Why Sometimes Speaking Ill of the Dead Is a Proper Response

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

We have had some deaths of significant national and international figures this week. Most recently, John Madden, who took football to new levels with Madden NFL Football, and changed the trajectory by marrying the sports world to the gaming and digital age. On Sunday, Archbishop Desmond Tutu died at 90, and Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who at the age of 26, argued Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court also passed at 76.

We have capped it off with the death, yesterday, of Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at 82, and we still have three days left in 2021.

I pray all their families will find comfort in the midst of the loss. Despite what we might think of them as public figures, they were spouses, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and they should be mourned. It does not diminish any other argument to bring gravity to the grief experienced and wish those experiencing that grief comfort.

But just as grief is complicated, so are these particular lives. For their sake and the sake of their causes, along with changing the world “for good,” they managed to unleash significant evil. Archbishop Tutu, Reid, and Sarah Weddington changed the trajectory of life and politics for this nation, and the world, so viewing their legacy through a more critical lens should be standard operating procedure.

Instead, what you see are the fulsome, glowing tributes on their accomplishments and how they changed the world for the better. What you rarely see is the post mortem on how those same accomplishments helped to further evil attitudes, evil intentions, divisiveness, and a culture of death.

Then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid eroded a once august body of governance with his decision to nuke the filibuster regarding judicial appointments. The Left is now paying for this — in spades. Then-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned them they would. When McConnell became Majority Leader after 2010, he used it to his advantage, most infamously blocking the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

Reid also helped tank Senator Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential aspirations with unfounded lies about Romney not paying his taxes for 10 years. In a CNN interview, Reid was unapologetic about his comments which Republicans compared to McCarthyism:

“They can call it whatever they want. Romney didn’t win did he?” Reid said.

Archbishop Tutu championed Anti-Semitism in his cause to destroy the cultural racism of apartheid. Even after apartheid was overthrown in South Africa, Archbishop Tutu had nothing good to say about Israel or the Jewish people.

British writer Melanie Phillips observed:

There was, however, another side to Tutu — a shocking side. And just as one should respect the dead and pay tribute to their achievements, it is also incumbent upon us to tell the truth about that person if that truth is important enough, however distasteful this may be. And it undoubtedly is that important.

It’s not merely that Tutu demonised Israel with libellous falsehoods. Worse still, he explicitly and repeatedly demonised the Jewish people. His occasional claims that he identified with the Jews and his acknowledgement that they had been allies in the great fight against South African apartheid generally morphed into his grotesque and incomprehensible accusation that the Jews of Israel had done to the Palestinian Arabs what the apartheid regime had done to the black population of South Africa.

Phillips is being called a racist as I write because she chose to write from that critical lens. But, bravo for her to do so, and RIP her mentions.

Which brings us to Sarah Weddington, a champion of women’s rights and freedoms. Very few wish to point out that no matter how much of a champion she may have been, it is the height of evil to champion the right to destroy life; particularly life in the womb.

According to LifeNews.com, 62,502,904 babies have been murdered through abortion since the 1973 Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade became established case law. Weddington quite happily unleashed the legalized murder of millions for the sake of convenience and political power.

I find it fascinating that Weddington passed away just before the United States Supreme Court weighs in on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. But apropos, should SCOTUS rule in favor of Dobbs, that Weddington’s legacy may well die with her.

Roe was Weddington’s first major case out of law school, and she was hand-picked by her co-counsel Linda Coffee, and promoted by the pro-abortion advocates who had skin in the game.

When the case of Roe ascended to the higher courts, even though Coffee had done most of the heavy lifting up to this point, Weddington became the face of the case. Coffee herself admitted in a 2017 Vanity Fair interview:

Weddington enjoyed the public stage as much as Coffee disliked it. Moreover, despite her brilliance, Coffee could come across as bedraggled. And optics mattered. “She was younger than I was,” Coffee said of Weddington. “She was blonde, blue-eyed.”

Just like the Left — always focused on playing to the optics in order to further a narrative.

