Why did I drive nearly a thousand miles to march in the freezing rain

I didn’t have to drive nearly a thousand miles to get to Washington D.C. Nope, I could have driven about 750 miles to get here, but I made an unexpected (and unnecessary) detour when I took I-75 instead of I-40 outside of Knoxville. (Sigh.) But that was a minor problem and one solved by backtracking (and a little fuming and venting). The problem of the trampling of the right to life is not so easily solved. But without this basic and foundational right, no other right is possible or even exists. Without the right to life, you have no rights whatsoever. And if we deny that right to anyone now, we are putting nails in our own coffins in the not-so-distant future. Nails in coffins for ourselves and our children and our parents and our friends.

I’ve heard just about every argument imaginable (and some I found unimaginable—and wondered how anyone came up with ’em!—in support of abortion and euthanasia. But every argument I’ve heard has ignored one very important fact: murdering an innocent person is never a good thing. Murdering an innocent human being at any stage of his or her life is never moral, never justified, never good, never allowable, never acceptable, not in the name of freedom or mercy or choice or anything else.

What do I mean by “innocent”? Do I mean someone who has never caused any harm to anyone or who has never done anything wrong? No, I do not. I mean, someone who has not done anything to you to justify your lethal action. If someone is coming at you with a weapon and you have reason to believe you are being threatened with bodily harm, you have a right to defend yourself. A state has the right and the obligation and duty to protect its citizens and can defend those citizens by catching, prosecuting, convicting (if possible) and punishing criminals, by confining them to prison if possible, by the death penalty if absolutely necessary and everything else has been tried and they still pose an unacceptable risk to society. Even then, the death penalty really is rarely justifiable and should be rarely used.

Abortion and euthanasia, however, are the direct murders of those who pose no threat to anyone else other than to inconvenience them. Or cost them too much. (What about the price the victim pays—with his or her very life?!) Or to alter plans. Pregnancy is definitely a life-changing experience. So is abortion. And it is a life-changer that cannot be undone. Pregnancies cannot be undone. You don’t get pregnant and then say, “Wait! That’s a do-over!” The time to think about what you’re doing is before you get pregnant. After you’re “with child”, it’s too late to change your mind. You’re…well…with child!

And you don’t get to knock off Daddy when he gets to be a royal pain in the rump, either. You had someone change your diapers for you when you were unable to do it. Someone wiped up your messes, cleaned you up and sent you on your way and now it’s your turn. If it costs money, time and patience and the very last bit of sanity you barely have left, then so be it! You don’t get to pull the plug or pull the trigger!

Or, at least, you didn’t used to get to pull the plug or pull the trigger. You didn’t used to get to “terminate the pregnancy”. (And while we’re on that, that’s a thoroughly stupid phrase. All pregnancies terminate, no pregnancy lasts forever. It’s how they terminate that matters here: in childbirth or in childdeath as a result of any form of abortion.) But in the current debates over “healthcare reform” and “bioethics” (all of which terms are being used loosely these days), murder is being called healthcare and its practice is being called ethical. And a shocking number of people embrace these ideas.

This is why I drove nearly a thousand miles through rain and wind and sleet and fog. This is why I am going to stand and march in the rain and wind and sleet and snow tomorrow. Because all of us are someone’s child, someone’s parent, someone’s spouse or lover, someone’s friend, someone’s doctor or nurse or caregiver. All of us are someone to somebody. All of us will face these issues in one way or another, or in several different ways in our lives. All of us will be called upon to either make decisions or to help someone else make decisions bearing on these issues. Murder is immoral and it is unjust. And injustice to one of us is injustice to all of us.

So why am I marching tomorrow? I’m marching for the right to life. For myself. For millions of others…

And for you. And the ones you love. And the ones who love you.

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