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Today's abolitionists crusade for unborn's freedom to live

Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 12:01 am

As I watched the beginning of “The Abolitionists” Sunday night on PBS, it became particularly striking how similar were the causes of the abolitionists of the 1800s and those of the present day.

Those crusading for the freedom of the black man in 19th-century America were trying to change the law of the land to preserve life and freedom for a segment of mankind who would not be heard. Those today crusading for the abolition of abortion are likewise trying to change the law of the land to preserve life and the freedom to live for a segment of mankind who cannot be heard.

“The Abolitionists” is a three-hour “American Experience” documentary/drama that continued with Part II on Tuesday and ends with Part III this coming Tuesday. It’s about the efforts of abolitionist allies Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimke that, according to the PBS promotional, “turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that literally changed the nation.”

It caused me to reflect on the different levels of effort, emotion, strategy, pain and violence that their crusade went through before eventually seeing the law of the land turning to freedom for the black race in this country in Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. And, of course, there were many ensuing decades of adjustment and civil rights battles before freedom for the black man was anything close to what it was for the white man.

So it has been over the last 40 years in this country’s civil war over abortion. Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States.

During the years of slavery, many considered African Americans less than human. Thus, brutality was tolerated, even encouraged.

For unborn babies, it is the same. Many in our country, in our world today, consider the unborn less than human. And so abortions are tolerated, even encouraged.

Today it is hard to imagine considering humans of another color or race as any less human than anyone else. Perhaps someday mankind will awaken to truth once again and understand that life includes that tiny human the book of Psalms says God knits together in the womb.

An estimated 55 million unborn children have been victims of abortion since the Supreme Court decision, according to Allen County Right to Life, including more than 30,000 children in Allen County.

Today many hundreds of modern-day abolitionists gathered at the University of Saint Francis to commemorate the 40 years of struggle to end abortion with their 39th annual Fort Wayne March for Life.

Kerry Hubartt is editor of The News-Sentinel.