By Carol Tobias, President, National Right to Life
Editor’s note. This “From the President” column appears on page 3 of the June digital edition of National Right to Life News. Please share this and any of the other many news stories, commentaries, and analyses with your pro-life friends and family. Please drop me a line with your thoughts on the issue: firstname.lastname@example.org.
These past few months have shown me, once again, why our country needs the pro-life movement. As the NRLC mission statement reads, “America’s first document as a new nation, The Declaration of Independence, states that we are all “created equal” and endowed by our Creator “with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life…” Our Founding Fathers emphasized the preeminence of the right to “Life” by citing it first among the unalienable rights this nation was established to secure.”
The pro-life movement promotes the sanctity of life, recognizing the value, dignity, and worth of every human life.
The pro-life movement champions the principle that each human life is unique and unrepeatable, that he or she should be respected, cherished and protected.
My heart aches when I look at all that has happened in the last few months.
Lives have been lost in the demonstrations and riots that followed the cruel and tragic death of George Floyd. More than 112,000 of our fellow Americans have already died from the COVID-19 virus. There are already preliminary studies about the number of lives lost due to loneliness and subsequent suicide during the months-long shutdown that bound people to their homes. The eventual total of deaths will be staggering.
More than ever, during this time of depression, anger, and bewilderment, our nation needs to adopt the pro-life movement’s foundational philosophy: that each human being is important, unique, and awe-inspiring.
Of all that has happened, I am grief-stricken most of all by the roughly 40,000 of our elderly brothers and sisters who died in nursing homes and assisted living centers. I fully expect there will be investigations as to why and how so many residents in long-term care (LTC) facilities die. MCCL, our Minnesota state affiliate, has called for the resignation of the Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner.
A question that needs to be asked is: were the lives of these elderly COVID-19 patients deemed not as important as the lives of others?
What was alarming were the news articles about healthcare providers and “ethicists” frankly discussing the possibility of rationing care based on the age and ability of those affected by COVID-19. Others raised the possibility of instituting mandatory “do not resuscitate” orders for COVID-19 patients, even if doing so overrode a patient’s advance directive or the family’s wishes.
I was proud of the Trump administration for making very clear, through the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services and through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, that such violations of civil rights were not acceptable and would not be tolerated.
The lives of the elderly and those with disabilities are not less valuable than other lives and should not be treated as though they were.
This is why we need the pro-life movement. Our mission of promoting the dignity of human life is critical at this time.
The pro-life movement focuses on abortion and euthanasia. We are a voice for those who have no voice. Our message– that each human life has value– needs not only to be heard but also to be incorporated into the way our culture treats everyone… born and unborn.
Whether our nation realizes it or not, it needs the pro-life movement to continue raising the banner for life.