Pro-Abortion, Pro-life and the Importance of Consistency
November 6, 2012 § 15 Comments
A recent post, Fetal Personhood and Criminalizing Abortion: A Prosecutor’s Perspective, was written by a criminal prosecutor who feels she has a unique perspective on abortion, and indeed she does. In particular she exposes the inconsistency in many pro-life claims and the difficulty of prosecuting parents if abortion were criminalized. For the most part, I agree with those sentiments.
She says that “an abortion ban that leaves exceptions in place only for instances of rape, incest or life of the mother” is in essence “a pro-choice position.” This is technically true. In the classic exception “hard cases” that many pro-lifers concede, there is a choice to be made where death will result.
I agree with the author that exceptions made in the cases of rape and incest do not morally belong in a pro-life position. A pro-life position is concerned with the preservation of life, and such an accommodation is inconsistent if it considers the circumstances that led to the unwanted pregnancy. Regardless of the intentions of the parents, the child is innocent of any civil crime deserving death.
“…if you actually believe that a zygote is a person, then how can you demand anything less than justice for the murder victim?” Exactly.
The only possible exception I can see to prohibiting abortion is a case where the mother’s life is genuinely in danger if the pregnancy carries to term. This is a choice made when there is no available choice to save a life. Tragically, someone dies regardless.
The only upside to these cases are that they are extremely rare. Put together, these hard cases account for less than 1% of all abortions. Over 99% of all abortions are basically a form of birth control.
Convenience has always been a factor in abortion. It would be ignorant to say it’s an easy decision, but it’s seen as a choice that ultimately eases a burden. This leads to the other point the author makes: If abortion were outlawed with the exception of the hard cases, it would cause an “unequivocally impossible enforcement situation.” How would we easily determine if those situations apply?
“…how does a woman who qualifies for one of these exceptions go about availing herself of the exception? Are we going to take the pregnant woman’s word for it that she was raped (somehow I suspect that the answer to this question will be “no”)? Is there going to be a form that she has to fill out? Will she be placed under oath? Will there be post-abortion investigations by the police to ensure that she was truthful when she said that she was raped? If we aren’t going to just take her word for it, what will be the mechanism for fact finding we will use?”
These are a small portion of the potential complexities the author ponders. Her focus is clearly on how inconvenient and impractical it would seem to enforce a law prohibiting abortion with the hard case exceptions. A consistent pro-life position asserts that abortion is murder, and any difficulty in dealing with murderers should come secondary to the axiom that we need to deal with murderers, despite the impractical nature of some rare cases. We don’t overlook murder because it’s hard to prosecute. The difficulty would come from criminalizing something that should have never been legal in the first place—of course that will cause a rift. But this is where we start to see the internal inconsistency in abortion logic.
What’s more, something of a genetic fallacy shows up in her discomfort in the opinions of those who are neither women nor pregnant.
“I am more than a little bit uncomfortable about being legally mandated to prosecute other women because they have terminated a pregnancy when it is a bunch of non-pregnant people – many of whom are men who can’t even become pregnant – who don’t think her reason was ‘good enough’ to be ‘legal’.”
If something is morally wrong, the gender or experience of those challenging abortion doesn’t change the truth of the matter. Obviously this is an obstacle for the author.
Even without dealing with exceptions, I suspect the author wishes never to have to prosecute any kind of abortion. She doesn’t view abortion as morally wrong. This criminal prosecutor recognizes that to identify murderers of adults and ignore murderers of the unborn would be inconsistent, so this is the obvious solution to the dilemma. And this is managed in the usual pro-abortion fashion of denying the personhood of a developing child in the womb. Interestingly, we call it a baby or son or daughter when we want it and a fetus or zygote or “cluster of cells” when we don’t. A proud expectant mother doesn’t joyously declare, “We’re having a fetus!”
Truly, if personhood doesn’t begin at conception, when does it begin? Theories about various stages of pregnancy abound—implantation, segmentation, brain function, fetal viability—even the ridiculous idea that the moment of birth signals the magical entrance of humanity, when the baby finally exits the birth canal into open air. On the fringe, some extremists like Peter Singer suggest personhood is established long after birth.
