Recently, a bill came up in the New Hampshire legislature that has divided the pro-life community in our state. I am speaking about SB 66, the fetal homicide bill. On its face, that bill should have had the full backing of every pro-life person; it didn’t. On its face, that bill should have had support from both sides of the abortion debate; it didn’t. On its face, that bill should have been a no-brainer as a justice issue; it wasn’t. I’m not here to argue the merits or issues with this bill. But what this bill brought to light is the divide in our pro-life community in New Hampshire.
And the divide is this: In order to save the lives of the pre-born are we willing to give in and allow for the sacrifice of some for the protection of others? Are we willing to hold that some lives are easier to protect than others? Are we willing to allow justice for some but not for all?
At the heart of this divide is our willingness to stand our ground. Will we hold firm that all life matters? Will we hold firm that life begins at the moment of fertilization and that each new person created has the right to life? If we believe this, then there can be no room for exceptions. There can be no room for negotiations.
We are in a moral and spiritual battle over the right and dignity of all life. We need to hold our ground and advance. We should not let the other side dictate the battlefield or the ground rules. We should not compromise our beliefs to obtain a win. We should certainly not allow any language that allows abortion any legal standing in our state. We should raise our pro-life banner high and proud. We should state that we will defend ALL life, and not just some life. We should seek justice for all and not just for what the other side will allow us.
The blood on that battlefield should be our own and not those of the babies we chose to sacrifice in order to gain a little ground. I am not willing to sacrifice any pre-born children! I am not going to let some be killed so that we can take incremental steps and gain some protection for others.
New Hampshire Right to Life’s mission statement is “to foster respect for human life from the moment of conception to natural death” and has written in its by-laws 7 Life Principles including:
- The right to life of each human being shall be preserved and protected by every human being in the society and by the society as a whole.
- The life of each human being shall be preserved and protected from the biological beginning throughout the natural continuum of the human being’s life by all available ordinary means and reasonable efforts.
- The life of each human being shall be preserved and protected at each stage of the life continuum to the same extent as at each and every other stage regardless of state of health or condition or dependency.
- When two or more human beings are in a situation in which their lives are mutually endangered, all available ordinary means and reasonable efforts shall be used to preserve and protect the life of each and every human being so endangered.
These Life Principles are the basis for New Hampshire Right to Life’s positions on life issues and whether or not a bill is pro-life, regardless of the intention of the bill. If a bill fails to meet these principles, then it is not a bill that New Hampshire Right to Life can support.
So what does this mean in our fight for life? It means that if bills come up in the New Hampshire legislature that do not respect ALL life, we need to oppose it, no matter how good the bill might be. Going forward, if a bill fails to meet the Life Principles then it is not a bill that New Hampshire Right to Life can support – that means no exceptions, no exclusions, no compromise. This is the cost of believing in no exceptions. If we want pro-life laws, this means that our representatives need to create bills that will protect all life and not exclude or provide exceptions for some. It means that our language needs to match our resolve. If we want this culture of death to end in our state we need to end the language of death.
So, back to this divide. As pro-lifers, we should not be fighting ourselves. We should not be working against each other. We should not be pitting some lives against other lives. This is not about politics. This is about life. When we divide and fight amongst ourselves, the battle is lost. Instead, stand with me. I am raising the Pro-Life banner high and I’m ready to fight. I’m ready to fight for ALL life, from conception until natural death. No Exceptions! No Compromise! No one gets left behind!
Vice President of NHRTL