The principle of total protection is defined as respecting the dignity of the human person at every stage, regardless of age, ability, health, condition of dependency or the procreative process employed to initiate life.
It is wrong to discriminate against a person based on race, sex, ethnicity, disability, circumstance of creation or any other arbitrary classification. It is wrong to deny the right to life to any person from the moment of creation onward, regardless of the reason given.
Any process of action that deprives the innocent human person of life and dignity must be rejected as evil and unacceptable.
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.
We must recognize and accept the fact that we are working first to change the hearts and minds of every member of our society. Hearts and minds will be most quickly and permanently changed by our example – when we stand firm on the absolute objective truth and insist on protecting the lives of all human persons without exceptions.
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.
Declaration on Truth and Life: Appendices
- Statement of Agreement
- Appendix 1: Principle of Double Effect
- Appendix 2: Explanation of Complicity with the Action
- Appendix 3: Life of the Mother Exception
- Appendix 4: Legal Recognition of Personhood
- Appendix 5: Ensoulment
- Appendix 6: The Zygote and Personhood
- Appendix 7: Natural Law Ethical Theory