Regardless, the concession of most pro-abortionists is that the beginning of personhood is still up for debate, while at the same time they adamantly assert that killing a fetus at almost any point during the pregnancy is an acceptable choice. If we haven’t settled on when life becomes valuable, how can we be settled that abortion is right? This is the grand moral inconsistently and the absurdity of abortion.
Christians know from the internally consistent Word of God that all human life, created in the image of the Creator (Genesis 1:27) , has inherent value, regardless of the cause or circumstances surrounding pregnancy.
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16; See also Jeremiah 1:5, Luke 1:41,44, Galatians 1:15, and Ephesians 1:3,4)
There is an “us” before birth, and there is a plan for us long before we arrive. While medical science grapples with the mysteries of life’s origin, our God-given sense of morality (Romans 2:15) testifies that the pre-born are already more than just a “cluster of cells.” Many who convince themselves otherwise are willing to trade this knowledge for the convenience of abortion. The inconsistency is ignored, along with the sanctity of life in the most helpless among us.
Pro-lifers, be consistent in your convictions. Don’t embrace exceptions that may allow rapists to go to jail, but also allow killers to go free, and condemn the innocent to death without a trial. And love your neighbor from conception to the end of their natural life, praying that the span between the two isn’t cut short by abortion.
[Related post: Celebrating Roe v Wade’s Anniversary (or Why Hardly Anyone Is)]
Just curious, please let me know your thoughts on Genesis 2:7, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
Doesn’t this unambigiously state that until the fetus has been delivered and takes its first breath then it becomes a living soul or a person? What about a fetus that unfortunately is stillborn? Should we confer citizenship on a stillbirth? Should there be a murder investigation?
While we are at the Biblical references, what are your thoughts when God kills a newborn? Such as God did to David and Bathsheba’s first born to punish the child for the infidelities of the parents. Why was this truly innocent made to pay for the sins of its parents? It seems that God does not hold the sanctity of the fetus / newborn in the same regard as pro-lifers, yet you believe you are doing God’s work.
Jam One, thanks for the question! I don’t think that Adam’s creation is a model for the beginning of personhood in newborns. God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” to create Adam. The process of procreation was something else altogether.
Throughout the Bible, an unborn child is clearly regarded as a human being. In Exodus 21:22, injuring a pregnant woman where the injury cost the life of the child was criminal. The word for child (“woman with child”) in the womb was the same Hebrew word ‘yeled’ that is used elsewhere to describe born children and sometimes young adults (i.e. Gen. 21:8). Read the dialog of Job (10:8-12), Isaiah (44:2) and David (Psalm 139:13-16) and you’ll see that they very apparently understood that in their own pre-born state, they were persons, not potential persons.
A stillborn child is a person who has died, the same as an adult who has died. The question that applies to unborn children is the same one that applies to anyone else who dies a seemingly undeserved death. We don’t know, and as finite humans can’t expect to know, why a sovereign and omniscient God allows death. It’s undeniable that a God who created all life has the right to give it and take it. What’s more is we can be confident that God has good reasons for doing so. As the ultimate example, Christ’s suffering and death on the cross for our sin resulted in good for all of humanity. God does value all human life, and He made the ultimate sacrifice to show it.
Does that address your concerns?
Thank you very much for your reply. But, actually no, your response does not address my concerns at all. The Passages you suggested miss the mark in my opinion, especially Isaiah 44:2, this one smacks of the “Homunculus Theory” which was once popular during medieval times.
Regarding David and Bathsheba’s unborn child, 2 Samuel 12:16-23, apparently the child was developing “in-utero” normally, but God decided to kill this child at birth as punishment for the infidelities of the parents. It was pre-meditated, as God even saw the need to send a prophet, Nathan, to inform David of Gods intentions.
