The second sentence of The United States Declaration of Independence reads as follows:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The first Right that the Founders of The USA declared was The Right to Life; even Liberty comes after Life. Obviously, The Right to Life is antecedent to all other Rights, for without life we have nothing. Life first, Liberty immediately following. In an ideal world, there would be no conflict between Life and Liberty but our world is far from Utopian.
The USA was founded on The Golden Rule, but all humans are flawed vessels. The founders of my country made great leaps forward in establishing a nation ruled equitably and democratically but when the white, male property owners who founded the USA declared the self-evident truth that all men are created equally they didn’t mean it. What they meant was men like themselves, white, male property owners who declared themselves to be Christians, were all created equal and endowed by their Creator to have the afore mentioned unalienable Rights. So ‘The Golden Rule’ I mentioned earlier is the one that states, “He who has the gold makes the rules.” Certain inequities were quickly codified.
There are blatant historical examples of laws that ran contrary to the noble sentiment that our founders declared when promising that ours would be a nation under the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” A vicious and obvious example is chattel slavery, a slavery that is inherited, perpetual and applies to the slaves’ descendants. This is what most of us think of as “slavery” and the only exit from chattel slavery is death or manumission. Chattel slaves could not “buy” their freedom nor was there an expiration date on their indenture. They were property, their children were inherited property of the owners and the slaves had no Human Rights.
We even managed to come up with the 3/5 compromise concerning chattel slaves. In the USA, a higher population within a State gives that State more political power. The number of Congressional Delegates a State has is tied directly to the State’s population so States with a high number of slaves wanted slaves counted for census purposes. (The slaves would, of course, retain the human rights given to all property, i.e. none.) For census purposes slaves counted as 3/5 of a man, thus increasing the slave States’ status but acknowledging that slaves were not human. So much for all men being created equal.
The right to vote, own property or hold public office were all subject to the WMPC clause; if one were not a white, male, property owning Christian then one simply did not enjoy the vast panoply of Rights upon which the USA was founded. Fortunately, over time and with great sacrifice on the part of the downtrodden, things became more equitable in this regard.
In theory and reality, the USA has grown into a country where the unfranchised have largely become the franchised, where those without power have been granted more equal protection and representation. Ours is a land where the weak have laws to protect them. The exception to this is in the pre-born.
When discussing how the Right to Life has eroded and been stripped from our most innocent and voiceless class of citizens I find it necessary to state that my argument is based on two things. The first is that human beings have worth and are entitled to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness. The second is that somewhere after conception but long before forty weeks of gestation has passed we have a human being who is entitled to the same protections as those who are postnatal. To argue that a fetus who is full term but still in utero is inherently and fundamentally different from a child who has just forced her way through the birth canal is a logical and moral absurdity. Currently, it is also a legal fraud under which the USA operates.
Human beings have worth and should be protected by law. Somewhere long before birth the fundamental nature of the child developing inside a mother’s womb changes from mere tissue into a human being deserving of said protection. At what point this occurs is a crucial question that I will not be addressing. Unequivocally there is a point where pre-born children need to be accorded the same rights as we, the post-born. Of course, our world is far from Utopian and the Rights of one sometimes conflict with the Rights of another equally innocent party. Thus, it is with late-term elective abortion.
Liberty should include the choice of reproduction. If people do not wish to reproduce then no one should force reproduction on them. Liberty also dictates that we should be free to do with our bodies as we see fit. No one should force us to do things against our will such as donating blood, body organs or hosting an unwanted child within our wombs.
Nor should there be war, a draft, people starving, taxes levied for evil, unnatural purposes, eminent domain confiscation of property, police seizure of our vehicles in time of extreme need and a host of other atrocities and wrongs that plague us in our Dystopian state.
Much of life is about balancing conflicting Rights and the most fundamental Right is the Right to Life. We all know the old saw about freedom of speech versus shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater. These rights conflict and the shout of fire could easily lead to death and thus it’s proscription. Elective abortion of a fully formed, pre-born human does not endanger life, it ends it, yet since 1973 this false Right has been the law of our land.
I do not declare glibly that the Right of the pre-born to live is far more fundamental than a woman’s Right to autonomy. I am fully aware of white, male, property owners’ proclivity to telling others what they must do. I smile in uneasy appreciation of the untrue but succinct statement attributed to Flo Kennedy that, “If men got pregnant then abortion would be a sacrament.” But we are talking about not only a choice but also a child, a human being, the most innocent and vulnerable of any human soul on Earth.
In the conflict between self-autonomy and the sweeping away of 59 million “bits of tissue” there is no doubt that we have ended the lives of millions of children who deserved protection under our laws. I am no King Solomon, I have no decree to split a child in half that leads to truth, justice and life, but neither am I so blind as to be unable to see that somewhere along the path form zygote to newborn we reach a threshold where a human being is present and deserving of protection. If you are unable to concede this fundamental truth then I suggest you examine carefully the fact that we are all flawed vessels, specifically in regards to seeing what we want to see rather than attempting to discover a higher truth and greater glory.