Letter to the Editor: The Daily News-Record
While we all know that human life begins at conception, there are those who would like us to stand silently by as the number of these humans being legally aborted races toward 50 million. The situation is so bleak that it would be easy for us to despair, throwing up our hands in the face of judgments handed down from the Supreme Court that seem immovable.
But those of us who are concerned about abortion can help achieve a legal code that is in step with scientific reality and recognizes the “unalienable rights” of every human being. One bill that will be brought before our legislators in the General Assembly this session does this very thing. If you care about this issue, the time for action is NOW!
Those who oppose such laws presumably believe either that the new life present at conception is something less than a human being or that the mother has justifiable reasons for ending the life of the unborn human being in her womb. Then there are some who believe that abortion is the killing of a fully-human person and that it is morally wrong, but it is none of his or her business.
But is this third position a legitimate one, or do those who believe that human life begins at conception have a moral duty to oppose laws permitting abortion? For if a new human life begins at conception, abortion is no more a victimless act than child abuse, rape or murder.
A popular, “Christian” variation of the “abortion is not my concern” perspective insists, “passing laws won’t change anyone’s heart, so just concentrate on spreading the Gospel.” The trouble with this position is that it assumes spreading the Gospel and legislating protections for the most vulnerable members of our society to be mutually exclusive. Of course they are not. And it is a cold, unfeeling “Gospel” that passes by on one side of the road hoping to win souls even as helpless human victims lie dying on the other.
Already I can hear those who oppose abortion restrictions protesting against “imposing moral judgments on others.” But the honest critic must acknowledge that this is precisely the function of laws. From civil rights laws, to taxes, to laws prohibiting larceny and assault, the metes and bounds of our conduct are marked by moral judgments imposed by the majority.
Moreover, any system of laws regarding abortion, including our current ones, “imposes” a moral regime. As author Stephen Carter has observed, “A pro-life statute enforces a moral regime on pregnant women; a pro-choice statute enforces a moral regime on fetuses.” Thus, those who advocate letting each woman decide about abortion for herself are advocating classic oppression—sacrificing the rights of the weak to the interests of the strong.
Finally, I would urge readers not to be swayed by those who would object to their “religious” motivation for joining the move to protect the unalienable right to life of all Virginians. While every point of our argument may be proven by and tethered to a scientific or secular idea, some will insist that the devotion to Truth and the Creator that motivates us to agitate for change disqualifies us from participation in this critical public debate and the legislative process.
But the beauty of our republic is that no ideas are excluded from the public square—or the halls of the legislature—because of the proponent’s core belief system. The debate must center on the constitutional rights at issue and how they should be interpreted and balanced—not on why the respective parties are motivated to advocate for them.
If you share my passion for the restoration of just laws in our society, take heart! The tide is turning, and you can help. On January 13th, people from across the Commonwealth will gather in Richmond for a Virginia Pro-Life Rally. Organizers will spotlight important legislation to be introduced in the General Assembly this session and let us know what we can do to ensure passage of these laws. Visit www.valleyfamilyforum.org to learn more.