As seen in the Des Moines Register on October 4th, 2009
By Tom Quiner
“The president explicitly expressed his commitment to reducing the numbers of abortions and to listen to the church’s concern on moral issues.”
This is the news release much of the media missed on July 16th after President Obama met with Pope Benedict.
Think about this statement. It is relevant today, October 4th, 2009. This is Life Chain Sunday across America. In Des Moines, you’ll see members of your community standing along Merle Hay Road in respectful support of life.
I once believed there were only two positions on abortion: one believing the object in a mother’s womb is a person; the other believing it isn’t. It follows that group one believes the unborn are entitled to human rights, group two doesn’t.
I was mistaken. There is a third group, the one President Obama and much of his party are in. This group tacitly acknowledges that the object in the womb is a person, but is unwilling to grant it human rights. Why else should we reduce the number of abortions?
If the fetus is simply a collection of cells, much like a gall bladder, why did the President feel a need to reduce the number of abortions?
Scientists are universal in their assertion that life begins at conception, at which time its genetic code is complete.
In defense of my pro-choice friends, it is fair to ask: “is the life in the womb really a person?” In other words, is it a “full” human entitled to full human rights? Or is it, in fact, some sort of subhuman not entitled to human rights?
The implications are enormous. The President’s party prides itself on looking out for the little guy. If they’re wrong, they have abetted violence on an unimaginable scale directed at the most vulnerable persons in society, the unborn.
To my pro-choice friends, what if you’re wrong? What if there is only a one-in-ten chance that we’re dealing with a human person in the womb? Is the risk to our humanity worth it?
Some of you tell me you’re personally opposed to abortion, but that you can’t impose your view on someone else. I don’t think you’re shooting straight with yourself. Are you personally opposed to killing a baby with colic that cries all night? Of course you are. Are you willing to impose this view on the parent up all night with the crying kid? Of course you are. We impose values on others all the time. That’s why we pass laws: to protect us from each other.
I know this is a tough issue. None expressed the dilemma more eloquently than a famous Senator: “While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion-on-demand is not in accordance with the values our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life even at its earliest stages has certain rights which must be recognized. The right to be born; the right to love; the right to grow old.”
Ted Kennedy said it so well. Yes, that was the late Senator Kennedy’s beautiful defense of life in 1971. Then he changed his position. He didn’t change this core position for scientific reasons or moral ones. It came down to politics.
Today, on these pages in the Register, notable Republicans suggest that we, too, should be less concerned about this issue. I think not. If anything, Republicans should stand up for the little guy more than ever.
Either all humans possess personhood or they don’t. In America, all are created equal. Today’s Life Chain simply recognizes that whether embryonic, fetal, infantile, young, old, or dying, we’re entitled to human rights. This is an American value. Join us on Merle Hay Road at 2 PM today.