Defending Life

Choice is a dangerous subject. Modern man would like to think the act of choosing depends solely on what he wants; if he wants it and is capable of getting it, he may have it. The rise of moral relativism has been disastrous in that sense: ‘can’ and ‘should’ have become one.

This remarkable shift in our concept of right and wrong, the difference between ‘able’ and ‘ought’, has had an incredible effect on ‘life’ — that is, the idea that some do not deserve to live it. Since the early 1970s, our doctors have killed 55 million human babies (I refuse to say ‘fetuses’; that word exists merely to make murder palatable), more than 1,000 people have been executed, and millions have suffered the horrors of torture, pre-emptive strikes, and unjust war. Why? Women have a “right” to choose, murderers and rapists “deserve” to die, and those things “ought” to have been done.

Life is not sacred anymore; in fact, one could argue it never was. Every generation furthers the anti-life agenda. The 1970s were especially hard, with the legalization of abortion and the death penalty. Our generation has not slowed down: torture became an acceptable form of interrogation following 9/11, drone strikes have killed thousands, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have caused more than 100,000 civilian deaths.

Being pro-life starts with opposing abortion. It is a barbaric practice. In justifying a woman’s “right to choose,” pro-choice advocates brutally dehumanize the so-called ‘fetus’, subordinating its rights to those of ‘real people’. The unborn are sub-human; they have no rights before the law. Just as history’s greatest criminals justified themselves by claiming their victims were genetically, racially, and physically inferior, so too has the pro-choice movement stripped the ‘fetus’ of all dignity by denying its humanity. This rejection of basic science could not be further from the truth. From Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni, “professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania”:

I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception…I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life….I am no more prepared to say that these early stages [of development in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty…is not a human being. This is human life at every stage.

And Dr. Jerome LeJeune, “professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris [and] the discoverer of the chromosome pattern of Down syndrome”:

After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being…[it] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion…[nor] a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence…Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.

And Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard University Medical School:

It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive…it is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception…our laws, one function of which is to help preserve the lives of our people, should be based on accurate scientific data.

Unfortunately, the pro-choice lobby does not care about the definition of life; they want us to define ‘personhood’. According to them, only ‘persons’ deserve legal rights. So I ask: what is a person? Is viability the key — must a true ‘person’ be able to live on his own? If that is the case, young children, the mentally or physically handicapped, the sick, and the old are not people. Development doesn’t work either; any serious definition would inevitably disqualify some humans currently considered ‘persons’. Maybe it’s birth — a ‘person’ is anyone born human. That’s also problematic, because, as Dr. Bongioanni noted, the ‘fetus’ is a member of the human species.

I could keep going, but the verdict will always be the same. Because the idea of ‘personhood’ is metaphysical, an objective definition is impossible. Though this may seem a victory for the pro-choice movement (the government has no right to define metaphysical things and thus cannot declare fetuses ‘persons’), it is not. The question of humanity remains. To prove its position, the pro-choice lobby must explain why being human is not enough to warrant legal protection. As it stands now, only certain people with certain qualities are allowed the protections you and I share. Is that right? Can you defend the arbitrary sub-humanization of millions? We give more legal protection to eagle eggs than our own; does that seem just?

My friends, the abortion debate has nothing to do with choice; no one has the right to terminate an innocent human life. If the pro-choice movement cannot answer the questions I have posed, namely, why being human is not enough to warrant legal protection, its arguments cannot stand. Unfortunately, despite its horrors, abortion is just one of many problems we face in this country.

The death penalty is another popular anti-life policy. Though proponents sing its praises, capital punishment is inherently contradictory (it teaches people not to kill by killing), costs more than a life sentencedoes not deter crime and affects innocent people. The American Civil Liberties Union sums things up nicely: “…the death penalty inherently violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment and the guarantees of due process of law and of equal protection under the law.”

Abortion and the death penalty may be the most high-profile anti-life policies in this country, but that does not mean they are unique. Torture was popular among Republican presidential front-runners in 2012 (and they were proud of it); drone strikes have killed an estimated 2,400 people in the last 5 years, a majority of whom were innocent bystanders; and unjust wars have caused millions of civilian deaths. All this and I have yet to mention euthanasia, which is now legal in 2 states (Washington and Oregon), and embryonic stem-cell research, which destroys human life in the pursuit of science.

The point I am trying to make is this: we live in an anti-life society. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are consistently pro-life. The GOP opposes abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem-cell research; it also supports the death penalty, torture, and questionable wars. In general, Democrats oppose the death penalty and torture, but support abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, and euthanasia.

To be “pro-life,” you must advocate for life wherever it is threatened. I am pro-life: anti-abortion, anti-death penalty, anti-euthanasia, anti-unjust war, anti-torture, anti-drone strikes (as long as they continue to punish civilians), and anti-embryonic stem-cell research. Join me in building a consistent pro-life ethic. Until we realize fighting for life means more than opposing abortion, albeit one of the greatest acts of genocide in human history, the pro-life moniker means nothing. Until we defend all life, our movement is a lie.