ERROL CASTENS: Think about what might have been



Consider these facts, if you will: Confucius’ sayings didn’t all fit inside a fortune cookie. In addition to his being one of China’s great political minds, his huge body of literature is considered the Chinese equivalent of Shakespeare’s.

• Everyone knows Leonardo da Vinci created the “Mona Lisa,” “The Last Supper” and “Vitruvian Man.” He also developed the concepts of a helicopter, a tank and concentrated solar power and was a mathematician, metallurgist, botanist and geologist. He formulated the first theory of plate tectonics and invented at least two important industrial devices.

• Frederick Douglass became a social reformer and statesman whose speeches and writings disproved racial stereotypes and gave strength to America’s abolitionist movement.

• James Smithson was a British chemist whose estate, left to the United States (which he never visited), gave birth to what would become the largest complex of museums in the world – the keeper and sharer of America’s story – the Smithsonian Institution.

• Thomas Paine’s writing, “Common Sense,” was one of the most important documents stirring public support for the American Revolution.

• George Washington Carver was an educator and scientist who taught crop rotation and soil restoration, researched uses for non-cotton cash crops and promoted self-sufficiency among black farmers in the South. Construction of the George Washington Carver National Monument after his death was credited with helping unify African-Americans behind the nation’s efforts in World War II.

• Alexander Hamilton led a battalion in the Battle of Yorktown, essentially forcing the British to end the Revolutionary War and recognize the United States. After serving in many governmental posts, he wrote the majority of “The Federalist Papers,” which led to the ratification of the United States Constitution.

• Jenny Lind was one of the most admired opera singers of the 19th century and, after her retirement from the stage, shared her genius as a professor of music.

• Booker T. Washington was a former slave who founded Tuskegee Institute, which became one of the nation’s best-known black colleges. For much of his adult life, he was seen as the major spokesman for African-Americans.

Know what all these folks have in common? All were born out of wedlock. Their births, in most cases, were sources of scandal and embarrassment. Had they been conceived today, they might well have been targeted for death in an abortion clinic.

Just think what humanity would have lost.

Since the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade 41 years ago this week, an estimated 55 million Americans – doubtless some of them with potential genius as great as these – have been aborted.

Think about that, and weep for what might have been.

Contact Daily Journal reporter Errol Castens at or (662) 816-1282.

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  • Concerned Citizen

    Let us not pretend that abortions did not occur prior to Roe v. Wade. Some of our citizens can still remember what that situation was like: back-alley abortions and the death of many a scared young woman. Just because abortion wasn’t legal across the United States doesn’t mean that any of these people would not have been born. Each of their mothers made a conscious CHOICE, which is all those who support a woman’s right to choose seek to protect. Think about that and weep for joy that women in most states have a safe alternative to back alley butchers, unlike the days prior to Roe v. Wade.


    Did not know these people were born out of wedlock – – a very interesting commonality. The statement, “Their births, in most cases, were sources of scandal and embarrassment” gave me pause – – I’m certain it’s true. I remember being cautioned in grade school against becoming friends with a boy who’d been born out of wedlock; like it was somehow his fault.


    It’s prudent to learn why women, or teenage girls, have an abortion. In talking to women and reading up a bit on the statistics, it appears the main reasons center around financial insecurity and/or a failure of contraceptive methods used. Are adolescents receiving instruction in career / family planning and personal health care issues (including contraception / protection) in school today?

  • FrereJocques

    “Since the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade 41 years ago this week,
    an estimated 55 million Americans – doubtless some of them with
    potential genius as great as these – have been aborted.

    Think about that, and weep for what might have been.”

    I have thought about that. A lot. But not much weeping.

    Mr. Castens points to a lot of people who did good with their lives in spite of being born out of wedlock. More power to them, and may their numbers increase. But how many of those aborted babies would have turned out to the the next Hitler? or Mussolini? Stalin? Idi Amin? Jeffery Dahmer?

    Unfortunately, we will never know, since by definition they are now dead.

    Why is it always assumed that an aborted fetus would become the next patron saint or savior of the world? That is totally illogical, and is one of the many false premises made by the pro-life nutcases.

    Why is it anyone’s business whether a baby is born or aborted? That decision belongs to the woman, her doctor, her spouse, and her God. It is not yours, and it is not mine. To the pro-life people, I say, get your fricking nose out of other peoples’ business and tend to your own.

    • barney fife

      Very well said.