Could We Add Pro-Life Words to the Pledge?

Right after WWII, there was a widespread movement which involved the Knights of Columbus, many co-sponsors in the Senate, resounding support in the House and the support of Dwight David Eisenhower, urging Congress to add the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.

On Flag Day in 1954, these two simple words were added to the pledge.  Now, some 54 years later, and several decades after the legalization of infanticide (also known as abortion) in the United States, it may well be time to modify the pledge further.

Where should these new words should be placed? I think that the words carry the greatest impact at the end of the pledge.  Read along and see what you think about the addition.

 I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all, born or unborn.

I agree completely that there would be a massive uphill battle involved to bring about such a change.  Hundreds to thousands of lawyers would be spending tens of thousands of hours, on multiple sides or views of the issue, preparing for the anticipated battles waged in courts, in the media, and in social networks.

I contend, however, that such a change would not be unfitting nor unfeasible. The Supreme Court has told us that the mother has a constitutional right to kill her child. As a matter of fact, the Constitution does not address the issue of abortion, one way or another. The reason is simple: the world of 1776 to 1787 was vastly different from the world at the end of the 20th century. Did the Founding Fathers write documents concerning their ideas about the Internet, space debris, MRI’s, and unisex bathrooms? No. Why? Simply because these items and myriad others were not even on the future’s distant horizon when these men were establishing a government for their new nation.

Furthermore, on the subject of the Constitution, the decision that legalized abortion was not made in a constitutional manner. The power to pass such laws was never meant to belong to a court of nine judges. Lincoln described ours as “a government for the people, by the people,” which implies that the passing of laws belongs to representatives elected by, and appointed to represent, their people, i.e. Congress.

To return to the main issue, however, could such a defense of an unborn child’s rights be incorporated into the pledge? Is our society capable of legally acknowledging these rights? I believe that it is, despite its widespread violations of them. After all, many laws in our country already offer some forms of protection to these children.

Legal Inconsistencies

In an effort to bring some modicum of sanity to the debate, various states have attempted to build legislation in one form or another to protect unborn children. While these attempts are, of course, good and right steps, they also serve to highlight all the more clearly the injustice of abortion.

In his article, “The Legal Status of the Unborn Child under State Law,” Paul Benjamin Linton exhaustively cites and discusses laws from all 50 states. In particular, he notes the following:

“Approximately 38 States have laws criminally prosecuting persons, except pregnant mothers (and assisting abortion practitioners), who commit acts of violence on unborn babies.  In many and probably in a majority of states, a crime occurs regardless of the age of the fetus, i.e., through every stage of gestation.

“For example, in California, Penal Code §187(a) defines murder as the unlawful killing of a human being or a fetus with malice aforethought.

“Federal law has the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. Under this Act, it is a crime to harm an embryo or fetus at any stage of pregnancy during an attack on a pregnant woman.

“Thus, under state and federal fetal victim criminal laws, an unborn baby is a protected person [emphasis added].

“Notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, the States remain free to extend the protection of the law to unborn children so long as that protection does not interfere with the ‘abortion liberty’ recognized in Roe… [A]ll of the States [in the USA] have chosen to do so in one or (more commonly) multiple areas of the law—criminal law, tort law, health care law, property law and guardianship law. The legal protections States have accorded unborn children outside the scope of abortion have withstood repeated constitutional challenges.  It is surely an anomaly that, in every area of law but one—abortion—the States may define the legal status of the unborn child and confer legal rights upon the unborn child. But that anomaly is one that is entirely of the Supreme Court’s making and one which, at some point, the Court will need to confront and resolve.”

Pursuing Clarity and Truth

For a Catholic who is faithful to the Magisterium, there is no confusion. A zygote, an embryo, a fetus, or any other word in any language which is used to keep people from saying child, baby or infant, is a human being from the moment of conception. Indeed, many, both Christians and non-Christians, hold essentially the same view of pre-birth children.

We, as a society, cannot have it both ways.  We cannot demand protection for a pre-born child and have that same child killed in the mother’s womb simply because he/she is inconvenient.

 I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all, born or unborn.

This addition of three words is a very small change, but with massive implications.  We must make the change, even if it is only one person at a time.