Kathryn Lopez

Most of us have moved on. Perhaps many have on abortion, too. "It is settled law," he said, quoting defenders of legal abortion. "Another generation," though, Greenberg reminded us, "was told Dred Scott v. Sandford was settled law." But, as Greenberg reminded us: "No good cause is forever lost."

Novelist (and medical doctor) Walker Percy wrote, in 1981: "To pro-abortionists: According to the opinion polls, it looks as if you may get your way." I'm not sure he would write that anymore. Polls are changing. And the language of dehumanization has reached a pitch of desperation. The same day Greenberg was being honored for his change of heart and subsequent leadership, abortion-advocacy groups were sending out hyperbolic emails about a "Let Women Die Act" the House of Representatives had supposedly passed. The House passed a bill, all right, but it would simply protect taxpayer money from being used on abortions as part of the health-care legislation passed in 2010.

But Percy might not be surprised at the continuing turn of events. Back then, he wrote: "Picture the scene. A Galileo trial in reverse. The Supreme Court is cross-examining a high school biology teacher and admonishing him that of course it is only his personal opinion that the fertilized human ovum is an individual human life. He is enjoined not to teach his private beliefs at a public school. Like Galileo he caves in, submits, but in turning away is heard to murmur, 'But it's still alive!'"

There were no predictions from Greenberg. "Win or lose, what's important is that we bear witness" to the dignity of man. Like Mr. Cudjoe, we should all be speaking for those who have no voice.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.