What is the Value of Human Life?

On my Facebook group, Reagan Conservatives, the question was posed. “How can you be a freedom activist and not support a woman who has been raped`s freedom to not carry out a pregnancy she had no possibility to protect herself from?”

I thought about this question for a day or two and came up with this response:

“Reagan I believe asked the right question concerning this subject, ‘What is the value of human life?‘ (Link to Reagan’s article) If human life has value, is it not worth protecting at any stage? No one would argue how horrible it is for a woman to be raped and forced to left with the consequences of another’s actions, but does that horrible act justify the taking a human life which still is unable to protect itself? If human life has value, is there a difference between the woman unable to protect herself against the actions of the rapist and the unborn child unable to protect himself or herself against the knife of the abortionist?”

If human life does have value, when is it right to destroy it? If an unborn child’s life has value late in the pregnancy, it has value from the beginning. A wrong committed against one person can not justify a wrong against another.

Here is the powerful excerpt from Reagan’s piece, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation, from which I base my argument:

“What, then, is the real issue? I have often said that when we talk about abortion, we are talking about two lives — the life of the mother and the life of the unborn child. Why else do we call a pregnant woman a mother? I have also said that anyone who doesn’t feel sure whether we are talking about a second human life should clearly give life the benefit of the doubt. If you don’t know whether a body is alive or dead, you would never bury it. I think this consideration itself should be enough for all of us to insist on protecting the unborn.

The case against abortion does not rest here, however, for medical practice confirms at every step the correctness of these moral sensibilities. Modern medicine treats the unborn child as a patient. Medical pioneers have made great breakthroughs in treating the unborn — for genetic problems, vitamin deficiencies, irregular heart rhythms, and other medical conditions. Who can forget George Will’s moving account of the little boy who underwent brain surgery six times during the nine weeks before he was born? Who is the patient if not that tiny unborn human being who can feel pain when he or she is approached by doctors who come to kill rather than to cure?

The real question today is not when human life begins, but, What is the value of human life? The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother’s body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being. The real question for him and for all of us is whether that tiny human life has a God-given right to be protected by the law — the same right we have.” (Link to the full piece: Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation by Ronald Reagan)

If human life has value, the debate as to what stage of pregnancy should abortion should be legal at ceases. It is not a question about a women’s rights, abortion is a question about a child’s rights.

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