A stillbirth is not the same as a person who dies. A person who dies by definition, is someone who was birthed alive, and therefore had citizenship conferred on them, and then dies. A stillbirth is someone who dies “in-utero”, or, during the birthing process. No one confers citizenship on a fetus.
About your reference Exodus 21:22:
22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
If this is your reference against abortion a few things: 1) If there is no husband involved, exactly who determines the punishment for the abortionist? According to the passage, no one. 2) If there is no “stiving”, ie. the parents and/or the woman desires the abortion, once again who should be punished and by whom? 3) Exactly, what is meant by “yet no mischief follow”?
Combine your referenced passage with Lev 24:17:
17 And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.
It appears that the killing of a fetus is not on a par as the killing of a “man”, because biblically speaking the fetus is not seen as possessing a soul.
However you look at this, even in the worse case scenario, according to these passages an abortion is not a capital crime for an abortionist or anyone else involved.
I would like your opinion on one other biblical story, the story of Tamar and Judah, Genesis 38:24 “And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter-in-law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt”.
So here is a known pregnant woman who is sentenced to die by burning with no regard for her fetus, once again confirming the Biblical view that a fetus does not possess a soul.
Regarding Christ and the New Testament, Matt 5:17
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Suggests the Old Testament (Mosaic) Law should still be in effect, however, in John 8: 1-11, Jesus did seem quite reticent to approve the use of Mosaic Law to a woman accused of adultery. While he did not condemn the practice, or provide a replacement for the Mosaic Law, he did challenge her accusers, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Thus sparing the womans life.
Secular Roman Law was the Law of the land during Christ’s time, and the Apostle Paul in his writings of the Galatians, makes it clear his interpretations are that Christians should no longer be following Mosaic Law, but these are Pauls, not Christs interpretations.
So in summary, no where in the Bible is a fetus treated on a par with a person. There are biblical passages, where it is unambigious in their statements, that the actions by biblical figures, including God, against the unborn, strongly suggests that the unborn had no soul and therefore could be used in any manner as punishment against the mother, and or the parents.
So exactly where is the Biblical justification against abortion supported in the Christian Bible?
Jam One, there seem to be some assumptions in your points.
In the Isaiah text, in “He who made you, who formed you in the womb,” there is making and forming. Humunculus theory posits the form of a tiny human as the origin, which is not in view here or in the Psalms.
The death of David’s son (2 Sam. 12) was a consequence for David’s sin, not the child’s sin. Which one grieved and later understood the consequences of his own sin and repented? It was David (Psalm 51). The child did not “bear the iniquity of the father” (Ex. 18:20) because it was David who bore the consequences of his own sin. Often today our sin results in the death of an innocent child—over a million abortions a year attest to this fact. Children also live to suffer consequences of parents’ sin when families are torn apart by drug or alcohol abuse, infidelity, selfishness in its many forms. The child is not receiving God’s judgment for parents’ sin… Sin affects everyone connected to the sinner. Our sin even brought the death of God’s innocent Son, where Jesus went willingly to pay OUR penalty.
It’s important to note (which I only recently have on further study) that the word “miscarriage”, used by the NASB in Ex. 21:22 is formed from the Hebrew ‘yeled’, which, as previously discussed, means child, and ‘yasa’, which means ‘come forth’. In no other passage is ‘yasa’ used for miscarriage, but always as the coming forth of humans or animals—something alive (Gen. 1:24, 8:17, 15:4, 25:25,26) . Most translations use “gives birth prematurely” or “children come out” probably for this reason, so this doesn’t even appear to be talking about a child who has died in the womb, since “yet there is no injury” can apply to the child just as easily as anyone else in the scuffle. An early delivery of the child who did not die results in fines, but in the case of “further mischief” or “injury”, lex talionis (“eye for an eye”) would apply, and life would be taken for the life of the child.
As far as Gen. 38 goes, Judah was an evil ruler. I wouldn’t expect him to have the moral aptitude to care about Tamar or her child. This is descriptive history, not prescriptive instruction.
