Friday, November 28, 2014

Abortion Should be Completely Abolished Immediately

Let's make this statement very clear right up front. Abortion should be completely abolished immediately. Make no mistake, we when it comes to human abortion, we are definitely and undeniably in the abolitionist camp.

Clearly, the abolition of abortion includes making it completely illegal, and that should be done as rapidly and efficiently as possible. Until that complete abolition can be accomplished, abortion should be restricted as much as possible, as often as possible, in any way possible.

However, this does NOT mean that we should tell our elected representatives to propose restrictions rather than a total abortion ban. In other words, do not focus on the statement that abortion should be "restricted" as the primary focus or the main desire. The primary, first, and most important goal is to abolish abortion as rapidly and efficiently as possible – immediately, if at all possible. The restriction alternative is a distant second choice which is still far better than nothing at all.

The point is that while we should not try to have restrictions *proposed* by our representatives, we should support those that are proposed. We should take the ground that is available while continuing the fight for total abolition.

Second, this does NOT mean that we should preferentially select representatives who do not support the total abolition of abortion. Instead, we should vote for the strongest pro-life candidate available.*  That does not mean that we should throw our vote away on someone that no one’s ever heard of, but of the candidates who actually have any chance of getting elected, we should choose the strongest right to life candidate available – ideally, another abolitionist.

So the point is that as abolitionists, we should make the abolition of abortion our primary goal, and one that we request of our elected representatives. However, if we have the opportunity to restrict abortion in the meantime, we should take that opportunity do so. We should certainly not oppose such restrictions. Instead, we should actively support those restrictions while making it clear that we are not trading restrictions for abolition.

This IS the rational approach to abolition.


* "Pro-Life" not a bad term, abortion abolitionists are pro-life by definition.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Growing Support for "Post-Birth Abortion"

This article discusses the new reality that many people (college students, in particular) are beginning to support the idea of "post-birth" abortions. In other words, infanticide. One number that seems to be widely accepted is 4 years old.

That's right, folks! There are growing numbers of people who think it's perfectly fine for a parent to decide to kill their own child up until age 4. The rationale seems to be that young children are not self-aware, and thus are not people.

Well, at least they are being consistent. Consistently stupid, but consistent.

Here's what I mean by that:

They recognize the truth that there is nothing magical about birth, and if (in their distorted world) abortion is OK just before birth, it must be OK just afterwards, as well.

If they were a bit more rational, they would take this the other way. They have it exactly backwards. They should note that since infanticide after birth is wrong, and since birth is not magical, it must also be wrong to kill children before birth.

Finally, I would like one of these idiots to provide a single objective proof that self-awareness is what matters when it comes to protecting one's right to life. Second, I would like for one of them to present an objective proof of just how much awareness a human being must possess before he has the right to live. And third, I would like one of them to present an objective test of self-awareness such that we can objectively tell precisely when one has acquired that level of awareness.

In other words, their criteria are quite subjective, and based on nothing more than their opinion of how they wish things to be. That is hardly sufficient justification for violating the right to life of an entire segment of human beings.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Supreme Court and Constitutionality

Earlier, I made the case that abortion is unconstitutional. It is neither Constitutionally-protected, nor a right that anyone possesses. Of course, that raised the ire of many pro-aborts who think I have encroached upon their own sacred territory. Many of them (while ignoring the actual content of the article) have expressed their opinion that the Supreme Court determines the Constitutionality of a matter, and whatever they say goes.

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) does NOT "determine" what is or is not Constitutional. The Court has simply been given the authority to declare what it considers to be Constitutional. As history has shown, the Court IS fallible (being made up of humans with their own political agendas and religious convictions) and sometimes gets it wrong.

Here is what Thomas Jefferson had to say on the matter:

You seem to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps....

Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.

Jefferson, Thomas. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Jarvis (September 28, 1820).

The Supreme Court has the authority to make rulings based on its perception of Constitutionality. However, this does NOT mean that they always get it right. In fact, every single time they overturn an older ruling, they tacitly admit that the earlier ruling was wrong. Of course, this is rare because no one likes to admit that they were wrong, and court justices are no different.

The Constitution does not permit the SCOTUS to reinterpret the Constitution in any way that it so desires (as many critics seem to think). The Court is required to stick to the original intent of the Constitution and its amendments. That was the point I made in the article.

Roe v. Wade is a Court ruling. It is NOT to be conflated with the Constitution itself. And like any other ruling, it is subject to error. As I have shown in this article, it is a bad ruling because it ignores the original intent of these amendments.

The main point here is that the actual text and original intent of the Constitution always trumps any court ruling. Thus, the Constitutionality of abortion is decided by the actual text of the Constitution - not by a Supreme Court ruling. Appealing to the Court is an appeal to authority.

Abortion IS unconstitutional based on the actual text of the Constitution. Of course, we are required to abide by Court rulings. However, this does NOT mean that the ruling is, by definition, Constitutional. In order to determine that one must check the Constitution itself.

For what it's worth, ALL jurists on the Supreme Court should be strict constructionists. Any who are not are violating their oath of office, and are acting contrary to one of the most important principles of civil government - namely, that we each must approve (through representation for new laws or by tacit consent for laws that predate us) of any law to which we are bound.

This means that the original meaning and intent MUST be the only accepted meaning, and that all court justices are bound to interpret the law in that particular way. If they do not, then they have no business serving on the court, and should be impeached.

