Marvin Olasky

Abraham Lincoln, deeply troubled by four years of Civil War bloodletting, gave a great second inaugural address in 1865. By then Lincoln saw slavery as a terrible stench in God’s nostrils, so he mused about why God was taking so long to blow it away with His mighty breath.

Lincoln’s words: “If God wills that [the war] continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’”

For years, as many on the pro-life side have said “down the drain,” I’ve been the optimist, pointing to babies saved and saying the glass is one-fourth full. This year, I was feeling pessimistic: While pro-life sentiment is growing, the death toll has lurked in the 1.1-1.6 million range ever since the 1970s. Sure, the recently achieved lower number is better than the higher one, yet how could we go on a million-corpse victory march?

Early this month, though, I read Time’s take on the abortion war. Time has been consistently pro-abortion through all of Roe v. Wade’s 40 years—but now it’s pessimistic: “Abortion-rights activists are unequivocally losing. … Part of the reason is that the public is siding more and more with their opponents.” Staff writer Kate Pickert noted that only two of five Americans call themselves “pro-choice,” in part because of ultrasound and other scientific advances that have allowed many people to see that the 8-week-olds commonly aborted “have a human shape.”

Time stopped there, but 40 years ago some folks thought unborn children were like Lego blocks, and now—does anyone not know that the “human shape” signifies a human being? Does anyone not see the coarsening of America over the past four decades? Is it not strange that our tears rightly flow when a Connecticut school murderer kills 20 children, yet we go about our business while abortionists each year legally murder a number at least 50,000 times larger?

Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of the national news magazine World. For additional commentary by Marvin Olasky, visit
Be the first to read Marvin Olasky's column. Sign up today and receive delivered each morning to your inbox.