Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

What I wish I would have said about abortion

My family and I recently had a discussion about abortion with some dear friends. Well, it was mainly me and the wife of the other couple. Now, if this discussion was with a stranger I most likely would have unloaded. Most defenses for abortion are quite common and easy enough to respond to.

Some people who defend the killing of children are monsters. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, is one. Dr. Mary Gatter, admitting she sold aborted baby parts, and would like sell more because she wants a Lamborghini, is another such monster. Never mind the profit motive here, move on.

But some people have been led to believe certain things that simply are not so, and would not defend abortion if they could see the picture as opponents do. Abortion culture teaches an inverted ethic. We should take a closer look at it.

I don’t recall how the discussion moved to the abortion issue. One of the earlier comments from my friend was something like “would it surprise you to know that I’m pro-life?” I wasn’t surprised by that, and I told her so. But during the course of the discussion she proceeded to defend keeping abortion legal. Apparently, she’s of the “I don’t personally support abortion, but I think abortion should be legal” bent. I wanted to phrase her position that way, and then rephrase it with a less sanitized choice of words. “You mean you don’t personally support killing babies, but you think killing babies should be legal?” But I didn’t say that. This is my friend, after all, and I know she is not like the monsters mentioned above. My friend is susceptible to reason; I don’t believe the monsters are.

Letting the discussion play out on the sanitized language field was one of my mistakes. Another semantic game the monsters play is trying to distinguish between “pro-choice” and “pro-abortion” while bullying women who are pro-life. In discussions with monsters I would ask “the choice to do what?” It’s a surreal experience watching abortion supporters perform logical gymnastics trying to avoid the obvious fact that even in perfect circumstances, two lives enter an abortion clinic but only one life leaves. Another tactic is accusing abortion opponents as being opposed to “abortion rights” rather than being opposed to “killing babies”. See how one definition makes abortion look good and the other makes abortion look bad? Diverting attention away from the whole picture, focusing on a tiny subset of facts, and playing semantic games are very common in this battle. Obscuring the nature of the evil in question is one of the best tactics used to defend it. So when the monsters use tactics like this, ordinary folk like my friend catch on to it. I should have pushed for this clarification of language right from the beginning.

Predictably, the discussion moved on to matters of “what about when the life of the mother is at stake?”. I understand why the discussion so often moves in that direction. Most people who think abortion should remain legal don’t realize those of us who think killing babies should be illegal have already thought through this aspect of the situation. For the moment, let’s overlook the fact my friend was defending killing babies. For now let’s pretend questions about the mother’s life can honestly be addressed to the exclusion of the child’s life. Of the many pro-lifers I know, all of them are willing to make an exception for cases where bringing the child to full term would cause the death of the mother. For instance, if a pregnant woman has cancer and her therapy would end up killing her baby, I know of no one who would deny the mother access to the healthcare she needs. Though, for Stephanie Hosford, aborting her child was not necessary.

But cases where the mother’s life is almost certainly at serious risk are extremely rare. The monsters who bring up these cases often use them (dishonestly) as an excuse to guilt people into supporting unlimited abortion. And in doing so they teach our society to think along the same lines. My friend wanted to keep talking about the 1% of cases, the rarest cases. She wanted to dig deep into the details, to see how far banning abortion, with exceptions, could go. But there was also a hint that she was searching for flaws in my position, almost as if any problem that might be found in my approach would invalidate the entire argument. Of course, no policy in human experience is 100% without flaws. My preferred solution is not invalidated simply because it might not be absolutely flawless, as that is a quite unrealistic standard.

We could easily claim abortion shouldn’t be allowed because of its flaws. Abortion’s most vocal supporters demand absurd standards. For example, some of the more rabid abortion supporters claim a 12 year old girl should be allowed to have an abortion without her parents’ consent or knowledge despite the fact our laws require that same girl to have both of those things to get her ears pierced. Or, that same girl participating in Planned Parenthood’s own pro-abortion poster contest would be required by Planned Parenthood itself to provide written parental consent – simply to submit posters. Another example is the absurd claim men have no right to speak about abortion because this is a women’s issue, unless of course those men approve of it. The hypocrisy aside, telling someone they have no right to speak on a topic because of their gender is what we call sexist. But I didn’t say that.

