Monday, June 26, 2023

Lankford: "When is a child a child?"

There’s a Question That Might Make You Uncomfortable
By US Senator James Lankford (R-OK)

Pregnancy, especially when it is unexpected, is a “heart issue” that involves a mom, a dad, a baby, and their families. Unfortunately, our culture often speaks about the issue of life flippantly and with political motivation, causing these already complicated conversations to get more complicated, more caustic, and more divisive.

I believe all people—all people—are created in the image of God, have value and worth, and deserve to be treated with respect. I believe I have a responsibility to speak up for the lives of the children who have no way to speak for themselves. Babies are not disposable; they are valuable. Babies are not an inconvenience; they are lives full of potential and worth.

Maybe we just need to resolve the most basic of questions: when is a child a child?  

How would you answer when a child is a child?  

When they are outside of the womb? What about 10 minutes before delivery? If they are a child 10 minutes before delivery, what about two weeks before delivery? What about when the child can feel pain in the womb, or when they are sucking their thumb or their heart is beating? What about when they have unique DNA and cell division that is different than the mom’s DNA?  

When is a child a child?

The only difference between a baby in the womb and a baby being held in the arms of a mom or dad is time. Every single person reading this right now started their life small and defenseless, just like every other child in the womb. 

I understand not everyone agrees about the value of each child, but that’s the reason why the Dobbs decision from the Supreme Court was so important. It put the conversation about life back into the hands of the American people and out of the judicial chambers.

Let’s have that national conversation about babies and our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Let’s talk about more ways to walk alongside moms in need. Let’s talk about adoption, ways to strengthen and support families, and greater access to women’s health care—to improve, protect, and save lives. 

The issue of abortion didn’t go away after Roe, and it will not end after Dobbs. Millions of people took to the streets for years to speak out peacefully for a culture of life. Those same people who stood up for the value of every life now speak out with hope for every mom who is afraid and sometimes very alone.

Children are a gift, even if they are unexpected. No one could look in the big beautiful eyes of the babies who have been born this year after Dobbs and say they should be destroyed. We see them for the gift that they are and will be for our nation. They remind us of where we all started and how far our nation still has to go.  


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