Professor Robert P. George of Princeton University:
We’ve known for a long time what a woman is carrying when she is pregnant—namely a child, her child.
We’ve known that it is not a rock or a potato or a frog, but rather a living member of the human species, the human family—one of us.
Many, of course, in an effort to validate and protect the abortion license, have pretended not to know; but it has been decades since it was possible actually not to know. To borrow a line from Leonard Cohen, “everybody knows.”
Honest defenders of abortion, such as Peter Singer and Michael Tooley, have long acknowledged the humanity of the child in the womb, but defended abortion—and, being logically consistent—infanticide on the ground that unborn and newborn babies, though human beings, are not (yet) “persons.”
Those of us on the pro-life side deny that there can be “human non-persons.” All human beings are persons, and as such deserve our love, care, and protection.
So our answer to the challenge of undesired or difficult pregnancies is “love them both.”
We do not see killing a human being—especially an innocent, defenseless human being (be it a child in the womb, a newborn baby, a cognitively disabled individual, or a frail elderly person)—as the answer to personal or social problems.
We differ among ourselves on many political and economic questions, including the proper roles (and mix) of government, civil society, and private charitable work in addressing these problems and providing necessary assistance. But most of us are not particularly dogmatic about those issues. We recognize that these are matters on which reasonable pro-life people may reasonably disagree.
What we agree on is this: We must always care; we may never kill.
Mother and child alike are precious members of the human family who must be respected, protected, and afforded the assistance and care they require.
These principles are exemplified by countless people who provide help to women and children both before and after the birth of the child in pro-life clinics and centers around the country. These are ordinary people—the majority are women—who volunteer their time and services, who are rarely given any public recognition or thanks, and who are sometimes subjected to harassment, abuse, and threats by abortion supporters and even malicious public officials. Yet they refuse to be intimidated or to abandon their baby-saving, woman-affirming work.
God bless them, and all who labor selflessly for others—especially the weak, the vulnerable, the poor, the persecuted. Kudos to all those who do not merely affirm but stand up and proclaim and defend the principle of the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of each and every member of the human family, beginning with the child in the womb.