There were, of course, the interruptions. When asked if I thought some form of medical board should be employed in the matter, in my response I was interrupted in mid sentence (something that happened numerous times) and was later accused of claiming a medical board should be invoked at every case where executing the child was thought to be the only way to save the mother’s life. It is perfectly appropriate for a bipartisan board of medical professionals (rather than lawyers or politicians or government/insurance bureaucrats) to establish guidelines for what doctors ought to do in rare situations like this. This was my point, but I didn’t get to make it since my friend was thinking of an invasive bureaucratic process invoked at every instance – putting words in my mouth. She heard as much as she wanted to hear and assumed the rest of my position. Unfortunately, this is a normal thing in a discussion on a controversial issue. We all need to be careful about this. To interrupt and presume (effectively misconstruing what other people say) does not help us understand the other side of the debate. When the truth is on your side, you don’t have to resort to tactics like this. But I didn’t say that.

We did discuss the 99% of cases a little, cases where the mother’s life is not in danger. I wish I would have stated in these cases the question for me is “under what circumstances is it justifiable to give a child the death penalty?” What was mentioned briefly was the example where a woman is raped and a pregnancy results. This is one of the best examples of the inverted ethic our society teaches.

So in a very realistic scenario: a man attacks a woman, he rapes her, and this results in a the conception of a child. In the United States, our inverted ethic tells us the death penalty should NOT be an option for the rapist, but it should be an option for the child. A child in the womb is the epitome of human innocence. The rapist is one of the worst examples of human depravity. This not the kind of rapist who engages in a consensual act with a woman, she gets embarrassed afterwards, and decides to accuse the guy of rape. There have been many cases of such false allegations. The Duke Lacrosse Team, though a different type of situation, should be brought up as an example of fake rape whenever this type of debate occurs. But it should also be mentioned instances of fake rape make it more difficult to deal with real rape, where someone is actually accosted and violated. Yet, the question remains, under what circumstances is it justifiable to give a child the death penalty, especially if our laws don’t permit this option for a rapist? Regardless of how the child is conceived, that blood is innocent. But I didn’t say that.

There was also the notion of “forcing” women to have children. That’s a fantastic lie the monsters have taught us, where the notion of natural consequences has been all but forgotten. The fact that a particular activity has a realistically high chance of a predictable and natural consequence has been obscured from the discussion. The claim banning abortion would be same as “forcing” women to give birth completely ignores the fact the overwhelming majority of pregnancies result from a mutually consensual act. Actions have consequences and in this case obvious consequences, as attested by the multi-billion dollar birth control industry. Why would there be so much money in birth control if this cause-and-effect sequence were a mystery? Whether you approve or disapprove of birth control has nothing to do with the fact the cause-and-effect sequence that results in pregnancy is not a mystery. If you use birth control, you prove you understand that sequence.

Recreational sex in a consequence-free environment is not a human right – we don’t have a right to be free from natural consequences, whether they be the nature of biology or the laws of physics. You can gripe about natural laws all you wish, but the universe doesn’t have to care or acquiesce. Rather than look at the painfully explicit common sense of the situation, abortion supporters have contorted their logic into a contrived grievance of “forced motherhood”. The child is not responsible for being conceived, yet that is who is punished (by the death penalty) in the act of abortion. I hear abortion advocates complain that the rape is not fair to the woman, which is true, but it’s also legitimate to ask how is killing the baby fair? This pro-abortion line of argument also intentionally dismisses the common place alternative of adoption. “Forced motherhood” is lie that dismisses both natural reality and the adoption alternative.

