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Right Opinion

When Rights Conflict

Guest Commentary · Jun. 18, 2019

By Larry Craig

I have never been particularly vocal about the abortion issue. Maybe that’s because it seems like it’s the only public issue that Christians get involved with. They have that pretty well covered, so I can think about a host of others.

But then I just realized how this pictures perfectly the underlying problem in our country.

The right to an abortion is based on the 14th Amendment. No need to look it up, because you won’t find anything there. You’ll need to read the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling to see what the justices were thinking.

But even if the 14th Amendment did support a right to an abortion, it is not an unalienable right. Why do I say that? Because it requires people to do things for other people, which is the exact opposite of an unalienable right.

Our country was founded on the basis of unalienable rights given to people by God. The Founders considered that a fact, but the courts would call that a religious opinion, and so our government and public schools can’t talk about that anymore.

But our government is quick to talk about rights. The government doesn’t call them unalienable rights, but that’s good enough for most people. An ever-expanding list of things that the government is now required to see that people have. What’s not to like?

Most state and federal abortion laws have some kind of exemptions for people that do not want to participate in abortions due to religious reasons, but not all of them do, and the number will diminish. Why do I say that?

The states and federal government already require people who don’t believe in abortions to pay for them. If, as the courts ruled, money is speech, governments are already requiring pro-abortion speech from people who believe it is morally wrong. Exemptions are exceptions, and nobody likes exceptions except when they are their own.

However, the right to life is an unalienable right, which our government was instituted to secure, according to the Declaration of Independence.

So the real question is: At what point should the government recognize the unalienable right of this developing child to live?

Frankly, that is a discussion that needs to take place apart from the discussion about a right to an abortion. These are separate issues, and I would contend that unalienable rights are higher than government-given rights.

But don’t women have a right over their own bodies? Of course they do. And that right didn’t start only after they became pregnant.

I’m not going to minimize the difficulty that many women experience when they find themselves unexpectedly expecting, but I am concerned that too many women minimize the significance of this creation of a new human being inside of them. If you can’t raise it, give it up for adoption. But don’t destroy it.

Please visit my blog at for articles I have written on politics, culture, and public life.

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