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Jennifer Horn: Government is not capable of calculating love's value

August 08. 2017 11:36PM

I've spent a lot of this summer visiting with my parents. They are both elderly, and getting more and more frail each day, but my mom is especially fragile. They have been married for 58 years, had 10 children, and lived through more joys and sorrows together than I could ever list. Mom was the one who took care of everyone, while Dad worked hard and provided for the family.

It’s incredibly moving now, to watch Dad care for my Mom. He tracks her medications, holds her hand everywhere they go to steady her step, and kneels by her chair to whisper reassuringly into her ear when she gets agitated. The love they share is profound.

As I have watched my parents continue to live their love for one another, I’ve also followed the tragic story of Charlie Gard.

Charlie was born with a rare genetic disorder that causes muscle weakness and brain damage and for which there is no known cure. In England, where Charlie was born, a hideous thing called a European Court for Human Rights ruled that Charlie’s parents did not have the right to bring their baby to the United States for experimental treatment, and even that they did not have a right to bring him home to die.

As a result, Charlie died in a government hospice, where his life support was removed by court decree, and against his parent’s wishes. According to published reports, the experimental treatment offered only about a 10 percent chance of success, but the idea of parents having to fight in court for the right to fight for their children’s lives is grotesque.

Life is intrinsically valuable, and that value cannot be calculated by an equation of investment versus pay off or treatments versus outcomes. Every human being is born overflowing with unlimited potential to love and be loved, and that is the only measure of the value of human life. We exist to love and be loved. That is why we fight, instinctively, to extend the quality and quantity of life, and it is why health care should never become a mathematical equation that tries to determine the value of one life versus another.

For decades the radical progressive left has worked diligently to convince our society that life is expendable. They have written a twisted narrative that says one life is somehow more valuable than another and that government entities like “human rights courts” have the legal and moral authority to determine which is which.

The Democrat Party has been pulled so far to the left by groups like the National Abortion Rights Action League and Emily’s List that it is embroiled in a bitter battle over whether they will even support candidates with the audacity to declare their dedication to preserving life. There is something deeply disturbing about an entire political movement that is dedicated to devaluing life itself.

I’m not sure if it is even possible for the human brain to fully comprehend the science and miracle of life, or for our hearts to fully absorb the love and pain that life brings. With every moment of joy — every birth, every spontaneous laugh, every chubby baby hug, every whispered “I love you” — we come to a deeper appreciation for this extraordinary gift. But it is the moments of indescribable sorrow that truly teach us to hold fast to each other. Our value is in the love we share, whether parents carefully cradling their precious newborn baby, or an 82-year-old husband gently caressing his ailing wife’s hand.

Our ability to love is infinite, and it is love that gives life value. Government is not capable of calculating that value and should never be entrusted to do so.

Nashua’s Jennifer Horn is the former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party and is active in political and civic affairs.

Human Interest Politics Social issues Jennifer Horn

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