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Why is the right to life inherent to every one of us?

We all have an inalienable right to life from conception to natural death and yet, society is trying to tell us that human life is disposable. We see this in abortion, euthanasia, and numerous bioethical questions arising from emergent technologies.

The truth about the value of human life – why a society should preserve and protect it – flows from the fact that God is the Creator and Author of life. Scripture reveals that He formed us in our mothers’ wombs and knew us before we were born.

Out of love He created us and then sent His Son to rescue and redeem us. Our redemption through Christ paints a vivid picture of the value of human life.

Since life was created by God, it belongs to Him, so the killing of humans created in His image not only directly offends our Creator, but is also unjust.

We see in Proverbs 6:17 that God hates “hands that shed innocent blood,” and the book of Deuteronomy implores us to “choose life that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days.”

Innocent life is not ours to take, whether at the beginning, end, or somewhere in between. Scripture teaches that there is grace amidst suffering, and human life merits the highest protection.

It thus follows that the State, as God’s servant, has the preeminent task of upholding and protecting human life.

What is the legal framework for the right to life?

International law robustly protects the right to life.

Under international law, there is unequivocally no ‘right to abortion.’ On the contrary, the core instruments of international law, under which States are bound, include strong protections for the right to life, and numerous references to the unborn.

Abortion—the taking of innocent human life at its most vulnerable stage—can never be a human right.

Further, there is no ‘right to die’. Nothing in international law supports the legalization of euthanasia, assisted suicide, and other death-inducing practices. Rather, in accordance with established human rights standards, we must vigilantly safeguard every precious human life from the culture of death, especially the most vulnerable.”

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 6(1) holds that, “every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.”

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 6(1) states that, “every child has the inherent right to life,” and holds in its preamble that, “the child … needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.”

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 10 holds that, “every human being has the inherent right to life and shall take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.”

The American Convention on Human Rights states that, “every person has the right to have his life respected. This right shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception.”

Article 2 of the Charter on Fundamental Rights of the European Union recognizes that, “everyone has the right to life.” The European Court of Human Rights repeatedly has ruled that the European Convention on Human Rights does not contain a “right to die,” which would be “diametrically opposed” to the right to life.

Freedom of conscience within the medical profession

Many budding Christian doctors avoid training and working in certain fields of medicine, such as obstetrics and gynaecology, for fear of the pressure and various moral conflicts growing within the field. That’s where we at ADF International come in. 

Nobody should be forced to choose between their conscience and their profession. Personal beliefs and conscience influence all areas of a person’s life and are not simply left behind when one enters a professional setting. 

Regarding bioethics, new technologies are generating serious human rights implications, such as those that follow when motherhood is split across two or more parties. Women must be protected from exploitation as ‘gestational ovens’. Surrogacy, often accompanied by factors that pose serious risks to women’s health, bears alarming consequences for both women and children across the world. 

This experience is particularly acute for women in developing countries, increasingly subjected to the exploitation of being hired for their wombs.  

Equally, children carried via surrogacy face severe violations of their rights – including through their sale upon birth and violation of their right to know their identity. 

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Our goal is that, across the world, the right to life is guaranteed and practices that violate this right such as abortion, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide are not only unlawful, but unthinkable.

We at ADF International are committed to protecting the most fundamental freedom, the right to life, which is violated every day in many parts of the world.  

ADF International safeguards the right to life through our advocacy efforts to: 

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