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Op-Ed

Parker: There's a Flashing Warning Sign for Our National Future, Have You Noticed It Yet?

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After a coronavirus-driven timeout last year, the March for Life returns this year to Washington, D.C., for the 49th year, on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision of Jan. 22, 1973. This began the era of legal abortion in the U.S.

High turnout is expected due to last year’s hiatus, but even more so to express optimism that this could well be the last March for Life with Roe v. Wade the law of the land.

The Supreme Court last month heard Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which challenged the constitutionality of Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, passed in 2018.

Should the Mississippi law be found constitutional, the Roe v. Wade era, after a half-century, would be over. Given that we now have the most conservative Supreme Court in years, pro-lifers anticipate history in the making.

The Mississippi law alters the viability standard, key to Roe v. Wade, which permits abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy — after which the child is deemed able to survive outside the womb.

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The Gestational Age Act shifts the focus to when the infant first can feel pain, rather than alleged viability, substantially reducing the time when abortion is permitted.

Looking back over the last half-century, it is difficult to imagine how anyone can see anything but the damage that Roe v. Wade has done to our nation and to our national soul.

The most obvious statistic to consider is the 63 million children whose lives have been taken. Those who were killed in 1974 would be 48 years old now, at the height of their careers and likely raising their own families.

Surveying our national culture since 1973, I cannot identify a single cultural institution that is better off. On the contrary, regarding our core social institutions, everything is uniformly worse.

Do you think the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade?

The American family is in far worse shape today than in 1973.

According to the Census Bureau, in 1968, 85 percent of American children lived with two parents. By 2020, this was down to 70 percent.

Fewer and fewer of our young people are interested in marriage and children.

In 1970, the median age at first marriage for men was almost 24 and for women a little over 20. By 2021, this had reached almost 31 for men and almost 29 for women.

Fertility rates have dropped dramatically. The fertility rate — the average number of children a woman has during her productive years — must be 2.1 to keep a population from shrinking. In 1970, our fertility rate was 2.54. In 2020, it was 1.78.

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The consequence is an aging society. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, in 1970, 10 percent of Americans were over 65. Today, almost 17 percent are over 65.

An increasing burden of caring for the elderly falls each year on a shrinking number of working Americans. Per the Kaiser Family Foundation, those over 65 account for over 35 percent of our health care expenditures.

How can anyone not see all this as a flashing danger sign to our national future?

The bottom line is that a country with a future is a country that values life.

With all the concerns of woke culture, the truth is that respect between people — whether between races or between men and women — begins with respect for the sanctity of life.

Let us all pray that this will be the last year pro-lifers need to march in Washington to protest the Roe v. Wade regime.

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