The Founding Fathers were very clear on this matter. Having laws forced upon us which we do not consent to is tyranny. The same is true if laws are reinterpreted by a court (i.e. a unelected body of people in which we are not represented).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Constitutional Support for Right to Life Arguments

Last time, we pointed out that abortion is thoroughly unconstitutional, and that the pertinent texts of the 5th and 14th Amendments are the following, respectively:
"No person shall ... be deprived of life ... without due process of law; ..."
"nor shall any State deprive any person of life, ..., without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Earlier, we presented logical arguments deriving the following conclusions:
C1: One does not have the right to kill a child who has not yet been born.
C2: A child who has not yet been born possesses the exact same right to live as any other
       human being.
Now, we would like to show how these arguments are supported by the United States Constitution. As you may recall, these conclusions were each based on a set of premises. The first argument employed the following premise:
P1.1: One does not have the right to kill an innocent human being.
Clearly, this premise is supported by the 5th Amendment ("No person shall ... be deprived of life ... without due process of law; ..."), and by the 14th Amendment ("nor shall any State deprive any person of life, ..., without due process of law;").

The second argument was supported by the following premise:
P2.1: All innocent human beings possess the exact same right to live as any other human
Clearly, this premise is supported by the last clause of Section 1 of the Amendment 14 ("nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws").

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Abortion is Unconstitutional

We too often hear that abortion is a right or that it is Constitutionally protected. These statements are simply not true. As we have shown earlier, one simply does not have the right to commit abortion because it takes the life of an innocent human being. Now, I would like to show that it is not protected by the United States Constitution either.

In fact, there are two different amendments to the Constitution which actually make abortion unconstitutional. Of course, I am referring to the 5th and the 14th amendments.

Here is the text of the 5th amendment:

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."  
-- 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (emphasis added)

Note that this amendment is a bit lengthy and includes text which is not relevant to the issue of abortion. So let me clarify the pertinent parts:

"No person shall ... be deprived of life ... without due process of law; ..."

As you can see, this is perfectly consistent with the full text above. So I am not taking anything out of context when I point out that this amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that "No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law."

Now, let's take a look at the 14th amendment:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." 
-- 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Section 1 (emphasis added)

This is the full text of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, and it also addresses topics which are not pertinent to the right to life issue. So here are the pertinent parts:

"nor shall any State deprive any person of life, ..., without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Note that although this amendment begins with a reference to "All persons born or naturalized," the parts which are pertinent to the right to life issue are NOT so prefaced and do NOT rest on that premise. In fact, the text is separated by a semicolon which isolates the pertinent text from earlier topics (such as citizenship) which were addressed and which are so prefaced.

Now, IF the latter portion of this amendment stated that "no state shall deprive any 'citizen' of life,...," then that statement would rest on the stated requirements of citizenship. However, this amendment clearly and intentionally does not do so. Rather, the text clearly states that  "no state shall deprive any 'person' of life, ...." This fact is a clear and profound rejection of the idea that citizenship or birth is required for the protection of life.

Furthermore, this amendment also states that no state shall "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." So not only is the right to life specifically protected, this amendment also makes the more general equal protection under the law a Constitutionally protected right.

This much alone should be sufficient to show that abortion is thoroughly unconstitutional. Unfortunately, some people try to defend abortion by expressing their opinion  that only born human beings are "persons." As we have shown earlier, this is an irrational proposition.

Furthermore, neither of these amendments define personhood in any way that is consistent with that opinion, and I find it telling that these people wish to redefine "person" in such a way as to include themselves while excluding those other human beings that they wish to be allowed to kill.

If "person" and "human being" are distinguishable, then proponents of that view should present objective evidence of that distinction, and provide an objective, scientific test by which we can objectively determine just when a human being has developed into a person. Without such an objective test, this distinction is meaningless and cannot be objectively implemented (i.e. in law). Of course, no such objective personhood test exists, and those who try to make the unsubstantiated distinction between humanity and personhood do so arbitrarily and without any objective support.

Finally, let me direct the reader to Webster's Dictionary of 1828. The English language has evolved somewhat since these amendments to U.S. Constitution were adopted. The 5th Amendment was adopted along with the rest of the Bill of Rights in 1791, and the 14th Amendment was adopted just after the Civil War in 1868. Thus, it is important to determine how "person" was used in those times. Webster's Dictionary of 1828 provides an excellent and timely resource for answering such questions.
Definition 1: "An individual human being consisting of body and soul. We apply the word to living beings only, possessed of a rational nature; the body when dead is not called a person It is applied alike to a man, woman or child."
Definition 2: "A man, woman or child, considered as opposed to things, or distinct from them."
Definition 3: "A human being, considered with respect to the living body or corporeal existence only."
Definition 4: "A human being, indefinitely; one; a man."
These are the first four definitions for "person" provided, and it is clear from them that birth is not considered in any of these definitions. Nor do any other character traits enter into these definitions. Although many modern critics try to invent criteria for personhood which exclude those who haven't been born, this dictionary does not employ any of them in defining personhood. For instance, none of these qualities are employed:
  • sentience
  • self-awareness
  • autonomy
  • consciousness
  • heartbeat
  • brainwaves
  • personality
  • independence
  • self-sufficiency
Thus, when these amendments were adopted, none of these kinds of things were considered in defining personhood. Quite the contrary. In fact, three of these definitions specifically refer simply to "a human being." It is clear that these amendments actually refer to human individuals, and do not distinguish some humans as persons who will be protected while leaving others unprotected. The notion that personhood can be distinguished from humanity is simply a misrepresentation of the term "person" that some critics have invented in order to justify such violations as slavery and abortion.

