Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators will participate today in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. On this cold 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, marchers young and old and of every race and creed, will petition their representatives and protest in front of the Supreme Court to end abortion.
To coincide with this, President Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services has created an entire new division dedicated to safeguarding the livelihoods of medical professionals who don't want to perform or participate in abortions. Federal law already says such professionals may not be discriminated against just because they object to the grisly practice of abortion. But actions by Democratic politicians and left-wing activists in recent years have increasingly called into question the commitment on one side of the cultural divide to respecting the consciences of these professionals, and of everyone else, for that matter.
This is where the abortion issue has moved today. For its advocates, abortion rights are no longer about giving someone a free “choice,” that buzzword we’ve heard for so long. Instead, we’ve reached a point where they argue that no one can be allowed to make their own judgment on the morality of abortion and be left unmolested if they oppose it. Abortion rights are now about forcing as many other people as possible to participate in the killing of what science tells us is indisputably a human life.
Attempts at abortion coercion have multiplied lately. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union have in recent years gone so far as to sue to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. Hillary Clinton ran in 2016 as the first Democratic presidential candidate to promise to abolish the Hyde Amendment, which spares taxpayers from having to fund at least elective abortions. Even former President Barack Obama, as committed as anyone to abortion, never endorsed a policy of taxpayer-funded abortions.
Of course, then there’s the issue of how Democratic officials nationwide are attempting to override the free-speech rights of people working at crisis pregnancy centers. This one is especially rich, because abortion advocates often smugly claim that pro-lifers don’t care about babies after they are born. But now, they are trying to close down these centers, which typically provide healthcare, child care, job training, toys, bassinets, clothes, and all manner of other goods and services for young mothers both before and after their pregnancies.
In California, Baltimore, and Illinois, abortion zealots have tried to force employees and volunteers at crisis pregnancy centers to advertise convenient abortionist services, which directly contravenes their mission. Courts have so far stopped them from doing this in Baltimore, and probably will elsewhere, but it is absurd that the obviously unconstitutional legislation behind this push should keep forcing citizens into court to defend their rights.
These examples evince on the part of abortion advocates a totalitarian determination to trample on the rights of any who disagree with them. The anger over Trump’s decision to safeguard doctors’ conscience rights is similar in this regard. Doctors take an oath to do no harm. That oath, the Hippocratic Oath, which was drafted four centuries before Christianity, explicitly forbids doctors from using their knowledge of science to participate in abortions.
Although Trump’s commitment to the pro-life cause has previously been doubted by many pro-lifers, he has made the right choice here in safeguarding government respect for the moral judgment of medical professionals. As today’s marchers exercise their First Amendment rights, they can take heart in that, at least.