February 3, 2001
volume 12, no. 34

What Happened to Independence for the Unborn?

By Lisa S. Dean

    Typically when we think of privacy, we think of the Bill of Rights - the right to protection from unreasonable searches and seizures; the right to own and carry a gun; the right to freedom of speech, expression and assembly. And the Clinton Administration has kept us busy over the past several years trying to strip us of those rights.

    Ashamedly, the priority has been on Federal databases, cameras at traffic lights, the legal standard of law enforcement's expansion of surveillance powers, online censorship and so forth. These are not unworthy causes because to live freely in a society, one must have constitutional protection against the power-hungry arm of government who seeks ever to expand its power over individuals for the purpose of controlling them.

    But in addition to writing about these rights, our Founding Fathers wrote about something more important, something that unfortunately escapes our notice as we examine each tree while ignoring the forest, namely, our inalienable rights "that among these are [something], liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

    Now, what was that something? Oh yes, the right to life. We've been so busy over the years trying to preserve our eroding property rights, Fourth Amendment rights, First Amendment rights from the now-previous Administration that we've managed to lose sight of the most important right of all, one that most people have given up trying to defend.

    Despite the news reports that hundreds or thousands of people gathered in Washington to protest the legality of abortion in America, in fact, hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers exercised their First Amendment rights by assembling in our nation's capital to not only protest the legality of a woman's right to kill her unborn child, but to remind the nation and the world of the one right that makes all other rights pale by comparison.

    While there is significant evidence to suggest that the intentions and convictions of the people who come from all across the nation to participate in the annual March for Life are sincere, there is also significant evidence to make one question the convictions of those in the Washington establishment who grace that scene with their presence.

    Pro-life organizations and members of Congress periodically call for the excommunication of Roman Catholic Congressmen and Senators who vote in favor of abortion legislation. But the day these members are excommunicated, is the day my faith in the reversing of Roe v. Wade is restored. Right now, I can't see that becoming a reality. There are plenty of Congressmen who are proud to vote against legislation designed to facilitate the killing of the unborn but how many, besides Congressman Henry Hyde, actually take positive steps and introduce legislation that would protect the unborn? How many organizations in Washington who claim to be committed to defending unborn children actually take positive steps to put together nationwide programs that would change the mindset of Americans on that issue rather than just lobbying legislators or criticizing members of Congress who vote the wrong way?

    It's easy to play on the emotions of people who ardently believe in the pro-life cause. Doing so can be a lucrative business and that, coupled with not making the effort to bring about real change is called "job security" all at the expense of unborn children who will never know what it means to be able to speak freely, practice their religion without fear of persecution, own property, live freely without fear of government snooping and spying or enjoy any of the other rights that we so fiercely protect and defend in this country because they were denied the very right in which all others followed, the right to live at all.

    Lisa Dean is Vice President for Technology Policy at the Free Congress Foundation, article provided by

February 3, 2001
volume 12, no. 34
Pro Life News
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