Abortion and Human Rights

Oct 122006

In an article about abortion, Andy Nicewicz states “it’s a moral issue, not a political one.”

But when ending the life of another is involved, how can you separate morality from law? He says, “I’m pretty sure we still believe in the separation of church and state. Somewhere along the line, people, especially those from the conservative right, forgot this simple fact.”

First, there never was any such fact.

The so-called “separation of church and state” does not exist in the U.S. Constitution in the way people think it does. It never has. What is forbidden is for the government to establish or promote any particular denomination, and to interfere with the free practice of religion so long as it does not harm anyone else, but there is no clause that says that people of religious convictions cannot influence the government under any circumstances.

This would not truly be a democracy if that were the case.

Andy said that the conservatives “have been pushing their moral and religious agenda on the people of the United States, but they fail to recognize that everyone doesn’t have the same beliefs they do.”

Conservatives certainly recognize that not everyone believes as they do, and they could just as easily complain that many things which are currently legal are offensive to them, and that the liberals and secularists should not be forcing their beliefs on the rest of society since not everyone shares those beliefs. But the key idea here isn’t that one side or the other is forcing its beliefs “on the people of the United States.”

Both sides ARE the people of the United States. Our laws are enacted by popular vote and by elected officials. Regardless of why anyone believes what they believe, no one should be expected to vote for or against anything that they know deep down in their hearts is wrong. It would be irresponsible to do anything other than to vote your conscience on moral issues.

Nicewicz complains that abortion distracts from more important things that the government should be focused on. Many would argue that the very lives of millions of the unborn are at stake and are eminently more important than anything else on either side’s political agenda.

He adds, “Don’t go crying to the government to impose your values on others. This is America, and our freedom of choice should never be infringed upon.” What about the freedom of choice that is denied to 1.3 million unborn children who are terminated every year? Did they not have a right to life?

Our own Constitution guarantees a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Who are we to take that right away from those who are still inside the womb?

Who are we to arbitrarily dictate that before a certain day of their development, they are not human and can be killed, but after a certain day they are human and should not be harmed?

By allowing abortion for any and every reason up to a certain date, are we not then doing exactly what Andy complains about and imposing our values upon the helpless unborn?

Jeff Lemke

research associate

Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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