"They are written," he concluded, "as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the Divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."
When Jefferson stated that all men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" and that governments are created to protect those rights, he was echoing both Cicero and the common view of his countrymen.
"Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion," Jefferson wrote, explaining the Declaration, in a letter he wrote in 1825. "All its authority rests then on the harmonizing sentiments of the day, whether expressed in conversation, in letters, printed essays, or in the elementary books of public right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, etc."
Today, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's ironically entitled "individual responsibility requirement" takes effect -- at least so far as the letter of the law is concerned. It says that almost all Americans must "maintain minimum essential coverage" for health insurance for themselves and their dependents or be penalized by the government.
This "minimum essential coverage" includes a "preventive services" regulation, which has been defined by the Obama administration to require co-pay-free coverage for sterilizations as well as drugs and intrauterine devices that cause abortions.
Quite literally, under this regulation, a mother can be forced through her insurance coverage to provide her daughter with the drug that kills her granddaughter.
To deliberately terminate the life of an innocent human being, or to be complicit in that act, is to violate the unchanging moral law that even pagans such as Cicero recognized and understood. A government that forces individuals into complicity with the taking of innocent life is fully breaking faith with the purpose of government: It violates the God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Virtue -- living by our creator's unchanging law -- requires Americans, like all those before us, to respect life.
Under President Obama, that now violates a federal regulation.