happen with abortion. The widespread public support for abortion “rights” in many states today does not mean that abortion will remain popular or legal forever in these places. By working to change public opinion, we can abolish abortion through peaceful political processes. In the current political environment, the idea of abolishing abortion nationwide seems impossible, but we must remember that changes in government start with changes in opinion. Abortion will be legal as long as it is popular. We must work to show the tragic consequences of abortion, including the loss of the contributions to society its victims could have made. Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the next step toward abolishing abortion and letting life shine is to change public opinion.
(written for Oregon Right to Life 2023 Essay Contest)