NRL News

What’s Airing on Pro-Life Perspective Today? Lincoln and “The Better Angels of Our Nature”

by | Feb 11, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

President Abraham Lincoln

This weekend marks the 203rd anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator. National Right to Life President and Pro-Life Perspective Host Carol Tobias reflects on his life and work to protect all citizens of our great nation and its keen relevance for what you and I do. 

As Mrs. Tobias explains, President Lincoln seems to be constantly in our consciousness at the National Right to Life offices in Washington. 

“Our national headquarters is directly across the street from Ford’s Theatre and we are two doors down from the Petersen Boarding House where President Lincoln drew his final breath on the morning of April 15th, 1865.  It’s easy to be awed knowing that every day as we come in to do our work for the unborn, we are walking in Lincoln’s shadow.”

For many in the pro-life movement, Lincoln’s observations on the institution of slavery strongly resonate with our struggles to protect unborn children. This was brought home in many ways, particularly by the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus as he invoked Lincoln’s words in memorable speeches celebrating a hoped for “New Birth of Freedom.”

Mrs. Tobias reminds us today that the 16th President’s view of the human community was inclusive. That we are all “created equal and endowed by our Creator with the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Pro-lifers maintain that rights and guarantees of our nation’s founding documents—the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution—“are inclusive of all citizens from the moment of their conception until their natural death.” 

Mrs. Tobias recalls one of the memorable phrases of Lincoln’s First Augural Address— his appeal to the “better angels of our nature.” It is to the higher and nobler aspect of our national character that we appeal when we seek respect for the sanctity and inherent dignity of all human life, from conception until natural death.

She ends the week with a reminder that

“Those self-evident truths proclaimed in Philadelphia in 1776 are constantly being whittled away.  Not content with the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, pro-abortion forces work continually to expand Roe’s scope and legacy.  And attacks on life aren’t confined to denying the right to life to the unborn.  Pro-euthanasia proponents are continually seeking to instill a so-called ‘duty to die’ mentality in our society when it comes to treating the medically dependent and disabled.”

Were it not for you, these anti-life forces would have gone unopposed. But because of you we can and do draw from inspiration from Lincoln’s words “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom” of life, liberty and justice for all.  Born and unborn.”

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