There was also the question of how banning abortion would affect the culture. My friend was convinced such a change of law would result in a great deal of new children in the world. I presume she also meant “unwanted” children, almost as if being “wanted” was the criterion by which society decides who has a right to live or not (thankfully we don’t live in a society like that, but progressive culture is pushing us in that direction). On this question we addressed the fact life is not a static thing. Because life is dynamic, changing the law on this fundamental and important issue would not be limited only to one presumptuous reaction; it would change expectations and actions across all society.

Many major laws have been implemented with certain intentions, yet realized unintended results – because society reacted in unpredictable (or unacknowledged) ways. One recent example involves an education funding issue in the U.K. Sex-ed funding was reduced, accompanied by predictable criticism. But what was surprising (at least to the advocates of progressive sex-ed and “free” birth control) was the result: a reduction in teen pregnancies by more than 40%. One might get the impression the government sex-ed policies, those who crafted them, and those who promoted and defended them may have neglected some basic tenets of human nature.

Legalizing abortion has resulted in an average of over 1 million abortions per year in the United States since 1973 – the overwhelming majority of which had nothing to do with rape or the mother’s health. Well over 50 million abortions have been performed in that time, in the U.S. alone. Let that sink in. This is not the same as 50 million heart surgeries, nor, I reiterate, were these health or rape related abortions. Over 50 million human lives have been snuffed out for the sake of convenience, in the name of women’s rights. Today the abortion supporting narrative pushes the killing of babies as healthcare, it plays semantic games with personhood (like other great evils in the past), and it acts as precedent for other pro-death movements such as euthanasia.

Assisted suicide has been pushed in Western societies as a “right-to-die” and a “choice” type issue. Who could have foreseen the influx of euthanasia support, even euthanasia against the patient’s wishes, once right-to-die laws were implemented in the name of choice? Some of us could, given the ostensible push to normalize killing as a response to human suffering. Today we frequently hear the argument medicalized killing qualifies as healthcare, just as is done in the abortion debate. Think about that: medicalized killing. What could possibly go wrong with that? (Oregon Senate Committee Passes Bill to Allow Starving Mentally Ill Patients to Death.) I mean, it’s not as if the absurdly named “end of life care” would be pushed as a substitute for actual healthcare, would it?

This brings me to what I thought was the core of the issue for my friend. She mentioned her concern that banning abortion would lead to curtailing other rights for women. And that’s one of the biggest lies our society teaches us about abortion.

Everyone believes in the slippery slope argument (as my friend does). It just depends on the issue. The slippery slope is constantly proven on matters of speech. Approved speech is the opposite of free speech (a right explicitly mentioned in the US Constitution). The list of restricted speech is constantly expanding. While ridiculing the political right about their supposed fear mongering, their concerns are justified every day with the latest updates to the list of banned words and violently thwarted public speeches. But the slippery slope argument is not always valid.

The slippery slope was invoked to defend slavery. Keep in mind, supporters of slavery treated it as a “property rights” issue. By casting slavery as a matter of property, its defenders were able to wrap this evil in the cloak of constitutional rights. The abolitionists were not at all interested in curtailing property rights, though slavery defenders accused them of wanting to do just that because that’s how they (slavery supporters) had defined the issue. The abolitionists argued that, in a free country where we are all created equal with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it was morally invalid and an American contradiction to treat one person as the property of another. That is not a right, that is an injustice. The fact slavery defenders disagreed with or maligned this perspective did not change the ugly reality of the situation.

The same applies to abortion. The monsters have defined the issue in terms of women’s rights, preaching that banning abortion would inevitably lead to curtailing other rights women have. I’ve written on this point before, taking a closer look at how the abortion industry wants everyone to think of abortion in only one way, their way (while they ridicule pro-lifers for being rigid). They insist the fight over abortion has always been about controlling women. Abortion opponents argue something quite different; we argue killing one’s own child is not a right, it’s an injustice. From that perspective, it is patently untrue that banning the KILLING OF CHILDREN poses a threat to women’s rights. The defenders of “women’s rights” are in the unenviable position of having to argue against LIFE as a human right. In fact, treating a class of people as non-persons poses a grave threat to other human rights. The “not a person” argument was used to defend slavery and is once again used to defend abortion – by the same political party. But I didn’t say that.

