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Guest Commentary / May 10, 2022

Thoughts on Abortion

Children are not puppies or kittens in a litter that we can just flush down a toilet. We can find solutions other than just killing them.

By Larry Craig

The big news story of the day is abortion. When big stories break that consume all the news programs, you need to watch the news more closely. Politicians see big stories as distractions, so they do things they might not do otherwise and hope nobody notices.

Abortion is a complex issue. People are concerned that the “right” to an abortion may be lost. I put the word “right” in quotes because this is one of the points that the debate about abortion falls on.

Is it actually a right?

People often conflate the legality of something with a right. It’s legal to turn right on a red light in most cases, but it is not a right. If you believe that abortion should be legal because it is a right, then we need to talk about that.

Rights also often imply that the government, meaning taxpayers, is required to either pay for or subsidize that thing. When tens of millions of people believe that abortion is murder, no, they should not be required to pay for them. Now that is imposing your beliefs on society.

But what is a right?

There are three kinds of rights, but only two that concern us here.

The Declaration of Independence says that our nation is founded on the fact — not the belief, but the fact — that God gave unalienable rights to human beings. Unalienable rights precede and supersede government such that government did not give them and government cannot take them away.

The Constitution does not explicitly discuss abortion, so the Court decided that the Fourth Amendment, which protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures. gave people a right to privacy that would encompass a right to abortion.

But does that mean I have a right to kill small animals or watch kiddie porn in the privacy of my own home? The “right to privacy” is not a solid foundation for a “right” to abortion.

It is often touted that a woman has a right to autonomy over her own body. Her body, her choice. And I would agree. Yet some people will also insist that everybody get vaccinated with drugs that many individuals believe produce more problems than they solve. Here, society (read: government) feels empowered to override your personal beliefs and autonomy to impose its will for the sake of the greater good.

At least be consistent.

The problem here too is whether this thing growing inside the woman is actually part of her body or somebody else.

The question that needs to be discussed is what exactly is this thing that some want so hard to kill.

We insist so hard that we are a secular society, that religion has no place in a secular society, at least in the public square and in public policy.

Except that there are questions that secularism cannot answer.

Like: What is the value of a human life? True secular societies, like communist ones, have no value of human life. It is easily expendable for the greater, common good. It is religion, specifically Christianity with its teaching that human beings are created in the image of God, where human life is deemed valuable, even precious.

In the creation account in the Bible, God creates animals and fills the world with them. But when it comes to human beings, He creates only one. And from that one, He forms a mate, and then from those two, all future human beings created in the image of God come from human choices and actions, not from God. We share God’s creative activity.

Now society, and including government, may not be permitted to take such things into consideration, but when half the country believes in this, you can’t just tell them to shove it.

We need to have the discussion about what this thing we want to kill is. And yes, that discussion will have to talk about God. But our society doesn’t want to have that discussion. Thus, this contentious division in our country is not going away.

Let’s ask this again.

Is abortion a constitutional right? What is a constitutional right in the first place? Our country was founded on the idea of rights, and it is the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, that defines these rights.

One of those basic human rights is the right to life.

So when does this child get this right to life?

When we say so? When the government says so? When the mother says so?

Then how is this an unalienable right when other people can confer it or deny it? If we cannot agree on when this child receives this right to life, then we have no business taking that child’s life.

Kathy Barnette is running for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. Her mother, who had been raped by a 21-year-old man, conceived her when she was 11. Ask her about the value of human life. She is happy to tell you.

No, life is not easy. And pregnancy can complicate things very quickly. But children are not puppies or kittens in a litter that we can just flush down a toilet. We can find solutions other than just killing them, and we need to.

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