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Band of Brothers

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January 2012

For some, the subject of history is as dry as a desert, a sand dune of useless facts and irrelevant dates.   If that were all, they’d be right.   But history is a story, one starting with the dawn of time and continuing with each new day.  In the hands of a storyteller, the study of history becomes a fascinating look at man’s triumphs and tragedies.

Stephen Ambrose was one of America’s best storytellers.   He wrote for the common man.  Ambrose took particular interest in World War II.  In Band of Brothers, Ambrose told the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Army Airborne Division, from the unit’s formation, parachute landing into Normandy, and fight eastward into Germany.  Often outnumbered, the unit suffered 150% casualties.  But Easy held the lines at Bastogne, where its men battled a heavily fortified enemy and a brutally cold winter.  Easy liberated the Dachau concentration camp and eventually reached Hitler’s mountain quarters. Though from diverse backgrounds, the men of Easy had a common bond. They were citizen soldiers willing to join arms in just battle. With their sacrifice, America triumphed.

America is no stranger to war, and today it is engaged in a bloody war here at home.  It’s a fight as old as good versus evil. When God gave us free will, He set His law deep within our hearts so that we would make loving choices to serve God and neighbor.  But we have demanded license to do things our own way, to live for self as the highest good of all.  The desire to play God became so overwhelming that in January 1973 our highest court legalized the killing of unborn babies.  For women, Roe v. Wade promised total control over their bodies, regardless of who gets hurt in the process.  For men, it promised freedom from the responsibility of raising the children they father. For helpless unborn babies, Roe only promised death. Since Roe, over 54 million have been slaughtered under the guise of “freedom,” many only moments and inches from natural delivery.  And because of Roe, we are locked in a battle for the soul of our nation.

The polls now show that a majority of Americans, sickened by the killing, want it stopped or greatly restricted.  But it’s not happening, and for a reason.  Like the fight over legalized slavery, the fight over legalized abortion is a moral battle being waged in a political theatre.  And there, power is everything.  In a democratic society, retaining power means pleasing constituencies.  As to abortion, politicians seek to please two: the minority of voters wanting unrestricted abortion, and the businesses profiting from the killing.  The first group provides the votes; the second provides the campaign funds to go after those votes.  President Obama and many in Congress understand the power principle only too well.  By all objective measures, the Obama administration has been the most pro-abortion in history.  Its actions have gone beyond supporting the so-called notion of “choice.” Instead, it is removing choice in every way available and actively imposing a pro-abortion culture.

The administration’s actions start with the top, and that means the Supreme Court.  Roe was a shock not only because of its substance but also because the Court stole a power belonging to “we the people.”  In a country of over 308 million, the continued right to abortion rests with the votes of five judges.  The President has already appointed two judges hell-bent on keeping the decision from the people’s control.  Right now, they are the controlling votes. He is also filling the lower courts with judges expected to further his pro-abortion agenda.

It’s a huge agenda.  For example, two years ago the President spoke of the need for a “sensible” federal regulation protecting the rights of conscience of health care workers.  But his idea of “sensible” is to limit their protections.  Although protected from performing or assisting with abortions, health care workers must prescribe and deliver Plan B contraceptives, even those that can cause an abortion. He also seeks to force most employers to provide mandatory insurance coverage for contraception.  The exceptions are so narrow that 60 leaders of various faiths have now written the President in protest.  Increasingly, “choice” is available only to those supporting legalized abortion, not to those opposing it.

The administration is also trying to expose our youth to abortion at virtually any age.  The FDA recently recommended the over-the-counter sale of Plan B contraceptives to children as young as eleven.  Though overruled, the mere recommendation shows the administration’s mindset.  Planned Parenthood and others unhappy with the current restriction just need to wait.  The administration has already stated, “Subsequent discussions can take place.”  They probably will, right after the November election.  To date, PP and the administration have been best friends.  President Obama threatened to shut down the federal government if Congress ended Planned Parenthood’s $363 million annual taxpayer subsidy.  The pro-abortion lobby has returned the favor by giving millions to the President and his allies.

But a grassroots pro-life pushback has been building for years. On January 22, 1974, former World War II corporal Nellie Gray joined arms with her 20,000 comrades at the U.S. Capitol steps.  That first March for Life has been repeated annually come rain, shine, even snowstorm.  The march has swelled; last year’s estimate reached 400,000.  The marchers reflect the diversity of the nation yet share a common bond.  They seek life for the unborn and release for women victimized by a false notion of freedom.  They seek a return to God’s way.

Now it is our turn to join arms with them.  We need not march in Washington to set our sights on Washington.  If we are to reverse the insanity, this may be most crucial election ever.  Another Supreme Court seat will probably open after the election.  The President nominates; the Senate confirms.  Both are pro-abortion.  But that can change come November.  Our cause is just: life.  With God’s help and our efforts, this chapter of history will end in triumph.

We are the band of brothers.

Paul V. Esposito is a Catholic lawyer who writes on a variety of pro-life topics.  He and his wife Kathy live in Elmhurst, Illinois and have six children.

© Paul V. Esposito 2012.  Culture of Life.  Permission to copy and distribute for pro-life purposes is granted.  Comments?  Visit us at

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