On Abortion, The Threat to the Life of the Mother, And Leftist Narratives
In the Comments section of a post by Darleen Click on the whole Abortion issue, Shermlaw remarked:
…many years ago, I asked myself these questions about the “product of conception:”
1. Is it life?
2. Is it human life?
3. Is it innocent human life?
The answers to all three questions are “yes,” and because of that, I cannot see any philosophical basis for destroying it, other than if it’s existence threatens the life of the mother. By that I mean there’s a 100% chance the mother will die absent an abortion. However, the “health of the mother” exception has been expanded to the point of meaninglessness, inasmuch as “health” can be defined as “being severely bummed out because I won’t fit into my prom dress.”
His comment promoted me to finally state a set of thoughts that had been fermenting in my mind for quite some time about the health of the Mother justification that is used to excuse many abortions…
If what is in the womb [the ‘product of conception’] is an innocent Human Life and aborting that child is Murder, then, even if the Mother will die if the Child is carried to term, the Child must not be sacrificed because it will still be Murder to end that Innocent Child’s Life.
Please allow me to explain:
-In the vast majority of cases, said Child is not the product of Rape, so the Mother conceived the Child of her own Free Will with all the positive and negative consequences that adhere to that decision in possible play.
The Mother in this category is responsible for her actions and, if they result in her Death so that the Child will Live, then ‘such is Life’, as the Jews say. She agreed to perform the most Sacred Act a Woman can perform, and she has a duty to fulfill the Agreement she made with The Creator and with Mankind.
-As for the Child in the womb that is the product of Rape and now the Mother’s Life is at stake: here, of course, we find ourselves in a situation where there is no ‘good’ decision, no ‘happy outcome’ possible, no avoidance of Death seemingly possible [although, Miracles, I believe, can happen].
What to do?
The Noble and Honorable thing for the Mother to do is willingly Sacrifice her Life for the sake of the Innocent Child, who did not ask to be Conceived under such violent circumstances, had no say it the event.
The Mother, at least, has had a chance to Live, to dwell for a time on this Earth, but, if we terminate the Innocent Child’s Life, we are denying that Child the Right To Life — denying the Child what the Mother has been Blessed to enjoy, even though it may turn out to have been for only a shortened time.
Also, if you believe in an Afterlife, then, surely, the Mother who makes such a Sacrifice will occupy a special place there in the Loving arms of a Merciful God.
Further, if we terminate this Innocent Human Life in order to save a Life that has had a chance to walk the Earth for a time, then, I believe, we loose a little bit of our Humanity.
We are the Guardians of that Humanity and, I believe, we must be treat it as the Sacred Gift it is, doing all that is required and necessary to preserve it’s existence.
A very lively — to put it mildly — debate ensued over at Protein Wisdom among some of the regulars, which I commend to your attention.
One of those regulars, Cortillaen, made some very spot-on points [FYI When he responds to Dicentra, he’s commenting on her response to my remarks above]:
It always amazes me how much people can argue around abortion. Around, mind you, not about. Most people stay away from the very simple question that decides the entire issue. Pro-abortionists (can you really be called “pro-choice” when you support one person taking away every possible choice another person might ever make?) are desperate to avoid the question because it’s a loser for them, hence “women’s health” and all the other BS euphemisms and fraction-of-a-percent fringe cases. Pro-lifers (“pro-lifists”? Whatever.) are far too often caught up in the abortionist rhetoric and miss the real matter at hand. Easy to do when one side has the overwhelming support of the only media a very large portion of the country sees, but ultimately self-defeating.
Ah, right, I mentioned the one question, didn’t I? Funny thing, it isn’t even about abortion. Abortion policy is a byproduct, not the central issue. A lot of the things we like to argue about are that way, actually. Yeah, I’m just stringing you on now, so here it is: When does life begin? There are plenty of ways to phrase it, but that’s the simplest. Everything about abortion, every last thing, is answered by that question. All you have to do is answer it, then consult the laws we already have. Ignore the BS ones regarding abortion, naturally. They exist, again, to obfuscate, not clarify, and after answering the question, they aren’t needed.
