If only Britain’s leaders had the same moral courage as Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan and his wife meet John Paul II at the Vatican in 1982 (AP Photo)

This morning our small group did our monthly, hour-long, pro-life prayer vigil outside Stoke Mandeville hospital. We prayed the Rosary, recited the pro-life Litany and sang hymns. When I got home I saw the newsletter of the Australian pro-life movement on the mat. Inside it was a section entitled, “Remembering Reagan”, with a list of some of his sayings, including:

“Socialism only works in two places: heaven where they don’t need it and hell where they already have it.”

“Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: we win, they lose.”

“No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”

“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under GOD, then we will be a nation gone under.”

They reminded me of what a great statesman and leader of the free world Ronald Reagan was. When he was elected president the media and the liberal intelligentsia dismissed him as a B-grade movie star. How wrong they were.

Reagan was also a great pro-life president, making his successors seem dwarfs by comparison.

He wrote a book, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation, challenging the US to re-examine the 1973 Supreme Court decision to legalise abortion.

He halted federal aid to private groups promoting abortions abroad.

His administration cut off funding to the UN Fund for Population Activities because of its links to China’s mandatory abortion policy.

His administration enacted laws protecting the right to life of disabled newborn babies.

He designated a National Sanctity of Human Life Day.

He introduced the issue of foetal pain into public debate over abortion.

He blocked the use of federal money for research using the tissue of aborted babies.

Reagan had the will and moral courage to do what he believed to be right, without looking over his shoulder to check if it would bring or lose him votes. If only our political leaders in the UK could follow his example. Commenting on the royal wedding in the Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore described the occasion as an example of the “high civilization” of the UK, evidenced by the peaceable crowds, the discreet policing and the solemn pageantry. It was indeed a wonderful event and I enjoyed watching it as much as anyone; but when I think of the fine example Reagan set his fellow Americans and our own woeful legislative lack of will to protect the unborn in this country, I cannot agree that we are a “high civilisation”.