Everyone has right to life, liberty ... happiness

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In one hospital room lays a young mother who has just given birth prematurely to a baby at 22 weeks gestation. The Neo-Natal Intensive Care team works feverishly to save the baby's life.

The doctor on duty goes into the neighboring room where another young lady is also 22 weeks pregnant. He inserts a vacuum-like tube into her uterus. The baby is dismembered as it is suctioned out.

In one room the mother prays her baby will be saved. In the other, the woman says, "It is my body, my life, my choice." Similar scenarios happen everyday in our country.

How did we as a society become so schizophrenic in our view of life?

Some would say that this is a personal matter and that it has no impact on society in general and we should not get involved. I disagree. I think abortion affects all of us on several levels.

The first is economically. We, as an American culture, have killed 50 million of our citizens over the last 40 years. More than two-thirds of those would now be American workers, consuming American goods, buying cars and homes, and not the least, paying into Social Security. Because there are so many in the baby boomer generation now nearing retirement the Social Security fund is projected to be bankrupt in just a few years. This would not be happening if we had 50 million more contributors to the fund. And who knows, maybe even our economy would be robust now rather than in recession.

Then there is the socio-economic level. I saw a cartoon once where mankind was asking God why He had not sent individuals who could come up with a cure for cancer, heart disease and aids. In the cartoon, God said he did send those individuals. Mankind, in bewilderment, asked where they were. God said: "You aborted them." Only God knows how many doctors, research scientists, artists and educators have been snuffed out because of abortion.

This is a great loss to our society.

Then there is the social/ psychological level. There is the loss to infertile couples who want to adopt. There is the depression of woman who experiences remorse following an abortion. But more than that, we have a generation that has grown up in a society that devalues life.

If life is disposable before birth, a logical conclusion for a young person is that life is also disposable after birth. Or they can wonder when does life become valuable? Only if you are wanted? Or loved? Or whole and perfect? No wonder some teenagers and even adults suffer from depression and/or anger. Life is meaningless.

It has not always been this way. This devalued view of life was not the view of our Founding Fathers. In fact, it was quite the opposite. The Preamble of the Declaration of Independence states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

I find it interesting that the first right listed is the "right to life." And they recognized that the right to life was not endowed by the state, congress or the Supreme Court. The right to life is endowed by our Creator. For generations, human life in this country was held in high esteem. Hospitals were built to save lives, universities were founded to educate lives, and churches were establish to mend broken lives. Every life was worth saving, worth the investment.

So what has changed from the time of our Founding Fathers to present day? I believe many have lost sight of the self-evident truth mentioned in the Preamble. The truth that we are created beings. And not just haphazardly created but meticulously crafted in the very likeness of God. We are His design, made for His purpose, stamped with His approval. We have been given a body, soul and spirit. This is what differentiates us from a whale or a baby seal. Humans have been given a touch of the eternal. It is this touch from God that gives us 'sanctity of life'. And as beings created by and for God's plan, we are accountable to Him. Accountable for what we do with our life and for those He brings into our life. It is this truth that propels those in the Pro-Life Movement to advocate for the unborn.

Like our Founding Fathers and thousands of Americans before us, we believe every life is worth saving, worth the investment.

Sandy Johnson lives in Lake Nebagamon.