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Clinton Says Unborn Person Doesn’t Have Rights

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally, Wednesday, March 30, 2016, at the Apollo Theatre in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)On Sunday, Hillary Clinton told Chuck Todd of Meet the Press that no unborn child has constitutional rights. "The unborn person doesn't have constitutional rights," under our current laws, said Clinton. Oftentimes, those who align with the pro-choice movement will use terminology that suggests the unborn is not a person, but a "fetus." Clinton strayed from this tactic.

By humanizing the fetus, Clinton went on to add that "the woman's right to make decisions" is most important when it comes to abortion. "Now, that doesn't mean that we don't do everything we possibly can in the vast majority of instances to, you know, help a mother who is carrying a child and wants to make sure that child will be healthy, to have appropriate medical support." But in Clinton's framework, the subjectively determined health of the mother trumps the objective life of the child.

Diana Arellano of Planned Parenthood said Sunday that Mrs. Clinton's comments undermined the cause for abortion rights. She said via Twitter that Clinton's comment "further stigmatizes #abortion." Describing the fetus as a "person" or "child" has long been a poor word choice to the pro-choice movement, which argues the terms misleadingly imply a sense of humanity.

Clinton may have stumbled and strayed from her talking point, but in doing so she fell into reality. The reality of the matter is the unborn child is that—a person made in the image of God. Four weeks after conception, a baby's brain, spinal cord, and heart begin to develop. In the sixth week, facial features begin to form, the skeleton is complete, and brain wave patterns can be recorded. At eight weeks, all organs are functioning and all systems are intact. At twenty weeks, the unborn child has hair and functioning vocal cords, sucks her thumb, kicks, and grasps with her hands. She feels pain even more intensely than adults.

She, or he, is someone that God loves dearly (Matthew 19:14) and for whom He died gruesomely (1 Peter 2:24). He placed his image on each one (Genesis 1:26) and treasures them above all creation (Genesis 9:6). He not only created them, but knit them in such a way that equips them specifically for the plans he laid out for them (Psalm 139:13–16, Isaiah 49:1, Jeremiah 1:5).

You can deny the humanity of the child, but that does not change the reality that it is a child.

The Founding Fathers acknowledged that our rights come from God, and government is our shared project to protect and ensure those rights. The God-given "right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are blessings from the Creator, and it is the job of his created ones to secure those rights for all. "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it," Thomas Paine said.
The struggle is real and it is collective. The English poet John Donne wrote: ". . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

George Santayana in his work Character and Opinion in the United States argued that Americans go through life with two worlds in their heads. In one part, they see the real world, their present reality. But in the other part, they see an imagined world, within grasp yet just out of reach.

In this United, yet divided, States of America, a pro-choice crowd vigilantly fights to protect the rights of the mother. The pro-life movement desperately seeks to protect the life of unborn child.

Our present reality assumes these two groups are oil and water, separated as far as the east is from the west. Yet could it be that protecting the life of the child better secures the inalienable right of the mother as she pursues after happiness?

In this imagined world, protecting the child is the easy choice for the mother. In this elusively close reality, we celebrate childbirth as much as we celebrate sexuality in our current world.

Clinton's remarks strayed from the talking point, but stumbled into reality. Maybe the next step we can all take is into an imaginary,better reality.

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