If Jesus was God as He claimed to be, then Jesus had the power to forgive sin, including the sin of the adulterous woman in John 8. By the Law, she deserved death, as all sinners do, condemned by the moral law of which our conscience bears witness. Where is forgiveness found but in Christ alone?
Paul’s message in Galatians was not instruction to forget about the law. He taught that keeping the old mosaic law does not save us from our sins, but it reveals our inability to obey it. Christ instituted a new covenant that frees us from the bondage of law and tradition. This was the fulfillment of the law that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 5:17.
Back to the value of all human life, if life does not begin with a living, growing fetus, then you have to come up with some magical transition into a human being that has something to do with the drawing air through the nostrils. So many other physical and mental functions are there and in full swing before birth and the first breath, INCLUDING oxygen intake, which occurs continuously from the time of conception through the umbilical cord.
God, to the prophet Jeremiah, said: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jer. 1:5) If Jeremiah were not a person while still in the womb, there would be no person for God to know, consecrate or appoint for a future task. If this were all the Bible said regarding to unborn life, it would be enough to see that ending unborn life is murder.
You imply that you are in full support of personhood laws. In this case you hold the opinion that a raped 10 year old girl should be forced to endure pregnancy and give birth to a child, against her will. This would make you a scumbag, just so you know. If you think it is “morally” okay to force an already violated child to endure pregnancy and childbirth you are disgusting. Please reply if you hold that view and why.
Also, it must be nice to claim that women must always endure pregnancy and childbirth, even if it kills them, when you yourself will never have this to bear. That you totally disregard the fact that the #1 reason for abortion is that women cannot afford to have a child. Do you know how much it costs to give birth in a hospital? About $10-$20,000. How many people do you think can just drop that kind of cash? Have you not been paying attention to the income gap? Sooo many people are falling deeper into poverty and yet you criticize them for making a really tough choice when they cannot afford to even give birth in the first place.
Are you aware that the majority of women who seek out abortions are minorities? This is because they are more likely to be poor. Oh but that’s their problem isn’t it? Those black, hispanic, native american, arab, korean, chinese, and any other poor minority women should be put in jail or executed for not being able to afford another child. Would God want that? If so, what kind of God are you worshipping?
Is it nice sitting up on your righteous high seat?
Why is it that you completely leave out the stories and experiences of women who have actually experience unplanned pregnancy and have chosen abortion in their circumstance? Do you not care? Do you think they should all die or be put in prison for experiencing the unfortunate state of being women? Do you enjoy the idea of women suffering through miscarriages while you sit back and condemn them for being human and having sex? What if they are (white) christian women? Do you feel differently if they are non-christian?
Now let’s pretend that a couple did things the generally approved Christian way, and got married before they had sex. Most people cannot afford to have children the minute they get married. This is why birth control and contraceptives are so important. Before you respond that contraceptives are “abortifacients”, either look it up or allow me to teach you that birth control works by preventing ovulation so that there is nothing to fertilize. So no, it doesn’t cause pregnancies to be expelled.
Now let’s consider the vast amount of complications that can occur during pregnancy or childbirth. There are a lot and I’m not posting them all here so go look them up yourself.
Do you know how many conceived eggs are naturally washed out of the uterus? anywhere from 40-70%. That is a large number of pregnancies that go undetected because they simply do not stick around long enough to be detected. Are you aware that a woman’s menstrual cycle acts as a natural contraceptive??? Apparently YOUR GOD decided women need a natural filter so that they wouldn’t constantly be pregnant because that would be terrible for their bodies. Guess what, your God invented contraceptives. That is, if you believe he created humans by, you know, intelligent design…
So this means that technically speaking, if you really think that conceived eggs should have full constitutional rights and that when they are flushed out it would technically be considered negligence or endangerment of a child on the pregnant women’s part. Are you prepared to being these charges against millions of women who experience this misfortune?
Also, considering the number of pregnancies that are expelled undetected, how would we fix this problem? Would you demand invasive trans-vaginal ultrasounds for sexually active women every week or few days? Don’t want any to slip by unawares. Do you see how crazy this sounds? Personhood creates a police state for sexually active and pregnant women. But who cares, right? it’s not YOUR body being policed here. Must be nice.
