Saturday, January 21, 2012


by Molly Noble Bull

Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless. Speak for them and be a righteous judge. Protect the rights of the poor and needy.  Proverbs 31: 8-9. 

Two important events in American history took place on January 22, 1973. Do you know what they were?
I’ll give you a hint. One was about the life and death of a man. The other was about the life and death of millions.
I remember that day well.
By 1973 I had been a pro-life Christian for some time and was a member of a group called The Ad-Hoc Committee in Defense of Life. On January 22, 1973, I was watching our black and white television set when a TV commentator announced that the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark decision, stating that a right to privacy under the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution extends to a woman’s right to have an abortion. I was devastated.
I needed to talk to someone—share what I’d just heard. In my rush to phone Alice, my pro-life friend, I didn’t even bother to turn off the TV set. I just dialed her number, weeping as I explained what had just happened—that Roe vs. Wade was now the law of the land.
Suddenly, the TV newsman said something like, “I have another announcement. Former President Lyndon Baines Johnson has just died at his ranch near Johnson City, Texas.” 
The stories about the death of the 36th President of the United States were on the front pages of every newspaper in the country the next morning. Roe vs. Wade was considered of lesser importance and was pushed to perhaps page ten. However, the future death of millions of unborn children was the big story for that day and any day.
As a result, I helped start two pro-life organizations, marching and speaking up for life. According to the Bible, when we speak up for those that cannot speak for themselves, we will be blessed.

Heaven Father, give us ears to hear the cries of those who cannot speak for themselves and the hands and hearts to protect the rights of the poor, the needy and the helpless. In the blessed name of Jesus. Amen and amen.


Jeff Reynolds/Becky Reynolds said...


I have two comments, but I want to precede them both for thanking you for this needed reminder. Also, thanks for taking action.

Commento numero uno: You're right that the death of a former president was considered more important than the ruling. But we have to remember that God knew that. He could have allowed Johnson to live a couple of days longer so the ruling would be front page news. Which leads me to...

Commento numero dos: Again, you're right that on that day the focus was on Johnson's death instead of Roe v. Wade. In fact, I remember my father pointing out, after the close proximity of the deaths of Johnson, Eisenhower, and Truman (I don't remember which one died last) that at that point there were no living former presidents. But did it stay that way? In your column, I knew that this was the anniversary of Roe, but had completely forgotten what was then the front page story. I doubt I'm alone. And back to comment one, God knew His people would speak up.

Thanks again.


Molly Noble Bull said...

Dear Jeff,
Thanks for writing. And yes, God knew that Johnson would die on the day Roe vs. Wade was born. I think the editors of the newspapers at that time were being tested to see what they considered important.
In my opinion, they made a bad choice for themselves and their readers who didn't learn the truth until much later.