Declaration on Truth and Life
We, as mortal instruments in the defense of Truth and personhood, in order to secure in full the inalienable and fundamental right to life, acknowledge that success cannot be measured according to the standards of men, and know that it will be realized in God’s time. With this understanding, we set forth this declaration as foundational in our endeavors, with firm faith and conviction that the ideals promoted herein are grounded in the existence of the Divine Creator and His Truth.
Objective Truth exists. Its fundamental existence and composition, designed by our Creator and accessible by human reason, is unchanging and beyond the grasp of human destruction and manipulation.
An individual human being normally begins in the fallopian tubes at the moment of conception (fertilization). Coupled with the biological initiation of individual human life is the concomitant intimate establishment of human personhood. This pinpoint establishment is not determined by personal fiat or arbitrary mandate and remains uniquely intrinsic to our identification as human beings.
The objective Truth that is the foundation upon which the sanctity of life is based remains accessible by human reason. This transcendent, absolute Truth cannot change.
This Truth is realized in the conjoined principles that simultaneously determine both the nature and the physical reality of every human person. Divinely inspired, this objective Truth is the very center of the premise that is foundational to our promotion and defense of human life. This is unchanging despite attempts by those who seek to hide, obfuscate, and deconstruct this objective Truth, promoting instead false ideology, privation, manipulation and the subjugation of reason and morality. Once the objective Truth of the sanctity and equality of each human person is diluted or corrupted, only the subjective and arbitrary will to power and manipulation remains. Once the “human being” has been intellectually split from the “human person,” a malignant two-tier system of humanity is falsely established as the new premise, justifying the designation of some of us as subjects and others as mere objects to be used and manipulated “for the greater good.”
A constant and ultimately indisputable premise, the objective Truth of the sanctity of human life also finds evidence in the studies of natural law, philosophy, theology and science.
Ironically, in this century’s battle to reestablish in the mind of man the inherent right to life, the absolute objective Truth has been denied in the pursuit of saving some lives (reducing the number of children killed) while failing to objectively defend the inviolability of human personhood.
We must pursue, without exception or compromise, the uniform and consistent application of the principle of life’s sanctity, founded on objective Truth, wherein resides the principle of personhood.
At a time when man’s very existence and understanding of the Truth is threatened on every level by the vacuum of moral relativism, it is imperative that we move beyond the inconsistent definition of “pro-life,” realizing that the Truth upon which we stand and base our principles exists outside the realm of human definition and interpretation. We must constantly serve, through all of our actions and our words, without exception, as a reflection of the Truth, and pursue only those remedies for evil and deprecation in our cultures that are consistent with this Truth in our collaborative quests for the true Good.
This requires unwavering defense of the true nature of the human person-at all times and in all circumstances.
This requires the recognition of humankind in its entirety, and the definition of each and every human being as equal and sacred according to the laws of God and man.
This requires an affirmation of life’s most basic principle-a fearless response to and acknowledgment of the victimization by our government, our courts and our society, of those deemed non-persons.
The following articles present the proof that personhood is the source and justification for all other human rights.
Article I: Truth and the human person
Motivated by attacks on life in recent years, and those certain to come in the future-we must establish unequivocal moral recognition and legal protection of the human person.
Our defense of and respect for all human beings stems from our identification of the human person as a mortal expression of objective Truth. The objective scientific truth is that the life of every individual human being normally begins at the moment of conception/fertilization in the fallopian tubes with the fusion of the sperm and the oocyte, resulting in the creation of the single-cell zygote-the tiniest human being. Though tiny, this human being usually contains 46 chromosomes, is already male or female, and has the inherent capacity to direct his/her own growth and development. Immediately at fertilization, specifically-human proteins and enzymes are produced by this embryonic human being, giving empirical evidence of its personal kind of nature-activity which could only be determined and caused by the animating and specifying power inherent to human persons. There is no such thing as a “potential human being” or “in-between man,” nor does there exist a mind-body split. The individual human being and human person are instantaneously and concomitantly formed as one whole.
