In the newest LifeChat video series, we explore a striking link between slavery and abortion. We draw parallels between the Dred Scott ruling and a recent Montana Ballot Initiative, revealing the critical question of personhood. Jamelle Bouie’s New York Times piece triggers a contentious debate, as he advocates a mother’s right to choose, while we contend for the recognition of the unborn’s personhood. Join us as we discuss this crucial issue, invoking the 14th Amendment’s principles to ensure justice and equality for all, including the unborn.

Watch the full LifeChat: All Free or All Slave? Parallels of Slavery and Abortion

If you follow this video series, you may recall an episode where I talked about the link between slavery and abortion. In that talk, I noted the similarity between the Dred Scott ruling and a failed ballot initiative in Montana. In the Dred Scott case, the Supreme Court ruled that once a black person was a slave, they were always a slave, until their slave owner decided they weren’t, even if they escaped to a free state.

In the Montana Ballot Initiative, voters decided that an unborn child’s mother essentially owns the unborn child. It’s up to her to decide whether or not her child gets to be free, in this case, whether or not they get to be born alive. Interestingly, this argument was brought up in a recent The New York Times opinion piece by Jamelle Bouie.

While Bouie is decidedly pro-choice, I found myself agreeing with the premise of his argument.

It’s basically this. Our nation fought the Civil War because we realized that on fundamental questions such as the personhood of human beings, we can’t have a nation in which some states were slave states and some were not. It was an issue that had to be handled by the federal government. Either we were all free or all slave.

This question inspired Abraham Lincoln’s famous quote, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Bouie then draws a parallel to how abortion laws have played out in states after Roe v. Wade was overturned. We have some states that are pro-choice and some states that are pro-life. Bouie argues, and I agree, that this system is unsustainable.

At some point, on the question of human dignity, personhood, and the rights of the unborn, our nation as a whole will have to come down on one side or the other. But this is where he and I diverge. He, a black man, comes down on the side of the mother in her right to bodily autonomy. He draws a parallel between the slave of 1865 and the pregnant woman of 2023.

He believes that for both of those persons, our nation needs to give them the bodily autonomy they are entitled to. Thus, abortion should be legal everywhere.

I see it differently.

For me, the correct parallel to draw is between the slave and the unborn child. Why? Because slavery was a system that said that blacks were not people and therefore were not entitled to the rights that come with personhood.

Today, many in our nation have made the same determination for unborn children when it comes to abortion. The unborn are not persons and therefore do not have rights.

Thus, they can legally be aborted by their owners, their mothers. I’m disappointed that this writer comes down on the side of the powerful when it’s possible that his and certainly my ancestors’ freedom was secured by rejecting the idea that only the powerful should decide who counts as a person.

Today, it’s the power brokers in the multi-billion dollar abortion industry and their allies in the federal and state government who have determined that the unborn can’t be considered persons.

This is not much different than the slave owners such as Dred Scott’s owner and their allies in the Supreme Court who decided that Dred Scott could not be a person. I hope that as our nation becomes more and more aware of the parallels between slavery and abortion we recognize the personhood of the unborn.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution states that all persons have a right to equal protection under the law. This gave slaves their freedom. It’s time that we apply this to the unborn as well.

Only then will they get the justice they deserve. Until next time, may God bless you daily as you serve Him faithfully.

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