The fact that you are so confident that women deserve to suffer for being sexually active is disgusting. The fact that you aren’t deterred by the hypocrisy of the Bible and how it’s totally cool for God to kill babies and people but when humans do it it’s so bad, unless, of course, they are commanded by God. But that excuse is not viable today though, in this day and age if someone told you, “I killed this person because God told me to”, you would call the police so they would be arrested. But not so in Biblical times. You are fine with what happens in the Bible.
This may come as a surprise to you, but if your God is what causes things to happen, then God is the cause of miscarriages, which means God is the everlasting abortion provider, except that there is no choice involved. God kills in the Bible like it’s his job. Funny how you use your male deity to justify making decisions for women’s bodies… Not that it’s anything new.
What really gets me is you are complaining about abortions. You are saying that women should be punished for having them, regardless of the situations they are in. Have you considered that even if abortion is made illegal it will still happen? It will just be unsafe and illegal.
If you actually wanted to reduce the number of abortions you would support access to affordable contraceptives. I don’t understand why people complain about abortion when the real problem is unplanned pregnancy. The solution to unplanned pregnancy is access to affordable birth control and contraceptives.
Your 2,000 year old scripture is a poor substitute for a medical doctor. It should in no way stand between a woman and her doctor, especially in decisions that concern her reproductive health. You wouldn’t want a surgeon to only rely on a bible when performing surgery on you. Your scripture is not a medical book, and should not be used for medical purposes.
I don’t understand how you can read the verses that tell people how to treat slaves, and stone people to death for minor offenses and state that it should be used as a “moral guide”. Your own deity apparently sends his own kid to earth to DIE!!!!!!! YOUR GOD IS NOT PRO-LIFE! GOD IS THE FARTHEST THING FROM PRO-LIFE. God kills over a million people in the Bible. Tell me again how christianity is pro-life. This time don’t ignore the contradictions.
Before you spread more personhood crap, go to a clinic. I dare you. Talk to the women, ask them about why they are there. They have lives. They have stories. Use their info to come up with actual realistic solutions. Don’t just complain about abortion, because to these women abortion is the solution to their problem. If you don’t bother to understand their situation you will only have your own prejudices and invisible deity to blame.
Instead of only reading the bible, try looking at studies done about the effects of contraceptive access on women’s lives, and the freedom it gives them to space their children and be more active members of society. Unless you hold the archaic view that women and girls are nothing but reproductive chattel, in which case you are a neanderthal from the stone age and I have wasted my time.
Katherine, thanks for your lengthy comments. I’m going to respond to the points that are on the topic of abortion here and refer you to another post for your points that aren’t, since I still think they are important issues.
To reiterate and clarify my position in the post, I believe that a child is a person through all stages of pregnancy, as there is nothing scientifically, medically or morally that suggests otherwise. So yes I do think the child should be carried to term regardless of the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy, WITH the single exception of the life of the mother. This is a position that maximally regards human life the best that we are able. While I would never wish a rape victim’s circumstances on anyone (THAT would make me a scumbag), does the human being she carries deserve to die? If you have compassion for the 10 year old child in the scenario you offer, forced to endure pregnancy, birth, parenthood or giving the child up for adoption, why do you refuse any compassion for the younger and far more helpless and innocent child she carries, bound to be executed for merely being conceived?
I believe I know the answer, and it’s critical to note before going further that our opposite views about reality hinge on a fundamental part of our individual worldviews. You maintain that an unborn child is not a person, I maintain that it is. Everything else in our arguments depend on what we think about unborn life, so I will challenge you, fundamentally, why do you hold that an unborn child is not a person? At what point does it become a person? Or, do think an unborn child IS a person, just not a person possessing the inalienable human rights other people have, and if so, why?
These are irrelevant to whether abortion is right or wrong. Something is not morally right because it is expensive, or because it involves minorities. Regardless, I am aware of these facts, and so are abortion providers, many of whom locate in areas where they can best target and take advantage of lower income/minorities who have more abortions. It’s good business for them, but I won’t base my argument on economics.
It is also completely irrelevant to this discussion what my experience with abortion is, whether I’ve been to a clinic, or can’t be pregnant because I’m a male. How would you use this argument with the millions of women who are pro-life? With pro-life women who have gone through an abortion, or know women who have? Your argument is well-loaded with emotionally charged and completely unfounded assumptions about me that simply aren’t true. Whether a mother is white or black (or the baby, for that matter), Christian or atheist, it doesn’t change the fact that abortion is objectively wrong. Attacking the person rather than their argument they present (ad hominem) actually works to undermine the validity of your argument, one already suffering from a lack of focus and cohesion.
Could we use the same logic on murder or rape? These are illegal, but we know people will do them anyway. Should we just throw up hands in defeat and make all crime legal so it can safer? If you read my post, I make the point that because something is difficult to police has no relevance to whether it’s right or wrong. Clinton thought abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” Well, it’s legal, but it isn’t rare, and it’s never safe, because a child dies every time. As the lights are turning on in the Gosnell case and on Planned Parenthood of Delaware, it doesn’t look very safe for women either.
Also irrelevant to this discussion is your confused ideas about who God is and what the Bible teaches. In order to show an inconsistency in my position, you need to find an inconsistency in Christian theism, and you won’t do it by presenting a false view of God to begin with. If the God of the Bible exists, then He is the author of all life and therefore has the right to give and take life according to His good purposes that, which we, as finite humans, shouldn’t expect to completely know or understand. So yes, some children are miscarried naturally, but this in no way gives humans the right to end that living, growing life, and your misconception about a God you don’t claim to believe in anyway doesn’t serve to show how abortion is right.
Still, a correct understanding of Christianity would help you reason about this, as without a coherent basis for morality you can’t make any moral judgments at all. God did send His own Son to earth as atonement for mankind’s sin: yours, mine, everyone’s. This is not a prescription for how we should treat our children, but a demonstration of His love for us, his children, making the ultimate sacrifice to save us from ourselves. To address your concerns with the Old Testament God though, I’ll direct you to this post, ( https://godneighbor.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/answering-biblical-contradictions-ethical-objections/ ) where I’ll be happy to discuss it further there, where it’s more on-topic.
In the meantime, I’d be interested to know your rationale for disregard for the life of unborn children. Thank you.
There is only one reply I can make to your response to this prosecutors articulate and very spot on assessment of these so-called personhood bills.
This is not about being pro-life or pro-choice…it isn’t about abortion or when life begins…the real issue is about EQUALITY. When the State is responsible for deciding if, when, and how many times a women becomes a mother, then that women is a SECOND CLASS CITIZEN.
Any law that imposes restrictions on a Woman making any decisions regarding her reproductive health and whether or not she will become a mother, is Oppression. Anyone who supports enacting legislation to take control from Women and giving it to the State, on these matters is supporting OPPRESSION of women.
You can believe all you want…you can protest, sing, march, write…counsel women all you want, but any government action to take away her right to make her own decision on if, when, and how many times a woman becomes a mother, and the decisions she makes to keep her reproductive system healthy, is OPPRESSION, and then these women are SECOND CLASS CITIZENS.
You are supporting Oppression of women by supporting personhood bills.
Thank you, Ilene, but I’ll have to refute your assertion that this debate is all about equality. I agree that equality is important. In fact, I think we ought to give equal consideration to the child. Your comment doesn’t make mention of the child even once, yet that is who is aborted, and why we call it abortion. Equality is a convenient cause to hijack, but it should be more than a platitude. You can’t change what the debate is about with a magical hand-wave whenever you don’t want to talk about the real issue, which clearly IS about abortion and when life begins. Unless you’re willing to face that, you’re only running from it.
At issue is never “how many times a woman becomes a mother” or “decisions she makes to keep her reproductive system healthy.” Labeling abortion “healthcare” is a red herring. Pregnancy is not a disease and a child is not a tumor. It’s how you and I got here.
