Today, we mourn the decision etched into our national history by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Roe v. Wade. The 1973 court opinion hauntingly determined that the right to obtain abortion on demand trumps the value of unborn children to live and a state’s interest in protecting that unborn child except upon the child having reached the point of “viability.”

Ten years after Roe and after the national abortion rate had doubled (from 744,600 to 1,575,000) the culture of abortion on demand prompted the first-ever book published by a sitting president, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation, by Ronald Reagan (1983). Reagan passionately wrote, “The real question today is not when human life begins …but what is the value of human life?  The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother’s body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being.”  Despite this powerful call to conscience by our beloved President Reagan, our county has to date allowed the killing of over 56,000,000 innocent, helpless human beings.

President Reagan’s words remind us today that the real battle is about whether or not our fellow Americans will act (both publicly and privately) to save the most innocent human lives at their weakest stage. Whether we offer to help a mother who had no plan to be pregnant, initiate adopting a baby that is not wanted, give diapers to a Pregnancy Support Center, Stand for Life on a street corner, March for Life in D.C. or our state capitol, pray for patients at an abortion clinic, exhort our Congressmen to vote to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks, open our homes to foster care for orphans, or share an inspiring moral message on social media, these acts save lives. Keeping this issue at the forefront of national politics saves lives. Positively offering alternatives to abortion saves lives.

For the woman who feels her only choice is abortion, simply the message that she has the choice to choose life for her baby is an act that will save lives. My fellow Georgians, do all that you can to save lives. As the great abolitionist William Wilberforce declared, “Men of authority and influence may promote good morals. Let them in their several stations encourage virtue.  Let them favor and take part in any plans which may be formed for the advancement of morality.”

Emily Matson