The 58,000 names on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., occupy a 10-foot wall that is 500 feet long, so pro-life activists assembling a memorial for the estimated 50 million dead as a result of the 1973 legalization of abortion had to turn to cyberspace.
That’s because a wall with that many names would be more than 80 miles long.
The new project, called Personhood, is intended to raise awareness of the cost of abortion in American lives and generate support for a series of advertisements that address the personhood issue: the idea
that constitutional rights should be conferred on the unborn.
Dan Becker, the chief of Georgia Right to Life, which has been involved in battling for recognition of personhood rights, said the response has been phenomenal.
In the ad, two prospective parents discuss options for their coming child with a doctor. The physician describes the wonderful genetic advances that have just been developed as they talk about the sex of the child – male – and hair color, blonde.
The discussion is interrupted when the couple’s young daughter, apparently born before such technological innovations, turns to her mother and asks: “Would you love me more if I were perfect?”
Hundreds of visitors have been visiting the site daily to participate, organizers for the site said.
Supportpersonhood.com features a short video describing the goal of remembering individual victims of abortion by granting them an identity and providing an epitaph, thereby personalizing the loss.
“Unlike the Jewish Holocaust, there are no pictures of death and destruction to prick our consciences and bring these dark deeds into the light. There is no enduring reminder that these children were our hope and our future,” Becker said.
“They are voiceless, faceless and anonymous thereby leaving no lasting impression of their short existence,” he said.
“The purpose of this project is to promote personhood within our culture,” said Becker.
“We need to be a voice for the voiceless, and we saw this as a way to portray the loss that each individual human life represents. By naming each child, we clothe them in death with the human dignity they deserve,” he said.
Individuals are asked to “adopt a child” and provide it an identity and leave a short memorial message. The wall is searchable and the “adoptions” of others may be viewed.
The concept, a new effort by many pro-life activists across the nation, was described in a commentary by Robert Muise of the Thomas More Law Center.
“While seeking to decrease the number of abortions performed in this country is a laudable endeavor and should continue, we must never forget that ending all abortions is the ultimate goal,” he said. “Protecting innocent human life is not negotiable.
He said while critics argue that regulating abortion and seeking to end abortion are “either-or” propositions, they aren’t.
“There is no conflict between the two positions, so long as principle is not compromised in the process. Both strategies can and must coexist. However, it would be a tragic mistake to be content with a strategy that makes ending abortion secondary to other regulatory efforts, or worse yet, a strategy that avoids it altogether. Accordingly, passing a human life amendment should be the pro-life movement’s main effort,” he said.
He suggested a case needs to be presented to the United States Supreme Court to challenge the central premise of Roe – that the unborn is not a person within the meaning of the law.
“In Roe,” he said, “the court conceded that if the ‘personhood’ of the fetus ‘is established, [the case for abortion], of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [Fourteenth] Amendment.’”