64,500,000 Babies Have Been Killed in Abortions, Biggest Travesty in American History

Opinion   |   Frank Pavone   |   Jan 27, 2023   |   4:46PM   |   Washington, DC

The National Right to Life Committee just released its annual report on the state of abortion in the United States, and among the many helpful points of information it provides is the best estimate of the number of babies killed in the United States since Roe vs. Wade: 64 and a half million.

That makes January 22nd truly “a day that will live in infamy,” a day that unleashed the largest holocaust in our history.

This past January 22nd was a Sunday, two days after the annual March for Life. There were many pro-life activities in town and across the nation that weekend (including the Walk for Life West Coast, which I helped to lead in San Francisco after concluding the day’s events in Washington.)

But one of the most important of my activities that weekend was to be back in Washington on the 22nd to help lead the Memorial Service in front of the US Supreme Court for the babies lost to abortion, for their moms (some of whom were also killed by the procedure), and for all whom abortion has wounded.

My team and I, along with other groups like Faith and Liberty, and Stanton Health Care, believed it was essential that the day not be overlooked. Sure, Roe is gone, and appropriate observances will begin to be held on the anniversary of the Dobbs decision (June 24th), which overturned Roe.

But the days are quite distinct in their purpose. January 22nd is the Day of Infamy. It is in the category of other commemorations of tragic loss of life – December 7th and September 11th are the obvious examples.

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Indeed, it was moving to be at the steps of the Supreme Court on the very morning fifty years after the disastrous Roe decision came out, to pray God’s forgiveness over the Court and the nation, and to lay flowers on the ground in honor of the victims.

Our movement has always understood, of course, that the Supreme Court unleashed a horrible devastation in Roe. But the appropriateness of marking January 22nd, especially with a presence at the Supreme Court, comes into even sharper relief when one studies the Dobbs decision. Central to that decision’s analysis is that

“the Court finds the Fourteenth Amendment clearly does not protect the right to an abortion. Until the latter part of the 20th century, there was no support in American law for a constitutional right to obtain an abortion.  No state constitutional provision had recognized such a right.  Until a few years before Roe, no federal or state court had recognized such a right. Nor had any scholarly treatise.  Indeed, abortion had long been a crime in every single State….  This consensus endured until the day Roe was decided. Roe either ignored or misstated this history” (Dobbs, p.3).

In other words, if children were killed because of a so-called “right to abortion,” the responsibility for inventing that fake right rests squarely with the Supreme Court. The Court was not echoing the conviction of the American people or any of their institutions. It was not reflecting any societal consensus. Indeed, it was contradicting that consensus and imposing upon it a grotesque distortion of American jurisprudence.

In the Dobbs decision, the Court came full circle back to Justice Byron White’s dissent in Roe that called it “an exercise of raw judicial power.”

Many sections of the Dobbs decision, indeed, read like an act of repentance. The Court recognized that it inflicted grievous damage on America: not only the obvious damage of the loss of life and the wounding of families, but the distorting and poisoning of our system of government, and the robbing of the American people of their right to decide abortion policy through their elected representatives.

The Court explicitly repented of its tendency to substitute its own judgment for that of the American people.

On January 22nd each year, then, may we, the People of God in the pro-life movement echo that repentance right at the place from which the damage emanated. Let us go each year to the steps of the Supreme Court, as to the scene of the crime, and solemnly remember the tens of millions of lives that have been taken, and the many more people wounded by the shockwaves of abortion.

Let us go before the court and receive again our right to protect our unborn children. Let us take back from the Court and into our own hands that self-governance our Founders bequeathed to us, and apply it to the matter of abortion.

By having a memorial service, by laying flowers, and by doing rituals similar to what we do at a wake service, we are rehumanizing these aborted children, and thereby rehumanizing ourselves as well. And that is a clear path to ending abortion.