One of my historical heroes (I have many) is Frederick Douglas. He was born in 1818 in Maryland as a slave with no more worth or merit than livestock, yet died a free man who had changed his world.
As a slave his life was full of courage, determination, and hope against all odds, characteristics that eventually helped him obtain his freedom, but what I find so compelling, and, yes, heroic, is his consideration of his “brothers” and “sisters” in bonds once he, himself, was finally free. He didn’t forget from where he had come once he found freedom, marriage, and work, but remembered the people, places, tragedies, and wrongs he had left behind. Unwilling to live his years of freedom self-consumed, he became a voice for his “brothers” and “sisters” still in bonds, and in doing so, reiterated his own value as a human being created in the image of God.
It hit me, as I was reading about his life as a slave and then activist, this obligation to those left in the slavery he escaped, this burden he carried for his “brethren in bonds,” was the same obligation I feel toward the unborn.
I am a human being who was given the right to be born. How can I not be moved by great compassion to fight for all human beings to have this very basic, yet sacred, right?
All human beings begin the same way, the meeting of a sperm and egg. There is no other way for a human being to begin. That is why it is so baffling to me that our culture acts as if we do not know when human life begins! I believe deep down in our hearts we all know the truth. Why wouldn’t life begin at the beginning of life? Why would it begin somewhere in the middle? One has to go against logic and science to hold that a human being’s life begins at some time other than conception.
The really terrifying truth is that many people in the abortion industry concede the point that life begins at conception, they just don’t believe all human life has equal value. Don’t we “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal?” A very important word in the first line of the Declaration of Independence is the word “created.” That word implies that all men are equal from the moment they are created, the moment of conception.
In valuing the life of the unborn, I am valuing my life, and the life of my children, my neighbors, people of all color, race, and religion, because we all begin the same way.
When Frederick Douglas saw his “brothers” and “sisters” in slavery he saw himself. He knew he would never really be free until all African Americans were free. He would never really have value as a human being until all African Americans had value as human beings…and neither would his children or his children’s children.
That is why we “pro-lifers” fight for the unborn, because it’s not really just about the unborn. It’s about all humanity being granted the one basic right that all other rights hinge on…the right to life. There is no right to liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, if there is not first the right to life. As long as one group of people can strip another of their right to live, to be human beings with all that implies, none of us will really be free, none of us will really have value.
If I were ever tempted to believe the issue of abortion was simply a matter of “choice” all I would need to do is look at the faces of my children, the faces of my friends and neighbors, and even my own face in the mirror, to be reminded of exactly who we are aborting.