You can believe what you want. The point is, to support the enact legislation that would interfere with a woman’s control over her reproductive health care decisions, and whether or not, when and how many times to be a mother – is something akin to Communism – where the State controls the people. If you support the enactment of any kind of legislation that is more restrictive than Roe v Wade, then you support the Oppression of Women and that means you think that Women are Second Class Citizens. There is no other way to look at it in my book.
If you believe abortion is so wrong – then help make contraception readily available so unwanted pregnancies are reduced to a minimum. Spend all of your time and energies making sure kids get comprehensive sex ed – including what consent really means – so we can stop this culture of rape.
When women have full control over their reproductive health care decisions, unwanted pregnancies will be at a minimum and that means so will abortions. How’s that for a win-win situation?
Please put your energies in empowering women – and men – so that they are prepared – that is what family planning is all about.
Humans are sexual beings – what this comes down to is women being put under the thumb because they are the ones who get pregnant. You can’t stop people from having sex – so make sure they know how to prevent pregnancies and make sure both women and men have access and know how to use contraceptives. It is as simple as that.
If you all would spend all of your time and energies making sure women have access to contraceptives – heck – give out contraceptives – you would prevent a lot more abortions than all of your protesting at clinics.
“The point is, to support the enact legislation that would interfere with a woman’s control over her reproductive health care decisions, and whether or not, when and how many times to be a mother – is something akin to Communism – where the State controls the people.”
Ilene, if you were talking about actual “healthcare” and if the woman was the only one affected by pregnancy, you might actually have an argument. But after 3 posts of robot-like feminism rhetoric and absolutely no acknowledgement of the baby in the womb, one might conclude that you are either unaware of what pregnancy is or have convinced yourself that helpless humans cannot be allowed to matter.
The purpose of any law is to protect people and property. Making abortion illegal would protect people by making it illegal to kill them in the womb, and as with any law, criminals will feel “oppressed” by it. If murder happens on the street with guns, knives or bombs, the perpetrators aren’t “oppressed” when they’re caught; we call it justice. If it happens in a clinic with scissors, forceps and a vacuum, it’s “family planning”? Where’s the “family”?
Flooding the land with free contraceptives is a blind and defeatist response akin to treating cancer with band-aids. You’ll never get to the root of the problem, which is the denial of the man’s and woman’s responsibility for sex, a denial of procreation and parenting as the ultimate purpose of it, and apparently a denial that children are even in the equation.
“Flooding the land with free contraceptives is a blind and defeatist response akin to treating cancer with band-aids.”
That analogy is so ridiculous it defies credulity. Contraception, when used properly, prevents pregnancy quite effectively, so how can any rational person suggest contraception is on a par with using “band-aids” to treat cancer? Has anyone ever suggested to you, that using a band-aid for any sort of cancer prevention is a good idea? Is there some chapter and verse in your Holy Book that makes such a recommendation?
Irene, your queries have been quite reasonable, but I suggest you stop responding to this person. They have absolutely no responses to your queries which make sense in the 21st century.
“Contraception, when used properly…”
Right Jam One, but we have different ideas of its proper use, where it benefits society the most. Its greater purpose is where sex is intended to be utilized and enjoyed, within the context of marriage, not as a means of “free love” or indefinitely putting off children. Contraception is effective in preventing pregnancies, but people still abort children when contraception fails, or isn’t convenient (even if its available), or when ultrasound reveals a PLANNED child (no contraception even considered) is the wrong sex or has health problems parents would rather avoid. At least 3/4 of all Down Syndrome babies are slain in the womb. What does contraception do for that?
Obviously, all the contraception in the world won’t prevent all abortions. And if abortions exist at all… Well, let me ask: How low does the body count of murdered innocent children need to drop before it stops being outright massacre?
Your response is a further indication of the problem that contraception can’t touch: the refusal to recognize the unborn as valued human beings. What good can come from that?
Her name is Ilene.
