In 1857 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford that people of African descent, whether slave or free, were not citizens and had no rights under the Constitution.
In 1973 the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the killing of unborn babies in all 50 states. The January 2013 Columbia magazine drew some interesting parallels about these landmark rulings: both were 7-2 decisions, and both argued that a certain class of human beings was excluded from the constitutional definition of “citizen” or “person.”
The Dred Scott decision did not settle the controversy about slavery; it only magnified it, resulting in the start of the Civil War a year later. This war was the deadliest armed conflict in U.S. history with 750,000 killed and thousands wounded.
The Roe decision likewise did not settle the abortion debate. A cultural and political battle — a civil war of a different kind — has been brewing for the last 40 years. Although largely hidden from public view, abortion has claimed 55 million innocent lives and has wounded countless more hearts. On average, more babies are killed through elective abortion every year than the death toll of Americans of every war in the nation’s history combined.
Acknowledging this horror, simply illustrates how utterly incomprehensible abortion’s impact really has become. From the Reconstruction Era to the civil rights movement a century later, slavery was eventually overcome and the nation made strides toward healing and restoring justice. How much longer before the terrible effects of abortion on our nation will be healed and justice restored?