On Wednesday, Star Parker, columnist and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) testified before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice regarding H.R.490, otherwise known as the Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017.
H.R.490 would “[amend] the federal criminal code to make it a crime for a physician to knowingly perform an abortion: (1) without determining whether the fetus has a detectable heartbeat, (2) without informing the mother of the results, or (3) after determining that a fetus has a detectable heartbeat.”
Parker presented powerful testimony comparing abortion to slavery:
I implore you to please consider my above testimony on behalf of the innocent life growing in the womb, and the vulnerable men and women considering an abortion. But if you will also consider in your deliberations regarding H.R.490 the last time in American history that we were faced with hard constitutional political questions on the civil conflict between humanity and convenience, personhood and property, justice and public opinion.
Slavery was, as abortion is, a crime against humanity. Like slavery, tensions were created in a public square and in law concerning who qualified for natural rights worthy of protection. In the first 89 years of our nation’s existence, it was the black slave who sought freedom and equal protection under the law, and many attempts were made to heed their cry.
In 1777, gradual abolitionist laws were passed in northern states – Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York. In 1807, Congress passed a law prohibiting the importation of slaves into the United States after January 1, 1808. In 1831, emancipation was narrowly defeated in the Virginia Congressional Convention.
Today, it is the conceived person living in the womb of its mother that should be considered human with opportunity of equal protection under the law. It is ironic that while the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution in 1868 humanized slaves, the United States Supreme Court of 1973 dehumanized the life of the being in utero, handing down a decision … to once again allow a powerful few to determine exactly who had a right to humanity.
As with slavery, while special interests groups put tremendous pressure on legislators and judges to dehumanize blacks so that they could protect slavery, today, similar pressure is put on legislators and judges by the eugenicists movement and other special interest groups regarding abortion. If the baby in utero is not a human being in the fullest sense of that term, than he or she has no natural right to life. However, if the opposite is true, then humanity in the womb is entitled to the constitutional right to life. Ignoring the advent of ultrasound and other medical devices that make it abundantly clear that the baby in utero is alive and indeed human is a disservice to women, and to a society built on the constitutional rights that protect us all.