December 10 is the annual observance of Human Rights Day. The United Nations declared the day of education and activism in 1950 in response to the atrocities of World War II. After the Holocaust, people around the world vowed that never again would human Life be treated with such callousness. The shocking loss of Life and dehumanization of so many people left a stain on the world that we must never forget. Human Rights Day was begun as a way to remind us all: “Never again.”
Yet, in 1973 the United States Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that preborn children could be violently killed at any time for any reason. The human rights of the preborn were disregarded by the highest court in our nation. In the almost 44 years since that ruling, more than 59 million babies have been killed through abortions. States have fought for their right to defend the lives of the preborn. Texas has led the charge in crafting Pro-Life laws that protect the health and safety of mothers and the lives of their preborn children. The booklet A Woman’s Right to Know ensures that mothers receive scientifically accurate information rather than the unadulterated lies of the abortion industry. The 2011 Sonogram Law requires that mothers are allowed to see their children in the womb, a powerful experience that has convinced countless mothers to choose Life for their babies. Despite challenges from the anti-Life lobby, the historic 2013 Pro-Life Omnibus Bill still protects preborn children after 20 weeks’ gestation from abortion.
Yet, so much more is needed. Each year in Texas nearly 60,000 preborn babies die in abortions. Of those, many are killed by the barbaric practice of dismemberment abortion, a gruesome procedure in which the babies die by having their limbs torn from their bodies. While the Pro-Life Omnibus Bill protects some babies from abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation, any baby who is suspected of having a disability can still be killed in a late abortion. Although the Pro-Life movement in Texas has made great strides, much more is needed for our laws to acknowledge the human rights of the preborn.
In recent decades, we have also seen blatant disrespect for the human rights of the elderly and the disabled. European countries like Belgium and the Netherlands have passed sweeping and dangerous assisted suicide laws, and Britain has instituted a terrifying reign of imposed death. States with strong anti-Life representation, like Oregon and California, have rushed to pass similar laws. While anti-Life pundits describe the draconian rule of assisted suicide and imposed death as “compassionate,” the results have proved to be anything but. The poor, the elderly, and the disabled are pressured to choose death over “burdening” their loved ones. Cancer patients are told that their treatment is no longer covered by insurance but medication that will kill them is. People suffering from depression are not urged to seek treatment but are given the means to end their lives. How can anyone say that we respect people’s inalienable human rights when we are killing them?
Unfortunately, Texas has an abysmal record on caring for the vulnerable hospital patients. The powerful, anti-Life hospital lobby has held sway over Texas legislators for decades. In 1999, the Texas Legislature passed one of the most anti-Life laws in the country. Under the Texas Advance Directives Act, a nameless, faceless hospital committee has the authority to decide if patients continue to receive treatment. After the ruling of these committees, a ruling that cannot be appealed to any outside authority, patients are faced with imposed death. The hospital can withdraw all treatment, even against the expressed wishes of the patient or his family. Hundreds of Texans like Chris Dunn have died as a result of the unjust dictates of the Texas Advance Directives Act.
Until the Right to Life of all people in our society is respected, Texas Right to Life will continue to work with Pro-Life legislators to ensure that our laws recognize the human rights of the most vulnerable. Without the Right to Life, no other rights are possible. On Human Rights Day, Texans must stand for the preborn, the elderly, and the disabled. We have the right to speak out, to peacefully and prayerfully protest, and to work toward changing our laws. Will you join us?
Use the hashtags #Standup4HumanRights and #HumanRightsDay to spread the Pro-Life message on December 10.