Long Island Coalition for Life, Inc.
Pro-Life Speech on Abortion
by Kevin Cirronella
Abortion: A Violation of the American Tradition
Thomas Jefferson, writer of the Declaration of Independence and a founding father of the United States of America, once wrote that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
The American tradition is rooted in this philosophical principle that life is an inalienable right, which cannot be denied by any power other then God himself. Stripping away the right to life is an act which attacks the very moral and legal fiber of the US. One such act in today's society is known as abortion. Abortion is defined as the intentional termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus. The unborn child, the fetus, which is one of God's creations, is endowed with the right to life, and thus abortion is a moral crime against humanity.
The United States' legal tradition is rooted in the Age of Enlightenment. This era was known for its great political and moral thinkers of human history. Following the logic of these thinkers, specifically one of the foremost thinkers of the enlightenment, John Locke, leads us to the conclusion that abortion is wrong on a political and moral level.
Two major factors that are associated with Locke are the following: First, the existence of inalienable rights, and second, the duty of the government to enact laws which protect those rights. Both premises have an intrinsic link to the problem of abortion.
Under premise one; Locke theorized that there are certain inalienable, self-evident and God-given rights; which are life, liberty and property. Locke wrote in his Two Treatises on Government, "no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions." These rights are not given by the government and thus cannot be taken away by the government, an institution or an individual agent. The right to life, liberty and property can only be given or taken away by God.
The idea of inalienable rights from Locke can be used to further the pro-life stance on abortion. Abortion is an act which strips the unborn child of life, and violates that child's inalienable right. The inalienable rights are not given at birth, but at the moment of conception, i.e. the fertilization of the egg. Why this moment? Because Locke tells us that we are endowed with these rights when we are created by God, it is not something we gain at the whim of the government. It is life; we have it from conception to natural death. However, our government has made it known that this is not what it believes.
With the decision of Roe v. Wade, and the (potential) passing of FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act), it is clear that the government has condoned an action which violates its people rights, in this case the most innocent and defenseless people. Only God can decide when an innocent person should live or die, not the government. The government is made to protect the people and to protect their God given rights, especially the right to life.
On a nation-wide scale, 1.37 million abortions are performed each year. That is approximately 3,700 a day. Since Roe V. Wade 49,551,703 unborn children have been denied the greatest and most fundamental right, we as humans can have. This number is a travesty upon our great nation. Our nation is the largest supporter of human rights in the world, and yet we deny them to the most innocent people living in our own country. This is clearly a moral inconsistency. We wish to promote rights, but we deny them to the most defenseless. This protection of inalienable rights has been a corner stone of U.S. political theory and thus, we as a nation should not throw away that tradition, and act hypocritically in our moral standing.
Under premise two; Locke theorized that since these inalienable rights exist, it is an imperative for the government to protect them. He explains "All men may be restrained from invading others rights, and from doing hurt to one another." Essentially, the government has a duty to restrain actions that cause harm to other people. For instance, the government outlaws rape and murder because it severely hurts a fellow citizen.
But what of abortion? Abortion is killing, thus it clearly violates a person's right to life. Therefore, the government has a duty to not remain apathetic towards the issue of abortion. Pro-choice advocates claim that the government does not have the right to invade on a woman's body. As one pro-choice supporter put it "It's my body. The government has no right to tell me what to do with it." It is true, the government should not have a right over someone's body, but in this case, we are dealing with not just one body, but two bodies. Since this is the case, Locke makes it clear that the government has a binding contractual duty, as our sovereign, to prevent people from hurting each other. The mother has no right to kill her baby, especially on the justification that it's her body, because it isn't just hers that is involved with abortion.
Locke's understanding of inalienable rights has forever shaped the creation of the United States. Thomas Jefferson mirrored this idea in the Declaration of Independence, and it is portrayed in many other major U.S. documents. Allowing abortion and the advancement of abortion in the United States is a violation of our very tradition of the protection of these God-given rights, especially the most important right, the right to life.
Abortion is a political and moral evil; it violates our inalienable rights and is exacerbated due to the government's protection of this malicious act. Aside from theoretical arguments, Locke proposed practical action against the government when it fails to protect the people and the people's rights, an idea that fostered action against Britain during the American Revolution.
Therefore, because of the American tradition, we as citizens, and more importantly human beings, must not condone and allow this despicable act. In a time where Congress and the Presidency will be controlled by a powerful group of pro-choice advocates, it is imperative that we fight and demand that the government fulfills its primary duty; to protect our rights, especially the rights of the most innocent of all, the unborn child.
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