We didn’t get into other details such as the striking eugenicist tone of the abortion crowd. Did you know there are efforts to eliminate Down Syndrome, not by curing the ailment, but by eliminating the people through abortion? I didn’t mention this comment made by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg about Roe v Wade:

Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.

On a global scale, the frequency at which abortion is tied to population control is demonstrated by a recent speaker invited to the Vatican who claimed decreasing the human population by 6 billion people would have a “pro-life” effect. Talk about inverted ethics. Pope Francis has appointed an abortion supporter to the Vatican’s pro-life academy. Others in positions of power have bought into the population bomb myth. We should all be cautious about listening to people talk about universal healthcare (the government controlled kind) and women’s rights who also believe the human population is one of the world’s biggest problems. The conflict of interest and ulterior motives can’t be that difficult to spot.

We didn’t get to matters of the science related to abortion, such as the fact the child can feel pain even in the womb, or the fact the preborn child is not part of the mother’s body but is actually a separate entity, or that science strongly indicates the child in the womb is human being. Nor did I ask, if the “fetus” is merely a formless clump of cells (another popular argument among the monsters), how can organs be harvested from it?

Speaking of a formless clump of cells, abortion culture preaches outright scientific fraud. For the first few weeks of gestation, one can legitimately argue the “fetus” is just a blob. But to argue the child is merely a blob of cells at 9 weeks or later is downright anti-science. An article on Live Action News details how an abortion facility in New York “uses false depictions of abortions in an attempt to convince women that early abortion is trivial and easy, encouraging women to abort”.

Compare the image provided by the abortion clinic of what the child looks like in the 9th week of gestation (left) to an image of what the child would actually look like (on the right). If the child at 9 weeks of gestation really were as depicted by the abortion clinic, please tell me where the harvestable organs are. You don’t have to take my word or Live Action News’ word for it. Google some images on “ultrasound 9 weeks” and compare the results to the images provided by the New York abortion facility. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

We didn’t discuss the racist and eugenicist origins of Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger, or the fact the majority of American Planned Parenthood clinics are set up for easy access to black communities. Nor did we discuss the fact black folk make up about 12% of the American population, but well over 30% of American abortions.

We didn’t address the issue of what has been termed “post birth abortion”, refusing to give medical aid to a baby born in the process of a botched abortion. Really? Does Planned Parenthood actually defend killing babies after birth? Yes, they do. And some judges do, too, believe it or not.

We didn’t talk about the growing problem of healthcare practitioners being coerced to participate in medicalized killing. A nurse in Sweden was fired because she refused to assist in performing abortions. A Canadian nurse was recently forced to resign from her job of 30 years because she refused to sign an oath agreeing to help euthanize patients who wanted assisted suicide. Nor did I mention Planned Parenthood too often fails to report known incidents of sex trafficking and child sex abuse because of obvious financial motive. Planned Parenthood is, after all, a major international corporation. It would be intellectually lazy and dishonest to ignore or dismiss this factor. I didn’t mention the fact Planned Parenthood is America’s biggest abortion business.

We didn’t talk about former abortionists who have converted to the pro-life side, and now fight against abortion. Nor did we talk about Norma McCorvey, the famous “Roe” from Roe v Wade who became a pro-life activist, fighting to overturn that court ruling. The same is true of Sandra Cano, the “Doe” of Roe’s companion case Doe v Bolton.

We didn’t talk about the absurdity of branding the killing of one’s own child as “healthcare” or the odious ideas that killing babies is an act of compassion or women’s empowerment. How does killing a baby “empower” women? No more than beating up a woman would empower men – in other words, abuse is not empowerment. Notice I didn’t pose the question with rhetorical sleight of hand, asking “how does abortion empower women?”. I asked a more honest question, one that does not hide behind sanitized language intended to mask the evil reality of the situation. Besides, on a global scale, given the majority of sex-selective abortions target girls (as many cultures have a clear preference for boys), here is yet another reason to question how women are “empowered” by this. But since boys and girls are both targeted, it’s curious that abortion is defined as a women’s rights issue, rather than a baby’s rights issue.

