Daniel Doherty
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In an ideal world, Roe v. Wade -- perhaps the most insidious Supreme Court ruling since the infamous Dred Scott decision in 1857 -- would be overturned. And contrary to what most leftists assert, however, this does not necessarily mean that abortion would be universally prohibited and illegal. For example, before Roe became the law of the land in 1973, abortion was permissible in certain states. The legality of abortion, then, should be decided by individuals at the state level -- at least in the short-term -- not by a High Court of un-elected, unaccountable judges in Washington. This would be a small but significant victory.

But how do we get there?

Of course, pro-lifers argue that the taking of innocent human life is a great moral evil, and that the United States can never live up to its founding principles while such an injustice is lawful, let alone funded with taxpayer dollars. Indeed, more than 55 million unborn lives have been extinguished since 1973, and the numbers -- especially in places like New York City -- continue to climb. Imagine, in other words, how rich and diverse our country would be if these unborn millions were granted their God-given right to life? How many scientists, doctors, innovators and entrepreneurs would be alive today, making the United States -- and the globalized world -- a better place?

But sadly, the pro-life movement seems to be facing an uphill battle. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll shows that 70 percent of Americans support Roe v. Wade. Consequently, the High Court’s landmark decision granting individuals a right to an abortion -- at any time, for any reason -- will probably be on the books for years, if not decades to come. And while conservatives should never give up this crucially important fight, perhaps there’s another, more immediate way pro-lifers can raise awareness and end the culture of death plaguing our cities and states.

The battle for life unquestionably begins in New York City. In 2009, 41 percent of all pregnancies in the Big Apple ended in abortion. This is unacceptable. Worse, nearly 60 percent of black babies were aborted that same year. These staggering numbers are difficult to process -- especially when one confronts the sobering fact that 56 percent of the women getting these abortions have already had one.

If anything, this suggests that a growing percentage of women terminating unplanned pregnancies in New York City are using abortion as a form of birth control. And the implications are catastrophic: How many women are choosing abortion each year in part because they don’t realize that unborn children have heartbeats as early as eight weeks and can feel pain as early as 20 weeks? The left does not want women to understand these unsavory facts. It discredits the arguments they’ve been cultivating for decades.

And yet, history teaches us that the only way totalitarian and oppressive regimes can rationalize the extermination of innocent life is through the process of de-humanization. In the eyes of their oppressors, to name just a few examples, Christians were “infidels,” Tutsi’s were “cockroaches,” Jews were “rats.” This is why educating those who are uneducated is so vitally important when making the case for life.

Moreover, rather than handing out “free” birth control pills and revamping sex education, perhaps conservatives should make the larger argument. For far too long, progressives have been winning the narrative that fetuses are nothing more than “matter” or “cells.” Of course, this belies modern science and medical research, which is one of the reasons I am hopeful (as was the case in the odious Dred Scott decision) that justice will one day prevail.

But we are not there yet.

In the meantime, most Americans still seem to believe -- in the words of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama -- that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” We all know, however, that abortion is not rare. It is, in many instances, a form of birth control. And so the way to most effectively reduce these staggering abortion numbers -- especially in our inner cities -- is to humanize the victims.

Only then can we begin to educate, and make the case that all life is sacred -- and worthy of protection.

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Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography