Monday, August 17, 2015

Are Pro-Lifers Just Pro-Birth?

Many pro-aborts claim that pro-lifers don't care about born children and are only "pro-birth." This argument takes a number of forms - from the bald "only pro-birth" claim to asking pro-lifers if they are going to adopt all the unwanted children if we ban abortion.

The idea that people have to be willing to take care of the babies they save before they can be against abortion is very bad logic, but it is a very common argument. There are several things to point out to these people.

1) It simply isn't true that pro-lifers don't care about born children. Many pro-lifers adopt unwanted children - even those with disabilities. Many give money or food to needy children or work as volunteers in charities. Even those who cannot do these things often wish they could. So, yes, we do care.

2) Whether or not someone can personally care for the unwanted children, it is never okay to murder them for being unwanted. This is not acceptable for born children and it isn't for unborn children either. Making the statement that it is not okay to kill unwanted children does not make anyone responsible to personally provide for all those children.

Of course, the people using this "logic" don't use it in any other cases. If they hear someone speak out against child abuse (of born children), they don't tell them they must care for all the abused children before taking a stand against the abuse. If they hear someone advocating against animal cruelty, they don't claim you must be willing to take care of all the neglected and abused cats and dogs first. These are issues that all people can stand against because they are inherently wrong, whether or not they have the means to do something further to help those in need of care after their lives are saved. Abortion is exactly the same.

3) Pro-aborts using this argument also imagine that if you don't want to care for born people in the way they do, you don't want to help them at all. They often point to welfare, food stamps, school lunches, or other government handouts and claim that those who don't support increased funding for these programs are against helping children. However, these are not the only, or even the best, ways to help children. Thus, if someone thinks a different way to help needy children is better, they aren't opposed to helping children just because they don't support someone's favorite programs. We can disagree on the means without being opposed to helping the needy. We can have a conversation about how best to help these children, but let's save their lives first. You can't help a dead child. And killing those needy children so they aren't needy anymore definitely isn't the right solution.

4) The real relevant analogy isn't about how we take care of needy people anyway. Pro-lifers are opposed to killing innocent children before birth. But we are also opposed to killing innocent human beings at any stage of life. So, no, we're not just pro-birth. We're anti-murder all the way around.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Abortion: More Dangerous Than Birth

Direct abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother. More than 900 doctors and other medical professionals have signed their names to that statement. There are times when it is medically necessary and morally justifiable to remove the child from the mother for the sake of saving the mother's life, even if this causes the death of the child. However, it is never morally justifiable to purposely seek the death of an unborn child.

People claiming that abortion must be legal to protect women's lives are making a false claim. Remember that the goal of an abortion isn't simply to end a pregnancy, but to first kill the child and then remove his dead body - usually in pieces. There is no reason that the death of the child (as opposed to merely the removal of the child from her body) would ever help the mother or be necessary for her health. Abortion that seeks the death of an unborn child is not a treatment for any disease or health problem of the mother, and we don't need legal abortion in order to give women the best medical care.

But there's more that they aren't telling you.

In a number of cases, particularly late in pregnancy, abortion is actually more dangerous to the mother than removing the baby alive. In late pregnancy (after about 20 weeks or so), the fastest and most efficient way to make a woman unpregnant is to remove the child via c-section. A c-section can be done in a matter of minutes with minimal danger to a woman's life and to the baby's.

Of course, if the baby is less than full-term, he may need extensive medical care to keep him alive. And he may die, even with the best medical care. However, a c-section offers the quickest way to remove the child from the womb and also gives the child a chance to live. In an emergency that necessitates quickly removing the child from the womb, c-section is usually the best option, even if we're only talking about the mother's health.

In contrast, an abortion in late pregnancy increases the risk to the mother. For one thing, late term abortions usually involve dilating the mother by inserting a small dilator around 24 hours before the procedure. That's 24 hours of waiting that allows the dangerous situation to continue. There is a reason that there is such a thing as an "emergency c-section" but not an "emergency abortion." A c-section is much faster.

Plus, during an abortion, it is possible for parts to be missed (leading to infection), for damage to be done to the cervix during the procedure, for the forceps or suction device to perforate the uterus, or for some of the floating baby parts to cause damage inside the uterus. When you take out an intact baby by c-section, the risk to the mother is lower. Some doctors have even argued for "after birth abortion," claiming it is safer for the mother to remove the child from the womb intact and then kill him.

Of course, abortion is never safe for the child. But it really isn't so safe for the mother either. All those late term abortions the pro-aborts keep telling you only happen in medical emergencies aren't really so justified after all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"Pro-Choice" means Pro-Abortion

When I discuss the issue of abortion, I usually refer to the other side as “pro-abortion.” They like to refer to me as “anti-abortion” and it seems appropriate to identify the sides of the issue using terms that clearly spell out what they are for or against. But for some reason, the pro-abortion side doesn’t like that term applied to them. They consistently reject the term and substitute “pro-choice.”

However, the distinction they are trying to make between pro-abortion and pro-choice doesn't really exist. The reason they like the pro-choice label is because it sounds better. It’s a euphemism. And, like most euphemisms, it’s designed to cover up the reality of the topic being discussed by framing it in more palatable terms. We use euphemisms to refer to things we find distasteful or embarrassing. We use euphemisms for sex and sexual organs. We use them to refer to a death. We use them to make crimes and bad choices sound better. And we use them to obscure the reality of horrendous acts like abortion.

Not only is “pro-choice” a euphemism, but it isn’t even accurate. The “pro-choice” liberals aren’t talking about being for choice in every regard. They’re usually against school choice and school vouchers, for example. They’re typically against the choice to own guns. They don’t want women to choose to stay home with their children and home school them. They don’t want parents to have the choice of what their kids eat for lunch at school. They don’t want choice in health insurance. The only time they trot out the “choice” rhetoric is when the topic of abortion comes up. So what is this choice they are so adamantly in favor of?

They only apply this issue of choice to a woman’s pregnancy. But it can’t be the choice to have the baby they’re talking about. Everyone agrees that a woman has a right to choose to have her baby. It can’t be the choice to put the baby up for adoption. No one disagrees with that choice either. So what is the choice that differentiates the two sides? What choice is it that the "pro-choice" crowd is in favor of? It's the choice to have an abortion. The fundamental issue is that "pro-choice" people think it is okay to make the choice to abort, and that makes them pro-abortion.

As an analogy, let’s look at some other topics. If you think a person should have a legal choice to take someone else’s property if he so chooses, you’re pro-theft. If you think parents should be able to abuse their children if they feel like it, you’re pro-child abuse. If you think it's okay for a man to choose to rape a woman if he wants to, you're pro-rape. You don’t have to think every man should rape every woman to be pro-rape. All you have to do in order to be pro-rape is think that rape is a legitimate choice a man has a right to make. So, by the same token, if you think it is okay for a woman to choose to abort her unborn child if she wants to – in other words, if you think that’s a legitimate choice a woman has a right to make – you're pro-abortion.

Really, the “pro-abortion” term is already a sanitized version. Abortion is such an innocent sounding term to describe such a horrific reality. We’re tearing an unborn baby limb from limb, crushing his skull, or burning him alive with a strong saline solution. We’re taking the life of an innocent human being in some of the most inhumane ways possible. But we don’t talk about that. We refer to it as “aborting,” like we do when we start a computer program and need to stop it before it completely loads. It sounds like just an “oops” we need to fix. Just something we started and decided not to finish. No big deal, right? We describe it as anything but the reality of what it is: the gruesome and purposeful murder of the smallest and most needy among us.

For the sake of clarity, I’ll give them the pro-abortion label, even though I would rather call them pro-murder, pro-torture, and pro-death. But I won’t refer to them as pro-choice any more. The millions of unborn babies sacrificed in the name of “choice” deserve better than to have me euphemize their deaths and disregard their lives like that. Ending their lives isn’t just some innocent choice and I won’t pretend that it is.

Not only does the pro-abortion side euphemistically label themselves “pro-choice,” but they label their opposition as “anti-choice.” Like their own self label, this one is inaccurate. I’m not against choice. I think people should have a lot of choices. Remember all those choices I mentioned above that liberals don’t want you to have? Well, I’m in favor of them. I think people should have the freedom to make any choice that doesn’t harm another person or otherwise infringe on their rights.

As for pregnancy, I think women should have a choice of whether or not to be pregnant. But a woman exercises that choice when she consents to sex. Once her choice to engage in sex creates a child, the time for choice is past. A new human being exists and she shouldn’t have the choice to murder him. So, I’m all for choices, including reproductive choice. But once conception has occurred the choice to reproduce has already been made. The only choice remaining is whether or not to kill the child. I don’t think anyone should have that choice.

As for the term “anti-abortion” that is often applied to my position, I really don’t mind that one. I know it is usually used as a put down. It’s supposed to paint me in a negative light by pointing out what I’m against rather than what I’m for. But in this case I don’t mind being described by what I am against. Yes, I’m against abortion. I’m proud to be against abortion. I’m also anti-rape, anti-theft, and anti-child abuse. Nobody thinks those are bad labels. I lump abortion right in there with the rest of those crimes. So I’ll wear the anti-abortion label with pride. All the pro-abortion people are welcome to call me that.

Note: This post first appeared on Lindsay's Logic.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Abolishing Human Abortion was NOT Invented by Abolish Human Abortion

Let me make it clear that while I do propose that we support intermediate pro-life legislation restricting abortion, I strongly and rationally object to this being characterized as a "compromise," or as "regulating" abortion, and I also wish to point out that "intermediate" is a better, more accurate way to characterize these laws than "incremental." Unfortunately, there is a group of abortion activists known as Abolish Human Abortion (AHA) who routinely condemn the pro-life movement using these mischaracterizations, and I think that it is time that we set the record straight.

First, let me explain why intermediate restrictions on abortion does not involve compromise. It is not compromise to pass an intermediate restriction so long as we do not stop short of total abolition. We do not need to abolish abortion in one step - so long as we do not stop until we abolish it completely.

IF we were in the position where abortion were illegal, and some liberal came along pushing for unrestricted access to abortion, and we agreed to allow abortion in some but not all instances (i.e. restricted abortions), then that would be a compromise. We are NOT in that position, and so passing a restriction on abortion (which is currently legal) is NOT compromise on our part, and it is not rational to suggest that it is.

Second, let me explain why this is not merely "regulating" abortion. We regulate activities (such as driving, banking, etc) which we wish to remain legal, but well regulated. That is NOT the case for abortion. Therefore, it is insane, dishonest and intentionally deceitful to say that these abortion restrictions are intended to merely "regulate" abortion. Again, the people who make that claim are not being rational.

Finally, let me explain why "intermediate" is a more accurate characterization that "incremental." The main problem I have with the term "incremental" is that one can refer to an "incremental" improvement without implying any intention of further progress. However, when you refer to something as an "intermediate" step, you suggest that it is only intermediary. That's why it is a better, more accurate term.

For example, slapping a coat of paint on a porch that needs to be completely replaced is an incremental improvement, but is not an intermediate step towards the new porch.

As a movement, we do not wish to see abortion abolished incrementally. In other words, we do not prefer that it be done slowly in many steps. We see those steps as merely intermediate steps along the road road to a total ban. In fact, we wish these steps were not necessary, and we wish them to be as large as possible. In face, this is another problem with the term "incremental" - it has the connotation that these steps are or should be relatively small. "Intermediate" has no such connotation.

Granted, I do agree that "incremental" is not entirely inaccurate, but "intermediate" does a better job of conveying that these restrictions are not the endgame, but only intermediate steps along the way. We do not prefer to take incremental steps. We only see them as intermediate steps which advance and strengthen the right to life position and save lives.

In summary, each of these characterizations as I have presented them here are really based on the observation that abolishing human abortion was NOT invented by Abolish Human Abortion! Instead, it was invented many years before anyone ever heard of AHA. It was invented by those of us in the pro-life movement.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Legal Battle over Frozen Embryos shows our Dehumanization of the Unborn

An actress and her ex-boyfriend are in a legal battle over two of their frozen embryos. She wants the embryos destroyed. Her boyfriend believes life begins at conception and thus views these embryos as his children (and rightly so). Thus, he wants to protect these human lives and give them a chance to be born. He has even said that he will assume all financial obligations and parental responsibility for the children and will not hold his ex-girlfriend responsible in any way.

The problem is that, due to abortion laws, embryos are not recognized as human beings. They aren't legal persons. Thus, an embryo is only considered property. Instead of prioritizing the life of these two little girls (they're female embryos) and giving them to the parent who wishes to care for them instead of kill them, the courts will most likely resolve the case based on property laws.

There are few things we can learn from this.

1. Don't create children with someone you're not married to or someone who doesn't value unborn life. In this case, the man believed life begins at fertilization and is against abortion. But he made the very bad choice to create children with a woman who disagrees with him. If she were pregnant with the children, he would have no recourse at all and it would be completely her choice whether or not to kill his children. So, men, if you don't want your children killed, don't make babies with pro-choice women.

Because the babies are not in the woman's body, the father has some chance of saving their lives, but the fact that this argument is even taking place is evidence that this was a very bad choice of a woman to breed with. His children may yet be killed because their mother does not want them to exist.

2. Abortion laws have not only allowed the killing of millions of innocent children, but they have caused us to reduce unborn human lives to mere property. Think of the dehumanization of two people arguing over possession of these two children as if they were arguing over the furniture after a break-up. And the law sees these children as property and will rule accordingly. The needs of the children are never considered. The lives of the children are never seen as worth saving.

3. You know, this case reminds me of a similar legal battle that once happened in the Bible. Only in that case, there were two women fighting over a child they both claimed. The wise king Solomon offered to divide the "property" in half by killing the child and cutting his body in two to give half to each woman. The real mother stood up and pleaded with the king to spare the child, even if she had to give him to the other woman. King Solomon knew the real mother would care about her child and save his life above all else and thus he determined which woman had the rightful claim. The woman who held the child's life sacred was the one who should have him.

In this case, the issue is similarly clear. One parent wishes to destroy the frozen embryos while the other wants to save their lives and care for them. Let us hope the judge will be as wise as Solomon and give the children into the custody of their father.

Unfortunately, because of the legality of abortion, the law dictates that the judge should not be wise in protecting the lives of the unborn children, but that he should treat the children as property to be evenly divided, even at the expense of their lives. This is a deep flaw in our law that we must address in order to protect the lives of children.

4. It is a sad state of affairs when we have a culture that rightly hates slavery and looks back upon our history of enslaving an entire people group with revulsion and horror and yet, apparently, cannot see that we are doing the exact same thing with a different group of people. We have dehumanized the unborn and turned them into legal property to be kept or discarded at the whim of the "owner" just as we did for blacks in the days of slavery. It was a shame then and it is a shame now. It must stop. We have to recognize and protect the inherent human rights of all human beings, regardless of race, age, gender, disability, or location.