What issue is more obfuscated in the press than any other subject? That’s easy, abortion. It is not a subject on which we love to dwell. For those who favor unlimited abortion rights, the debate is defensive. Any change to the status quo would be a loss. On the other hand, those who favor life rights, while on the offensive, must often despair the longevity of this battle and the monolithic foe of a revisionist, all-powerful and unconstitutionally acting Supreme Court.
I was pro-abortion until about 10 years ago. My political stance was largely based on ignorance. I was young and believed just about anything I heard in the media. When I was a kid, I would come home from school and do my homework while watching Phil Donahue. My how things can change. I only realized abortion was the killing of a child after meeting an ex-abortionist. She told me stories of the industrial-sized garbage disposals they used to discard the bodies. For heaven’s sake I didn’t even know there were bodies! Being an analytical person, I studied the issue until I realized that I had been duped along with millions of other Americans into condoning a great evil.
I’ll tell you what really bugs me about the way the press and its commentators handle this issue. They may have all started out as reflexively pro-abortion as I was. But it is inconceivable that they would remain ignorant after years of reporting on an issue. Therefore, while no conspiracy exists, they like many people will sacrifice truth for their own selfish ideological ends. They report skewed, biased data as fact. They commission polls designed to misconstrue the true beliefs of the American people. They use words calculated to promote a desired response. Most important of all, the media elite use their power to censor the news daily. The bombing of an abortion clinic by some kook is elevated to their top story. On the other hand, you’ll never see outraged reports when police use their horses to trample peaceful pro-life activists or batons to break their arms while cuffing them.
We have all seen hundreds, perhaps thousands of news reports, commentaries and political speeches the subject of which was abortion. It is worth stating that any human being capable of clear thinking logic can intelligently critique these “performances” and discuss the nuances. After all, there is nothing inherently complicated or technical about abortion. But therein lies the rub. The abortion rights activists (this includes many of the journalists who report on the issue) can only win the debate if the issue is presented as complicated, even mystical. The best example I can give you is a question asked after a speech by Sen. Arlen Specter. The women asked the senator, “When does life begin?” Specter replied, “That question could only be answered by someone with the wisdom of Solomon.” Quite clearly, Specter thinks we are idiots. Although the press and other pro-abortion rights activists wish you and I would believe we have no legitimate role in the debate, they’re wrong. So let’s get started.
Let’s look at the debate as proposed by the press and other pro-abortion rights activists.
We are “pro-choice” they are “anti-abortion”
Besides the obvious bias, the use of these terms are inaccurate and unprofessional. We all know labels if inappropriately used are just another form of propaganda. Are you “pro-affirmative action” or “pro-preferences?” Is the killer a “confessed murderer” or “a lifelong victim of child abuse?” A professional journalist, would always use the terms which most fairly and accurately define the beliefs and actions of the parties involved. Very significant is the uneven use of the prefixes pro and anti. Ethics and fair play would require a reciprocal use. “Anti” is acknowledged to evoke negative feelings, “pro” is known to be a positive. It is no coincidence that the establishment press always labels anti-life rights activists as “pro-choice” and pro-life rights activists as “anti-abortion.” The most appropriate terms to use are: “pro-abortion rights” and “pro-life rights.” Pro-life rights groups are not just against abortion, they also work against euthanasia, genocide, physician-assisted suicide and infanticide. They campaign against all forms of killing innocent human life. Thus “anti-abortion” is incorrect.
One more point about the euphemism “pro-choice”
What exactly does this term mean? After all, I am pro-choice. I believe every woman has the right to choose whether to have sex or not. I believe every woman has the right to choose contraception. I believe every woman has the right to get married. (I’ll remind journalists that there are no laws against abstinence, contraception, or marriage nor is there a convenience, drug or grocery store in the nation which does not carry cheap means of contraception). The irony is that today’s women, because of the availability and supposed ease of abortion, no longer make one of these choices which would prevent pregnancy. What choice do they want? The right to choose to kill their baby after they reject responsibility. Lets face it, the pro-abortion activists have defined women as weak, unable to say “no” to a man, and unable to control their sexual appetites and stupid. But let’s not rewrite history, instead let’s role play. Your boyfriend says “let’s do it.” You say “no.” Not too tough. Let’s try another. Your husband says, “let’s do it.” You say, “I’ll get the condoms.” One less abortion choice to make.
