It is most interesting to me that Life is listed as the first of the three mentioned rights... interesting, in that it must be revered with the highest importance. Life, a right Endowed by the Creator of Nature, or simply stated - a Right Inherited from the Creator Himself. To this end, the founding fathers understood that life was a Divine Inheritance not to be wasted.
This understanding of the appreciation of life is evident, and weighs heavy on the minds of any judge or jury responsible for sending a convicted felon to their death. It weighs heavy on the mind of a soldier sent to the battlefield to kill the enemy. It weighs heavy on the minds of those who have been unjustly victimized by a murder of a relative or loved one. The question, then, is who is the beneficiary of this endowment of Life?
The question of life is one that is a heated topic in the political arena, that is, the definition of life. When does life begin? What right does one have to end a life in the womb? Is the endowment only to the strong, or is it our responsibility to protect this blessing, even of the premature or sickly infants and fetuses?
In every discussion involving this topic, one looks at the Supreme Court ruling of Roe v Wade. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) is a controversial United States Supreme Court case that resulted in a landmark decision regarding abortion. According to the Roe decision, most laws against abortion in the United States violated a constitutional right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The amendment reads:
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Roe due to the technicality of the first three words of this amendment - "all persons born". Their decision justified the lack of legal protection under the law for the unborn because these fetuses were not considered in the writing of the amendment, and therefore are not entitled to any equal protection from the acts of the mother.
Now, this is legal-ese at it's worst.
The equal protection clause states that States shall not deprive any person of life... So the definition of a person is the requirement of being born. I challenge any individual to reasonably deny that a child of any fetal development age is "not alive". My wife and I had a miscarriage during our first pregnancy at 9 weeks... the hardest punch I ever felt came when the ultrasound showed no heartbeat, and that our child had died within the last 24 hours. Anyone who understands the intent of the Endowment of Life understands that even at 9 weeks, life is life.
So the question I pose is this: If Life is an Inalienable Right Endowed by the Creator of Nature (Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim, etc...even for atheists you have to admit that there is a natural order to life and the universe that is larger than humanity), what role do individuals have in determining at the fetal level which life is worth living and which not, without due process of law? Should we allow abortions, but only after a legal hearing where the fetus has legal representation? Should the United States reconsider the wording of the 14th amendment to retract the word born and replace with alternative wording to include the unborn life? What legal jurisdiction does a father have over the life of his unborn child? He is the owner of half of the chromosomes, does that give him legal standing to prevent an abortion?
If life in our free society is so precious that we fight to save the lives of murders and other criminals on death row, what justification is there for abortion other than "convenience of life for the mother" (put in quotes because I know that there is nothing morally convenient... the decision weighs on the mother).
To my liberal readers: what is the justification for abortion?