Eleanor Roosevelt called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), “humanity’s Magna Carta”. On 10 December 2019, it will be 71 years since the freshly formed and then still noble United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the document, with only a few (mostly socialist) regimes abstaining.
A Lebanese diplomat and philosopher, Charles Habib Malik, had a major impact on key provisions being firmly rooted in natural law – the concept that some rights are inherent to humanity: not granted or legitimately denied by governments or popular opinions.
The manifest need for such a global agreement is history that few people alive today were witnesses to a lifetime ago. During World War II there were such massive and systematic abuses of human rights that an international legal instrument was necessary to hold violators accountable.
Two violations were particularly repugnant to the global community and subsequently addressed by the UDHR: the inherent dignity of every human being, and the necessity for nondiscrimination in affording every human their fundamental rights.
At the same time the World Medical Association was reeling in increasing awareness of atrocities committed by doctors in America and Germany, particularly the eugenics movement which had peaked in the 1920s and 30s. This resulted in the forced sterilisation of over 64,000 people with “undesirable” traits in America such as the disabled, but also the poor, uneducated and minorities.
SCOTUS Justice Wendell Holmes ruled in one case (Buck v. Bell, 1927), “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind… Three generations of imbeciles is enough” (Black 2003).
Eugenics apologist and Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, disturbingly wrote in a 1921 article, “the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of [the feeble-minded, the poverty-stricken classes, and] the mentally and physically defective.”
Hitler’s government admiringly sought advice from Californian legislators on how to better prevent reproduction of the “unfit” as he also implemented his vision of a master race. Following the horrors of Nazi Germany the whole eugenics movement lost power and the world realised the need to protect the natural rights of people everywhere.
The World Medical Association adopted the Physician’s Oath which included everything you’d expect about public service, gratitude to teachers, patient priority, non-discrimination in duty of care, and, “the utmost respect for human life from the time of conception”.
Even in 1948 the whole world knew human life begins at conception. 70 years of technological and scientific advances have only confirmed this fact. 96% of biologists still believe each human begins life at fertilisation.
In this context the UDHR opens with, “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and unalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”
“…All members of the human family…”
When debating the question of whether or not Africans, Gypsies or preborn humans have rights equal to anyone else, the only relevant question is scientific – not ideological. Are they members of the human family? And the answer is, “Of course so.” Philosophical contortionism on this question is malevolently unethical when the Truth is uncomplicated. Science confirms from the moment of fertilisation human parents have already reproduced a life belonging to the same species.
I take great care to state the obvious because abortion apologists will sometimes go to great pains to dehumanise preborn people, contradicting anyone calling them a baby instead of the scientific name for their stage of development. Others are more honest and admit without flinching they are killing a baby, insisting only a mother’s preference to no longer be pregnant is needed to justify, in their minds, fatal violations of the natural rights of preborn members of the human family.
Article 2 of the Declaration goes to the effort of detailing, “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind,” followed by some examples of various statuses.
Article 3, emphatic by its simplicity, states, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”
Article 6 clears up the fraud of laws which deny legal personhood to any member of the human family, observing, “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.”
The law only recognises two classifications of entitlement to rights, persons and property. People have rights, property does not. As seen in the Dred Scott v. Sandford (1856) SCOTUS decision, slaves were declared the property of their owners and their human rights were violated when the court misinterpreted the Fifth Amendment which states no owner shall be deprived of property without due process.
In 1856 bad law invented by a positivist judiciary dehumanised people and enabled the slave industry deny them natural human rights, elevating one person’s rights at the immoral cost of another’s.
Abortion apologists similarly classify preborn members of the human family as having no natural right to life, liberty and security of person. They insist legislators and jurists refuse to recognise a living human between the stages of fertilisation and birth as a person before the law.
In callous contradiction of Articles 2, 3 and 6 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the contemporaneous Physician’s Oath, the abortion industry treats some living humans as disposable private property and brazenly discriminates against people based on the status of their birth having not yet occurred; even though science is unambiguous about their membership of the human family, subsequently entitling them to all the rights and freedoms set forth in that Declaration.
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