Weddington admitted her inexperience and willingness to be used in a February 2003 interview in Texas Monthly Magazine:

I got to try Roe v. Wade. because I was willing to do it for free. Before that, I had only done uncontested divorces, wills for people with no money, and an adoption for my uncle. Luckily, I had help from a law classmate, Linda Coffee, and others. “Jane Roe” was the made-up name for a truly pregnant woman who wanted an abortion. But the case was not just about her; it was a class action for all women who might want the option of abortion. At the U.S. Supreme Court, a lot of the court personnel told me they couldn’t remember anyone that young ever presenting a case. I was 26.

Weddington also admitted that pivotal to her decision to be the face of this case, was her own choice to have an abortion — not because it was medically necessary, but because of her own sloppy choices and personal convenience.

I had had an abortion myself, during my last year in law school. I was not as sophisticated as I should have been about preventing pregnancy. I was seriously dating the man I later married, Ron Weddington, but I was determined to finish law school, and I wanted to put Ron through law school. There were a lot of considerations. And so we decided to have an abortion. You couldn’t look in the phone book then, but Ron found a name of an abortion doctor through a friend. We made an appointment and drove to Mexico. I will never forget following a man in a white guayabera shirt down an alley, and Ron and I having no idea where we were headed. I can still remember going under the anesthetic and then waking up later in a hotel room with Ron. Driving back I felt fine; I didn’t have any complications. But it made me appreciate what other women went through, who did not have someone to go with them or did not have the money to pay for a medically safe abortion, as I did.

I wonder if anyone interviewed Weddington about the 2013 Kermit Gosnell trial? The West Philadelphia Women’s Medical Society Clinic was supposed to cater to poor women, offering those medically safe and low-cost abortions Weddington and her ilk hold so dear. What Gosnell’s trial unfolded was a horrific disregard not only of the life of the women who were his patients, but of the babies born alive. Gosnell snipped spines, drilled into skulls, kept body parts — all the evil and inhumane things that abortion rights for all is supposed to prevent.

Mercifully, Gosnell was convicted of murder in the deaths of three babies that were born alive during abortions, and involuntary manslaughter in the death by a drug overdose of a patient for whom he provided an abortion.

Gosnell was not the only example of this, his was just so repugnant that it couldn’t be covered up or ignored — and the pro-abortion advocates tried. In its hubris, NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) even tried to connect Gosnell and his clinic to abortion before Roe, saying this is what would occur if Roe is overturned. The disconnect is stunning, and apparently, Weddington stayed disconnected for the rest of her days.

Like any ambitious lawyer, let alone a trailblazing female one, Weddington capitalized on this newfound fame and notoriety. In 1972, before the Roe decision was even rendered, Weddington ran for and was elected to the Texas State House of Representatives. She served three terms before moving onto general counsel for the United States Department of Agriculture, as well as working as an advisor on women’s issues for then-President Jimmy Carter.

Weddington wrote books, gave lectures, and became an academic, teaching at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas Women’s University on such lofty subjects as leadership, law, and gender discrimination.

All from a neophyte, 26-year old who won a case that changed how a nation treats the life of its most vulnerable. History has shown us that it has not been for the better.

In 2013, the same year of the Gosnell Clinic of Horrors, Weddington supported disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, which along with the usual calling card of women’s rights legislation (equal pay, etc.) helped to strengthen abortion rights and legalize infanticide in New York.

We all know how Cuomo felt about women and old people, and Weddington chose to support the cretin and his aims. Yet, in none of these glowing obituaries is anyone calling Weddington out on another poor choice and misguided allegiance.

Thanks to Weddington and her work, the nation has experienced the almost 50-year stain that Roe and its subsequent culture of death have ingrained into the fabric of our country. From euthanasia to elder abuse and murder; youth murders, young people perpetrating mass shootings; to suicides and child trafficking: once you open the door to devaluing life at its most fecund point, that devaluation flows downstream. Pregnancy is a burden? Well, so is a special needs newborn, a troubled child, sick parents, and on it goes.

We are at the bottom of that slope and have been wallowing in the mud for quite some time. Everyone is filthy and smelly as a result of the decision 49 years ago to make life… expendable.

We will see how SCOTUS might rule on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and see if the whirlwind that Sarah Weddington unleashed with her ambition and her righteous cause will die along with her.