 Of course, science clearly shows that the unborn are human individuals. They are human beings in the same sense that any born person is. Therefore, since "person" is defined to be any human being, this must include the unborn. So the definition of "person" used at the time of writing of these amendments applies to all human beings from fertilization to death. The opinion that "person" is not synonymous with "human individual" is simply not supported by either science or history.

Thus, it should be clear to any rational, thinking person that the United States Constitution clearly supports the right to life position and the truth that all human beings possess the right to life. One must remember that the Supreme Court is staffed by people who have their own political and religious views, and so is not infallible in its interpretation and application of the Constitution. Roe v. Wade should be reconsidered and overturned because it can be clearly shown that abortion is thoroughly unconstitutional.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Acquiring Personhood

Personhood is an either-or proposition. You either are one or you aren't. You can't be partially a person. There aren't some people that are more of a person than others. There are only persons and non-persons.

Because of this fact, it is necessary for persons to form from non-persons instantaneously. It has to go from "non-person" to "person" all in one step.

A long slow process like development cannot be the method by which a person comes to be a person. If "person" were synonymous with "consciousness" or "self-awareness" or having certain physical features like eyes or nose, then born humans who don't have these things are not persons and can be killed at will. And if a slow development process of growing ability makes a person then there would have to be degrees of personhood to match the varying abilities of different humans. Maybe I'm more of a person than you are because I'm smarter or taller or more awake at the moment. Maybe I should have more legal protections than you because of that. That is the kind of logical problem that this kind of thinking introduces. But of course, there are no degrees of personhood. There are only people and non-people.

Since there must be a point at which a non-person becomes a person, it is imperative that we find it. If we cannot find that point - specifically and definitively - we must give all humans the benefit of the doubt so as not to kill actual persons and thus violate their rights.

It's actually pretty easy to find the point at which a person is formed. A person can't be formed through a slow, gradual process like development. There is no transition point in the process of developing self-awareness, for example. There are many shades of awareness, both before and after birth, but they do not affect personhood. So if development can't produce personhood because it is too slow and gradual, we must look for a radical event that produces a sudden change in the nature of the organism in question. We must look for something that precedes development because development still happens to what we know is a person and development can't produce personhood, so the event that produces a person must occur before development begins. The only event that qualifies as a sudden, radical event that precedes development is fertilization.

Only fertilization produces the radical change necessary to provide a turning point from non-person to person. Fertilization produces a new human individual who didn't exist before. Fertilization changes two mere cells - parts of a larger body - into a brand new organism that develops and grows itself and works to further it's own bodily integrity. This new entity has all the instructions present to form an adult human body. This entity is already either male or female. This entity, like any other child, is merely less-than-fully developed.

You see, personhood isn't something we attain through gaining abilities. Nor do we lose personhood if we lose those abilities. Personhood isn't something we do. It's something we are.

Of course, if you disagree, you either have to claim that there are degrees of personhood (to correspond with degrees of ability) or you have to come up with a specific and definitive point at which a non-person suddenly becomes a person and a way to justify that point. It can't be something nebulous like "a few weeks after conception" or "in the second trimester" or "when consciousness is developed." It has to be something specific and defensible as a transformation point. If you cannot objectively identify a point at which a person becomes a person, then you must, ethically, treat all human individuals as persons since you do not know if they are or not.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Woman Writes Open Letter to the Baby She's Planning to Abort

Take a look at this letter, presumably written by a pregnant woman who is planning an abortion to her unborn child. It's entitled "I am getting an abortion next Friday. An open letter to the little life I won't get to meet."
I'm not sure if the story is true. I don't know the circumstances. I don't know if this is somehow an attempt to justify her actions and absolve herself of guilt. What I do know is that it is deeply disturbing.
In this letter, we have a woman who apparently realizes that the child she is carrying is, in fact, a baby. She also realizes that this baby is going to die. She says:

I am sorry that this is goodbye. I'm sad that I'll never get to meet you. You could have your father's eyes and my nose and we could make our own traditions, be a family. But, Little Thing, we will meet again.

She knows this is a baby. Yet she is going to kill him anyway. She says she is "both sorry and not sorry." She wishes the circumstances were different and she's sorry that they aren't in the same reality (whatever that means), but she can't be a mother right now. She realizes the wrong in killing her child, but has determined to do it anyway.

She also makes some strange comments about wanting her baby to be happy, and that it "wouldn't be fair to bring a new life into [the] world..." Perhaps someone should tell her that her baby is ALREADY in the world. She isn't preventing someone from entering the world by having an abortion. She's taking them out of it. And maybe someone should explain to her that killing someone isn't a way to make them happy.

Perhaps most confusing about this letter are a couple comments she makes about seeing her baby again later. She seems to have some very mixed up ideas about how this whole pregnancy and birth thing works.

She says "[W]e will meet again. I promise that the next time I see that little blue plus, the next time you are in the same reality as me, I will be ready for you." And again, "I promise I will see you again, and next time, you can call me Mom."

