The People at the Center of Abortion Politics
At first glance, a reader might get the impression that the title of this article refers to individuals such as candidates for political office, abortion advocates like President Obama, or opposing cultural pressure groups. If any of these come to mind, then you should think again.
The people to whom I am referring are the preborn—the innocent children whose right to life is bandied about constantly by the media, the debaters, the pundits, and others. It sometimes seems that the phrase “abortion issue” is really all they want to write about or discuss. It is rare to see a reference to the individuals whose lives are snuffed out by this “issue.”
For example, the New York Times recently published an update on various frozen embryo cases currently being litigated. According to the article, “The cases are part of the broader ‘personhood’ debate that has become central to abortion politics. Advocates in many states are seeking laws that would make embryos full legal persons at fertilization—blocking not only abortion but also some forms of contraception and assisted reproduction. None have passed, and some anti-abortion groups say such laws go too far.”
Ah! There you have it! In those few words the reporter has delivered the essence of why it is that the people at the center of abortion politics—the preborn children—are usually ignored or hung out to dry for political reasons.
Let’s examine this further and perhaps we will uncover the reasons for the ongoing confusion accompanying the simple term “human being.”
“Personhood” is not a debate topic, but rather a term applied in the philosophical sense to an individual human being who is easily identified at his biological beginning as unique in every way because he possesses his own DNA—not his mother’s, not his father’s, not his identical twin if he happens to come into being asexually. In other words, personhood means that each human being is uniquely individual. No debate is required. Yet we see a perpetual lack of understanding of this in the twisted, corrupt definition of who the person is prior to birth. The debate began when seven Supreme Court justices arrogantly ruled that, prior to birth, preborn human beings were not persons.
In fact, U. S. Supreme Court judge Blackmun made that crystal clear in the Roe v. Wade decision when he wrote: “If this suggestion of [fetal] personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [14th] amendment.”
Further, the term “abortion politics” obfuscates the simple fact that, no matter what seven justices on the Supreme Court said or ruled, the science is undeniable. A human being begins at his beginning and killing him by any means is a crime that breaks the natural law. Sadly, it is not a crime according to man’s laws in the United States.
After 43 years of this travesty, the fact is that many of those defending the right to life of the preborn human being have themselves continually become mired in the political process and dragged the babies down that road with them. Hence, the politics has become the end game—a reason why some pro-lifers will argue that the pursuit of any recognition of personhood in the legal sense is a waste of time.
Such thinking is flawed, though. And the larger challenge has become helping average men and women of every age see that abortion is not about a personal choice, but about individual human beings who are at risk because abortion is readily available and committed on an all-too-frequent basis.
In the final analysis, the truth is that, as a pro-life community, we have not gone far enough in teaching others the facts about the preborn human being. In far too many cases we have become political hacks. So until we get back to teaching the truth first, any legislative pursuit will fall short.
The people at the center of abortion politics—the preborn human beings—are waiting for us to get it right. Until we do, babies are at risk. Until we do, countless numbers of them will continue to die.
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