Nor did we discuss the demonstrably false idea that in some locations Planned Parenthood is the only place a woman can get any healthcare at all. The truth is, there is no where on the planet that Planned Parenthood is the only source of healthcare, so it is asinine to suggest women “won’t have access to healthcare” if Planned Parenthood is closed down or if abortion is banned. This is a popular claim among the monsters.

We didn’t talk about survivors of botched abortions who have grown into adults now fighting against abortion. When confronted with the claim abortion is about women’s rights, abortion survivor Gianna Jessen bravely asks “what were my rights?” Nor did we discuss the myth of absolute autonomy, the idea women should have absolute control over their own bodies, when we ALL (even the staunchest abortion defenders) support laws restricting what people can do. If you support even ONE such law, you don’t believe in absolute autonomy. And there is no reason for me to pretend you do.

After all, why do people support any laws restricting what people can do? Usually, laws designed to protect people from harm garner widespread support. But on the issue of abortion, somehow we can’t all agree that killing babies is inflicting harm.

We didn’t talk about the case of Kermit Gosnell, a respected man of his community, advocate of women’s reproductive health issues, and branded America’s most prolific serial killer convicted of killing babies born alive and some of the women he “served” in his abortion clinic, not to mention the harm he inflicted upon other women under his “care”. Nor did we discuss the underhanded protection Gosnell enjoyed by the political establishment and the news media who went out of their way to avoid bringing Gosnell’s story to the public. Nor did we talk about the many other women who have died as a result of shoddy abortions, yes even women in the United States. What, did you still think abortion was safe? Or are we going to act like a few women’s lives are a price worth paying for the sake of being able to legally kill our children? If there is any situation where the 100% flawless standard should be demanded, it’s this.

Since that discussion with my friend, I found an astounding article on The Stream written by Jennifer Hartline. Hartline’s no-nonsense approach to this issue raises some powerful points we in the right-to-life community need to own. She says:

I’m tired of hearing people … tell me that abortion is vital — no, indispensable — to women’s health, well-being, equality, success and happiness in this world. I’m sick of hearing that women simply cannot thrive without the legal right to terminate their babies.

I’m sick of the womb being cast as the ball and chain around a woman’s neck. I’ve had it with babies being cast as the aggressor, the enemy, the thief of dreams. Abortion advocates rely on the narrative the Mom and Baby are locked in combat with each other, and only one can come out alive. This demented view of pregnancy means Mom has to kill Baby in self-defense.

I’m sick of fertility being cast as a disease, and pregnancy as some flukey and horrible thing that happens sometimes after you have sex, even though it shouldn’t because latex and chemicals are supposed to prevent that. I mean, how’d that happen?

I’m sick of women being told they cannot be happy unless their female bodies cease to do female things. I’m tired of hearing that women must be like men in every way, or they cannot be considered equal…

For me, the discussion was not about winning the debate. It was about winning the war. I’d much rather see my friend defending life than defending the killing of children. Making her an enemy helps neither of us in any way. And it doesn’t help in the war, either. Challenging the notion killing children is a “solution” or a “right” is at the heart of the matter. I intend to bring up these details next time, if there is a next time.

Ideally, American society will reach the point where so many people identify with the right-to-life side that banning abortion will become the standard attitude, and it will not be those defending the rights of babies who have to fight an uphill battle. This battle will not be won by legislation, but by winning hearts and minds. The legislative battle, though absolutely necessary, is merely the icing on the cake. Ending the injustice of killing children for the sake of someone else’s convenience is the real battle.

abortion, culture, ideology, philosophy

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Filed under: abortion, culture, ideology, philosophy

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