The problem is, there won't be a next time. She seems to think that this baby will come back to her womb someday, when everything is all better for her and she's ready to have a child. But it doesn't work that way. This is that child's only chance at life. Once he's dead, he'll stay dead. Once the mother aborts, that child will never have another chance to live. Sure, this mother may get pregnant at some point in the future and give birth, but it won't be the same baby. It will be a different child. The baby now in her womb is a unique, irreplaceable human being. This is that child's only time on earth. That baby won't ever get to meet her mother or see the blue sky or laugh or sing or dance if she kills her now. This is it. This is only time that child will ever be on this earth.

That's the tragedy of abortion. The murdered children don't come back. They don't get another life on earth at some point in the future. Just like all the rest of us humans, one life is all we get.

So whether this mother is deluded or ignorant or simply trying desperately to justify her actions, we all need to realize the gravity of the situation. Abortion kills a human being and ends the one life they have to live. Children in the womb are irreplaceable, one-time miracles, just like all humans are. Ending an unborn life is every bit as serious as ending any other human life and every bit as tragic.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Logical Arguments Against Abortion: Part 1

Valid logical arguments show that one does not have the right to commit abortion


Earlier, I presented a logical argument showing that consent to sex does constitute consent to any naturally resulting pregnancy. That article was written specifically in response to the common refrain from the pro-abort crowd that “Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy.” Here, I would like to simplify that argument by breaking it up into smaller, more manageable arguments. The end result is the same, however, as one would expect since these are well-supported logical arguments, and any set of well-supported, valid logical arguments are not contradictory.

Let me begin by discussing what it takes to make a valid logical argument, and what it takes to make a valid argument which has a conclusion that must logically be true. You see, not all valid arguments yield conclusions which are true (as I will show below). OK, here is an example of a valid argument:

P1: All humans are mammals.

P2: George Washington was a human.

C: Therefore, George Washington was a mammal.

Clearly, this argument is not only a valid argument, but it has a conclusion that is true. How do we know that the conclusion is true? We have confidence that the conclusion is true, because BOTH of the following conditions are met:

  1. The argument is a valid argument. In other words, the conclusion follows logically from the stated premises – that is precisely what we mean when we say that it is a valid argument.
  2. The two premises are true.

If an argument is valid, and the premises upon which the argument is based are true, then the conclusion must also be true.

Now let’s take a look at an argument that is not valid – one in which the conclusion does not follow from the premises:

P1: All humans are mammals.

P2: George Washington was a human.

C: Therefore, George Washington was the first President of the United States.

While both premises are true, and the conclusion happens to be true also, the argument is not valid. You cannot come to the conclusion that George Washington was the first President based on the premises. The premises do not lead to the conclusion, so the argument is invalid – even though all three elements are true statements.

Here’s another invalid argument that’s a little more subtle:

P1: Some mammals are humans.

P2: George Washington was a mammal.

C: Therefore, George Washington was a human.

While the premises and conclusions are all true, the argument is not valid. For an argument to be valid, the conclusion must follow inescapably from the premises. That is not the case for this argument. If we knew nothing about George Washington except what the premises tell us, we could not be sure that George Washington is a human because not all mammals are humans. Only some of them are. For all we know, “George Washington” might be a dog and be a mammal, but not a human. Thus, the argument is invalid because the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises.

Now, let’s show a valid argument that is false:

P1: All humans are amphibians.

P2: George Washington was a human.

C: Therefore, George Washington was an amphibian.

Clearly, this conclusion is false. However, you should note that the argument IS a valid argument. IF both premises were true, then the conclusion would also be true. Unfortunately, the first premise (P1) is not true, and so the conclusion is false.

In general, one can only say that since the premise is false, the argument does not show that the conclusion is true. It is possible that the conclusion may be true coincidentally. Here is a hypothetical example:

P1: All humans are male.

P2: George Washington was a human.

C: Therefore, George Washington was male.

Clearly, the conclusion IS true, but the first premise (P1) is obviously false. So the fact that the conclusion of this argument is true is merely coincidence.

Let’s review. If the conclusion of a logical argument follows directly from its premises, we consider the argument to be a valid logical argument, and in that case, the truth of its conclusion rests upon the truth of the stated premises. If the stated premises of a valid argument are objectively supported by observation (or science) or by the conclusions of other valid logical arguments which are objectively supported, then we consider the conclusion to be true.

The truth of these conclusions do not rest merely on opinion, doctrine, or religious texts. Instead, these conclusions rest directly upon logic and science.


Now that we have reviewed logical arguments, let’s apply this knowledge to the abortion debate. Here is what I consider to be the most basic argument, and I will refer to it as Argument 1:

P1.1: One does not have the right to kill an innocent human being.

P1.2: A child not yet born is an innocent human being.

C1: Therefore, one does not have the right to kill a child who has not yet been born.

Stated this way, it is difficult to imagine how any sane person would object to the truth of this conclusion. Clearly, the conclusion (C1) follows directly from the two stated premises (P1.1 & P1.2), and so this IS a valid logical argument. In addition to this, the premises of this argument are true. This means that we can have confidence that the conclusion is in fact true.

Of course, P1.1 cannot be proven to be true using science because such things as human rights do not fall within the purview of science. However, this principle – that one does not have the right to kill an innocent human being – is widely accepted as true among civilized societies and was specifically addressed by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence when they pointed out that it is “self-evident” that all humans possess certain unalienable rights, including the right to live.

