Wednesday, December 20, 2006



In 1973 the United States Supreme Court outraged humanity by its edict declaring unborn children not to be "persons" within the meaning of the Fourteenth Article of Amendment to the United States Constitution. Many of those who were shocked by that decision were left incredulously wondering how something as self-evident as the personhood of living but as yet unborn infants could be so pompously denied. Naively we had assumed that each individual human life was, almost by definition, a "person." Some advocates of life, displaying a propensity to be more analytical, pointed out the differences between the concepts of "citizenship" and "personhood." One is a citizen by birth (or naturalization), they reasoned, whereas one is a "person" merely by existence. Birth, therefore, is not a prerequisite to personhood. This is a distinction that escaped the notice of the Justices. Pro-Life scholars further emphasized that, while "personhood" was a concept that government could legitimately broaden to include, for example, certain "artificial persons" such as corporations, it was not a concept that could legitimately be narrowed to exclude any categories of natural persons. To do so would be to depart from the basic premise upon which our civilization is predicated - the belief that personhood is ours by endowment from the Creator. We do not hold our personhood by grant of any government. Neither can any government dispossess us of it. Yet this is what the Supreme Court professed to do to an entire class of human beings.

[To be continued]

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