When it Comes to Abortion: Human Rights Begin When Human Life Begins, At Conception

Opinion   |   Father Frank Pavone   |   Feb 17, 2020   |   10:14AM   |   Washington, DC

In his now infamous appearance on ABC’s  “The View” earlier this month, Democratic presidential hopeful, former South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, was asked when in pregnancy an abortion would become unthinkable to him.

In a response worthy of Pontius Pilate, the would-be-president said, “My point is that it shouldn’t be up to the government official to draw the line. It should be up the woman who is confronted with that choice.”

The studio audience erupted into predictable applause.

Pundits on both the right and left had a field day parsing his Buttigieg’s meaning.

The whole field of front-running Democrats vying for the Oval Office seem to believe abortion is just fine any time, right up until birth and maybe a smidge after, so Buttigieg’s comments did in fact toe the party line.

But the larger point was missed. Allowing a mother to draw the line instead of the government is not a point of common ground, as if the debate were only when someone can kill a baby.

Abortion is wrong when a baby is nearing full term; it’s wrong when the nascent human is still that proverbial “clump of cells” immediately following fertilization, and it’s wrong at every point in between.

On Feb. 11, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which mandates life-saving care in a hospital for infants who survive an attempt on their lives.

Fatima Goss Graves of the pro-abortion National Women’s Law Center described the bill – which has nothing to do with the mother – as “harmful legislation that attempts to restrict women’s freedom.”

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But it doesn’t.

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said the problem of babies surviving abortion “doesn’t exist.”

But it does.

That we can even have a debate about whether or not a newborn who survives abortion deserves life-saving care just demonstrates, in the words of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, “how extreme and radical the pro-abortion side of this debate has gotten.”

But in truth, that radical thinking that led to a debate on infanticide can be traced back to 1973 when seven justices concurred that it was not up to them to “resolve the difficult question of when life begins.”

While it, too, sounds like something Pontius Pilate might have uttered, the justices also ruled in that tragic and unjust decision that the unborn human in the womb is not a person, and that a constitutional right to privacy allows that unborn human to be killed.

And that brings us to the key point in answering Mayor Pete’s argument.

He says government shouldn’t draw the line regarding abortion.

But they did.

They drew a line when they deprived the unborn of protection, when they said in Rove v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) that “the word person . . . does not include the unborn.”

No oneis authorized to draw a line that deprives some human beings of their human rights.

The line is already drawn by our humanity itself.

Human rights begin when human lives begin, and not one moment later.

No government has the authority to say that some human beings are not human persons. But abortion supporters like Pete Buttigieg have no problem with that line, yet rail against government officials drawing any lines when it comes to abortion.

Buttigieg and his colleagues in the presidential Democratic primary field are all radical extremists on abortion. All of them go far beyond what Roe vs. Wade said, do away with the prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion and erase any state law that limits how late in pregnancy a child can be killed.

If any of them try to say it shouldn’t be up to the government when to draw the line on abortion, they’re lying. For them, there is no line.

And no one should applaud that.