Human Rights for All Ages
Ending the Greatest Human Rights Tragedy on Earth!
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Quiz for the day: Abortion is a
If you chose any of the first three answers, I'm sorry, but you are wrong. Abortion is not a religious issue. It makes no difference what your religion is, or even whether you have any religion – abortion is wrong. Abortion is not a social issue. Somehow I do not think that if we had armed gangs roaming and shooting people dead in the middle of the streets that we would refer to this as a "social" issue. And dead preborn babies are no less dead and those killing them no less violent than people laying dead in the streets and their killers. Abortion is not a liberal or conservative issue. I don't care whether you consider yourself conservative, liberal, moderate, right-wing, left-wing, radical or however you wish to define yourself politically. Abortion is still wrong. Abortion is wrong because abortion kills little human beings. That makes it, purely and simply, a human rights issue, involving the most basic of all human rights, the right to life. It was no accident that the largest and most well known organization in the United States opposing abortion chose its name as "Right to Life". If we are not focused on human rights, we are not focused correctly.
There is, however, a problem. In our world today there are numerous organizations that are looked up to and respected as being "human rights organizations". And, of course, these organizations unequivocally oppose the killing of preborn human beings, right? Wrong! A while back I did a survey of the organizations listed in the Yahoo directory as "human rights organizations" and found that out of more than 100 organizations, only three opposed abortion. Of the remaining 100-or-so organizations, approximately half actually advocated in favor of killing preborn human beings. Since creating the original list of human rights organizations, I have searched the Internet for other lists of such organizations. Out of the eleven such directories that I have found, how many times has Right to Life, American Life League, Feminists for Life, or any other of the well-known organizations or organizations that are listed in the Anti-Abortion Directory at AbortionReason.com that are fighting for the lives of our preborn children turned up on such lists? Once! (This recognition goes to Human Life International, listed in the Wikipedia listing. The three in the original list take a position in opposition to abortion, but it is "incidental" and not a primary focus of their work, so they are not listed in the directory.)
In the eyes of the public, these organizations such as the ones in the Yahoo! Directory (groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, etc.) are the ones that stand for human rights. They stand for human rights, and yet they advocate in favor of abortion. What does this tell people? Another way to think of this is that there is a dichotomy in place separating the world of human rights advocacy and the world of anti-abortion advocacy. People see these as being two different things. They are not. It is we who stand up for the human rights of the preborn who are the true human rights advocates of our day. Organizations that support killing our youngest members are not human rights advocates, no matter what they may claim. This dichotomy can be clearly seen by a survey of today's media.
The problem, however, is not so much that these organizations take such a stand, but rather that they get away with it. Why do they get away with it? Because we let them. Has there ever been a dedicated, sustained effort to confront these organizations and "call them on the carpet" for their stand in favor of killing people? Not that I am aware of. And this is the problem. How often do we have a presence at human rights events? I called around to the pro-life/anti-abortion organizations that are listed in the Anti-Abortion Directory to see what I could find out about the celebration of International Human Rights Day in their areas. To my knowledge, after a great deal of research, there is only one organization that has represented the unborn at International Human Rights Day celebrations around the country prior to the start of this campaign on International Human Rights Day in 2013. (Although there is one other organization that did make the attempt.) Indeed, perhaps the majority of the people that I talked to in these groups had no idea what I was even talking about when I referred to the event. (Do you know when it is and what it commemorates?) Here are the groups fighting the greatest human rights violation on earth, and they have no knowledge of the one day set aside each year specifically for recognition of human rights! Are you seeing the problem here? We have allowed this dichotomy to develop between the concept of human rights and the concept of protecting the preborn and have not challenged it. In so doing we have become separated from what is recognized as human rights advocacy, and have allowed those who support killing to fill that role. Hence, when we try to speak out for the preborn, people think of us as a fringe group, or a special interest, or simply "those right-to-lifers".
We will not succeed in ending abortion as long as people see us as religious zealots, or as a bunch of conservatives, or as those people who are trying to push their personal morality on others. We will succeed when people see us as the true human rights advocates in the world today. We need to break the dichotomy that labels one group of organizations as 'human rights' organizations, and delegates those groups that are fighting the greatest human rights tragedy of all to some other category. That is what the Human Rights for All Ages Campaign is all about. Yes, I wish to challenge these so-called 'human rights' organizations to truly stand up for the human rights of all people. But we also need to refocus ourselves. I wonder how many people chose one of the first three answers at the beginning of this article. I fear that often we ourselves have lost sight of the fact that we are fighting for the most basic of all human rights. Again, if we are not focused on human rights, we are not focused correctly. If we do not see ourselves and present ourselves as human rights advocates, people will not see us that way.
The campaign addresses this problem in two ways. We contact the so-called "human rights" organizations and challenge them to actually stand up for human rights for all people - all ages. We need to put pressure on these groups and let them know that they cannot just blithely blunder forward and disregard the rights of a whole group of human beings. We must be alert to challenges by these groups or by others to try to subvert the rights of the preborn and raise our voices loudly when they do.
Even more importantly, though, we need to stand up and let people know that we are not separate from the human rights groups - we are the human rights groups. We cannot accept the dichotomy that has arisen. We must clear away the dichotomy in people's minds. But first we must clear away the dichotomy in our own minds and claim our place as the human rights advocates of today. This means that we need to be present at all human rights events and activities, such as International Human Rights Day, for example. Indeed, we should not just be present, but we need to be leading the way; ours is, after all, the human rights cause of our day.
I am sure there are those out there who are asking, "Why should I take time from my important 'pro-life' work to bother with challenging pro-abortion groups and engaging in human-rights events?" I would hope by now that the answer is clear, but to clarify and summarize, ours is a human rights battle. However, the pro-abortion people have "claimed the high ground" in human rights, and human rights have come to be associated with "reproductive rights", "women's rights", "the right to choose", etc. As long as this remains the case, we will not succeed in convincing people of the worst human rights catastrophe that faces us today – the killing of preborn human beings. We need to first of all redirect our own thinking and remind ourselves that we are indeed fighting a human rights battle. We then need to stand up and challenge whenever any group or organization proposes killing in the name of human rights.
"[P]hotographs and other visual images have played such a powerful role in the evolution of international human rights." -Paul Lauren Gordon, The Evolution of Human Rights
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Copyright 2013, Human Rights for All Ages Campaign