It has been well-reported that the number of abortions in America has dwindled to below the number of abortions in 1973, the year Roe vs. Wade was decided. But one chart shows how extremely important pro-life leadership in the White House can change the course of history. 

The Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe vs. Wade made encouraged millions of women to have abortions under the assumption that it was a right guaranteed to them by the United States Constitution. That decision was an absolute abomination and as the number of abortions rose exponentially in the first years after the decision, so too did the moral outrage in the hearts and minds of the people. But in 1980 that number reversed course, and the election of Ronald Reagan just might have changed history.

Ronald Reagan made pro-life arguments every single time the issue of abortion came up in his campaign for president. In one debate against John Anderson, who ran as an independent, (then-President Carter declined the debate) a question having to do with whether a president should be guided by organized religion on issues such as abortion was asked. Reagan defended the GOP platform and stated:

The litmus test that John says is in the Republican platform, says no more than the judges to be appointed should have a respect for innocent life. Now, I don’t think that’s a bad idea. I think all of us should have a respect for innocent life. With regard to the freedom of the individual for choice with regard to abortion, there’s one individual who’s not being considered at all. That’s the one who is being aborted. And I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.  I think that, technically, I know this is a difficult and an emotional problem, and many people sincerely feel on both sides of this, but I do believe that maybe we could find the answer through medical evidence, if we would determine once and for all, is an unborn child a human being? I happen to believe it is.

Reagan stated his pro-life views at a time when abortion was wildly popular, in fact, the most popular in all of American history. His courage in stating his views and connecting with the American people might just have turned the tide on the issue.

What many do not remember about back then was that large numbers of so-called “establishment Republicans” at the time embraced the Supreme Court’s ruling. They accepted it as the “law of the land” and wanted to move on from the issue. Indeed, President George H.W. Bush was a pro-abortion Republican as were Presidents Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon. Ronald Reagan was considered by these pro-abortion Republicans during the 1980 campaign to be “backward” on the issue. Still, he was able to make a clear case for life which helped him harness the issue for the American people.

Author’s note: The above is an excerpt, read the whole thing at Conservative Review:

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