Galesburg senior calls on pro-lifers to defend life wherever opportunity arises

Gerard Remmes, a senior at Galesburg High School and president of Students for Life there, receives his first place award in the Knox County Right to Life essay contest from Roxanne Flesher. It was presented at the Festival of Life in Galesburg on Oct. 27. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following essay was written by Gerard Remmes, a senior at Galesburg High School and president of Students for Life there. It answers the question, “What can we do to promote respect for all human life in Illinois after the passage of the extreme abortion law?” and took first place in the Knox County Right to Life essay contest. Remmes and his family are members of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Galesburg.

 By Gerard Remmes

The pro-abortion movement won a major battle in Illinois this past June 2019. House Bill 2495 was passed in the state legislator, making Illinois one of the most accessible abortion states in America. This bill is wrong on multiple fronts. First, it repealed the partial-birth abortion ban, which allows for more access to late term abortions up to birth. Second, at its core the Reproductive Health Act states, “that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law of this State.” This shows the true message of the pro-abortion agenda. Many pro-abortion supporters use the “my body, my choice” argument to defend their position but, at their core, they really do not believe that the unborn have any rights. That is why this new law is so wrong, because it definitively denies human rights to the unborn. Despite all of this, the pro-abortion movement is not winning. Locally, the Peoria and Bettendorf abortion clinics closed down . . . and nationally, abortion has been severely limited in states such as Alabama and Kentucky. This extreme abortion bill can only be stopped by providing a greater education on why the unborn have rights by inviting others to attend workshops, and conferences put on by the many pro-life organizations throughout our state, and by personally explaining that human rights begin at conception.

It is common knowledge in the scientific community that life begins at conception. In fact, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has described life as “beginning at conception” and embryology textbooks and journals have all stated that human life begins at conception. With this scientific evidence, pro-abortion advocates have shifted their argument to defining when “personhood” begins. This position does not deny science, but debates over when humans are developed enough to have rights.

This “personhood” argument quickly dissolves into chaos, because there is no clear determinant for when a baby should have rights. The point at which “personhood” is determined becomes arbitrary, and differs from person to person on their views of development. However, the challenging question is, “Why does a person’s stage of development determine whether it has rights?” Unborn babies’ rights should not be determined by their stage of development. Everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, is constantly developing. As it has been said, the unborn baby is like a Polaroid picture. All the parts are there from the moment of conception; they just need time to be developed.

The pro-life movement has to combat this new “personhood” argument. Pro-lifers must be willing and bold to talk about this issue with the public. The respect for life has to be promoted everywhere. Wherever the opportunity arises to defend the dignity of life, pro-lifers must be ready to speak out, knowing that they are defending the most innocent, and that they are combating the worst genocide in history. Raising awareness for the rights of the unborn babies is paramount to the abolition of abortion.

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