Seems like there are a few people here who get it, which is awesome, but there are also some who don’t or simply have not carried the answer forward rationally. Dicentra, straw-men aside, I’m curious about your mindset. You seem to be pretty fixated on the most graphic, emotional incident you can think of, regardless of the infinitesimally small segment of abortions it would represent. Now I’m not going to say you are arguing for abortion in more circumstances, but I do note that your comments are straight out of the abortionist playbook for such arguments, to deflect towards emotionally-charged fringe cases. I also note you have expressly avoided the central issue, again from that playbook. Just observations, but they do make me curious. If it’s just coincidence that you are mouthing pro-abortion lines, by all means let me know where you stand on the real question and the massive majority of cases.
One thing that is a little more clear is that you seem to attach the rapist’s evil to the child. The way you repeatedly connect the rape and a resultant child in your arguments for abortion in those circumstances is, frankly, disturbing. It’s a quick and easy emotional argument favored by abortionists because arguing against it is so easily twisted into “punishing the victim”. Excuse me while I stomp on that dishonest tactic’s throat: Being raped has exactly no bearing on whether abortion is justified. The rapist is evil, but any child thus conceived is wholly innocent. I consider rape to be a crime worse than murder, and I believe there is no such thing as punishment too cruel for a rapist, no torture too brutal. On witnessing its results firsthand, I spent more than a little time contemplating what would be a suitable punishment for the bastard, and most people who have heard the results are understandable disturbed. I hate rapists, inhuman scum that they are, in the purest sense of the word, so understand me when I tell you that none of that carries over to a child conceived of rape. The child did nothing to deserve anyone’s enmity, and people who dishonestly try to use the natural, human responses of anger and disgust towards a rapist to push for killing that innocent child, those people piss me off.
Back to the question that answers everything, what about all the people who can’t decide on a solid answer, all the “I’m not sure”s and “maybe”s? It’s still simple. If you don’t know when life begins, which side do you want to err on? Me, I think erring on the side of not murdering an infant is preferable, but maybe I’m just weird like that. LBascom, I understand that you “like” that moment when the heart starts beating as a magical instant where something zaps a cluster of cells into a human being, but that’s just another arbitrary, feeling-based cop-out. (Side question: You don’t believe animal cruelty should be a crime? I may not have felt this was one of Prager’s best videos, but arguing animals have exactly no rights whatsoever seems like a rather extreme position to take.) What you can or can’t imagine is irrelevant, and I don’t think you honestly believe that that first heartbeat actually changes anything. You’ve just bought into the abortionist argument that you need a definite moment to pin “It’s alive!” on the new human being, so you’re grasping at straws, and a heartbeat “feels” like a pretty good one to you. You’re still thinking according to the abortionists’ rules, though. And no, “not picking a demarcation point” does not default to birth. That’s ridiculous. It would have to default to conception, the instant a group of cells (heck, a single cell) with DNA both human and unique from the mother came to be. That is the only point in time where what will become a walking, talking person goes from “does not exist” to “does exist”. Everything else is a gradual development, including for a long time after birth.
This ended up rather longer than I intended, so I’ll sum my thoughts up. “When does life begin?” is the be all, end all on the abortion debate. Answer that, and everything else works itself out. Can’t give a 100% certain answer? Then consider gun safety: One of the five rules of firearms safety (and screw anyone who claims there are only four) is “Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it”. Put another way, you do not pull that trigger unless you are 100% certain there is NOT a person between you and your bullet-stop. Not trying to kill someone isn’t enough. You have to try not to kill someone. The first is passive, but the second is active. If you’re not 100% certain that an abortion is NOT killing a human being and you argue for some arbitrary “it’s okay” point because it “feels” good, then you are telling a shooter to fire away and don’t worry if anyone is behind the target. Last, all the sob-stories and “what if”s are wonderful thought exercises, but it’s time to step up and deal with reality: Deciding overall policy on the basis of a tiny fraction of outliers is insane. A child’s father being a rapist is no excuse to murder the child, and the rare case where pregnancy threatens (honestly and imminently threatens, not “could cause complications later”) the mother’s life falls to the judgement of the mother and her medical advisers. I would hate to be involved in that decision, but it’s one of “which life do we try to save?”, not “is abortion justified?”. There is never a time when “Is abortion justified?” is the right question to ask.
Pardon the novelette, but talk of when it’s “justified” to end a human life strikes a nerve, especially when it’s couched in double-speak, appeals to emotion, and dishonesty….
Cortillaen does, indeed, ask the core question: ‘When does life begin?’
Scientifically, physically, I do not know exactly when Life begins, so I am one of those people who believe ‘erring on the side of not murdering an infant’.
