Support Texas House Bill 896, recognize personhood of fetuses

By Jake Neidert | Contributor

Friends, colleagues, peers and professors:

I come to you as a Christian, as an American and as a Texan. I come before you as a voice for those executed, today, tomorrow, before and after you read this. No longer can I sit by as children of God are ripped from the womb. No longer can I sit by as society justifies the murder and systematic slaughter of innocents with no voice to defend themselves. By the time you have finished reading this, nearly six human lives will be lost to abortion. By the end of this hour, nearly 115 people will be summarily executed. By the end of this day, more than 2,800 will suffer this slaughter. Some will defend this evil practice by saying that the fetus is merely a “clump of cells.” Others will defend this by saying something to the effect of “her body, her privacy.” I hope today to dispel both notions and offer the ultimate goal of pro-life people like me.

Historical Injustice

Once upon a time in this country, the value of an African-American was measured as less than a person. The road to personhood of the slave was incremental. Framers of the Constitution realized that slavery should be abolished, but at a later time more convenient for them. Ultimately, the country and then society fought for more than 100 years before the personhood of an AfricanAmerican was fully affirmed. Many years later, cross the Atlantic, Adolf Hitler succeeded in his genocide by denying the personhood of Jews, homosexuals, and gypsies. For almost two decades, these classes of people were harassed, persecuted and summarily executed. In these instances, it took wars and millions of dead for the world to recognize the atrocities.

Responding to Abortion

Like both of these examples, those who believe in the choice to murder their own children deny that this child is even a person. Although they concede that the fetus is human in nature, they believe that the fetus has no claim to the legal standing of a person until it crosses the birth canal. In upholding this dangerous practice, we can observe the blatant similarities between the pro-choice movement and those who once believed that African-Americans or Jews weren’t people.

A human fetus is a person, not a clump of cells. A human fetus is a person crafted by God in His own image and developed in the womb of its mother. When Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, so little was known about what a fetus was scientifically and what it looked like. The court in Roe said that the rights of the fetus couldn’t be put ahead of the mother until it was viable outside of the womb. At the time, this was a specific time frame believed to be about the beginning of the third trimester. However, this is an obscure basis for viability in the year 2019. As technology has advanced, scientists have given premature babies born in the second trimester hope at living. At this time, the earliest born baby was birthed at 21 weeks of gestation. Similarly, doctors have been able to grow a lamb fetus in an entirely artificial womb using technology.

As technology and science develop together, it is not unlikely that premature babies will be saved at an earlier date and put in artificial wombs, like those used to grow the lamb fetus. As pre-mature babies maintain higher mortality rates at early birth times, we see that viability is no longer cut and dry. We understand that in the near future a fetus will be viable at virtually any point after conception, and we understand that the “clump of cells” is actually an increasingly viable human person.

Secondly, people say that “women have the right to control their bodies,” and
the right to privacy supersedes the right of the fetus to live. However, the fetus is not their body. The fetus is a human being in its natural habitat. Except in cases of rape, the woman consented to the action that produced the baby, and because technology has proven that fetuses are viable at earlier and earlier times, it stands to reason that the fetus is itself a person, autonomous and separate from the mother.

What Must be Done

The penal code already acknowledges that a fetus is a person unless its life is ended by a physician. I had the privilege of testifying April 8 on House Bill 896, which would ignore federal law and abolish the practice of abortion in Texas. This bill would also open the door for women and physicians to both be charged with murder for aborting a human life. The pro-life movement is growing, and HB 896 is a sign of the future of this state and this country. With respect to both slavery and the Holocaust, the people who enabled those slaughters and injustices were conditioned to believe that what was happening was justified. As Christians, we must recognize that we should be at the forefront of the fight to save unborn children. The only way to do this is to criminalize abortion and begin to treat it as the depraved action it is. It’s time that we stand up and call abortion what it is: the new Holocaust.

If you would like to learn more about HB 896 or the Abolish Abortion movement, the Baylor Young Conservatives of Texas will be hosting an event Monday in Foster 117 at 7 p.m. to present details of the bill and dialogue on pro-life activism.

Jake Neidert

Freshman political science major
Second Vice Chair of Baylor Young Conservatives of Texas
Denison