Tomorrow, as you’re probably aware, we commemorate the 41st anniversary of the abominable Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade which (absurdly) declared killing one’s unborn child a “Constitutional Right,” and in effect made abortion-on-demand the law of the land. The Bishops have declared this a day of prayer and fasting. (And no, again, the Pope has not told Catholics to shut up about abortion, all liberal lies to the contrary.)
People (including now , sadly, many “Catholics”) try to pigeonhole or dismiss the abortion issue and the right to life as simply another “rightwing” political issue, invented by conservative Republican politicians to divide the country – or something. However, the right to life should not be a “conservative” or a “liberal” issue, but is in fact a fundamental human value, which should transcend politics.
The right to life is the most fundamental human right the law can guarantee; without the right to life, all other human rights are rendered void. If the law does nothing to protect the lives of innocent human beings at their most vulnerable, it is worthless.
And, yes, unborn babies (or “fetuses” or “embryos,” or whatever you want to call them) are in fact human beings from conception. From conception the human embryo/fetus/child is a living being, genetically and biologically distinct from both parents. And it is human; it does not change at some point from a non-human species. Yes, the human being in its very early stages of life is undeveloped compared to more mature stages, but so is a newborn infant, or a toddler, compared to an adult.
Growth and development is a continuous, gradual process from conception to adulthood. This is confirmed by modern biology. While pro-aborts love to accuse pro-lifers of wishing to impose unscientific religious dogmas on everyone, it is the idea that a human baby suddenly, magically, changes from dead to living, or from non-human to human at birth or some other point that is superstitious and unscientific.
It used to be that advocates of legal abortion typically denied that an unborn child is a human being, calling it a mere “clump of tissue” and such. But ultrasounds and other modern technology are helping expose that lie.
However, there’s a truly disturbing trend of more and more people who are willing to admit that the unborn child is in fact a human being, but say that it’s okay to kill it anyway.
These folks, following the godless philosophies of Dr. Peter Singer and his ilk, seek to separate the concept of legal “personhood” from an individual being a human being. According to Singer, not all human beings are “persons,” and “personhood” should be based on various extrinsic factors such as cognitive development and such. (Using such standards, most liberals should be excluded from “personhood,” but I digress.)
Of course, once we base legal personhood and the right to life on anything other than the fact of being a human being, the standards of “personhood” become ultimately completely arbitrary. Thus, Singer uses the fact that there is little real difference between an unborn fetus and a newborn infant, to argue not that abortion should be illegal, but for legalizing infanticide. According to Singer, killing the severely disabled is also acceptable. In this brave new world, courts and panels of “experts” determine who is and is not a legally-protected “person” – and there’s always room to move the lines.
Ultimately, the fight over abortion is between those who believe human life is itself intrinsically sacred, against those who see human life as in itself worth, and only given worth to others on subjective extrinsic criteria.
Some people (pro-abortion liberals, as well as some “conservatives”) accuse pro-life conservatives such as myself of hypocrisy. How can we claim to be for small limited constitutional government, while at the same time support the power of the government to take away the individual’s choice to have an abortion?
The truth is that the Roe v. Wade decision was hardly a victory for limited, constitutional government, but trampled the rights of states and the peoples, granted god-like powers to the federal judiciary, and made hash of the Constitution. Before Roe, per the Tenth Amendment, laws concerning abortion belonged to the individual states. Roe v. Wade took this power from the respective states and granted it to the federal government, smashing any state restrictions on abortion. The SCOTUS justices justified their decision by citing unstated “rights” supposedly hiding deep in the dark “emanations of the penumbra” (literally, “emissions from a shadow”) of the fourteenth and other amendments.
Thus, in one blow, on no solid basis in the Constitution whatever, killing the unborn child was declared a universal “constitutional right,” and the Supreme Court granted itself the power to declare which human beings are and are not legal “persons” having a right to live.
Legal protection of the life of all innocent human beings (including the unborn) is simple justice. Every law puts some restriction on human choice (or rather puts legal consequences on certain choices). No one talks about being “pro-choice” in matters such as theft or rape (or the murder of persons already born). So unless you’re an absolute anarchist, “pro-choice” arguments are utterly bogus.
Ironically, many liberals and leftists arguing that an all-powerful “right to choose” trumps the baby’s right to life, oppose the right to choose in countless other areas. I’ve argued with many a liberal who adamantly argues for the right to choose to kill an unborn child, while equally adamantly arguing against the right of individuals to choose certain health insurance plans, or weapons for personal defense (to use just two examples.) For the liberal, many things in fact trump absolute human choice, but human life itself is not one of them.
“Pro-choice” was never anything more than a dishonest and sophistical propaganda slogan.
And speaking of abortion, Phil Lawler of Catholic Culture beat me to this one last week, but his piece, “Pope Decries Abortion; Sun Expected To Rise in East,” confirms some points I’ve been making here regarding the shallowness of the “mainstream” media in reporting on Pope Francis and abortion. Apparently, according to the AP, the only reason the Vicar of Christ could possibly have for upholding the Church’s two-millennia-old teachings against abortion is to throw a bone to us disgruntled conservatives. Sigh.
Yes kids, the Pope is Catholic, and abortion is still very, very bad.