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Reproductive Rights are Not the Issue

A recent report on National Public Radio spoke about the “fight for reproductive rights.” Reproductive rights are not the issue in the argument over abortion. By the time a new life has begun within a woman’s womb, reproduction has already taken place. The issue is whether the new individual—the pre-born—has rights, whether the child, growing inside his or her mother, should be protected against harm, against murder. We have laws against killing persons we can see and hear. Why not protect the ones we cannot see, the ones we cannot hear?

Some years ago, I came across an article filled with the most monstrous ideas delivered in the most casually cavalier manner. The title: “So what if abortion ends a life?”

In this piece, Mary Elizabeth Williams shared her belief that “life starts at conception” but she added, “that hasn’t stopped me one iota from being pro-choice…Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always…the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.”

A seared conscience. A heart of stone. Sixty-three million abortions since Roe v. Wade. Sixty-three million.

In Roe v. Wade, the state of Texas argued that “the fetus is a ‘person’ within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.” To which Justice Harry Blackmun responded, “If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.” But Blackmun didn’t recognize that personhood; his findings were erroneous. Roe v. Wade should be held null and void as to the rights and interests of pre-born persons.