“We are bound by an inescapable garment of mutuality: Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail, 1962
After the American colonists’ petition to King George III for political representation in Parliament was rejected, Thomas Jefferson drafted a declaration of independence from England that will forever be celebrated for its proclamation that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, key among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For over two centuries this declaration has formed the bedrock of America’s consciousness. The Declaration is not merely an assertion of political independence, it is a testament to humanity’s divine inheritance: We are created beings, each of whom bears the likeness of our Maker. Our dignity as human beings cannot be separated from this likeness; indeed, it is the very source of it. The truth of this testament has prevailed despite many shameful episodes in our nation’s history in which we allowed hatred, bigotry, fear, and ignorance to drown out the pricks of a guilty conscience. Sadly, it appears that American society has once again arrived at a moment in which we are daily finding new ways to deny the blessings and obligations of our divine inheritance.
As the final showdown over health care reform unfolded over the past two weeks, Representative Bart Stupak – one of 12 Democrats in the House that had pledged to vote against the health care bill unless major changes to the abortion provision language were made – is reporting that one of the reasons Democrats are pushing for federal funding of abortion is that they view it as a cost-cutting measure. More abortions result in fewer children, which translates into lower health care costs for all. In an interview with National Review Online, Stupak expressed bewilderment and dismay over his colleagues’ calculated position on abortion:
“If you pass the Stupak amendment, more children will be born, and therefore it will cost us millions more. That’s one of the arguments I’ve been hearing. . . . Money is their hang-up. Is this how we now value life in America? If money is the issue – come on, we can find room in the budget. This is life we’re talking about.”