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Guest Contributor @LilMissRightie
Personhood is today’s defining civil rights issue.
As we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. today in the year 2017, if you ask “What is the most pressing civil rights issues of the day,” you’re bound to receive a difference in opinion. “Civil rights” in the United States has been defined by race and racial relations, mainly. From the Emancipation Proclamation to Jim Crow laws. From “separate but equal” to Brown v. Board of Education. From Selma and ultimately to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent amendments, civil rights in its most rudimentary form conjures images of a nation fractured and segregated. Furthermore, civil rights in its most traditional sense also applied to women pre-19th Amendment and women treated as nothing more than chattel and men who held no property, but racial relations has predominantly been the main focus of what we consider the notion of civil rights to be.
And while most would agree we’ve come a long way, baby, there is still work to be done on racial issues, especially. Some argue that criminal justice reform and over-criminalization is at the forefront. Others may argue it is school choice. These are both issues on the forefront if I were to make a checklist for the definition of what constitutes “civil rights,” but the concept that binds them both together is personhood. Personhood is the premiere civil rights issue of the day as it affects all races, nationalities, religions, ages and both genders. What is more unique, precious, and fleeting than life? Life. It is where we all begin and where we all pass through this Earth. From inside the womb; to those most in need as they journey through life, a life no less valuable than those without disabilities, impairments, or challenges; and the elderly who have helped build and contribute their labor, fruits, and sacrifices to the nation.
So again I ask — what could be more fundamental of a civil right than that of personhood? The ability to tap into one’s God-given talents. Race is the issue that makes its way around the water-cooler, but personhood, especially when the topic of abortion arises, is one that makes people scatter to their desk. Many of us were more than likely raised to not talk about abortion in polite company. We may have our own deeply held belief system, but it is the touchiest of all touchy subjects.
That should change. We should challenge ourselves to have the much-needed conversation on personhood to those unable to speak inside the womb, to those who face life challenges and handicaps, and to those of advanced age.
In the coming months, the new congressional session will take up and most likely defund Planned Parenthood. And Hallelujah to that. The women of the left will go into banshee berserk mode like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Nothing. Planned Parenthood is the holy grail to the left. When Mike Pence tried to protect the unborn in Indiana earlier this year, it devolved into complete unhinged madness. We cannot cower in the face of the pro-abort shrieks and incoherent ramblings. And they will be plentiful. We must continue to be the voice for the voiceless.
Beyond the abortion debate, we should never be silent in our efforts to care and nurture those with special needs and life challenges. May everyone be blessed in life to know of such special people that make our lives more complete. That some devalue them, their worth, and their contributions isn’t just a shame, it’s their ultimate loss in life. Have you ever met a person with a family member with special needs who told you said person didn’t make their life and their family complete? I doubt you have. The United States isn’t quite seeing the atrocities of what Europe is experiencing at the moment, but we’re sure to fall in line at some point if we don’t speak up about the value of life, all life.
And the group, I personally feel is excluded far too often in this discussion is the elderly. These are our forgotten Americans who helped shape this country and mold us into the interesting patchwork we are today. Unfortunately, in the United States, right-to-die laws are gaining steam. The media is doing its best to romanticize and glamorize individuals very much in pain and wanting to take the life that God afforded to them. The legislation is prettied up and couched in the terms of “right to die with dignity.” What initially becomes the right to die for the terminally ill, inevitably leads to the choice to end one’s life if chronically ill or suffering sickness by way of psychological issues. (See the Netherlands for the worst of the worse in that it is currently proposing you may end your own life if you feel yours is “incomplete”.)
“These are wedge issues that distract us from what’s really important.”
“I am uncomfortable countering someone very impassioned on the issue of abortion when they’re pro-choice.”
‘I agree, and I consider myself pro-life, but I feel it’s not my place to speak out of turn on a sensitive issue.”
The left doesn’t care about any of the above hypotheticals. They’re not only having the conversation that makes us more often than not uncomfortable — they’re motivated and coordinated in working on legislation for abortion and right to life measures in particular as you read this.
So — Personhood. If not now, when? And if not that, what?
This was originally published on LMR’s Medium blog, you can find more of her work here.