Of course, the second premise (P1.2) is objectively shown to be true. In defense of that statement, let me address three important elements of this premise. First, one cannot object to my use of the term “child” here because “child” universally means “son or daughter,” and a child who has not yet been born is a son or daughter. That fact is simply undeniable, and it is this meaning that is used here. Second, that this child is indeed innocent is evident because he or she has not had the opportunity to commit any crime worthy of death. And third, the fact that this child is a human being (defined as a member of the human species) is abundantly clear since there is no possible way that two human beings can produce an offspring that is not also a human being.

Now, let me turn to the second most fundamental argument, which I will call Argument 2:

P2.1: All innocent human beings possess the exact same right to live as any other human

P2.2: A child not yet born is an innocent human being.

C2: Therefore, a child who has not yet been born possesses the exact same right to live
       as any other human being.

As before, the first premise (P2.1) is not one that can be supported with science because (again) the subject of human rights does not fall within the purview of scientific investigation. However, in order to argue that this premise is false, the critic must take the bigoted position that some human beings (like themselves) possess human rights that other human beings (those they wish to be allowed to kill) do not have. Furthermore, one can see that the second premise (P2.2) is identical to P1.2, and so has the same justification.

Therefore, since the conclusion (C2) follows directly from the premises, Argument 2 IS a valid logical argument, and so, like Argument 1, we have confidence that the conclusion is in fact true. Thus far in this article, we have shown that the following two statements are true:

C1: One does not have the right to kill a child who has not yet been born.

C2: A child who has not yet been born possesses the exact same right to live as any other
       human being.

As you can see, these two well-proven truths alone are sufficient to show that abortion is a violation of the right to life of the child being aborted. Surely, any rational person will agree that if these two statements are true, then it should not be legal to commit abortion.

Notice that these two conclusions are not based in any way upon consent to sex. This means that they are true in general and are not subject to consensual sex. Whether or not the mother has consented to sex is not even addressed at all in these two arguments. These two arguments demonstrate logically that, regardless of the circumstances, children who have not yet been born have the same right to life as those of us who have been born. Thus, birth does not convey the right to live, and neither does any other event in an individual’s life. This right must come into existence when the human individual comes into existence, and that happens at fertilization (as we have shown earlier).

In Part 2, I will apply this logical method to the subject of consensual sex and show that consent to sex is indeed consent to pregnancy.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Is Pregnancy Like Forced Organ Donation?

The idea that forced organ donation and pregnancy are analogous has been around a long time. The pro-aborts even seem to think it's a "gotcha question." Their argument goes something like this:

Suppose you have a father who has a child who is dying and needs a kidney, and the father has a compatible kidney. Should the father be forced to give the child a kidney to save the child's life? Should the right to life of the child take precedence over the right to bodily autonomy of the father? If no father can be forced to give up an organ for his child, that means the right to bodily autonomy trumps the right to life of the child. If that is true, then a mother's right to bodily autonomy trumps the right to life of her unborn child and she has a right to abort.
At first glance, this is a powerful argument. Most of us instinctively recoil at the idea of being forced to donate an organ and don't think government should be forcing us to do so. We know that volunteering to donate an organ is a noble and praiseworthy act, but don't think anyone should be forced to give an organ against their will. The pro-aborts want us to see pregnancy in this way as well. They want us to see continuing a pregnancy as a noble and selfless act, but one that should not be forced on anyone.

Unfortunately for the pro-aborts, pregnancy and organ donation are dissimilar in several key ways, and thus their argument fails.
Most importantly, pregnancy is not like forced organ donation because consent to sex is consent to pregnancy. When a woman engages in sex, she consents to caring for any child that is created through her actions.  See this post for more on this argument. Because consent to sex is consent to pregnancy, pregnancy, in the vast majority of cases, would be akin to voluntary organ donation, not forced organ donation.

Of course, there are several other reasons that pregnancy is not like organ donation (even voluntary organ donation) which also negate the analogy.

In the case of organ donation, the donated organ is permanently removed from the donor's body so that the donor then lacks the function of that organ for the rest of his life. In pregnancy, this is not the case. The growing unborn child does not consume any organ of the mother or otherwise remove it from her body. In fact, rather than removing a body part and preventing its function, pregnancy involves using an organ (the womb) as it was designed to be used.

So on the one hand, we have permanently diminished body functioning and loss of an organ and on the other we have a temporary condition in which an organ is simply used as it is meant to be used. They are not the same thing at all.

In addition to that profound difference, organ donation always, and by design, puts the donor at risk for serious future health problems. Apart from the risks of the surgery itself, lacking a kidney means that the filtering of the blood will be less efficient and that any future kidney failure will leave the donor in a position where they have no working kidney remaining. Pregnancy, by contrast, in its normal case, does not leave the woman at risk for serious health problems. While it is certainly true that some women have increased health risks during or because of pregnancy, this is not the norm and these cases should be dealt with separately. It is not the case that pregnancy inherently and unavoidably produces a decline in body functioning as donating a kidney does.

Yet another dissimilarity is that a father with a sick child did not cause his child to be in need of a kidney. If the father had beaten his child until his kidney failed, making him the one responsible for the child's need for a kidney, then the father would have the responsibility to make amends by giving his kidney to the child. However, this is almost never the case. The kidney failure of the child is not the fault of the father.  In pregnancy, on the other hand, the mother's actions in choosing to engage in sex caused the child to be created in such a situation that he needs the care of her womb. She is the reason for his need and should be expected to fulfill her responsibility to meet that need.

