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Quitting Time

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March 2020

It’s 5:00 somewhere.” Singer Jimmy Buffet probably made a jillion bucks off those words. They’ve become part of our lexicon, a reminder that life is not made for work only. Whether in an office building, the outdoors, a factory, or at home, Americans are hard working, even overworked, people. They need time to unwind. So the sound of that 5:00 whistle can’t come anytime too soon.

But quitting time is not just about relaxing. Sometimes we need to quit to improve our lot in life. It could be getting away from a problem boss or dysfunctional work environment. It could be conquering personal struggles like excessive smoking, drinking, or eating. Could be a total change in career or lifestyle, a move to something better. Although we tell ourselves to not be quitters, in actual fact quitting can be a very healthy step in the right direction.

Some things, however, we just can’t quit. Despite our strongest desires, we can’t quit cancer. We can’t quit AIDS. We can’t quit being wrongly, unceremoniously fired. We can’t quit the sudden, or not so sudden, tragic loss of a lover or friend. Life doesn’t always give us the option of quitting. To find relief, we’ll need the help of people who care.

There was a time in American history when millions of people were stuck in place. They couldn’t quit what they never wanted to be—slaves. Many were separated from their loved ones, herded in shackles onto ships, and for those surviving the horrible trans-Atlantic voyage, they were sold by slave traders to the highest bidders. Slaves never knew the luxury of the 5:00 whistle. They were slaves 24/7, required to so what a master ordered, whenever a master ordered it, no questions asked.

Slaves had no rights. None whatsoever. They lived at the pleasure of their owners. Slave marriages were not recognized in law. A spouse could be there one day and sold the next. Children were separated from parents like a calf is separated from its cow. Essentially, slaves were no more than animals. In 1857 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that they were property belonging to their owners. And God help them if they got so uppity as to think that they could be free. If they dared to run, they were hunted down with dogs. For bounty hunters, slaves brought a nice price.   Capture meant a sure beating, sometimes even death. Examples needed to be set. Only the owners and those who let the slave system prosper knew freedom.

We’d like to think we learned something from the slave experience. Actually, we’ve only changed the way we trade slaves. Today, the unborn suffer the same problem as the slaves of old—they can’t quit. They can’t just quit being unborn. And as long as they are unborn, they are legally viewed as property. It’s just that simple—and that brutal. Our Supreme Court has stripped them of any rights whatsoever. They might as well be cows. Or less.

The question of our age is: who is willing to help them make it outside the womb? And who is willing to govern in a way that extends to them the blessings of liberty? So we must take a very critical look at the upcoming elections, and more particularly, at the attitude of the Democratic Party towards the most basic issue that has ever confronted our country: the right to human life itself.

Unfortunately, time and again the Democrats have shown themselves unwilling to lift a finger to help the unborn.   Less than two years ago, Virginia governor Mark Northam publicly spoke about what happens to a baby surviving an attempted abortion. Here’s what he said: the baby will be “kept comfortable,” and the mother will decide whether the baby should be saved. At least 80 times, the Democrats in Congress have blocked legislation to protect these helpless survivors. Just think of it. If given a chance, these born-alive babies would grow up just like you and me. We can see ourselves in them. Yet for decades the Democrats have treated them far worse than slaves. They treat them as nothings.

This attitude can be seen in each of this year’s Democratic presidential candidates. Pete Buttigieg refuses to say whether infanticide should be outlawed. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar, both U.S. senators, have voted against bills to stop infanticide. Elizabeth Warren, another senator, believes that abortion is safer than removing tonsils, something millions of dead babies and at least hundreds of dead mothers would dispute—if they could. Like his rivals, Joe Biden supports taxpayer-funded abortion up to birth. Mike Bloomberg has donated almost $14 million to Planned Parenthood and is an ardent pro-abortion supporter. It’s gotten so bad that Democrats are teaming with pro-abortion advocates to oust the few remaining pro-life Democrats from Congress.

It’s become absolutely apparent that the Democratic Party and its candidates have become the new slave traders. They willingly trade human lives for campaign money from abortionists like Planned Parenthood and for votes from abortion supporters—women and men alike. Their goal is power for themselves. Helping the most defenseless humans of all does not even merit their second thought.

Our Declaration of Independence, the document saying that God has endowed us all with the inalienable right to life, is itself a resignation letter—a big “I quit!” It lists 27 grievances against the King of England’s tyrannical rule. All 27, rolled up in a ball and tied with a ribbon, pale in comparison to the legal killing of even one unborn baby. And there have been 62 million of them. Want to help stop that? It won’t be through the Democratic Party.

It’s 5:00. Right here. Right now.


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 2020. Culture of Life. Permission to copy and distribute for pro-life purposes is granted. Visit us at and on Facebook.

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