Judie Brown
Calling Horton the Elephant!
By Judie Brown
March 17, 2016

One small cry is all that it might take. Will yours be the voice?

Perhaps you recall the Dr. Seuss favorite Horton Hears a Who! Written by Theodore Seuss Geisel and published in 1954, this children's classic tells an age-old story that has become, for many of us, a wonderful way to illustrate who the Who is in each one of us.

Throughout the story, Horton the elephant exclaims, "A person's a person, no matter how small." That brief line tells a simple truth that today is becoming a footnote in the history of mankind. We see disregard for this truth in the abortion industry, in reproductive technology, and in the genetic manipulation of the human being. These practices – including in vitro fertilization and its progeny – deny the simple truths that define the unique identity and dignity of the individual.

Saint John Paul II taught: "The biological nature of each person is untouchable in the sense that it is constitutive of the personal identity of the individual throughout the whole course of his history. Each human person, in his absolutely unique singularity, is constituted not only by his spirit, but by his body as well. Thus, in the body and through the body, one touches the person himself in his concrete reality." In his words, we see that we must recognize and value human beings from the very first moment of their creation. Yet this simple truth about the human person is at odds with much of what is occurring today amidst a burgeoning cycle of self-satisfaction, self-gratification, and all manner of self-centered disregard for the vulnerable in our midst. Let's face it, when a father can dictate to the surrogate mother of his triplets which of the three should live and which must die, the world as we know it is spinning off its moral axis.

Yet in the words "A person's a person, no matter how small," we feel hope. That elephant holds the key to a restoration of moral sanity. His simple sentence is the antidote needed to stem the anti-personhood rampage.

You might read this and ask, How can we logically argue for the personhood of the preborn baby at every stage of his biological development when most people couldn't care less?

The simple answer is this: We know that Section 1 of the 14th Amendment declares that "no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United 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 laws." The U.S. Supreme Court has rebuked the 14th Amendment, declaring that the preborn child – referred to in the Roe v. Wade decision as the fetus – is not a human being. But we must understand and teach that every human being who ever lived was a human being from his beginning – from the point when he was created as a single cell embryo. What we have to do now is teach the logical fact that a child who exists from the moment he comes into this world as this human embryo possesses his own unique DNA. He is as much a human being as anyone who is already born, regardless of what the status quo has accepted.

You, me, and every single member of the Supreme Court were unique human beings from the beginning. So how can a preborn baby, at any stage in his biological development, not be considered a human being, an individual, a person?

There is no logical answer to this, only a realization that pro-death propaganda has seized the day.

Each preborn child is genetically and in every other way a human being because "a person is a person, no matter how small."

Horton knew this, and we are compelled to teach it to others.

Anyone with a smidgen of common sense can see that the illogical and indefensible approval of intentionally aborting a child, genetically manipulating a child, or condemning a child to death for any reason from the beginning of his life onward is wrong. It is cruel. It is barbaric.

That's why I am calling Horton to the rescue. Simplicity is what is needed; Horton the elephant understood that.

Horton heard the residents of Who-ville. Will you hear the preborn persons crying out for help in your world? Will you be their voices now, today, and every day until human beings are ALL equally recognized and cherished as persons once more?

A person is a person, no matter how small!

Judie Brown, president and cofounder of ALL, has served three five-year terms (1996-2011) as a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. She has written 12 books, including the most recent, The Broken Path: How Catholic Bishops Got Lost in the Weeds of American Politics (2011) and Saving Those Damned Catholics: A Defense of Catholic Teaching (2007).

American Life League is the oldest grassroots Catholic pro-life education organization in the United States. Committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to death, ALL is rooted in pro-life integrity that stands up for every innocent human being whose life is threatened by what Saint John Paul II called "the culture of death."

Teach your children about the sanctity of life with our Culture of Life Studies Program. And with our Life Is Precious unit study, you can read Horton Hears a Who! with your children and teach them about the smallest among us.

Learn how to articulate the facts about human personhood.

Stay informed; subscribe today to Pro-Life This Week.

© Judie Brown


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Judie Brown

Judie Brown is president and co-founder of American Life League, the nation's largest grassroots pro-life educational organization... (more)


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