Not only are pro-aborts incorrectly claiming that pregnancy and organ donation are similar, but they are also, by implication, claiming that abortion is like refusing to donate a kidney. Their claim is that just as a person has every right to refuse to donate an organ from their body, they also have a right to "terminate a pregnancy" by abortion. But abortion is not analogous to refusing to donate a kidney. Abortion is not simply refusing to continue a pregnancy. The intent of an abortion is to purposely kill a pre-born child. A parent who does not donate a kidney to their dying child is not doing so out of a motive to kill. An abortion, on the other hand, is not simply allowing an unborn child to die of natural causes, but is an active act of killing. The death of the child is not a by-product but the entire point of an abortion.

Because of these many fatal flaws, the analogy of forced organ donation and pregnancy fails. It is not the same thing to force a parent to give up a kidney for their dying child as to "force" a woman to continue a pregnancy rather than kill her child through abortion. Abortion is not like refusing to donate a kidney. There is no logical or ethical requirement that a parent go to the extraordinary lengths of giving up a piece of their body for a sick child. Parents have a responsibility to provide normal care for their children, but not to take extreme measures or place themselves in danger. There is, however, a logical and ethical requirement that a woman who chooses to engage in an act that creates a child should be expected to provide normal care for that child - which includes a normal, healthy pregnancy.

Monday, September 8, 2014

900 Medical Professionals Claim that Abortion is Never Necessary to Save a Woman's Life

According to this article, there have been nearly 900 doctors and other medical professionals, so far, who have signed the Dublin Declaration, which states that abortion is never medically necessary to save a woman's life.

The full text of the Dublin Declaration reads as follows:
“As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman. 
We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child. 
We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”

The fact that almost 900 medical professionals have signed this document is strong testimony that abortion is not health care and that abortion does not need to be legal in order to protect women's lives.

We have written about abortion for the life of the mother before. If abortion ever was necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman, that is the ONLY case where it would ever be acceptable. However, abortion to save a woman's life does not in any way justify any other form of abortion. But the "life of the mother" argument assumes that abortion might sometimes be necessary to save a woman's life. There is increasing evidence that this is not the case and that it is never necessary to purposely end the life of an unborn child in order to save his mother's.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Richard Dawkins on the Morality of Abortion

Recently, prominent atheist Richard Dawkins offered his opinion on whether or not one should abort a baby with Down Syndrome:

There is no need to recount the entire thing since the story is widely available (here is one source). So I will only focus on the content of his tweet.

First of all, you cannot abort someone who has not already been brought into this world. Conception produces a new, genetically distinct human individual who has a body of his very own. When one commits abortion, it is this individual who is killed. This individual already exists. Birth is only one event in the life on an individual, and biologically speaking, that event is less significant to one's body than adolescence.

Second, as an atheist, Dawkins has no basis upon which to suggest that any action is "immoral." Sure, he can say that something is good or bad, but morality requires an objective moral law and a source for that moral law, and Dawkins believes that no such thing actually exists.

Dawkins has also stated long ago that killing babies after they are born is acceptable, too. At least that's consistent with his religious worldview. It's insane, but consistent. Here's a good response by scientist Jonathan Sarfati.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mississippi's Last Abortion Clinic to Stay Open due to Court Ruling

According to this news article, a US Court of Appeals ruled that a new law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital cannot be implemented because it would cause the last abortion clinic in the state to close and, thus, interfere with a woman's "constitutional right to end her pregnancy by abortion" within the state.

Of course, someone should explain to this court that there is no "Constitutional right" to end a pregnancy by abortion. Not once is there any mention of abortion in the Constitution. Not once is there ever a guarantee that a mother has a right to kill her child. In fact, the Constitution says precisely the opposite.

The 5th Amendment says that "No person shall be...deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

The 14th Amendment similarly states that "No State shall...deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Since a new human life begins at fertilization and all humans are persons, the Constitution says that these pre-born humans cannot be deprived of life without due process of law or denied equal protection of the law. Unfortunately, our court system does not recognize this straightforward reading of the Constitution and is denying the rights of the unborn.

The other issue is that the law in question did not seek to ban abortion, but merely changed the regulations for abortion clinics in order to protect the health of women. So not only did this court ruling fail to protect the unborn, it failed to protect women from sub-standard health practitioners who ought not to be practicing medicine on anyone. What this court decided, then, was that it is so important that women be able to get an abortion conveniently (without going out of state) that we ought not to let concerns about how safe it is for her get in the way.

So much for the liberals' claim that they want abortion to be safe. They don't care if it's safe, as long as it's readily available.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

13-Year-Old Girl in UK Forced by Judge to Have an Abortion

According to this article in the Huffington Post, a 13-year-old girl in the UK was ordered by a judge to have an abortion, which has since been carried out. The girl is mentally disabled and said to have the mental capacity of a 7-year-old. In spite of her very clear indications that she did not want an abortion and the testimony of a professional psychiatrist that an abortion would be emotionally damaging for her and that she would see it as an assault, the judge ruled that an abortion was in her best interest. In his words: "Leaving to one side her own wishes and feelings, the preponderance of all the evidence is clear that it would be in her best interests to have a termination."

So now it's not even about a woman's choice, I guess. Now that we have defined the unborn to be non-persons and made it legally and socially acceptable to kill them at will, our society now sees killing an unborn child as health care for the mother and of no more significance than of pulling a tooth or having an appendix removed. Is it any wonder, then, that a judge would rule that forcing a young teen to have an abortion against her will is in her best interest? Is it any wonder that her conscience, in not wanting to kill her child, was ignored?

