Sunday, January 21, 2007

America: Based on the Right to Life

From WhiteHouse.gov:
America was founded on the principle that we are all endowed by our Creator with the right to life and that every individual has dignity and worth. National Sanctity of Human Life Day helps foster a culture of life and reinforces our commitment to building a compassionate society that respects the value of every human being.

Among the most basic duties of Government is to defend the unalienable right to life, and my Administration is committed to protecting our society's most vulnerable members. We are vigorously promoting parental notification laws, adoption, abstinence education, crisis pregnancy programs, and the vital work of faith-based groups. Through the "Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002," the "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003," and the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004," we are helping to make our country a more hopeful place.

One of our society's challenges today is to harness the power of science to ease human suffering without sanctioning practices that violate the dignity of human life. With the right policies, we can continue to achieve scientific progress while living up to our ethical and moral responsibilities.

National Sanctity of Human Life Day serves as a reminder that we must value human life in all forms, not just those considered healthy, wanted, or convenient. Together, we can work toward a day when the dignity and humanity of every person is respected.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Sunday, January 21, 2007, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon all Americans to recognize this day with appropriate ceremonies and to underscore our commitment to respecting and protecting the life and dignity of every human being.

This is so bizarre I can't even find words to comment on it. A lot of blogs are linking this to the news from Iraq, however-many soldiers have died in the last however-many days. But that barely touches it.

Imagine the President of the United States announcing that America was "founded on the principle that we are all endowed by our Creator with the right to life." Who makes this stuff up? More importantly, who's buying it?

20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

JimK said...Imagine the President of the United States announcing that America was "founded on the principle that we are all endowed by our Creator with the right to life." Who makes this stuff up? More importantly, who's buying it?


WE did!!!!
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world

January 21, 2007 7:40 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Yes, Anon, and it also looks like they intended for people to have Freedom of Choice.

Maybe you could give us a couple of quotes about how the Founding Fathers felt about abortion? I mean, since they were really into the Right to Life, they must have made some pretty adamant statements about it.

JimK

January 21, 2007 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life

January 21, 2007 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, do you think the president of the US is so dumb that he actually believes the founding fathers were against abortion, as you seem to think? I know he's dumb, but do you think he really believes they made sure we had the "right to life" in America?

Because that's what this is about.

January 21, 2007 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You say, the founding fathers were for abortion, if they were than where was it written? If the founding fathers were into abortion it would have been mentioned some ware where is it? Are you so stupid? They considered life so important that they called it an unalienable right. The Creator gave life they said. They did not mention abortion in this document any ware or any other document. If you know of such a document that has been authenticated than produce it please if you do not, then shut up.

January 21, 2007 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this might help clear this up.

The term unalienable Rights refers to a set of human rights that are said to be absolute, not awarded by human power, not transferable to another power, and incapable of repudiation.

January 21, 2007 9:30 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon

The Presidents' pronouncement is about abortion. He starts by quoting the Founding Fathers.

It appears that the President actually thinks the Founding Fathers were part of the Right to Life movement.

(Of course, I make myself vulnerable here. Somebody could take my words, just as the President took words out of the Declaration, and note that I just said "It appears that the President actually thinks.")

JimK

January 21, 2007 9:31 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

The term unalienable Rights refers to ...

And what does that have to do with abortion, which is what the President's proclamation is about?

Look, if it's such a big deal, somebody please prove me wrong. Show me anything that any of the Founding Fathers said against abortion, and I'll believe it. Any word, anywhere, by any of them.

JimK

January 21, 2007 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

look jim if it is such a big deal and you belive that the founding Fathers were pro choice lets see the proof. or is it that you do not think that to abort is to end life?

January 21, 2007 11:32 PM  
Anonymous Tish said...

Documentation?

Well, for one thing, the Declaration of Independence, as beautiful as it is and as important as it is to us in our collective sense of the shaping of our nation, is not a legal document. It is, as it says, an explanation to the world and to the British throne of why the British colonists of North America decided to rebel against their king.

While people thrill at the claim that all men are created equal and that life, liberty and the persuit of happiness are unalienable rights bestowed by our creator, the fundamental legal basis for our government did not agree. Our constitution had to be amended in the 19th century to allow for the freedom of America's slaves. The man who wrote those beautiful words did not free his own slaves and lived his life accruing debt which he knew would guarantee the sale of his slaves after his death. The most the Framers were willing to do was set a future date for the cessation of the importation of slaves from overseas. People born into slavery in the new American nation had no right to freedom. In fact, 19th century Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney famously wrote that slaves were, "beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect."

Of course, the unalienable right to life did not then, nor does it now, impede our government from imposing the death penalty.

In 18th century America abortion before "quickening" was not illegal. "Quickening" was the time when a woman could feel the fetus moving; for most women in the fourth or fifth month. In the 17th century, unintended pregnancies usually led to marriage as parents and community members pressured young men to marry their lovers. However in the 18th century, parental pressure lost some of its power, and so did social pressure when fornication ceased to be unlawful for men. For women, the consequences of unintended pregnancy became that much higher as they still faced legal action, social pressure and the dangers of pregnancy. The best discussion of this that I know of is Taking the Trade: Abortion and Gender Relations in an Eighteenth Century New England Village by Dr. Cornelia Hughs Dayton, published in William And Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Volume 38, Issue 1 (1991) pp 19-49. William and Mary Quarterly is the most prestigious peer-reviewed professional journal of early American history.

