Peanuts Comic Strip Showcased Beautiful Pro-Life Message About the Value of Children

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jun 4, 2021   |   6:06PM   |   Washington, DC

Sometimes the smallest things in life can have the biggest impact.

President Ronald Reagan is famous for converting to the pro-life cause and becoming a strong champion for unborn babies during his presidency.

Now, a newly uncovered letter from Reagan sheds more light on some of the things that influenced his change of heart, and one of them was a Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schulz, Time magazine reports.

In 1970, Reagan wrote to Schulz about how he was “touched” by a July 20, 1970 comic featuring the sibling characters Linus and Lucy, according to the report.

The four-panel cartoon shows Linus asking his sister, “What would happen if there were a beautiful and highly intelligent child up in heaven waiting to be born, and his or her parents decided that the two children they already had were enough?” Lucy replies, “Your ignorance of theology and medicine is appalling.” Linus responds, “I still think it’s a good question …”

For Reagan, the short conversation reminded him of the bill that he signed in 1967 legalizing abortions in California.

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“I write particularly, though, of one of your strips … which continues to haunt me in a very nice way,” Reagan began his letter.

Later, he wrote: “The author of the legislation wanted to go all the way and simply make it a matter of personal choice and wide open. I probably did more studying on that subject at that time than on anything else before or since and finally had to tell him I would veto such a bill.”

Reagan said he could not justify legalizing abortion in his mind other than for “self defense” to protect the mother’s life.

He continued:

It has been my feeling that our religion does justify the taking of life in self defense. I cannot accept that simply on whim even a mother has the right to take the life of her unborn child simply because she thinks that child will be born less than perfect or because she just doesn’t want to be bothered. Well, the bill was amended to meet my demands, and I signed it into law. Now, however, I have discovered some of our psychiatrists are particularly willing to declare an “unwed mother-to-be” to have suicidal tendencies, and they do this on a five minute diagnosis. The result is that our medical program will finance more than fifty thousand abortions of unwed mothers in the coming year on such flimsy diagnosis.

Reagan ended with an apology, telling Schulz: “Well, I didn’t mean to let you in on all my problems but just to give the background of why you touched a nerve with your strip the other day. Thanks very much.”

Years later, when Reagan became president of the United States, he became a champion of the pro-life cause, speaking out for the right to life of unborn babies and taking action to protect their lives across the world through measures like the Mexico City policy.

As president, he would tell the world, “There is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have meaning.”

And it appears that Reagan’s commitment to the unborn may have come about, in part, from a simple, much beloved children’s comic strip.