If the unborn are not persons, then not only should we ignore the rights of the unborn child, but we should also ignore any ideas people might have about the humanity of the unborn. A young woman's conscience (i.e. "wishes and feelings") being opposed to abortion must be just superstition and shouldn't be taken into account in deciding what is best for her. That is the logic we are seeing here.

This isn't the first such case either. For example, there have been similar cases of mentally disabled women forced or nearly forced to have abortions by judges in January of 2012 in Massachusetts, November of 2012 in Nevada, and January of 2013 in London.

In a culture where dehumanizing the unborn is so common, it is no surprise to see a shift toward forced abortion as people see less and less reason to value and protect life. All this talk of "choice" contributes to the idea that abortion is just an ordinary choice. So if the courts can decide what is best for a child or disabled person in other matters, why not decide for them whether they should have an abortion? Why not "choose" abortion for those deemed incapable of choice for themselves? If abortion is just a choice, that's what logically follows, and we can expect to see a lot more women forced to abort in the future.

Abortion for the Life of the Mother?

One of the most common arguments brought up with regard to keeping abortion legal is the life of the mother. Whenever anyone says that abortion should be illegal, the immediate response from the pro-abortion side is "What about abortions to save the life of the mother?" They seem to think that making abortion illegal places women at risk. However, the life of the mother argument is not a good argument for keeping all abortion legal.

First, we would like to make it clear that we are unconvinced that abortion is ever necessary to save the life of anyone. In fact, there is good reason to think that direct abortion is never a necessary treatment for any condition of the mother. (See statements from the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists here, here, and especially here.)

However, we are open to the possibility of terminating a pregnancy to save a woman's life. If several doctors independently agree that it is absolutely necessary to end a pregnancy, otherwise the mother will die, then the mother should be treated to save her life. Some might call this abortion, though the intent differs from elective abortion in that the death of the child is not the primary objective. We don't consider such life-saving procedures abortions. Abortion involves the intentional killing of the unborn child as its main purpose and is not simply removing a fetus or ending a pregnancy (that's called birth or C-section). Thus, a procedure that removes a child from the womb for the purpose of preserving the mother's life is not the same thing as abortion, even if the child dies as a result.

In discussing this issue, several points come to mind:

1. Most abortions do not fall into this category.

2. Doctors should be required to recognize that with a pregnant woman they have two patients, and every effort should be made to save both of them.

3. If the pregnancy is causing complications, an induction or C-section with the intent to save the child's life should be performed instead of an abortion, if at all possible.

4. In many ectopic pregnancies (due to the location of implantation), the unborn child has no chance of survival anyway. So save the person you can - the mother.

5. In many cases where the life of the mother is endangered, the unborn child will not survive if the mother dies. So in those cases, it only makes sense to save the mother. The death of the child is not an intended result in such cases, but a by-product of saving the mother's life.

6. In many cases where abortion is claimed to be for the life of the mother, it is really to protect doctors. For example, a pregnant woman with cancer may be advised to have an abortion and then start chemotherapy. The idea is that chemo is dangerous to the child and so the mother should get an abortion before starting treatment. However, in these cases it is the cancer threatening the mother's life, not the pregnancy. And doctors are usually advising abortion so that they aren't sued for harming the baby by giving chemo to a pregnant woman. But if the unborn child is a human being (and he is), then it is never okay to kill him to prevent a risk of injury to him. That's like shooting someone because he is at risk for a heart attack. The "cure" (abortion) is worse than the disease (possible birth defect or death). That isn't medicine; that's doctors covering their own tails. The proper way to handle these situations is to consider both patients and work to do the least harm. Early delivery may be the best solution. Having the mother undergo chemo, even while pregnant, may be necessary (even if it causes the death of the child). The best decision may vary, depending on the individual case. But it is not necessary to purposely kill the baby in order to treat the mother.

7. The proposal for these "life of the mother abortions" should originate from an actual doctor, not someone in an abortion mill (like Planned Parenthood), nor from the patient (in order to avoid to avoid doctor shopping for an abortion). For instance, a cancer patient does not shop around for a doctor who will prescribe chemotherapy. He goes do a doctor who then prescribes chemotherapy if it is necessary to save the patient’s life. Remember, we're talking about a medical decision which is designed to save the life of the mother. That should be the original and primary intention – not an abortion. An actual abortion should be a last resort, and employed only when it is the only way to save the mother’s life.

8. In general, the purpose should not be to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy. We're talking about necessary steps to save the life of the mother which may, unfortunately, result in the death of her unborn child.

9. This life of the mother exception does not, in any way, justify elective abortions or abortion on demand. So most abortions should be illegal.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

7 Ways to Change How you Speak about Abortion

In the abortion debate, one of things that often puts pro-lifers at a disadvantage is the improper and sloppy use of language. We often shoot ourselves in the foot with language that implies that the unborn are less than human or worth less than those who are born (as one pro-life Missouri representative did). Or we get labeled as “anti-choice” or “forced birthers” or any number of other names that make us sound bad. Liberals in general, and pro-abortion advocates in particular, are very good at twisting language to make themselves look better and the opposition look worse. They also deal in cutesy slogans and emotive labels that color perceptions in ways that are favorable to themselves. Well, it’s time we pro-lifers started fighting back and winning the language battle.

