Speaking of such funding, Reagan also acknowledged his “Mexico City policy,” which blocked U.S. taxpayer funding of international “family planning” groups. One of the first things President Obama did was rescind that policy—immediately after the March for Life in January of ‘09.
Another policy Reagan highlighted in his speech was the prohibition of federal funds to finance abortions in the District of Columbia. This, too, was overturned two years ago, thanks to a Democratic Congress and president that rejected funding for school vouchers for poor children in Washington, DC, but supported funding for abortions for the mothers of those children.
Yes, I know the contrast is breathtaking, but it’s true.
Reagan talked more about abortion funding, and specifically “the so-called Grove City [College] legislation sponsored by Senator [Ted] Kennedy.” “This bill,” noted Reagan, “would mean that all hospitals and colleges receiving federal funds, even those with religious affiliations, would be open to lawsuits if they failed to provide abortions.” The usually affable Reagan said: “this one really touches my temperature control.”
Needless to say, all of this is extremely relevant right now, thanks to how Americans voted on November 4, 2008.
There was much more Reagan said in this speech, but I’ll close with two poignant thoughts:
“Many who turn to abortion do so in harrowing circumstances,” Reagan emphasized, including women “misled by inaccurate information.” “[W]e must remind those who disagree with us, and sometimes even ourselves, that we do not seek to condemn, we do not seek to sit in judgment…. [I]t is our duty to rise above bitterness and reproach.”
Pro-lifers must heed that call, respecting the human dignity of everyone. All victims require love and charity. On that, Reagan finished with this:
“I’d like to leave with you a quotation that means a great deal to me. These are the words of my friend, the late Terence Cardinal Cooke, of New York. ‘The gift of life, God’s special gift, is no less beautiful when it is accompanied by illness or weakness, hunger or poverty, mental or physical handicaps, loneliness or old age. Indeed, at these times, human life gains extra splendor as it requires our special care, concern, and reverence. It is in and through the weakest of human vessels that the Lord continues to reveal the power of His love.’”
Here was a warning against the pallbearers of the progressive death march, from Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger—who hoped to expunge the gene pool of “human weeds”—to the euthanasia precipice to which America is being dragged. It starts with the weakest of vessels: the infant in its mother’s womb.
Timeless words of wisdom to bear in mind this week, as America struggles to survive another year of Roe v. Wade.
Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College, executive director of The Center for Vision & Values, and author of the book, “The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.” His other books include "The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism" and "Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century."