The pro-life movement is over forty years old. From its inception in the late 1960's, the movement has been primarily focused on being anti-abortion. It is common to hear a statement that "We must save the babies." This is more true today than ever, but it can no longer be the only objective of our movement. Our concern must expand with the times to encompass the dignity and value of each human being from the first moment of his or her existence—until natural death.
In the 21st century we can no longer afford to be focused on a single pro-life issue. Human life and human dignity are under assault in ways we never before imagined. 21st century philosophies of utilitarianism and trans-humanism are questioning the very definition of what it means to be "human" or to be a "person". The emerging technologies, guided by these godless world-views are ushering us into a "brave new world" of human cloning, deadly human experimentation, human-animal hybrids, human enhancements and germ-line intervention. Two recent publications have proclaimed these ideas as some of the "Most Dangerous in the World".
Personhood is where all of these issues meet. In 2005 at the National Right to Life Conference, Christian bio-ethicist Nigel Cameron predicted that "two terms will come to dominate public policy in the 21st century . . . trans-humanism and eugenics." It is the central issue in public policy dialog today. Peter Singer, the DeCamp professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and who some refer to as the leading living philosopher of our day, says that "killing a defective child [up to 28 days after birth] is not the same as killing a person." Today's pro-life movement must be equipped to address these concerns from a biblical worldview. Personhood is the NEW pro-life for the NEW century.
National Personhood Alliance (NPA) is a confederation of organizations and pro-life leaders who believe that the strategy of pursuing personhood is essential to protecting every innocent human being in the 21st century. We believe that only by God's mercy, grace and power will we see legal protections established for the most vulnerable in our midst. We therefore affirm and adhere to the following set of principles:
FOUNDING CHARTER FOR PERSONHOOD ALLIANCE
WHEREAS, Personhood Alliance (PA) is a Christ-centered, biblically informed organization dedicated to the non-violent advancement of the recognition and protection of the God-given, inalienable right to life of all innocent human beings as legal persons at every stage of their biological development, and;
WHEREAS, without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6),
THEREFORE, NPA recognizes that Jesus Christ is both Lord and God, and;
WHEREAS, the Bible affirms the personhood, sanctity, dignity and value of every human being from the moment of our individual creation, as evidenced by the doctrine of Imago Dei and through the marital union of a man and woman (Gen 1:26-28), our being known by God even before being formed in the womb (Jer 1:5), the incarnation of Christ (Luke 1-2), and the sacrifice of Christ to atone for the sins of humanity and restore fellowship between God and man (Rom. 5:12-21);
THEREFORE, NPA affirms that we will uphold the biblical doctrine of the sanctity of human life as the primary objective of our organization, and thereby declare our essential unity; in areas of difference we declare liberty of conscience before God; and in all things—grace, and;
EDUCATION AND CONSCIENCE
WHEREAS, two thousand years of Church history testify to the positive impact of this doctrine on the various cultures and nation-states where it has been recognized and embraced, and;
WHEREAS, the Church must, by example, be the primary means to form the consciences of nations regarding the moral demands of God, and;
WHEREAS, We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s, and;
WHEREAS, we honor justice and the common good, we will, by reason of conscience, advocate for non-compliance with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act, and;
THEREFORE, NPA will work to assist the Church as it seeks to affirm the personhood of every human being; and;
WHEREAS, our nation’s charter, the Declaration of Independence, states, “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,” and that governments are instituted in order to secure these rights, and;
WHEREAS, the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law";
THEREFORE the legislative objective of Personhood Alliance shall be the protection of every innocent human being and shall not be deemed completed until the personhood of all human beings, born and pre-born, is recognized and defended under the law; beginning at the local and state level and ending as ultimately expressed at a federal level, additionally, no legislative effort will be endorsed and promoted which explicitly identify a class of human life that can be expressly exempted from the equal protection of the law.
WHEREAS, all human beings, at any and every stage of life, in any and every state of consciousness or self-awareness, of any and every race, color, ethnicity, level of intelligence, religion, language, gender, character, behavior, physical ability/disability, potential, class, social status and regardless of manner of conception or creation are persons of equal and immeasurable worth and of inviolable dignity, and;
WHEREAS they must be recognized and treated in a manner commensurate with this moral status;
THEREFORE, no political endorsement will be made which may explicitly identify a class of human life that can be expressly exempted from the equal protection of the law.
WHEREAS, the absolute sanctity of innocent human life will be the unifying principle of our Alliance, and;
WHEREAS, this is a confederation of independent groups who agree to link arms as equals,
THEREFORE, strength of unity can only be fully realized if we substantively agree on one consistent political endorsement criteria and a unified set of legislative measures that will allow local groups to achieve a national voice and footprint.