by Joe Fitzgerald, Boston Herald columnist
Just when you think the issue has been decided, buffer zones are back in the news again because, to borrow a line from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., truth pressed to earth will rise again.
Granted, he was talking about civil rights, but isn’t our greatest civil right that “unalienable” right, endowed by our “Creator,” to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”
Next week we’ll celebrate the 238th anniversary of that pronouncement with concerts, parades and barbecues, but as surely as there’s a time for fun and games, there’s a time for sober introspection, too, a time to take our inventory as Americans.
We long ago became a throwaway society, but should that mean it’s OK to throw away unborn babies, too, just because they’re deemed inconvenient?
That “Creator” referred to in our Declaration of Independence makes them all, the wanted and the unwanted, imbuing each with a potential already established while they’re still kicking within their mothers’ wombs.
Babies born to single mothers have long been slandered as illegitimate, but their presence is quite legitimate and the world has been enriched by such babies.
Leonardo da Vinci was one. So were Richard Wagner, the brilliant German composer, and Frederick Douglass, the legendary abolitionist, and James Smithson, founder of the Smithsonian Institute.
So were Sarah Bernhardt, Alexander Hamilton, Marilyn Monroe and Jesse Jackson.
An adage tells of how the stone the builder rejected became the cornerstone. Consider, if abortion had been tolerated then as it is now, who knows how many potential cornerstones like these, fashioned by their Creator, might have been snuffed out because their arrivals didn’t fit into someone else’s plan?
Such considerations are bad for business at abortion mills, so buffer zones were championed by practitioners who didn’t want any guilt associated with the services they offer. The idea was to muzzle those who proclaim the sanctity of life, pressing to earth the truth that an unborn baby is a baby nonetheless, endowed with those same unalienable rights the rest of us cherish.
The commonwealth can’t deny it. That’s why the murder of a pregnant woman will often result in two charges of homicide, begging a question: How can you be charged with killing a life the state says doesn’t exist?
So now the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, has them all in a tizzy, outlawing this state’s 35-foot buffer zones, ruling that, even here in Massachusetts, you can’t kill free speech as easily as you can kill an unborn child.
Hey, it’s a step in the right direction, a baby step you might say.