Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pro-life Americans Hold The Power To Change The Abortion Landscape In America - Vote!

Brian Fisher, Co-Founder & President, Online for Life: During a Gallup poll conducted six weeks before the 2012 U.S. presidential election, nearly 45 percent of those surveyed said abortion was one of their top issues in determining how they would vote. Unfortunately, among the 46 percent of Americans who claim to hold pro-life views, only 21 percent consider abortion to be the deciding factor when determining how they will vote. That’s just four points higher than the national average.

In other words, the right to life was not the preeminent issue for roughly three out of four pro-life Americans in 2012.

It’s no exaggeration to say that if all pro-life Americans would use their life-affirming views to definitively guide their decision-making, America’s abortion landscape would look significantly different than it does today. So the question must be asked: Why is the sacredness of life not the preeminent issue for all pro-life Americans?

As I travel around the country speaking to church communities, educational venues, and social justice forums, I’ve concluded there are three primary reasons why pro-life Americans don’t make LIFE their preeminent issue:
  • They don’t understand the emphasis that our nation’s Founding Fathers placed on the right to life.
  • They have misunderstood the feminist roots of abortion.
  • They don’t realize their vote holds power to enact real social change.
I’d like to address each of these three reasons in turn.

First, a person has only to read our nation’s founding documents to understand that the right to life is not only one of the unalienable rights articulated in the Declaration of Independence, but it’s also the first and most important one:We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.>An “unalienable right” means that right is bestowed by God, not man, and is incapable of being taken away or given up. As John Dickinson, author of the Articles of Confederation, asserted, “Our liberties do not come from charters; for these are only the declaration of pre-existing rights. They do not depend on parchments or seals; but come from the King of Kings and the Lord of all the earth.” In other words, no man can take away the rights that God has commissioned, especially the first and foremost right to life.

James Wilson, one of just six men to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, further expounds on this God-given right to life in his essay Of the Natural Rights of Individuals:With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and, in some cases, from every degree of danger.Wilson goes on to excoriate ancient societies such as Sparta, Rome, and China for openly killing unwanted infants. Clearly Wilson, like many of his revolutionary contemporaries, was ferociously protective of the right to life.

One can go back even before the Founding Fathers and read the writings of John Locke, the best-known enlightenment philosopher of his day whose ideas formed the basis of our nation’s founding documents. In his writings, Locke lists abortion among several other actions that trespass the laws of nature. This list includes: “not to kill another man; not to know more women than one; not to procure abortion; not to expose their children, not to take from another what is his.” John Locke, The Works of John Locke in Nine Volumes, vol. 1, at 48 (12th ed., 1824) (ch3, sec.19).

As ardent disciples of John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and others were no doubt very familiar with Locke’s teaching on abortion, and most likely they had his writings in mind when they endorsed the Declaration of Independence’s right to life with quill and ink.

The second reason why so many pro-life people are reluctant to make the right to life their paramount concern is that they don’t understand the roots of feminism in our country. For decades, abortion supporters have been trying to link early suffragists to the modern feminist movement. They evoke names such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony to justify their “right to choose.” However, what they willfully ignore is that many leaders of women’s suffrage were adamantly opposed to abortion. Alice Paul, the original architect of the Equal Rights Amendment, was the first to describe abortion as “the ultimate exploitation of women,” and many of her fellow pioneering suffragists, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, also opposed abortion. Stanton candidly proclaimed, “Abortion is infanticide.” Anthony likewise editorialized against abortion in the women’s newspaper The Revolution, terming it “child murder” and “infanticide.”

The bottom line is that many early feminist leaders adamantly opposed abortion and instead sought to address its underlying root causes. To try and make a correlation between these brave pioneers and the legalization of abortion on demand does a great disservice to their memory and defiles the causes for which they fought.

Lastly, I don’t believe Americans realize the great power their voices hold to enact social change in our culture. Pro-life Americans can restore the sacredness of life to our culture by working diligently to protect life at all stages.
While we may not all agree on every single issue, there are some nonnegotiable issues that we are called to support — like the sacredness of human life. And at Online for Life, we know the right to life at all stages of development is the defining issue of our day.

The death of an estimated 56 million unborn children since the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling on Roe v. Wade has taken a tragic toll on the moral fabric of our nation — weakening families, marriage, communities, schools, churches, and economies.

Indeed there are many ways to get involved in the fight to help rescue babies from abortion — from volunteering at a life-affirming pregnancy medical clinic, to sidewalk counseling, to financially supporting life-affirming organizations such as Online for Life — one of the easiest and most accessible ways for all pro-life individuals to fight abortion takes place inside the voting booth.

We must not become part of the silent majority and allow the pro-abortion movement to continue stripping the most basic rights from our nation’s most innocent citizens.

But when we make the pro-life cause the defining issue upon which our decisions are based, we are speaking up for unborn children who have no voice. And ultimately, we are advancing our goal of the abolition of abortion in America.

Your voice does make a difference. Become a part of the great movement to end abortion in America in our generation — get out and vote!

Tags: VOTE Pro-Life, Pro-Life Americans, hold the power, to change, Abortion landscape, America, vote, Brian Fisher, Online for Life To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

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