Nation Needs New Gettysburg Address: Stop the War on the Unborn

Opinion   |   Maria Vitale   |   Jun 9, 2011   |   3:09PM   |   Gettysburg, PA

Not far from where I live, along the lovely landscape of south central Pennsylvania, lies the hallowed ground of Gettysburg, site of a landmark battle. On July 1, 2, and 3 of 1863, according to the Gettysburg Welcome Center, “more men actually fought and more men died than in any other battle before or since on North American soil.”

As my favorite President, Abraham Lincoln, observed in the soaring eloquence of the Gettysburg Address:

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

A co-worker recently handed me a flyer from a company called Heritage House. Against the backdrop of an American flag, the handout notes that nearly half a million deaths occurred during the Civil War—more deaths than in World War II, World War I, Vietnam, Korea, and the Persian Gulf War.

But the flyer astutely notes that the death toll from abortion has far outpaced the tragic casualty count from any of America’s wars by air, land, and sea. More than 53 million preborn children have perished in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade as a result of legal abortion in this country. 53 million. It’s as if we are fighting the Civil War, over and over and over again.

Again, the words of Lincoln seem apropos:

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

Our monuments to the casualties of abortion are more than just the fields of white crosses that often appear in front of churches and on college campuses. The monuments can be found in cyberspace, in the websites that offer the truth about abortion…in the pregnancy resource centers that provide a lifeline to women facing tough times…and in the artwork and poetry of women who are grieving children lost to abortion.

We need a Gettysburg Address for our times, these times when our nation is suffering so much over the issue of abortion. We need a President who will recognize abortion for what it truly is—the sacrifice of our descendants, the wounding of women—and who will peacefully work so that victory finally can be declared over abortion. This is a battle that can be won through the sheer force of words—the words of deftly-drafted legal briefs and carefully-fashioned oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. One more wise Justice or two, appointed by a forward-thinking President, and the heartbreak can finally end, and the massive casualty count can stop.

Lincoln would have wanted no less. Note: Maria Vitale is an opinion columnist for She is the Public Relations Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.