New Year’s Resolution: Raise Awareness of Human Personhood

As the New Year commences, there are two things that each pro-life American should do: Take stock of progress over the past decade and refocus efforts if they have not produced the results that were anticipated.

This is precisely what American Life League is now doing. As a result, we are setting forth our goals, which means some projects will disappear or be significantly changed, while others will be enhanced as never before. Why this is so is best characterized by a slogan one of our former marketing experts came up with:  It’s the babies, stupid!

Indeed, we are called to be pro-life because we care about preborn babies, their human rights and their families. The babies have an enemy that is most accurately portrayed as the devil. The devil has twisted words, promoted murder masquerading as “choice” and, in general, done all within his power to deny the humanity of the preborn human being. He has enlisted the services of many, but ultimately he will not be victorious.

I do not mean to suggest, however, that the vast majority of Americans are possessed by a devil. No, we have to evaluate individual attitudes in terms of what is actually comprehended by each person we encounter, not by what we wish they knew. We realize that the vast majority do not think about abortion much or at all.

Further, we know, from polling data, market research and political exit polls, that Americans are confused. For the most part, they think of abortion in terms of politics, not in terms of murder. As far as we can determine, this is the result of confusion, lack of knowledge and apathy.

It is therefore incumbent on us at American Life League to increase our efforts to teach the truth not only about the personhood of the human being from his biological beginning, but at a fundamental level, his identity as a member of the human family. We have to remain dedicated to personalizing that preborn baby so that Americans begin to understand that abortion is not about politics; it’s about killing babies.

How well we accomplish this goal will determine the pro-life movement’s future. With this in mind, our objectives for the coming year must be focused primarily on human rights for all, including every single preborn human being. We must be vigilant in assuring that every statement that American Life League makes to the media is focused on the fundamental truth of human personhood

We will make certain that each and every issue of our many publications, whether transmitted by U. S. mail or the internet, has at least one educational component concerning vulnerable human beings and their dignity, their human rights and their equal rights. This means that not a single edition of Celebrate Life magazine, ALL NewsRock for Life‘s e-blast,  the Wednesday STOPP Report, the American Life League Associate Newsletter, LiveCampus updates and the Daily News Summary will be published without addressing human personhood. We must not miss an opportunity to teach this fundamental truth about the human being.

As a wise merchandising expert once advised us, “The day McDonald’s decides to run one ad a year to remind the country of what it is all about is the day American Life League can start mentioning the truth about the act of abortion once a year. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Repetition works!”

Along those lines, it has always been my contention that the reason assisted suicide, infanticide, euthanasia, prenatal genetic diagnosis, human embryonic stem cell research and the like have increased in recent years is because abortion has not been discussed nonstop in terms of the human person who dies from it. The following three examples illustrate this failure.

Pro-life Kansas state senator Tim Huelskamp is proposing a legislative effort to defund Planned Parenthood. Good for him! When he announced his goal, he said, “Organizations that perform abortions and fail to report sexual abuse of young girls should never receive taxpayer subsidies. This flies in the face of basic Kansas values.”

Our educational efforts should eventually convince Senator Huelskamp that his point would resound with far greater clarity if he replaced the phrase “perform abortions” with “kill preborn babies.” This is why we believe elected officials need our consistent affirmation and education. It isn’t that they don’t care; they simply don’t think of abortion in the proper terms.

Here’s another example: The Bronx News Network reported on a protest against Pierre Renelique. In the story, pro-life people themselves refer to Renelique as a “doctor.” But doctors take an oath to protect the lives of their patients, not kill them. Renelique is a hired killer who executes little children in the wombs of their own mothers. Pro-life people should never refer to an abortionist as a “doctor.” We must learn to call heinous acts by their proper names and to use accurate titles for those who perpetrate them.

My final example pertains to Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson, who is busy defending his compromise on paying for the practice of abortion as part of health care reform. The senator was interviewed by the Columbus Telegram. An excerpt from the report states,

It is made clear “no federal money can be used to fund elective abortions. Anyone that has abortion coverage has to pay the separate premium for abortion coverage,” which will not qualify for federal subsidy, Nelson said. “Sometimes they’re misinformed and other times the national groups are driving the agendas.

“Apparently I made the mistake of not letting some of the special interest groups go ahead and write the language. I thought I was the legislator,” he said. “I’m going to do the best I can to get the best language in the version coming out of the conference” to prohibit federal funds from subsidizing abortions.

Here we have a perfect example of a well-meaning elected official who thinks about aborting children in terms of his political agenda, his opinion of what is best for Americans and his perspective on the “issue,” rather than dead babies. He is either confused or misled.

Clearly on the defensive, Nelson takes the time to chastise “national groups,” but he does not admit that “to prohibit federal funds from subsidizing abortions” is meaningless in terms of saving lives. If the same expectant mother who cannot use tax dollars is permitted to use personal funds to pay for the killing of her child, where is the victory?

Oh yes, we know that committing an abortion is protected by the law of the land, but this tragic reality should provide greater inspiration than ever to politicians such as Nelson, who should be willing to accept the political heat for calling abortion by its proper name. If only he had said “to prohibit federal funds from subsidizing the direct murder of innocent babies” instead.

Nelson should be championing human personhood, but I will bet you my bottom dollar he does not even know what human personhood means and is quite happy, as are so many pro-life political types, to go along with the status quo for the sake of political unity. What about unity based on truth?
The only way to change an unjust law is address it and do so without calculating potential political fallout.

This is why it is so important to retool American Life League’s message, our work and our ability to teach the language of human personhood as simply as possible to as many individuals and groups as we can.

In the late 1970s, a wonderful editorial writer, Nick Thimmesch, described American Life League as the “green berets of the pro-life movement.”  He wrote this about us because of our unswerving commitment to never compromise the life of even one innocent preborn child.

Today, more than ever, we must persist in this vein. We must do so through patient teaching and positive motivation, so that we bring as many Americans along with us as we can. By so doing, we are confident that America will witness a day when human rights are recognized for all human persons from their biological beginning to their natural-not imposed-death.

We look forward to bringing the nation American Life League’s refined focus for 2010 and beyond, and we feel confident that more and more of our fellow pro-lifers will be speaking the language of human personhood as the days go by.

In closing, for those readers who have never encountered American Life League’s human personhood effort, we invite you to visit our web site, to read one of my many commentaries on the subject and to visit the web site of our friends at Personhood USA.

Yes, that’s what it’s all about this New Year: Human personhood now!

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