I’m in Florida on vacation this week, but even while getting a little R&R there seems to always be something that triggers thoughts of abortion.
For instance, we were visiting the Flagler Museum in Key West a couple days ago, and when I read that the first passenger train arrived there on January 22, 1912, the date immediately reminded me of the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in all 50 states, which was handed down 61 years later to the day.
Then yesterday we were taking a tour of Ernest Hemingway’s house, also in Conch Republic, when the guide mentioned the resident descendents (44!) of his famous polydactyls “are on planned parenthood,” he said. “The females are allowed to have one litter and are spayed.”
Really? I thought. I almost laughed out loud at the irony.
Also yesterday we happened upon a beach cemetery where 295 African men, women, and children were buried in 1860. The U.S. Navy had rescued them from slave ships, but they were in such poor health they died nonetheless.
My heart ached for them, particularly having just finished the book, Amazing Grace, about the life of William Wilberforce, which went into great detail on the horrifying conditions on those ships.
I wondered to myself whether there has ever been a time in human history where the immoral powerful have treated the innocent powerless as nonhuman. And, of course, once again I was reminded of abortion.
Abolitionist Thomas Clarkson was a key player in the English abolitionist movement. He contributed by researching and documenting how slaves were treated. (His reproduction of a slave ship cargo area horrified all of England.) From the book:
In Liverpool, Clarkson came upon the unimaginable but verified story of a slave captain who had flogged his own steward for two and a quarter hours. Not surprisingly, the man died. Stories like this piled up until the strain began to tell on Clarkson. “I was agonised to think that this Trade could last another day,” he wrote. “I was in a state of agitation from morning to night.”
Does abortion keep you in a “state of agitation from morning to night”? Or are you able to walk away from it? Or perhaps it’s not a big deal to you?