A year has passed since Roe v. Wade was overturned, marking perhaps the most significant turning point in history for the pro-life movement and for those we fight for.
It was, however, only one milestone in the long journey to end elective abortion once and for all. In the United States, 2,548 abortions still occur every day. The fight to protect mothers, fathers and children from the harms of abortion is more important than ever.
Now, Congress and the states have the ability and responsibility to craft legislation that will protect human life. We must secure the right to life for all Americans by ensuring equal protection for unborn children across the nation.
Activists take part in the March for Life, Jan, 19, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
This is why Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., introduced a historic resolution in the House of Representatives. The Recognizing Life Resolution (H.R. 464) calls on all three branches of our government to fulfill their constitutional obligation to protect innocent human life.
“No State shall… deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
The Supreme Court in Washington, on Nov. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Every human being is entitled to the equal protection of the laws. State laws permitting elective abortion deny unborn persons the same legal protections that are afforded to born persons, violating the Constitution’s equal protection requirement.
The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868 after the Civil War to protect the civil rights of all Americans – especially the millions of recently liberated African American. With an eye toward the future, the amendment’s drafters deliberately chose expansive language to include any person within the protective embrace of the amendment’s equal protection guarantee.
Since then, our scientific knowledge about the beginning of life has expanded exponentially. Today, the medical and scientific consensus affirm that each human life begins at fertilization. This reality is already reflected in federal law and the laws of 38 states, which forbid fetal homicide.
Likewise, the common law, state laws and federal law have always prohibited executions of pregnant women who have been convicted of capital crimes in recognition of the unborn child’s separate and distinct humanity.
The Recognizing Life Resolution calls upon Congress to recognize that an unborn child is a person and therefore must be afforded the same protections that you or I hold dear. It uses existing common law, state law and federal precedent to show that the history of our nation and culture has always reviled abortion and held it to be illegal. This position must become the battlefield on which the pro-life movement establishes itself as we move beyond the Dobbs decision.
Now is the time to ensure that each human being in our country – born or unborn – has his or her first and most basic right protected and to ensure that no class of persons is denied the equal protection of our laws.