The following is a letter that I have sent to all my representatives in the US Congress. The letter encourages them to protect the lives of the unborn. I have appealed to timeless and universal principles as well as the observations of nationally commissioned scientists to advocate for my requests. You may use this letter to aid your personal position on this important matter before our nation, and you may also use it and adjust it to fit your perspective, style, and position in writing your own letter to Congress.
Dear Honorable Representative:
As a minister and constituent of yours, I encourage you to uphold the dignity of human life in pre-born children, oppose pro-abortion bills and Acts, and advocate for the health care of pre-born patients.
While the Reproductive Health Act effects the residents of New York, I am concerned that such a law could set a precedence and model for other states to follow. Laws concerning the legalization of marijuana and physician-assisted euthanasia, which were once considered impossible to realize, have been enacted in other like-minded states. Please do your part to prevent our state from following in the steps of New York.
All humans, whether developing or developed, have dignity, value, and worth. Unfortunately, there are those in society who are destroying human dignity by attacking life in the womb. As a Christian, I believe that all people have value because God has ascribed value to us as we are made in His image. In addition to my personal belief, American scientific academies, boards, and institutes have concluded the pre-born are equally deserving of ascribed value and dignity:
- The Ethics Advisory Board to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare concluded that the early human embryo deserves “profound respect” as a form of developing life. (Ethics Advisory Board to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare – Federal Register 44, June 18, 1979: 350-56)
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Embryo Research Panel in 1994 concluded that “the preimplantation human embryo warrants serious moral consideration as a developing form of human life.” (Transcript of the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel, Rockville, Md.: National Institutes of Health, 1994, 2.)
- The National Bioethics Advisory Commission stated in 1999 that “human embryos deserve respect as a form of human life.” (Ethical Issues in Stem Cell Research (Rockville, Md.: National Bioethics Advisory Commission, 1999, 1, 2.)
- The National Academy of Sciences acknowledged in 2002 that the embryo “from fertilization” is “a developing human.” (Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Reproductive Cloning, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2002, E5).
The conclusion is clear: life in the womb deserves profound respect and protection. The primary difference between any adult and any fetus is the element of time. Every adult passed through the embryonic stage of development. Because the pre-born child has ascribed personhood, we have a moral obligation to protect it.
As Americans, we value the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution. As an Army Chaplain, I have sworn to defend and to uphold the Constitution. However, Americans and our laws have promoted radical freedom that is independent of nature, simple observation, and clear thinking. Beyond Constitutional law is the objective, universal truth that life is a precious gift given to us by the Creator, and life both deserves and demands protection at all its stages. Citizenship may very well begin at birth, but life begins before birth. The unborn may not have constitutional rights, but they have the right to the honorable dignity of life itself.
The concept of rights-claiming for oneself has overlooked the fact that such claims often neglect the rights of others, namely the pre-born. The laws enabling abortion are not about “reproductive rights.” Healthcare is a vital need worthy of our attention and effort. However, health is not the greatest value. Life is the greatest value. Strong health is not promised despite our greatest efforts, yet humans have purpose and meaning regardless of wellness or illness. The laws must reflect the dignity of even vulnerable people when they cannot voice their right and desire to live. The child is powerless against the actions against him or her, and we must be the voice for those vulnerable in the womb. Enable their access to healthcare by recognizing their personhood and right to life.
As our elected official, you must seek to end laws that violate the rational and reasonable virtues that are violated when the unborn are aborted. I urge you to consider taking the following actions:
- Represent your constituents by advocating for the personhood of the unborn.
- Create and/or support legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.
- Support the call to overturn Roe v. Wade, as has been most recently called for in the case of Jessie Livell Phillips v. State of Alabama.
- Redirect federal funding to support adoptions to create culture change within our country.
Joseph N. Martin