I remember the day, years ago, when I stopped being pro-abortion and realized that it was, for all its alleged legality, little more than the sanctioned murder of an unborn child. A pro-life friend of mine had asked me, point blank, “Well, if it’s not a human being growing inside a mother, what is it?

“Well, it’s, uh … er … well, I … ah … that is, I mean, it’s …” I stammered.

Game, set and match.

All my friend had to do to convince me of the error of my belief was reaffirm the factual, long-known medical association between “life” and “fetus.” After all, as a living, breathing human being, I was the tangible proof she was right.

So, too, is everyone else who is walking, talking, breathing and, well, alive today. Human babies, if left to grow and develop in the womb, are eventually born and will then grow to be human adults. How many billions of times has this well-known process been repeated?

Can we all collectively say, “Duh?”

I’ll admit it; I was duped by a 1973 Supreme Court ruling that essentially ordered all Americans to shelve their common sense and ignore the well-known “fetus equals life” equation. The justices also ordered Americans, in that same ruling, to believe that nine jurists, when sitting on the nation’s highest court, are infallible – that once they issue a proclamation it is to automatically be assumed to be as morally correct as it is legally binding.

But in the case of abortion, medical science has always been at odds with the legal interpretation. The medical profession has long known – and can prove – that life begins at conception. The medical profession has long known that the nanosecond a female egg becomes fertilized, a chain reaction begins that, if left to its own ends, will result in only one conclusion, save a natural “abortion,” or miscarriage: the birth of a human being.

Now, finally, the government has regained a modicum of sense on this issue. It has taken its first post-Roe v. Wade babystep back toward the sanity of recognizing a human being as a life-in-progress, regardless of the developmental stage (even as adults do we not continue to grow, age and change?).

Last week Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson officially “reclassified” unborn human beings. Henceforth our unborn will no longer be referred to as nondescript, devoid-of-life “fetuses”; now they will be called by their proper name – “unborn children.” In essence, life, but unborn life.

Granted, in a perfect world such a “redesignation” would never have been necessary. Common sense and medical science would have prevailed, thereby preventing we, the people, from forgetting that human beings are worthy of life and protection in-womb and beyond.

But we don’t live in a perfect world.

So the first thing that had to happen was to proclaim, “officially,” the obvious, and reaffirm the fact that unborn human beings are not desensitized, nondescript lumps of tissue that suddenly begin pumping blood and breathing air only when they emerge from a woman’s birth canal.

“Of all the arguments advanced against the legalization of abortion, the one that always struck me as the most questionable is the most consequential: that the widespread acceptance of abortion would lead to a profound moral shift in our culture, a great devaluing of human life,” said senior National Journal writer Michael Kelly, in a Nov. 6, 1997, Washington Post column.

With calls for euthanasia, “right to die” movements afoot and assisted suicide laws already on the books, who can deny life has been devalued since legalized abortion? It’s no coincidence that these other movements to devalue born life came after we legalized the devaluation of unborn life.

As a nation we should be ashamed of ourselves for letting academia and the courts convince us that a child in a mother’s womb is something less than human and hence, somehow less deserving of life.

But then again, as George Orwell once said of another supreme lie, “You have to be an intellectual to believe such nonsense. No ordinary man could be such a fool.”

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