Op-Ed — Rogers: Founding Fathers absolutely had the ‘Right to Life’ in mind

By Steven L. Rogers

For decades, the debate about abortion and the Right to Life in America has been raging like a fire that ignites in a dry forest and is never extinguished. Those who argue “my body, my choice” claim they have the right to terminate the life of a living human being in their womb.

Many pro-abortion advocates believe the Founders of America had no opinion on the matter of abortion or the right to life and therefore, nothing in the Declaration of Independence or Constitution of the United States addresses this issue.

I am not a lawyer, Constitutional scholar or historian. As a matter of fact, I am like millions of the common folk who hear all of the arguments the “experts” and others have to offer in support of abortion on-demand from a legal, medical, ethical and scientific perspective.

However, what I find missing from all of their arguments is the common-sense perspective. The perspective that the Meriam-Webster dictionary defines as “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.”

As a commander of a police department’s criminal-investigation division, there were many times when I had to use common-sense as a tool to draw a specific conclusion on facts I evaluated during the investigation of certain criminal acts.

Regarding the Founders’ and the right to life, one only has to look read their speeches, examine their actions and use common sense based on a “simple perception” of their position that can lead to only one conclusion, that their number one priority was to ensure the safety of every living being in America, inside and outside of the womb.

In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court may be deciding the fate of millions of unborn children for generations to come because they will be hearing both pro-abortion and pro-life (anti-abortion) legal, medical, scientific, and ethical arguments regarding the fate of Roe v. Wade. What the court may not hear are arguments that provide common sense insight into the thoughts of our Founders.

After researching some of the speeches and actions of our Founders with regard to this issue, common-sense leads me to conclude that the Founder’s believed creation is a part of nature (Divine Intervention) that may never be changed by the actions of man (government) via executive orders, legislation or jurists.

Common sense leads me to the conclusion all of the Founders believed what they signed on the Declaration, or they would not have signed it.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Notice the words “created equal,” not born equal. Thomas Jefferson made it unmistakably clear every human being is created equal by the Creator (God) with certain unalienable rights (rights that cannot be taken away) that among these are first and foremost the right to life.

Therefore, one can conclude, based on common-sense that all of the Founders knew God, not man, created life, and with that creation comes the “inalienable” right to life, a God-given right no man may take. Common sense, therefore, shows us the “inalienable” right to life precludes abortion.

Our Founders made sure the right to life was the first of the three inalienable rights listed on the Declaration because it is that right which government is instituted — to protect the weak as well as the strong, to be a protective voice of those who have no voice. 

Who but the child in the womb is weaker, has no voice and no protection from those who believe they can take his or her life? It is the duty of government to protect that life.

I have no doubt that our Founders knew exactly what they had to include in the Declaration of Independence with regard to the sanctity of life, because all of them were aware of and obviously believed the words written in the Creators (God’s) very own Declaration of Independence, the Holy Bible.

Genesis 1:27: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created…male and female…”

Common sense tells me the Founders understood God, not man, created life, in His own image and therefore, they included in the Founding documents of America the word (inalienable) making it clear no government has the right to support in any way, shape or form the taking of a life God creates.

Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart…”

It was clear to our Founders God knows every human being before they are created (formed). In fact, he recognizes them as breathing, living persons who have the right to life, a life God created, a life only God may end.

“Among the natural rights of man are these: First, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.” — Sam Adams. 

James Wilson, a Founder who signed the Declaration of Independence taught, “With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement (in the womb) to its close, is protected by the common law.” (God’s Law!)” The life in the womb is protected from immediate destruction, and every degree of violence and danger.

It should be noted that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States declares no state shall deprive any person of life.” That’s any person! 

“The real democratic American idea is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance.” -Henry Ward Beecher

George Wythe George Wythe (1726-1806) was a citizen of Enlightenment, deeply interested in politics and history and science. He emphasized reason and individualism. In his lifetime, he argued both publicly and privately against slavery, urging the emancipation of enslaved people and owning none himself by the end of his life. He bolstered John Locke’s assertion of the natural rights of man — that all are equal and independent and “no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.”

Our Founders were very intelligent individuals who I am sure debated every legal, moral and ethical perspective regarding the issue of the right to life. But in the end, I believe, based on their examination of all they had available to them, including facts related to creation and matural law, it was common sense that led them to make as a priority the protection of all life, by using the word created vs. born in the Declaration of Independence — that all men are created (not born) equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Today, in our time, every political leader in America has a duty and obligation to protect what the Founders wanted to protect in their time — The Right to Life!

 Steven L. Rogers is a retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer, a retired Nutley police lieutenant, a former Nutley commissioner and a 2017 GOP primary gubernatorial candidate.

Learn more about the writer ...

Steven L. Rogers | Nutley