I read G&N’s comment differently. G&N writes: “Flooding the land with free contraceptives is a blind and defeatist response akin to treating cancer with band-aids.” The “disease” in G&N’s band-aid cancer metaphor is not pregnancy, it is the need for abortion. Treating the problem of ABORTION by making contraceptives freely available is indeed like treating cancer with a band-aid in that it may make us feel better, but does not address the real roots of the problem. It does not mean that contraception is not valuable. It does not even mean that contraception (i.e., products that are prevent conception) should be limited. It means that contraception does not completely or even effectively prevent the problem abortion. (Can we all agree that abortion is a problem…in that it is not desirable, not our best “Plan A” or even a best “Plan B”.)
Interesting that you deem G&N’s comments as irrelevant for this century. Yet, it is modern developments that have complicated the decision-making process about whether or not to give birth. Ultrasounds and amniocentesis, for example, allow expectant mothers to know more about the child they are carrying….including information that may lead them to choose abortion over childbirth (e.g., the gender of the child, the father of the child, genetic abnormalities, possible birth defects).
Further, it is modern medicine that has developed procedures for taking the life of an unborn child while minimizing the physical effects on the mother. Not to say that going through an abortion is physically easy on a woman, but an abortion performed in a sterile environment with skilled medical attention is certainly less physically traumatic than previously used methods which include but are not limited to the infamous “back alley abortions”. Prior to an in-clinic abortion, a woman may be given pain medicine and sedatives. Following the procedure, there may be discomfort and bleeding but most women would experience this as an extremely heavy menstrual period with which they may be more familiar. The “contents of the uterus” is whisked away and evidence of what was a living being is never seen by the woman.
Finally, readily available, easy to use, effective contraception with limited long-term side effects paired with advances in the treatment of infertility have contributed to a society for which the connection between sexual behavior and reproduction has been nearly severed. We are able to have sexual intercourse with others and do not have to consider at every turn the possibility that a life may result from the behavior. And we are able to conceive life to which we are genetically connected without ever meeting (let alone having intercourse with) the individual whose corresponding genetic material is blended with ours and results in conception.
It would seem to me that G&N’s comments are completely relevant for modern times as it is in modern times we find ourselves with so many choices. I would call it “progress” if those on the pro-abortion side of the argument would acknowledge that one aspect of abortion necessarily includes ending a human life and that the decision to abort reflects a higher value on the life of the mother than of the child. And I would challenge those on the pro-life side of the argument to accept that while a complete ban on abortion (save those to protect the life of a mother) would be the most morally acceptable and consistent option, limits that allow for abortions in situations of rape would go a long way toward the saving the lives of unborn children. I fear that holding out for a complete ban will be at the expense of many children.
You raise a valid point G&N. Interesting how your question about the value and personhood of unborn children inflames so much emotion about sexism, theology, public policy and rights. Important issues, but virtually every argument from those who support abortion ignores the life of the child. Perhaps that is by design as it easier to be “for” women, reproductive freedom, etc. than it is to be “against” babies.
As a woman who believes that life begins at conception and that taking that life is wrong, I ALSO value my reproductive freedom. And if abortion were made illegal or more limited I would continue to have reproductive freedom. I am free to be sexually active or not. (I am not an animal, but am capable of stopping myself when it comes to sex.) I am free to choose a responsible partner. I am free to use birth control or not. I am free to raise a child that I birth or place it in an adoptive home.
Along with my freedom, I also acknowledge that some of those choices could result in the creation of a new life. Once that line gets crossed, then the choices aren’t all about me any more. Another completely innocent life is at stake and the only humane and adult option is to protect it.
Adoption is an option for those women who find themselves pregnant at less-than-optimal time. Adoption is an option for women who find themselves pregnant with a child that has a prenatally diagnosed disability. It is an option that honors the personhood of the child, protects life, and accommodates the myriad factors that could make a child “unwanted” by the birth parents. Women who give birth and then offer their children for adoption are unsung heroes in my book.
I could write so much more, but it’s bed time. Maybe later. Peace.