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FIRST-PERSON: Care for human life is the legitimate objective of good government


NASHVILLE (BP) – Is the baby in the womb a human life? If so, there are number of protections that must be put in place, and many voters have significant opportunities to do so in November.

In Kentucky, where I live, the state Constitution says all people have certain “inherent and inalienable rights”. They include the right to enjoy life and liberty and to pursue safety and happiness.

First adopted in 1792, the Kentucky Constitution is reminiscent of the Declaration of Independence as it says, “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.”

And now, Kentuckians have an opportunity to affirm one of our state’s founding principles by saying there is no Constitutional right to abortion in Kentucky. By voting yes on Amendment 2, the voter will be making a strong statement for the value and dignity of human life. Life that those who have come before us said was “inherent and inalienable” and “endowed by their Creator”.

Some say this amendment outlaws abortion in Kentucky. It does not. It simply says that there is no Constitutional right to abortion or for the funding of abortion in Kentucky.

Some say this amendment would block abortion in any instance. It does not. It simply says there is no Constitutional right to abortion or for the funding of abortion in Kentucky. Even if the amendment passes, the General Assembly will still regulate access to abortion at its discretion.

In the end, the debate comes down to whether a person believes the baby in the womb is a life.

What does medical science say?

According to a 2011 article from the Journal of Prenatal Medicine, the fetal heartbeat begins at the end of the fourth week of the gestation.

According to a 2005 article from the New York Times, fetal brain activity begins by week five, and there is brain and head formation by week eight of gestation.

In an article by the National Institutes of Health, researchers found that most women discover they are pregnant between weeks five and six of gestation.

Finally, in an article released Sept. 13, by the Lozier Institute, they report, “The basic anatomical organization of the human nervous system is established by 6 weeks.” It goes on to say that new research indicates a baby reacts to “invasive procedures” as early as eight weeks’ gestation.

Does that sound like the beginnings of human life to you? It does to me.

Earlier this month, we learned of three Jewish women in Louisville, Ky., suing the state government for access to abortion because they said being denied violated their religious freedom.

While I am grateful for religious freedom and want it to be enjoyed by all, I was surprised at their statement that, “Jews have never believed that life begins at conception.”

Consider Exodus 21:22-25, which says when a pregnant woman is hit, resulting in the death of the child, “then you shall pay life for life.”

What about the beautiful words of Psalm 139 celebrating the intricate creation of a human life inside the womb?

The Old Testament holds life as precious, and it indicates this life begins when the baby still resides in the mother’s womb.

Life is to be protected. That’s what they believed 200 years ago as they wrote the Kentucky Constitution, long before there were ultrasound machines and other medical technology that prove it is a human life inside a mother’s womb.

This amendment became even more important as President Biden stated that he will make the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) a top priority after the mid-term election.

Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America, told Baptist Press, “No one, except people who will benefit financially, wants unregulated abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.”

According to Planned Parenthood, the WHPA is an attempt to “guard against the dangerous abortion bans and medically unnecessary abortion restrictions being pushed forward by state politicians.”

This is false and misleading rhetoric.

On the state level, amendments clarifying there is no Constitutional right to abortion have already been passed in Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia. Similar amendments are on the ballot this November in California, Michigan, Montana and Vermont.

The same Thomas Jefferson who penned the words of the Declaration of Independence once wrote, “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.”

    About the Author

  • Brandon Porter

    Brandon Porter serves as Associate Vice President for Convention News at the SBC Executive Committee

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