The Mission of New Hampshire Right to Life is to foster respect for all human life from the moment of fertilization to natural death, regardless of age, gender, stage of development, degree of dependency, race or ethnicity or social status, without exception…
Recently, some of our pro-life friends have messaged New Hampshire Right to Life regarding our opposition to bill HB1680. This bill would ban abortions after viability, or so people would think. This bill includes exceptions for “a fetus with severe anomalies incompatible with life”. What does this mean? It means you can not kill these pre-born babies if they can survive outside of the womb, except for those who have issues, then it’s okay to kill them. That’s what people don’t get when there are bills that have exceptions. These exceptions become the holes that keep abortion legal.
People talk about getting to our goal through incrementalism. Step by step we can erase abortion and get to Personhood. I agree that we need to work to end abortion through incrementalism, but it’s not what you think.
When a carpenter builds a staircase, he chooses the straightest and sturdiest boards. He knows that each piece of wood is important and if it is imperfect, he will go out in search of another. He takes his time, and builds a sturdy set of steps based on plans. He doesn’t cut corners because he knows that people’s very lives could be in danger. When that staircase is built, it is solid, sturdy, and can hold the weight of a person very easily. And he is proud of his work!
Let’s build a Personhood staircase. Our goal is to get to Personhood for all, so that is the top stair. The stair below that is Eliminating Abortion. How many stairs it takes to get there depends on how many smaller battles we wish to hold until we attain our goal. But for argument sake, let’s say we need 3 more stairs – After Fetal Heartbeat is Detected, After Viability, and Eliminating Types of Abortions.
Each step needs to be solid, sturdy, and can hold the weight of the arguments for Personhood as we ascend the staircase. Each of the steps (increments) helps us ascend the staircase. It gets us closer to our goal. If there are any holes (exceptions) it weakens the structure of the staircase and the argument for Personhood. These holes will cause us to stumble, get hurt (cause a rift in our cause), or cause us not to move forward. It’s difficult to repair a structural hole, but it’s easier to make that hole bigger. If we create our staircase with hole-ridden steps then we will surely fail at getting to the top of the staircase. All our efforts will have been in vain.
The biggest reason why we cannot build a Personhood staircase with exception holes is that people’s very lives are in danger. How can we claim some lives are important but then “carve out” others because we just want to build this step? How can we say it’s okay to kill some pre-born babies but defend the lives of others?
Yes, we need to use incrementalism to attain our goal but incrementalism does not include exceptions. We at New Hampshire Right to Life will continue to build the Personhood staircase with all the best tools and materials available. We will use our step-by-step plans, and we will build these steps to be a solid and steady foundation for Personhood.
We should never give-in to the exception demands by the other side to get bills passed. Here’s what we should do instead: Build our bills solid. Get a foundation of data, witness testimony, and experts to explain and defend our bill in the committee hearings and on the floor. Get more pro-life people to run for and attain government office. And continue to educate the public.
One person who messaged me said that if we didn’t support this bill we would be shooting ourselves in the foot. I disagree. When we accept exceptions, that’s when we are shooting ourselves in the foot.
Stop creating holes in our foot and on our staircase. Let’s build a solid foundation and ascend the Staircase of Personhood together.
Article written by Jennifer Robidoux, President of NH Right to Life