Do Lives Have Value Only If We Say So?

Do Lives Have Value Only If We Say So?

Abortion supporters have moved the goalposts in a shocking way. They continue to kill even as they acknowledge the humanity of their victims.
James Silberman
By

Now that scientists have developed 3-D ultrasounds, it is no longer tenable to claim that the preborn are not human or that a child inside the womb is somehow less human than a child outside of it. Ever since then, and now with the Center for Medical Progress unveiling to the world exactly what goes on inside Planned Parenthood, the abortion lobby’s defense of abortion has shifted dramatically.

There is no more denying the humanity of the preborn. The only thing abortion supporters can do now is claim that a human life only has value if they say so.

“The unborn person has no constitutional rights,” declared Hillary Clinton on CNN a few months back. Notice she readily admits the preborn is indeed a unique, individual human person.

“So what if abortion ends a life?” writes Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon. Williams goes on to say the preborn child is “a life worth sacrificing.”

In April, pro-abortion students at the University of North Georgia made cookies shaped like children and bit the heads off while laughing hysterically. In June, a San Diego abortionist was filmed saying that he “loved” dismembering babies.

We Know It’s a Person; We’re Still Killing Him

Many in the pro-life movement have long thought that if we could get people to see that the preborn child is indeed a human life, and not merely a clump of cells, we could win the argument. However something strange, almost surreal, has happened. Abortion supporters have moved the goalposts in a shocking way. They continue to kill even as they acknowledge the humanity of their victims.

“Our arguments were predicated on the hope that by just getting people to realize that a life was being killed, they would become pro-life. What we forgot was that history is filled with examples of the powerful preying on the weak, fully knowing that their victims were alive,” writes Ardee Coolidge of CareNet. “Whether it was the slave owner in the Antebellum South or the Nazi prison guard in World War II, few believed that the slave on the auction block or the prisoner on their way to the gas chamber was not a person. They were persons worth selling and sacrificing. They were alive, but only partly human.”

Just as there is no logical distinction between a child inside the womb or out, there is also no logical distinction between sub-humanizing Jews and black people and sub-humanizing unborn persons. Abortion simply perpetuates the human tradition of putting personal ambitions and desires before others’ lives.

In the 1860 presidential election, Democratic nominee Stephen Douglas argued that, regardless of the morality of slavery or the humanity of black people, it would be wrong to force citizens to accept black people as fully human. He said that despite personal opposition to the practice, state territories should decide for themselves whether slavery would be legal.

He was making the “pro-choice” argument for slavery just as today’s abortion supporters make the “pro-choice” argument for abortion. To Douglas, the slave trader, and the abortion lobby, the value of a human life is subservient to personal freedom. The inherent worth of a human being can be negotiated based on preference and circumstance. Just as the slave’s rights to life and liberty were worth sacrificing in order to provide slave-traders a wealthy, slothful lifestyle, today’s abortion supporters believe the preborn are worth sacrificing so they can maintain their promiscuous, self-centered lifestyle.

Either We All Have Value Or We’re All Up for Interpretation

Abraham Lincoln, Douglas’ opponent, argued that freedom of choice cannot justly be used to take away another person’s freedom or rights. This is the non-aggression principle of governance. One is free to do as he or she wishes, so long as he or she does not infringe on the freedom or natural rights of fellow human beings.

It is crucially important that every unborn human being can claim his or her inalienable, natural rights to life and liberty. If instead the value of an unborn human life is up for interpretation, as the Left claims, then the value of all our lives is up for interpretation.

The callousness of this shift in leftist rhetoric reveals nothing, save for the grace of God, could convince these people to give up killing babies. Even if they become wholly convinced of the humanity of the preborn, which they now are, they will not loosen their grasp on abortion.

As Dinesh D’Souza puts it, leftists know that abortion is the glue holding their failing sexual revolution together: “Liberals understand that abortion-on-demand is the debris of the sexual revolution. If you are going to have sexual promiscuity, then there are going to be mistakes, and many women are going to get pregnant without wanting to do so.” Babies are the “uninvited guests” of the sexual revolution who must be erased so adults can have their fun.

Abortion Supporters Need to Become Human Again

The pro-life movement, with help from scientific advances, has effectively humanized the unborn. Now we just have to humanize abortion supporters. They deny they have consciences. They deny that they feel guilt, and tell women to celebrate and #ShoutYourAbortion, but study after study on post-abortion trauma reveals that women are suffering.

Compared with women who give birth, women post-abortion have significantly higher rates of alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, and a host of other mental ills. These consequences are so prevalent they have a name: Post-Abortion Syndrome, which is considered a strain of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

For healing, we have to help abortion supporters recognize their own consciences, which scream at them to acknowledge the human blood they have shed and the lives they have sent into depression. That conversation is going to be a very difficult, but necessary one. The increase in hateful, shameless pro-abortion rhetoric suggests it has already begun.

We must foster a culture that recognizes the inherent value of every single person. We must throw all forms of devaluing human life into the ash heap of history. We must all understand that the value of a human life is not up for interpretation or subject to personal feelings. Salon, Clinton, and the abortion lobby are finally conceding that the preborn is a human person, but they still believe that other rights come first.

Call me an extremist, but I still hope we can all agree that every human person has the right to not be violently killed, and no right that any other person may claim supersedes it.

James Silberman is media relations coordinator at Created Equal, an anti-abortion organization that exposes the truth about abortion in the streets and campuses of the United States. He writes weekly for the Family Policy Institute of Washington and tweets daily at @James_Silberman.

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