The most important thing a person has is life. Life is more important than love, liberty, and property. This is true because when you rob a person of life you rob that person of everything else. It is vitally important that we defend and protect life, especially human life.
One of the important truths that Christians should learn from very first pages of the Bible is that human beings are to be stewards of creation. This doesn’t mean that we are free to pillage and pollute creation, as we have tended to do, but that we seek ways to preserve, manage, and care for the world around us. For us to carry out this task includes the proper care of plants and animals, because they too have life.
Abortion is such an important issue for many Christians precisely because it has to do with protecting life. Not just any life, but human life. This is the inescapable reality which surrounds abortion. The only way to avoid the life question is to elevate liberty, or a person’s choice, to the most important thing a person has.
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.
According to Mary Elizabeth Williams, a woman’s right to choose what is best for her ALWAYS trumps the human life growing inside of her. She justifies this position by stating that all life is not equal.
She is right, all life is not equal. Human life is not equal to the life of a rose or even to the life of a dog. Human life is much more valuable than all other life. While human life is of more value than animal and plant life, each human life is equal. Human life is not equal due to a person’s ability or position, rather it is equal due to a person’s intrinsic worth. As Ludwig von Mises points out:
What is imperishable in man—his spirit—is undoubtedly the same in rich and poor, noble and commoner, white and colored.
Nothing, however, is ill-founded as the assertion of the alleged equality of all members of the human race. Men are altogether unequal. Even between brothers there exist the most marked differences in physical and mental attributes. (Liberalism, p. 9)
What Mises points out is that each person has intrinsic value simply because they are humans. They may not be equal in talents, experiences, or training, but they are equal in worth. It is because people possess this intrinsic value that equal protection under the law is important. This truth was one of the principles that led to the founding of our nation, as we discover in the Declaration of Independence.
One important thing Mary Elizabeth Williams fails to do is to explain why she believes that all human life is not equal. She doesn’t answer this basic question: “Why can’t a fetus (Latin for little one) possess the same rights as the mother?” This means we are left to assume that the answer has to do with the fetus being non-autonomous.
According to freedictionary.com non-autonomous means (of peoples and political bodies) controlled by outside forces; non-sovereign; unfree – hampered and not free; not able to act at will. In Mary Elizabeth Williams’ mind the reason the woman’s life is more valuable than the life of her fetus is because she is able to make choices and the fetus is totally dependent on her.
If this is the case what makes the fetus so different from the one day old baby?
A little baby is totally dependent on others to care for him, that means the only real difference is the one day old is living outside the mother’s body. So does that mean mother’s life is still more valuable than baby’s life? When does a human being receive his right to life? These are the questions that Mary Williams needs to answer if she is going to claim that a mother has the right to terminate the life of the little one (fetus) living inside of her.
She is correct to point out that pregnancies do bring complications into a woman’s life. The path a woman is headed right now maybe sidetracked by having a baby, but that is not good reason for justifying abortion.
Each and everyday people’s lives are turned upside down by an unexpected event. Sometimes people even experience the greatest transformation of their lives as they emerge from the other side of a tragic events. Complications and detours are part of life; which means you work with the hand that you are dealt. Ending a human life because that life makes your life complicated is nothing short of evil.
Not only does a woman miss out on the potential of great joy when she has an abortion, but she is also snuffing out the potential of an amazing human life. Who knows what great superstars, doctors, scientists, and humanitarians the world will never know because a woman thought her life was more valuable than the life she carried. Abortion robs the world of the joy, hope, and potential that each new life brings. That is why it matters that abortion ends life.