By: Leslie Bosslet, Students for Life of America’s 2012 Missionary for Life
A couple of weeks ago, while I was interning at the House of Representatives, a friend/
fellow intern and I were invited to attend a lunch briefing on international human rights. We immediately jumped on the chance to go because we were very curious if any pro-life or abortion-related issues would be mentioned. I was a bit disappointed because the speaker, in my pro-life eyes, danced around the topic of abortion when discussing these rights. But that is due to my support of the belief that abortion is the ultimate social injustice.
The speaker introduced the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To view
the document in its entirety, see http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ . I have known about
this declaration but have never read it closely. The speaker pointed out some of the inalienable
human rights that everyone should enjoy. These of course include the “right to life, liberty, and
the security of person” (Article 3). Being the enthusiastic pro-lifer that I am, my ears perked up
when I heard the words “right to life.” To me, those words only scream “FOR ALL BORN AND
UNBORN!” However, to others that is not the case. They hear “liberty” as the freedom to choose
what is best for them. Also, my friend pointed out to me that Article 1 states, “All human beings
are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and
should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” What an unfortunate statement to
place in the declaration because it is an easy out for those who are pro-abortion. That little key
word, “born,” throws off an argument for the unborn too easily. Since fetuses cannot display
reason or voice conscience, they cannot enjoy these given rights. Now if that is not a social
injustice, I just don’t know what is.
However, I could go on with this document pointing out how it does support all human beings’
– born and unborn – right to life. Article 6 states that “everyone has the right to recognition
everywhere as a person before the law.” Abortion advocates would come in and say, “Exactly,
the unborn are not persons, or they are less of a person than the mother who should get to decide
what to do with her body.” Then anti-abortion arguments come back with “Ah, science is on our
side and the unborn are in fact human beings. Personhood is an arbitrary debate.” This is fun!
I will point out only one final piece of the declaration as a side note. Article 18 states, “Everyone
has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion… either alone or in community with
others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship
and observance.” And if that doesn’t support the repeal of the HHS mandate because of its
violation of religious freedom, then I do not know what does.
I do see how these articles could be interpreted to support a “pro-choice” view, and I’d be happy
to argue how it supports a very pro-life view right back.
I just want to point out how this document, which speaks in mostly generalities, should be read
in a pro-life light and should tell readers that denying an unborn his or her right to be born fits
the definition of social injustice.