Documentation of early abortions are rare and most of them are mentions in diaries and letters of abortifacients such as pennyroyal or savin. The court case on which Dr. Hughs bases her research is the prosecution of an abortionist for the death of a young woman.

Hughs writes, "Perhaps the most intriguing question centers on why women and men in early America acted covertly to effect abortions when abortion before quickening was legal. The Grovesnor case highlights the answer that applies to most known incidents from the period: abortion was understood as blameworthy because it was an extreme action designed to hide a prior sin, sex outside of marriage. Reading the depositions it is nearly impossible to disentangle the players' attitudes towards abortion itself from their expressions of censure or anxiety over failed courtship, illegitimacy, and the dangers posed for a young woman by a secret abortion. Strikingly absent from these eighteenth century documents, however, is either outrage over the destruction of a fetus or denunciations of those who would arrest 'nature's proper course.' Those absences are a telling measure of how the discourse about abortion would change dramatically in later centuries."

January 21, 2007 11:38 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Thanks for the history lesson, Tish.

January 22, 2007 10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet the president will stand up there and sisgn a paper pretending that America was founded on "Right to Life" principles.

I hope they boo this liar tonight, loudly, for everything he says.

January 23, 2007 6:48 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

I don't think there's much doubt about the booing.

I'm going to watch the speech tonight, not because I want to hear what Dumbya has to say (I've had more than enough of his lying hubris), but to relish all the changes the landslide election results in November brought:

"...Behind the president on the podium will be not Representative J. Dennis Hastert, the former speaker and Bush's stalwart Republican ally, but Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, with whom Bush traded insults throughout the 2006 campaign.

Giving the Democratic rebuttal will be Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia, whose son is serving in Iraq and who reported having a tense exchange with Bush at the Congressional Christmas party. The audience in the House chamber is expected to include the actor Michael J. Fox, who has become the face of the movement to overcome Bush's objections and increase federal financing for stem cell research.

The chamber will include an increasing number of Republicans who are questioning or breaking ranks with Bush on the war and other issues, as Senator John W. Warner of Virginia, the former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, did Monday in criticizing the president's decision to send more troops to Iraq.

Bush also faces an increasingly skeptical public, one that has given him some of his lowest marks in several recent polls."

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/01/23/america/web.0123bush.php

January 23, 2007 7:31 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Tish writes,

Of course, the unalienable right to life did not then, nor does it now, impede our government from imposing the death penalty.

Tish, Tish...or is that Tsk, tsk? Tish, you really should brush up on your constitutional law since any beginning student knows that the allowance is made for the death penalty (if only by implication) by Amendment V, which reads,

Amendment V
**start quote**
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
**end quote**

Hence, with DUE PROCESS OF LAW, property, liberty and yes, even life, can be taken so long as there is due process.

That is not to say that we, the electorate, should not prevail upon our legislators to abolish the death penalty (except in the most extreme circumstances, like a convicted murderer who murders while in prison - why should prison personnel and inmates with less than life sentences not be protected by a few that will never value anyone elses life?). As George F. Will wrote a while back, the death penalty is a government program and hence skepticism is appropriate.

If Tish cannot be depended upon to understand such a mandane detail, I do wonder about the accuracy of her history lesson.

January 23, 2007 7:48 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Oh, Orin, please. This inane thread about abortion was focused on the Declaration of Independence. Tish wasn't speaking of constitutional law, but how even the most elevated of ideals can be taken out of context as the religious fanatics have been doing for millennia.

As for George Will, Mr. Original Intent, well, there are days when he is just a complete blowhard. Btw, he's a neighbor, and I've never heard of him that he had any problem with our local government. He certainly didn't complain during my campaign. It's just too easy sometimes to sit in your study and criticize, particularly when your own party is doing its damnedest to make the government worthy of contempt. I never said Grover Norquist wasn't an evil genius.

January 23, 2007 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The discussion, Orin, was about the White House's assertion that "America was founded on the principle that we are all endowed by our Creator with the right to life and that every individual has dignity and worth." This statement is based on a similar statement in the Declaration of Independence, which the first Anonymous commenter thoughtfully provided for us on January 21, 2007 7:40 PM.

Tish correctly pointed out that the Declaration of Independence's "unalienable right to life did not then, nor does it now, impede our government from imposing the death penalty." The two of you agree on that point; our government allows the death penalty while at the same time acknowledging the right to life. You added to her history lesson when you pointed out how our government allows the death penaly in the Constitution. Thank you for your comments.

I'm curious. Why did you feel the need to patronize Tish with "tsk tsk" and to question the accuracy of her easily confirmable history lesson?

PTA

January 23, 2007 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Tish said...

Orin, dear,

I am very sorry that you did not understand that the first sentence of the second paragraph of my earlier comment states that the fundamental legal document of our government does not agree with the sentiments of the Declaration. If you had understood what you were reading, you would have been saved the trouble of pulling out your pocket constitution and having to type in all of those big words.

As you agree, the rights enumerated in the Declaration are not guaranteed by the Constitution. While I do not need your affirmation, I am sure that it will carry weight with the annonymati.

January 23, 2007 9:54 AM  
Blogger andrear said...

Actually, Bush doesn't think anything- someone wrote this for him- he can't form a coherent sentence or read a book. If anyone actually thinks he read "the Stranger" this summer... I think he met a stranger.

January 24, 2007 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 25, 2007 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Phentermine said...

Nice design of blog.

August 13, 2007 3:38 PM  

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