WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President George W. Bush traveled through the Pacific Rim nations this week, trying to build support for measures to protect us from radical terrorists. While he was gone, legislators in Washington, D.C., and Tallahassee, Fla., acted to protect the most fragile of lives from those intent on taking them. Both of these legislative initiatives were attacked by American political and media liberals. And in both cases, they now promise to win one for the grim reaper in the courts.
Immediately after Congress passed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, liberal politicians beholden to the abortion industry rushed to the microphones denouncing the measure as an affront to the safety of every American woman -- and promised to overturn it in the courts. Though no disease or malady is cured by abortion, advocates of the procedure are adamant that children must be put to death to ensure their mothers' safety.
And in Florida, when Gov. Jeb Bush signed a bill to preserve the life of brain damaged patients on life support who haven't written a "living will" -- and a dispute exists among family members as to what to do -- liberals once again promised a rush to the courthouse. Their goal in this case is to make sure that Terri Schiavo, a 39-year-old, brain-damaged Florida woman whose husband has sought, against her biological family's wishes, to remove the feeding tubes that are keeping her alive, gets to die sooner rather than later.
All this begs the question: Why are liberals and radicals so fascinated with death? Some of them are so enamored with the topic that they wish it upon others. Last week, National Public Radio's Nina Totenberg, a rhetorical Lizzie Borden, said of Army Gen. Jerry Boykin, "I hope he's not long for this world." Boykin's "crime," as Nina sees it, was to publicly express his Christian faith in the context of the war on terrorism.
It is not the first time Totenberg sentenced a conservative to death. Years ago, she said of Sen. Jesse Helms, "If there is retributive justice, he'll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it."
Film director Spike Lee once said that Charlton Heston should be shot, and Julianne Malveaux wished death on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas saying, "I hope ... he dies early like many black men do."
Not all liberals are quite so specific as to name the individuals they wish dead. Most seem to settle for supporting, investing in and promoting a culture of death in this country that devalues the dignity of each and every human life. They are usually willing to leave the actual killing to doctors who appear to have greater fealty to Jack Kevorkian than to their Hippocratic Oath. And to preserve hospitals as the Killing Fields of American society, they rely on the courts.
Since 1973, more than 40 million children have been murdered by the knives, pills and vacuums of abortionists. Liberals like California Sen. Barbara Boxer and countless other "abortion rights supporters" defend the "choice" to commit such barbarism. At Princeton University, Professor Peter Singer, who teaches at the University's "Center for Human Values," believes it is OK to murder "defective" children up to 28 days after birth. Jack Kevorkian, who now resides in prison, started a cottage industry of assisted suicide.
For eight long years, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., struggled to pass a ban on partial birth abortions, only to be twice overruled by Bill Clinton's veto pen. Finally, we have a president who will sign the bill to outlaw a procedure in which a child is partially born, only to be killed before being completely delivered from the mother's womb -- a practice Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, the only physician in the Senate, describes as "brutal," "barbaric," "morally offensive" and "outside the mainstream practice of medicine." But liberals promise a court fight to keep it lawful.
In Florida, Gov. Bush has waged a consistent and vigorous campaign in support of the sanctity of human life. His predecessor, Democrat Gov. Lawton Chiles, vetoed a bill in 1997 authorizing the creation of "Choose Life" license plates. In 1998, Jeb Bush signed legislation authorizing the pro-life plates, which has provided nearly $70,000 each month to crisis pregnancy centers, maternity homes and adoption agencies. In 1999, after Gov. Bush signed a parental notification bill, the abortion industry went to court to prevent the law from being implemented. And in 2003, the Florida Supreme Court overturned the statute. Now, Gov. Bush's efforts to protect Shiavo's life are being challenged in court.
All of this argues strongly in favor of those who believe in the sanctity of human life not to be satisfied by simply electing pro-life executives -- like the Bush brothers -- or pro-life majorities in our state and federal legislatures. The most radical advocates of the culture of death are now counting on liberal judges to carry out their wishes.
That's why so many of them are lined up to oppose the Honorable Janice Rogers Brown's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She is a competent, conservative judge, unrepentant about her pro-life stance. We need more like her in every state and federal court because the judiciary has become the court of last resort for the most vulnerable Americans.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.