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Life is special, worthy of protecting

Tens of thousands — if not more — will march in Washington D.C. today to protest abortion.

The annual March for Life may be decidedly more optimistic than in recent years. A new president has made abortion a priority and his vice-president, Mike Pence, is scheduled to speak at the event.

The first March for Life took place on the one-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and they have followed with events each year.

The march — and the counter-protests that will follow — is a testament to the polarizing nature of abortion. The public splits about evenly when asked if they are pro-life or pro-choice, but there’s more nuance to most people’s opinions on the matter.

According to polls, about 29 percent of Americans think abortion should be legal in all circumstances. On other end, about 19 percent think it should be illegal in all circumstances. The numbers vary from poll to poll depending on the wording of the question.

The rest of Americans — about 50 percent — are somewhere in between.

At the heart of the issue is the conflict between a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body and an unborn baby’s right to life. If you don’t agree an unborn child is a human, then nothing will convince you abortion is wrong in any circumstance. That’s where the most ardent pro-choicers find themselves. They simply will not accept that an unborn child is deserving of basic human rights. They believe the act of passing through the birth canal infers rights that are absent up until that point.

Pro-lifers point out that unborn babies can feel pain, but that misses the issue. Is feeling pain a requirement for being human? They also point out that unborn babies can hear sounds inside the womb and can begin to absorb language. But hearing doesn’t make us human either.

An unborn baby is a human deserving of rights because it exists. That’s not a very intelligent argument but it’s one that a moral society should agree on. The point at which a cluster of cells becomes a human may not be knowable by science — or at least not agreed upon by scientists. So, as a society that values life, we should err on the side of life and choose not to destroy it.

To do otherwise is to declare a human to be something else, something less human. Life matters. Life is worthy of protecting. Life is special, even when it’s inside the womb.