Abortion debate: Whose rights take precedence?

Abortion debate: Whose rights take precedence?

The abortion debate has hinged on a crucial question: is the baby in the mother’s womb a human being? The pro-life advocate says a human baby is a person and has a fundamental right to life, while the pro-abortion advocate argues that “the fetus” is not a human/person and therefore the woman’s right to bodily autonomy is greater than a fetus’ right to life.

While the question of personhood is another false narrative created by the pro-abortion advocacy groups, I found this quote from the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights incredibly ironic given the strong pro-abortion stand of the UN during the last 45 years. I quote from an article by Katherine Ranck via The Christian Post:

The Preamble of this declaration recognizes “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” (Emphasis mine). The rights protected by this declaration, among many others, include the right to life, the right to freedom, protection against torture or cruel punishment, protection from discrimination, and the right to be recognized everywhere as a person. As members of the human race, the unborn deserve these same rights and protections. The final article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.” Abortion is an act “aimed at the destruction of . . . the rights and freedoms” of the preborn child. The right to life, the right not to be discriminated against based on their size, development, location, or dependency, the right not to be tortured, and the right to personhood.

This now begs the question, which right receives precedence? Many advocates for abortion claim that because of the nature between the woman and the child (fetus), they cannot both have equal moral and legal rights. Unless one holds to a Darwinian ethic of “survival of the fittest,” where the stronger have the right and obligation to overpower the weaker, ethics and our legal system call for a higher moral obligation to protect the most vulnerable among us. The Oxford Dictionary defines a vulnerable person as “[A person] in need of special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect.” The United Nations has an entire section dedicated to the rights of children and the most vulnerable, being the disabled (children, women, migrants, the poor, minorities, etc.). The Preamble to the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989 defines “child” as, “every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier” and notes that there needs to be “particular care” extended to the child “Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, ‘the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth’”

Abortion is not acting out of one’s own right to bodily autonomy. It is acting to take away the human rights of another person. This does not make the woman any less human. This does not take away a woman’s rights. It only forbids her from taking away the rights of another person. As members of the human family, the preborn have the right to live, to grow, to thrive. They have the right not to be poisoned or town limb from limb. The have the right to be protected. Our society and our nation have failed to ensure that ALL humans’ rights are protected. The most vulnerable of all humans have been disallowed their rights. Enough is enough. It is past time to demand that all humans, all members of the human family, are awarded the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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