By John Griffing
In the past it could be said without doubt that America above all other nations valued human life as sacred and recognized the right to life as the foundation of all liberty. Even though America’s founding documents still reflect this historical ethos, and the 20th century was still a century during which the American consciousness embodied a respect for human life, the decades following the Roe v. Wade decision that declared abortion protected under the nonexistent 14th Amendment “right” to privacy witnessed rapid changes in popular moral orientation. These changes coincided with a long cultural march away from God, spearheaded by the removal of religious and ethical training and conditioning in schools. Children were no longer taught right and wrong, but instead to live by “feelings.”
No longer the staunch defender of human life of past decades, America is fast becoming a nation that worships death as a “right.” Nations that tread this path eventually prey on their citizens, gradually but consistently extending the “right to die” to more and more categories of people, until death is viewed as the consummate answer to life’s problems. Eventually the “right” is no longer the voluntary decision of individuals but instead becomes a civil requirement as governing authorities begin to view the “right” to death as a valuable means of political control. Recall the recent church abortion mandate. Can something be considered “choice” when those choosing are given only one option? America has joined in a deadly embrace.
To those who would rationalize the slaughter of innocent life with deceptive justifications like “mercy” or “choice,” it may be useful to examine the following principle:
If it’s not a human, kill it; no defense is necessary. If it is a human, then no defense is possible.
The word “human” carries with it assumptions that determine certain actions, which is why arguments surrounding the nature of the word “person,” the legal term used to define citizens with all the rights enumerated in the Constitution, most important of which is the inalienable right to life, usually seek to detach the word from any human connotation when applied to unborn fetuses. In the attempt to undercut an infant’s right to life is a tacit acknowledgment that to kill a human being would be unconscionable and unconstitutional. By classifying infants as “non-persons,” those in favor of death-on-demand are absolved from criminal wrongdoing.
President Obama is on record as supporting abortion at every stage. Incredibly, as a state senator, he defended this view when he voted against legislation to protect infant survivors of abortions:
“… whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the Equal Protection Clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a – a child, a 9-month-old – child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it – it would essentially bar abortions, because the Equal Protection Clause does not allow somebody to kill a child.”
What evil is off-limits for a nation that will kill its young while they are still in the womb, helpless and unable to speak for themselves? How numb are we?
In this context, I recently conducted an exclusive interview with Texas Sen. Dan Patrick. Patrick has succeeded in passing reasoned and sound legislation requiring that abortion clinics show sonograms to their prospective female clients. It is thought that when women see the image of their living infant growing within, many will refuse to go forward with the procedure.
Patrick enlightens, “Many years before I became a senator I visited a crisis pregnancy center and discovered the incredible impact sonograms had on women who were in crisis pregnancies and unsure if they wanted to give birth to their child. The majority made the decision to keep their child, or give it up for adoption, as opposed to having an abortion.
“I saw how thankful the women were that they had a chance to see their baby before making a decision that could never be reversed, and how their crisis moment had turned to a moment of joy.”
Patrick’s momentous legislation contains very straightforward and medically sound requirements, providing women with “information they would expect, and deserve, before any major surgery.”
Patrick explains: “Our legislation requires a sonogram be performed 24 hours before every abortion procedure. Abortion clinics were performing them only an hour or so before an abortion procedure. We require the woman be informed that she has a choice to view the sonogram and a choice to listen to the heartbeat. And the bill requires that doctors explain and describe the details of the sonogram.”
The potential impact of such legislation is substantial. As Patrick notes, “Texas has nearly 80,000 abortions a year. If only 1 in 5 women, after seeing a sonogram, change their mind and decide to have their baby, our legislation will save more than 15,000 innocent lives each year.” True choice should be informed choice. For years, Planned Parenthood has skirted medical boundaries in order to process as many abortions as possible, profiting from the ignorance of confused women in crisis.
It is time to stop discussing the unmentionable in polite terms. America has done much good for the world and continues to do so. Its collapse would be a great loss for humanity, but that is arguably the inevitable natural consequence of a culture that removes moral law and replaces “love thy neighbor” with “get what you can, while you can.”
Eventually, a nation that prizes the material over human life will devour itself. Disturbingly, this is more than a euphemism. Pepsi Cola announced that it is now using the cells of aborted human fetuses in “flavor” research. Let that sink in.
It is one short step from abortion to selective abortion, whereby families select their children based on desired genetic features. Many Americans have already embraced this “brave new” approach to childbearing.
From there, it is one short step to euthanizing living infants, and then young adults, the elderly, the mentally handicapped and those who can’t “go on.”
Holland offers a cautionary tale. The Dutch began with voluntary euthanasia for those with significant and debilitating infirmities and ended with involuntary euthanasia for any and every class of person as a medical cost-saving measure. Involuntary euthanasia accounts for over 1,000 deaths in Holland annually. Children 12 and older can now request euthanasia for any reason without parental consent. Living infants are euthanized in Holland under the Groningen Protocol for things as subjective as “quality of life.” Would anyone today believe that it was Dutch doctors who refused to implement Nazi eugenicist policies at the cost of their own lives? Now Holland actually has a committee to decide who lives and dies.
Humans cannot be trusted to wield the power of life and death responsibly, which is why free nations typically acknowledge the right to life as coming from a power higher than human agency, so that it stands above reproach.
America is only as good as its principles, and its once illustrious principles have been overtaken by utilitarianism. Americans have gotten too comfortable with finding polite terms for the indefensible. Let’s stop marketing death and destruction as “freedom” and “choice.”
John Griffing is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and is published across an array of conservative media, both in the realm of commentary and research.