The objective Truth of the human person demonstrates for us that he/she is an individual human being, possessive of a unique and individual genetic and spiritual identity that is unchanging from the first moment of his/her existence.
Regardless of the process used (sexual intercourse, in vitro fertilization, cloning, etc.), the human person exists at fertilization. This fact is independent of his/her ability to actively exercise particular physical, mental or spiritual activities at any particular time. His/her essence and dignity derives from being made in the image and likeness of God and being endowed by Him with eternal life-the ultimate ground of the sanctity and equality of every individual human being.
Unequivocally and scientifically demonstrated, the beginning of the life of every human being is not a question for academic or political debates or public conjecture and speculation.
Adherence to the fullness of the Truth demands that we respect, without equivocation, the fundamental nature of the human person-the combination of the biological and spiritual aspects as initiated and engineered by God-aspects that cannot be subverted or lost in the progressive sequences that constitute life’s initiation, development and physical demise.
Man’s appreciation of the human person as someone worthy of respect has been lost over the course of time, subjugated to fallacious court decisions, manipulated by false and self-serving science, and rationalized away by a society preoccupied with self-interest and personal gratification.
Article II: The personhood movement
We are charged with the prospect of purposeful recognition and promotion of the human person. In fostering adherence to the objective, identifiable Truth, we must necessarily dedicate ourselves solely to the re-affirmation and protection of human personhood-the inherent nature of a human being from the first moment of his/her existence, without regard for the creative process employed, and regardless of his/her ability to exercise particular physical, mental or spiritual activities at any particular time.
We must tailor our speech, written word, and actions to serve, at all times, the promotion and recognition of the inviolability of human personhood.
Only when grounded in the most intrinsic principles can the promotion and defense of human life stand against the legislative and societal onslaughts perpetuated by our governments, courts and the culture of death. We must be dedicated to instilling in society an unfailing reverence for the personhood of every human being if we wish to be successful in overcoming the culture of death.
In applying the principle of personhood and its derivation from objective Truth, individuals and organizations alike are called upon to foster a new culture of life-focused without apology on promoting and instilling absolute Truth in every aspect of our work. For example, in political life, legislation (e.g., a human life amendment to the Constitution or a simple human life bill) that recognizes the human person’s existence at conception/fertilization and seeks to protect his personhood in totality reaffirms this principle.
Article III: Total protection
In recognizing God’s Truth and personhood as the basis for our defense of life, we must also address the factors contributing to and the results stemming from a historical failure within the pro-life community to adhere to the principle of personhood.
To understand positive methodologies and ideals, it is necessary to address negative precepts and discriminatory actions that serve only to detract from the universal recognition of personhood.
It is discriminatory not to recognize a person’s inherent rights on the basis of race, sex, ethnicity, disability, circumstance of creation, or any other arbitrary classification. It logically follows that it is discriminatory and deceptive to attempt to deny a child her right to life because of classifications over which she has no control.
It is discriminatory and untrue to say that everyone has a right to life except a child conceived by rape or incest.
It is discriminatory and untrue to say that everyone has a right to life except a child who may live only for a brief moment once outside of the womb, or who may require medical attention later in life, a wheelchair, or special education.
It is discriminatory and untrue to say that everyone has a right to life except a child who is not old enough to have yet implanted in his mother’s uterus.
It is discriminatory and untrue to say that everyone has a right to life except a child whose embryonic body may be useful in scientific experiments for “the greater good” or for the “advancement of science.”
Most prevalent in currently proposed legislation are “exceptions” where abortion is deemed acceptable for a variety of reasons, including protecting the life and/or health of the mother. It is scientifically evident that it is never medically necessary to abort the child in order to protect the life or health of the mother. It should be further noted that espousal of such an exception denies the principle of personhood, undermines the defense of life, and provides rationalization for all abortion as defined under the broad dictums of Doe v. Bolton. One cannot be pro-life and support the direct killing of preborn children in any circumstance. It is never necessary to pit the life of the child against the life of the mother if the pre-modernist principle of double-effect is appropriately applied.
