Last week, Ohio Gov. John Kasich had the opportunity to do the right thing and he failed. He failed miserably.
While he signed a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks gestation, he vetoed a more meaningful measure that would have banned abortion after the first heartbeat, which could occur as early as six weeks after conception.
While any law that restricts abortion is good, banning abortion after 20 weeks is largely an empty gesture and simply political theater. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 1 percent of abortions in the United States occur after 20 weeks.
Government has but one legitimate function and that is to protect life, liberty and property. Indeed, our very own charter specifically declares that governments are formed to secure these rights.
The arguments for abortion — legally sanctioned homicide is a more accurate term — are specious at best and defy all logic.
Yes, a woman does have a right to control her own body. All humans have that right. You have the inalienable right to engage in prostitution, to take drugs, to even end your own life if you so choose.
However, as the oft-repeated saying goes, your rights end where mine begin. The right to swing your arms in any direction ends where my nose begins.
A woman’s right to control her body ends where the preborn child begins. A woman has no right to initiate force against another. In other words, there is never a right to kill an innocent person and, let’s face it, prenatally, we are all innocent. The law is supposed to side with the innocent, not against them.
Once fertilization occurs and the single-cell human zygote is formed, it is a living human being. It is biologically an individual containing 46 chromosomes. It is a new, genetically unique, live human individual.
The prenatal child is not “part” of the mother’s body. It is a unique human being. It is not a “tumor” or “parasite” as the pro-abortion crowd so ignorantly argues.
Unimpeded, he or she will go through the stages of the human life cycle: embryo, fetus, neonate, infant, toddler, play age, prepubescence, adolescence, young adulthood, middle adulthood, senior citizen, and then death. The zygote will not become a tree.
This is an uncontroversial biological fact and is not up for debate.
Therefore, when ending the pregnancy, the abortionist is, by definition, committing a homicide, the killing of one person by another. Not only does government have the right to legislate against homicide, it has an obligation to do so.
Some try to rationalize abortion with the silly argument that a prenatal child has no right to be in the womb.
That is nonsense.
Parents have no right to evict their children from the crib or the womb and let them die. Parents have an obligation to their children to provide support and protection from harm until they reach the age of majority.
Even if one were to accept, arguendo, the nonsensical view that the prenatal child is a trespasser (which ignores basic biology), one still does not have the right to use lethal force against a temporary trespasser who is there against his or her will and, given enough time, will harmlessly leave the womb.
Just as you have no right to shoot your neighbor who is inadvertently pushed onto your property, you have no right to kill your child, who is temporarily and unwillingly occupying your womb (usually because of your own actions and therefore at your invitation).
One common tactic of the pro-death crowd is to claim the prenatal child is not a person and not entitled to the full panoply of human rights. But no one has the right to erase someone’s personhood, whether born or preborn. So we really want politicians and bureaucrats defining personhood? Historically, that has never worked out well.
Biologically, life begins at conception. And from that single-cell zygote until death, government has an obligation to protect that life. In a free and just society, that should not be a controversial statement. That we are even having this discussion is a symptom of a sick society.
Just as we harshly view the Plantation Era today for its slave-driven plantation farming, history and our descendants will judge us harshly for our culture of death and our failure to protect the most vulnerable among us.
Kasich’s veto means he will have the blood of innocents on his hands.
Stand with me on the right side of history and oppose the abomination that is abortion. It will make your great-great-great-grandchildren proud.
Thomas J. Lucente Jr. is an attorney with the Hearn Law Office in Wapakoneta (419-738-8171) and night editor of The Lima News. Reach him by telephone at 567-242-0398, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @ThomasLucente.