NRL News

Silencing the Laughter of Generations

by | Jan 15, 2013

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Maria Vitale Gallagher. Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Maria Vitale Gallagher. Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

It was time to take the family Christmas picture, and I knew I had to seize the moment.

I was six years old, and my prized gift that year was a ventriloquist doll.  I grabbed hold of Charlie McCarthy, and, as the shutter snapped, I pretended we were doing the tango.  The room erupted in laughter, and I was hooked.

My usual gig was the family dinner table.  The object of my game was to make my little sister laugh so much that she had to put down her fork and stop eating.  I figured I got extra points if I could make my father laugh–he had tried his hand at stand-up comedy, and he had trained himself to keep a straight face.  But, every now and then, he, too, would be stopped cold by my antics.

I’d like to think I was Comedy Central’s answer to a child prodigy, but, it seems to me, in the humor department, just about every child has a shot at stardom. It should be no surprise that this phenomenon led to the TV show, “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”  They do, and, quite often, they are quite funny.

I remember when my daughter was getting ready for kindergarten.  She was talking about her preparations, and she informed me that we would need to stop at U-Haul.  This was because, she explained to me, she would need a trailer to take her toys to school.


It has been said that one of the most essential ingredients of comedy is the element of surprise.  If you know the punchline in advance, the joke falls flat.  That’s why comedians Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Jerry Seinfeld may be no match for a four-year-old on a roll.  Children see things that adults often don’t, and they make connections that escape the rest of us.

When troubles come, laughter can seem quite distant, since laughter brings joy.  But it can, in fact, be the best medicine.  A mother struggling to pay the bills can somehow find the strength to go on, when she sees her child’s laughing face.

A quote attributed to legendary comedian Bob Hope states, “I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.”

The 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe versus Wade has silenced generations of laughter.  Each of those 55 million people whose lives have been lost had a story to tell–maybe a funny story or two.  In ending the lives of innocent unborn children, we have killed joy and halted laughter.

As pianist and comedian Victor Borge once said, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”

Categories: Roe v. Wade