With the increasing threat of chemical/medical abortion, we cannot ignore the abortifacient (producing an abortion before implantation) nature of some drugs and devices that are promoted to the American public as “pure contraceptives.” Millions of embryonic babies have died and will die because these alleged contraceptives prevent embryonic persons from effecting implantation. All women need to know that these chemicals can also act as abortifacients, and that if they use these products, they may be unwittingly aborting their children. Women are not receiving the full scientific and medical information they need to make an informed decision.
Furthermore, in the application of total protection for all persons, we must take it upon ourselves to respect the dignity of the human person at every stage, regardless of age, ability, or the procreative or technological process employed to initiate life. Thus processes or actions that deprive the human person of life and dignity must be rejected as abhorrent and unacceptable.
It is discriminatory to treat those created through in vitro fertilization or other such manipulations as less deserving of respect and dignity as human persons. Processes that demean or deny the personhood of embryonic children (e.g., human embryonic stem cell research) for perceived medical or scientific gains should be recognized as both morally illicit and legally unacceptable.
Likewise, it is discriminatory and complicit to promote or accept the use of body parts or tissues from children who were directly and intentionally aborted.
It is discriminatory to assist directly or indirectly in the termination of those persons afflicted by age or illness.
Article IV: Unwavering adherence
Success may occur in our human efforts to promote human personhood. It must, however, be understood that our quest for mere mortal accomplishment should in no way govern our attempts to adhere to the whole, objective and ultimate Truth. We cannot work for merely expedient ends or partial victories. The results of efforts that fall short of the ultimate goal may be recognized as valuable up to a point, but should not be pursued as sufficient nor standard procedure, and most importantly, these efforts must not betray the personhood principle.
Personhood cannot be legislated away, even for the sake of incrementalism, pragmatism, congeniality or peace. The very real consequence of compromise on the fundamental principle of personhood is grave cultural corruption, to which recent history effectively testifies. This must change.
We must recognize immediately the danger and basic irrationality of efforts that limit, deny or contradict complete recognition of the human person. The word “exception” and its empirically demonstrated destructive implications must be forever erased from our vocabularies and our common endeavors. In public policy considerations, legislation and social undertakings, exceptions must be understood and portrayed for precisely what they are-deficient human attempts to deny God’s gift of eternal life to another human person merely because of his/her circumstance of conception/fertilization, abilities, or alleged impact of that person’s life on another’s.
The direct, intended abortion of children who begin their innocent lives as the products of rape, incest or perceived threats to the mother’s life and/or health, ignores Truth, denies the intrinsic value of the human person and undermines our moral obligation before God to be consistent. By failing to use absolute Truth as our foundation, we have given credence to an unscrupulous, pragmatic mentality, forgetting in the process that we are not called to subjectively judge the validity of any human life, but rather to protect all human beings without exception. Failing in large part to directly address the abhorrent nature of abortion, many have pursued lesser measures frequently marred by unprincipled language that is inconsistent with the personhood principle.
As questions arise concerning the nature of actions that directly take the lives of human beings, it is necessary to distinguish between what is erroneously referred to as an abortion used to save the mother’s life and/or health, and those medical interventions that may unintentionally result in the death of the child or mother. The distinction is between kinds of actions, intentions, and circumstances. Direct abortion, or the intentional act of killing an innocent human being out of purported medical or therapeutic necessity-regardless of the intentions or circumstances-is the kind of action that is never licit. In those rare situations where the mother’s life is deemed to be in imminent jeopardy (e.g., cancerous uterus or ectopic pregnancy) and immediate action is recommended to address the situation, both the child and the mother must be treated as patients of equal standing.
Such cases call for application of the pre-modernist principle of double effect which is based on the undeniable fact that evil must never be directly and voluntarily willed for its own sake, and must never be willed either as an end or as a means to an end.