However, I know, as a believer in God, that Life begins at Conception — of this I have no Doubt and all the Faith in the World.
The dishonesty Cortillaen speaks of here is not necessarily the product of malice [as it would be if a Leftist had stated it — they always act out of malice towards decent people], but, rather, I think, from the fact that even we conservatives and Classical Liberals have had our thinking mechanisms infected by Leftist Thinking. In this case, some of us have formed arguments based in such Thinking. The aim is true, but the arrow is poisoned throughout it’s whole length.
He addresses this is another comment:
Abortionists have done an exceptional job of building the field in their advantage. The idea that “some abortion MUST be legal” is so embedded in the fabric of the discussion now that even most pro-lifers feel like they have to choose a point out of the continuum of development and attach “life” to it. If you don’t, you’re a “fundy” and “anti-science”, right? Of course, once you do, you’ve already conceded that abortion is perfectly fine sometimes, and you’re on the defensive from there, usually without even knowing exactly why. In case you’re wondering, the implication that I reject the premise of abortion ever being fine is quite accurate. Abortion is never “fine”. In extremely rare cases, it may be the only way to save one of two lives, but it is still the ending of an innocent life. The absolute best it can ever be is a tragic sacrifice, and that only rarely.
Pro-lifers, here’s the secret: We aren’t the ones who have to play that game. We don’t have to prove when life begins. The pro-abortionists do. Refuse to accept “When is abortion acceptable?” as the question they get to answer, and make them answer the “When does life begin?” they throw at us. Murder hangs in the answer, and they are the ones committing it, not us. Turn the whole game on its head and demand that they prove what they want to destroy is NOT a human life. When they can’t, ask why they don’t care if they are murdering people or not.
Side-note: Anyone ever argued with a pro-abortionist who opposes the death penalty in all circumstances? It would be comical if it weren’t so sick. “We can’t be 100% sure, so we can’t kill inmates” right alongside “Eh, kinda-sorta is good enough for babies”.
This is the way to fight the Pro-Abortionists. We must refuse to go along with the Leftist Narrative, which is always filled with evasions and lies.
Cortillaen urges us to take a different approach to this issue:
…Maybe the parent’s life won’t go the way they want. Maybe the child won’t have a great life either. Does any of that stack up against the possibility of murdering an unborn life? Is that an acceptable risk? Here are the facts, no emotion, just pure reason: 1) It doesn’t matter how the child was conceived. Intentional, accidental, loving, violent, none of that is the fault of the child. 2) Unless someone can prove beyond any doubt that the child is just some inhuman thing, killing it is quite possibly murder. Now, proceeding from those, my argument is that any intentional attempt to destroy a “product of conception” (AKA a baby) is unconscionable in exactly the same way as taking a shot without confirming there is nobody downrange.
To be honest, I have to fight it in my own mind sometimes. I have the urge to make decisions based on an emotional response, too. “Well, what about things that just prevent implantation of the fertilized egg? That’s gotta be fine.” No, think: Why? What makes that situation different? Implantation is no different than a first heartbeat or first breath. It’s an arbitrary point along the continuum. The only change I can definitively identify as nothing becoming something is conception. After that, you have a new entity with unique human DNA. Whether that is a “person”, I can’t say. Thankfully, I don’t have to. I don’t want to kill it, so it’s not on me to prove that killing it will not be murder.
If you think I’m being too cold about all of this, here’s why: I don’t trust lives to emotional judgements. I wouldn’t want to live with myself if I let “feels good” talk me into condoning murder, so until I can be 100% certain what is or is not a human being, I’ll keep my finger off the trigger.
@Bob Beldevere: I just noticed I forgot to go back and finish my comments to you. I was saying that I usually leave God out of the argument because it is counterproductive to bring Him in. The world we have suffices for the issue, and the simpler one can make the discussion, the better. Most pro-abortionists are oh-so-eager to jump at any whiff of religion in the mix, so I just prefer to disappoint them. I’m Christian (non-denominational Protestant), mind you, but He has given us minds capable of reason so that, like children learning to face the world without their parents, we can learn to determine right and wrong without Him needing to pass down “Thou shalt not”s on every subject.
I usually don’t bring God into this discussion subject when I discuss it with non-conservatives for pretty much the same reasons he cites. I don’t like to give the opposition any excuse to deflect the conversation.
However, it is a damning commentary on the times we live in that our opinions are automatically delegitimized when we dare mention God.