To help you in your fight against the abortion mindset of our culture, here are a few ways you can change your language in order to encourage a more pro-life mindset in those around you.

1. Use the phrase “commit abortion.”

Using this language points out that abortion is a wrong that one commits against another person. Just as theft or murder or rape are “committed” against someone else, so too is abortion.

2. Never refer to the unborn as “it.”

We don’t refer to born humans as “it” and we shouldn’t give the unborn any less respect and dignity. Humans are either male or female from conception onward. And, of course, conception is also when that human life begins. So refer to the unborn as he or she or use terms like “the child” rather than a dehumanizing “it.”

Since, classically, the male pronoun is used to refer to a generic human, I tend to use “he” or “him” when referring to the unborn. This also allows me to contrast “him” (the child) with “her” (the mother) more easily in conversations. It also points out, though rather subtly, that the child in a woman’s womb is often of a different sex than she is. He certainly isn’t part of her body.

3. Refer to the “abortion industry.”

Abortion is big business. Abortionists aren’t committing abortions (see what I did there?) out of the goodness of their hearts. They aren’t non-profits. They’re in it for the money. And it’s a lot of money too. Multi-billions of dollars per year kind of money. It’s an industry, not a humanitarian aid society. Point it out, loudly and often.

4. Use “abortion mill” and “abortionist.”

In the spirit of the previous point, refer to abortion facilities as abortion mills. Again, this points out that the money, rather than the good of women, is the goal of such places. It also emotively conjures up pictures of dirty conditions, debris lying around, and abortionists trudging from woman to woman, callously pulling dead babies from their wombs and then moving on to the next, in a long line of impersonal “procedures.” While not all facilities that perform abortions are like this, some certainly are. And if the opposition can use emotive language to influence people, I am not above doing it too in order to save lives.

Using terms like “abortion mill” or “abortionist” also helps to strip away the image of abortions as a medical procedure. Terms like “abortion clinic” make it sound so clean and medical. They lead the ignorant to believe that abortion is health care, administered by professional doctors just like any others. This is not accurate. Abortion is not health care and abortionists are usually not doctors in the usual sense of the word. Using better terminology helps point this out.

5. Say “pro-abortion” rather than “pro-choice.”

I’ve written about this one before. People who call themselves “pro-choice” aren’t usually in favor of choices across the board (like school choice, the choice to own guns, or the choice to drink giant sodas). They only apply this language of “choice” to a woman’s pregnancy. 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.

Just as a person who thinks that a man should have a legal, legitimate choice of whether or not to rape a woman is pro-rape, a person who thinks a woman should have a legal, legitimate choice of whether or not to abort her child is pro-abortion.

The reason the other side likes the “pro-choice” label isn’t because it’s more accurate, but 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. But if they really think abortion is perfectly fine, why don’t they own up to their views and come right out and admit to being pro-abortion? Why do they need a euphemism to make them feel better about their position? Using the term “pro-abortion” can help point out just exactly what they are standing up for, and make them face up to it, rather than letting them hide behind a nice-sounding label that conceals the truth.

6. Avoid using language that hints of birth as the beginning of life.

We’ve all done it. We talk about a friend having a baby "on the way” or we tell newborns “Welcome to the world.” But these kinds of phrases really aren’t accurate and only perpetuate the idea that the unborn aren’t people and that human life begins at birth. The truth is, once a woman is pregnant, she doesn’t have a baby "on the way" – the baby is already there, inside her. A newborn hasn’t just entered the world – he’s been in the world for roughly 9 months already.

Now, obviously, I know what people mean when they say these things. I don’t mean to quibble unnecessarily. But language is important. With millions upon millions of unborn lives snuffed out in the past few decades, a little bit of care in choosing our words is a small price to pay to help change the perceptions of those around us and support a culture of life.

7. Use the terms “discrimination” or “bigotry” to speak of the pro-abortion viewpoint that the unborn are not people.

When someone has a view that some human individuals are not people or shouldn’t have the same legal protections as all other people (i.e. people like themselves), that is bigotry and discrimination. Whether they base their views on race, age, disability, gender, or level of dependency, they’re still discriminating against some human beings. All humans have the same inalienable rights by virtue of being members of the human species. And thus, all humans should have the same legal protection. To claim otherwise is to look down on people who are not like you and try to deny them the protection you wish for yourself. That’s ugly and wrong, no matter how you slice it. Calling out this bigotry helps point out that the unborn are humans and that legal abortion is denying them equal rights. The injustice of abortion won’t stop until we force people to recognize the bigotry of the idea that unborn humans are not worthy of protection.


These are just a few ideas to help you modify your language in order to foster a more pro-life culture. There are many other ways to do this, but hopefully these provide some food for thought and a starting point for reminding ourselves and others of the humanity of the unborn.

As a final note, it is probably worth pointing out that there are circumstances where using these terms is not the most effective thing to do. I don’t recommend using them in all circumstances, but only when their use will help further the pro-life mindset or provide clarity and contemplation of the problems with the pro-abortion stance.

When speaking to a woman who has had an abortion, it’s not likely to be very kind or very effective to speak of her going to an abortion mill to commit abortion. When talking to people who are trying to converse rationally and calmly about the topic of abortion, it may not be best to continually call them pro-aborts.

So using a little wisdom in how you insert these terms into your speech is recommended. But please be bold in standing for all human life and in pointing out the injustice of abortion. We need everyone on board, standing for life, if we are to make a difference.