This summer, the question of abortion and the rights of the unborn once again took center stage as a presidential campaign issue. In August, at the Saddleback Civil Forum, Pastor Rick Warren asked both presidential candidates: “At what point is a baby entitled to human rights?” Senator John McCain’s answer, “at the moment of conception,” immediately established his anti-abortion bona fides.
But the right answer, as a matter of international human rights principles and simple justice, is: human rights attach at birth, not at conception.
This is the only position that ensures that upon becoming pregnant, women do not lose their human rights.
Political candidates of all persuasions should rest assured that to oppose the recognition of human rights before birth is not to deny the value of potential life as matter of religious belief, emotional conviction or personal experience. Rather, it is to recognize the value of the women who give that life.