This declaration defines “compromise” as a conscious and fully informed decision that results in the denial of the innate personhood of any human being from conception/fertilization until death. Compromise is cooperation with evil and is never a solution. It is clear that offering half-pursuits and partial solutions laden with exceptions serves only to contradict the Truth, create confusion in the public square and undermine respect for the dignity of the human person. This is nothing less than the abandonment of the fundamental and grounding principle upon which all pro-life efforts should be based.
With the understanding that a resolution to this battle for the dignity, equality and total protection of all human beings exists outside of the parameters of purely human action, we are yet obligated to evaluate our current methodologies and modes of action. Currently, the restoration of respect and protection for the human person is viewed in terms of incremental approaches, allegedly working towards the ultimate goal by way of consecutive steps. In evaluating the merits of such a proposal, incrementalism must be viewed in light of the full weight and seriousness of our present situation. For the purpose of this declaration, acceptable incrementalism is defined as a series of regular consecutive advances in pursuit of a principled goal-advances that do not contradict or detract from the personhood principle. Thus any alleged incremental proposal or position that allows abortion by way of exception is not acceptable, but rather is unethical and immoral. Such proposals or positions are not acceptable incrementalism, but rather flawed incrementalism.
The advocacy of an acceptable incremental approach to reestablishing personhood and total protection should not be a strategy in and of itself. We should view any principled advances or successes as historically building a foundation for the total protection of the dignity and equality of all human persons.
Article V: Principled objectivity
We must recognize our role as God’s instruments and accept the fact that we are working first to change hearts and minds in every segment of our culture, including politicians and others responsible for public policy. The hearts and minds of others will be most quickly and permanently changed by our example of adherence to the absolute Truth and our consistency in protecting the lives of all human persons-without exceptions.
In our acknowledgment that this is God’s battle, we accept that we are not working for merely human or tangible victories, and we remain secure in the realization that we are not called to be victorious, but to be ever faithful to the Truth.
Addendum I: Fundamental respect for life and love
Human life is a miraculous gift from God. Moreover, the gift of human life is the crowning gift to the loving union of man and woman. The intimate union between man and woman is meant to safeguard the dignity of human life, while the gift of life is meant to substantiate the union of spouses. When barriers are placed to block the gift of life, children easily become viewed as commodities instead of gifts. Likewise, when the gift of life is controlled through science and technology, children are turned into commodities.
Respect for human life is impossible without profound respect for conjugal union. Contraceptive acts and reproductive technologies that replace conjugal union both denigrate the gift of human life. This is further proven by the fact that the very mechanisms of both contraception and in vitro fertilization most often include the foreseen deaths of tiny children.
Abortion will never end as long society accepts the use of contraception. Children are unwanted when contraception is practiced. This devaluation of children is the same mentality that denies the humanity of the child in the womb and provides the rationalization for abortion.
It is a violation of human dignity to promote or accept the use of contraception, which is a rejection of the gift of life.
Destructive human embryo research including the rationalization for human cloning will continue unabated as long as society ignores the immoral nature of in vitro fertilization. Those who employ artificial methods of reproduction tolerate the laboratory production and destruction of their children as an accepted consequence of their choice to control the gift of life. This devaluation of children is the same mentality that is used to rationalize the utilitarian sacrifice of tiny children for research.
It is a violation of human dignity to promote or accept the use of reproductive technologies that replace conjugal union, because such practices seek to control the gift of life.
We must recognize the incompatibility between accepting contraception and artificial reproduction and authentic respect for God’s gift of human life. We must oppose contraception and artificial reproduction in public policy and all levels of society in order to truly promote human dignity and fundamental respect for the human person.
Statement of agreement / concurrence
We believe the preceding statements to be absolutely true. Under no circumstances will our efforts or actions contradict the truths stated in this declaration. The personhood principle must not be denied.
Printed Name: ___________________________________________
Name and address of organization (if applicable):
Please return to:
Declaration on Truth and Life Project
American Life League
P.O. Box 1350
Stafford, VA 22555