One of the items prominently displayed on the wall of my office is a letter I received in 1985 from President Ronald Reagan.
The letter was written regarding an effort at the time to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the public funding of abortion. It reads,
I was glad to learn of your dedication to the right to life of all Americans, born and unborn.
The tragic taking of human life by abortion is a matter close to my heart. Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, more than 15 million of our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters–Americans all–have been killed by this practice.
What is at stake in the debate over abortion is dramatically evident with the release this year of a videotape which, using the technique of real-time ultrasound, shows the brutality of this violent act. No longer can advocates of abortion deny reality: Abortion is not merely a matter between a woman and her doctor. For when they say that, surely they are forgetting the unborn child whose very life hangs in the balance.
I have often said that this issue will not be finally resolved until the facts and arguments are clearly framed and presented. Today, this is coming to pass. As more and more Americans become aware of the true nature of abortion, I am convinced that the policy of abortion on demand will be reversed and that everyone’s right to life will once again be fully protected.
You have my best wishes. God bless you.
Nearly thirty years have passed since President Reagan wrote that letter. In that time, the Arkansas Constitution has been amended to prevent public funding of abortion. We have seen abortion in Arkansas decline to some of the lowest levels since the 1970s. We have seen record numbers of Americans self-identify as “pro-life.” We have seen waves of new legislation written on the basis that human life has inherent value and dignity.
If the past three decades are any indicator, I believe Ronald Reagan was right: Americans have become more aware of the true nature of abortion, the policy of abortion on demand is being reversed, and everyone’s right to life will once again be fully protected.
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.