In a speech at a Baltimore mosque last week, President Obama said, “We’re all born equal, with inherent dignity.”
He’s right. But his chronology is inadequate.
Our Declaration of Independence says we are “created equal.” That’s an important piece of phrasing in that it accurately represents the true origin of our humanity. Our Creator, from the moment of our conception, bestows on us His image and likeness. From that fraction of time on, we are persons. All the DNA that composes our beings is there at the union of the sperm and egg. As my colleague Cathy Ruse and I wrote a few years ago, “the scientific evidence is quite plain: at the moment of fusion of human sperm and egg, a new entity comes into existence which is distinctly human, alive, and an individual organism -- a living, and fully human, being.”
Throughout his time in elective office, in the Illinois and U.S. Senates and now as President, Mr. Obama has been a consistent and strident proponent of unrestricted access to abortion-on-demand. His health care plan subsidizes it. He is suing in federal court to demand that everyone from faith-based colleges to an order of Catholic nuns provide contraception to their employees. He wants birth control with potentially abortifacient action made widely available. It is thus difficult not to see his assertion of our being born with inherent dignity as a turn of phrase calculated deliberately to avoid dealing with the humanness of the unborn child.
We are created with dignity from the moment when our humanness starts. That’s called conception. It takes place in the womb. No clever phrasing can ever diminish what the conscience cannot deny and science cannot but confirm: That life within the womb isn’t some collection of tissue and blood -- he or she is a baby who should be protected by law and welcomed into life.