The Importance of Life or Why Funding to Planned Parenthood is Inconsequential

Rob Schwarzwalder over at Life News wrote back on May 6 about how our media can’t help but to refer to unborn children as, well, unborn children. He writes,

Here are some things in life you just can’t avoid:  Death and taxes come to mind, of course, and the seeming inevitability of the Cubs’ ultimate collapse. There are others.  One of them is the inescapable reality that abortion involves not a collation of tissue but the destruction of a person, a human being.

This is not just a theological assertion or philosophical rumination: We know from medical science that from conception, the unborn child has the entire DNA of a fully mature adult.  What changes at time of birth is not the humanness of the child but his or her place of residence: For nine months, the womb was home; for the remainder of a person’s life, it is the world around us.

Even the mass media cannot help itself.  In ordinary stories, the personhood of the child pops up in the simple reportage of stories of the day.  However much the pro-abortion movement has sought to shape the language of popular culture and public education, the fact that the little ones in the womb are, in fact, people, keeps intruding itself into public discourse.

He then goes on to give examples where the media refers to the fetus (I use the word “fetus” in the proper sense, to refer to “a little one” and do not use it as a way to rob the humanity from the unborn) as an “unborn child” rather than “mass of tissues.” By calling the fetus “unborn child” they recognize the humanity involved in pregnancy.  Continue reading


Must one support contraceptives in order to be pro-life?

Recently, I’ve come across a new argument that the pro-choice camp is throwing out there that…well…like many of their other arguments, just doesn’t cut it. The argument goes like this:

If you support the eradication of abortions, you’ll support the use of contraceptives

If you don’t support the use of contraceptives, then you don’t really care about ending abortions.

The support for such an idea is that because contraceptives prevent unwanted pregnancies, contraceptives cut down on abortion. The effect of contraceptives is that the rate of abortions are lowered because the rate of unwanted pregnancies are likewise lowered. If women aren’t getting pregnant then they can’t get abortions.

The problem for those who are against abortion and contraceptives, however, is that they can’t support one to end the other. For such people (mostly Catholics), to support birth control is to support something unnatural in the act of intercourse, something that prevents life from coming about. Thus, even if supporting contraceptives would lower the rate of abortion they cannot support contraceptives, for as the saying goes, “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Does the above mean that Catholics aren’t ultimately pro-life though? By banning the use of contraceptives among their members, are they implicitly supporting the act of abortion? As someone who is pro-contraceptive (so long as the contraceptive is non-abortive), I would argue in favor of Catholics and say that they’re still pro-life because the argument presents a false dichotomy.

The choice isn’t, “Support contraceptives/raise abortion rates.” For one, Catholics support abstinence programs, which may actually work contrary to popular myth, so it’s not as though Catholics are doing nothing to lower abortion rates. But more importantly, there are other alternatives to ending abortion rather than lowering the conception rate via contraception. Catholics can (and do) support abstinence, which is the most effective way at avoiding pregnancy. They also support a woman bringing the child to term and if she is unwilling or unable to care for the child after that they support adopting the child out to someone who can. Likewise, there are Catholic charities that help women with the medical expenses during birth and even after birth.

Thus, Catholics are not against helping women or even helping to prevent abortion through social means (that is, by increasing the style of living of the poor). The problem for Catholics is they have one immoral action (the taking of an innocent human individual) and another immoral action (actively preventing conception). For them, you cannot commit one immoral action to prevent another, at least not on a regular basis.

Likewise, the situation isn’t so “either/or” as it seems. If we look at the case of lying to Nazis in order to protect Jews, this is an “either/or” case. In this case, lying becomes moral because it protects a human life. Were you to tell the truth, it would mean the immanent death of the Jews you’re hiding. In the case of contraceptives and abortion, however, if a woman doesn’t use contraceptives and ends up pregnant, it does not necessarily follow that an abortion will occur. She could carry the child to term and if abortion were outlawed, this would be her only legal option at this point.

It’s illogical to think that if one doesn’t support contraceptives that one supports a higher abortion rate. Rather, one can still hope for a lowered abortion rate by helping women carry their children to term.

Finally, the argument is extremely superfluous and really doesn’t add much to the discussion on whether or not abortion is moral. If abortion is the taking of an innocent human life and humans have innate dignity and a right to life, then that settles the issue. It could very well be that all pro-life advocates come out tomorrow and admit that they just want to prevent women from having sex and don’t care about abortion, such an action still wouldn’t negate the scientific and philosophical arguments the pro-life side has used.

It could be that Catholics are misguided in their prohibition of contraceptives in ending abortion, but this misguided knowledge doesn’t somehow justify abortion. It would only show Catholics to be ignorant, but it would say nothing about the morality of abortion.

With the above in mind, it should be seen that the newest pro-choice argument (or newest version of an old argument) is a laughable attempt to discredit the opposition without actually dealing with the substance of what the opposition has to say. It skirts the issue of the morality of abortion and simply creates a false construct so it can engage in ad hominem tu quoque. Such an argument should be dealt with quickly or responded with, “Even if what you say is true, how does that make abortion moral?” At the end of the day, advocates of such an argument generally lack the knowledge to argue on the morality of abortion, at least beyond, “It’s a woman’s right!” They offer little to not scientific of philosophical backing in their argument and instead argue from emotion. Unfortunately, we must deal with such people in the hopes of swaying others.

When Feminism Kills

Al Mohler has posted an excellent article explaining an op-ed from the Times [London].

The Op-ed says that even though a fetus is a human person, for the sake of feminism we must be allowed to kill the fetus. While openly honest, one must wonder if the writer took her beliefs to their logical end. For instance, should men who don’t fully embrace feminism be killed for the sake of feminism? Should male CEO’s who make more than their female counterparts be hung from public squares and made an example of?

While equality for women is a vitally important issue, it does not trump the issue of life. The right to live trumps all other rights. If we lose the right to live, if our right to live is trumped by another right, then we have no rights. If we have no life, we have no rights. If we have no right to live, then we have no rights to claim.

Charlie Crist may want to rethink that statement…

Charlie Crist, the current governor of Florida vetoed a bill that would require women seeking an abortion in their first trimester to have an ultrasound prior to the abortion. The quote of interest to me is where Crist says,

Individuals hold strong personal views on the issue of life, as do I,” Crist wrote. “However, personal views should not result in laws that unwisely expand the role of government and coerce people to obtain medical tests or procedures that are not medically necessary.

The problem with Crist’s view is that it contradicts all laws on murder. Crist says that our personal views of [human] life should not influence how the government protects human life.

What Crist is trying to say is that even though he and others might personally view human life as beginning at conception, it’s not our duty to create laws that enforce those views upon others. Based on one of my previous entries (A Logical Look at Legalized Abortions), Crist is faced with a few problems. Namely, he must explain first whether or not the government has the duty to protect any and all innocent human life within its jurisdiction. If the government lacks that ability, then we must ask him to begin submitting laws to reflect that belief. If the government does have a duty to protect innocent human life within its jurisdiction, then we must ask him what he views a fetus to be.

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A Logical Look at Legalized Abortions

Recently, Alaska has been in the news for putting a parental notification law on the ballot. Of course, multiple people have jumped up to say that such a law somehow violates women’s rights. How the law violates women’s rights when these same “women” (under-aged girls) have to get parental consent for medical treatment, not just notification. This means Planned Parenthood argues that when it comes to killing a fetus, a 15 year old has a right to her body, but when it comes to consenting to a field trip or the like, the 15 year old no longer has a right over her body. This is a contradiction, but I digress.

I’ve been thinking more and more about people who are against abortion, but then qualify their statement to say, “But I would never make it illegal for others.” This forces the question, “Why not?” The only proper reason to be against abortions is that one believes the fetus to be a human person. If one believes the fetus to be a human person, then it should follow that one believes the fetus has rights.

One way to look at it is by the possible logical scenarios for abortion:

(1) All fetuses are persons; all persons are entitled to the basic right to life; therefore, all fetuses have the basic right to life (abortion is always wrong, with certain medical exceptions)

(2) Some fetuses are persons; all persons are entitled to the basic right to life; therefore, some fetuses have the basic right to life (abortion is sometimes wrong)

(3) At least some fetuses are not persons; all persons are entitled to the basic right to life; therefore, at least some fetsuses do not have the basic right to life (at least some abortions are not wrong)

(4) No fetuses are persons; all persons are entitled to the basic right to life; therefore, no fetuses have a basic right to life (no abortion is wrong)

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Oklahoma and Abortion

Today, the Oklahoma Senate voted to override the governor’s veto of a bill that requires mothers to get an ultra sound and have the fetus described to them before getting abortion. The bill also prohibits women from suing a doctor if the doctor purposefully withheld information about the fetus (such as disabilities) from the mother.

I am extremely happy to see such a bill pass and I wish that every state had a law like this one. Though the Oklahoman governor says that such a bill violates the woman’s right to privacy (though I fail to see how), I would argue that her right to privacy is trumped by the child’s right to life. After all, this is what the entire abortion issue centers upon – if what is in the womb is not a human person, who can possibly argue against a woman’s right to terminate this non-human life? If, however, what is in the womb is a human person, who can possibly argue that a woman has a right to terminate another human, regardless of location?

What bothers me the most on this issue is that so few seem to have attempted deep thought on this issue. The governor himself says that the bill is a waste of tax-payer money. Since when was the dollar placed ahead of human life? Rather than assuming that what is in the womb is not human, shouldn’t we think deeply, logically, and scientifically on this issue first? Rather than turning to the cost of a bill, shouldn’t we first review the moral ramifications of a bill?

My hope is that the people of Oklahoma will wise up and vote out this ignoramus governor who refuses to think deeply or openly on the issue of abortion and instead vote in someone who holds to a correct moral view of human life.

Dealing with Judith Jarvis Thompson

The other day I came across this post and found it quite interesting. What was more interesting was one of the comments given by someone with the handle of “Operation Counterstrike”:

Yes, abortion is homicide. But abortion on demand is JUSTIFIABLE homicide.

If something is inside your body, then you’re entitled to have it killed. No exceptions. Even if it’s an “innocent” person. If you were inside my body, then I’d be entitled to kill you, and if I were inside your body, you’d be entitled to kill me. In fact if ALL the people in the WHOLE HUMPING WORLD, including the innocent ones, the pregnant ones, and the unborn ones, were inside your body, then you’d be entitled to holocaust them. That’s part of the meaning of the word “your” in the phrase “your body”.

This is really a sophomoric version of Judith Jarvis Thompson’s “body ownership” argument. Though he approaches the argument in a childish and immature manner, it is a real argument. I offered up the following as a response:

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