There is no such thing as life rights
Though profound, this principle is very simple. In the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers enumerated those rights which were given to all men by God. These rights are self-evident (obvious) and inalienable (can’t be taken away by anyone other than God). The list was short: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Jefferson said, “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.” Can we have any right, can we pursue our own happiness if we are not alive? The baby in his mother’s womb is alive, therefore possessing the same rights as all mankind. The life rights activist is a proponent of the most fundamental of all rights given by God and protected in law by our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
Keep your hands and laws off women’s bodies!
That is akin to saying I can commit child abuse if it occurs within my home. But is her body the subject of legislation anyway? The baby in a woman’s womb is not her body anymore than it is the fathers. Question. If this “thing” or organism has a different blood type, DNA structure, and a penis, is it another of the woman’s organs or just a baby boy?
It’s not a baby, it’s a fetus!
We know semantics is the pro-abortionists’ favorite game. This is their favorite, primarily because it has been so successful. I can’t believe when I hear pro-lifers using this word. Fetus, what does it mean? It is a Latin term for a baby in the womb from about the second month after conception to birth. Now why do you suppose everyday people are using Latin terms to describe pre-birth babies? Could it be it is easier to discuss killing a human being when we depersonalize it? Can you imagine your mortician saying about your dead husband’s body, “the cadaver is in the parlor to the left?” Can you hear your doctor saying of your pregnant wife, “the prima gravida is in doing just fine?” This word “fetus” only defines the level of maturation and the location of the baby. The average male will go through the following stages in his life: baby in the womb, baby outside the womb, toddler, little boy, boy, teenager, adult, father, grandfather, dead man. Why is only one stage described in Latin?
Before birth, the human offspring is not a baby, nor is it alive.
That’s really dumb. My daughter Ashley was born 7 weeks premature. What was she, a “glob of fetal tissue,” a “product of conception” or a baby? Today premature children as young as 16 weeks old are able to survive outside the mother’s body. Every year the time of viability is pushed back further and further. Can the laws governing life or death be based on our current level of medical expertise?
OK, Ashley was a baby, but only because she came out, once she hit the air — voila, baby!
Sorry, doesn’t work. The movement of a baby six inches down the birth canal and into the open air produces no change to the human baby. That’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?
Well, babies are not human until they reach a certain stage of development or maturation.
Once a baby is conceived nothing is added. She will just grow and develop. Her cells are reproducing from the beginning just as they will throughout her life. Think about this, a baby girl is not fully mature at birth. Someday she will develop breasts and the ability to procreate. Will she then be something else? True, some parents would assert their teen-agers are less than human but this is not a death sentence. When the beautiful young mother is old, wrinkled, toothless, blind, and crippled who will she be then? What’s Latin for old hag?
You’re not addressing the real issue. Tell me exactly at which moment in time the “thing” becomes a human. Then prove it!
Settle down now. It is a scientific fact that at fertilization, when the father’s sperm cell and the mother’s egg cell join, a unique human being is formed. This is not a philosophical or religious assertion. It is just plain fact. Biologist and other scientists of international acclaim agree that life begins at conception. So do medical and scientific textbooks. At no point in the human’s growth and maturation is anything new added to this body. You didn’t “come from” this ovum you were this ovum, just like you were once a child. I’ll let the experts speak: Professor J. Lejeune, Paris, discoverer of the chromosome pattern of Down’s Syndrome: “Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.” Professor W. Bowes, University of Colorado: Beginning of human life? — “at conception.” Professor H. Gordon, Mayo Clinic: “It is an established fact that human life begins at conception.” Professor M. Matthews-Roth, Harvard University: “It is scientifically correct to say that individual human life begins at conception.” To sum it up, “Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being — a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.”
Scientific facts have been ignored at other times in history to achieve other political ends. The enslavement of blacks comes to mind.
It’s not killing a baby, it’s terminating a pregnancy
Semantic gymnastics! All pregnancies are terminated. Whether by abortion, miscarriage or delivery. When you terminate your stay at the hospital it does not imply your death!
Well, we don’t abort viable babies anyway, so who cares?
The Roe v. Wade decision effectively legalized abortion through nine months of pregnancy in all 50 states for all reasons. We know late-term abortions are performed by the tens of thousands every year. A baby can be aborted as long as some part of its body remains in the woman’s body. This fact was exposed after President Clinton vetoed the partial-birth abortion ban. During hearings, pro-abortion rights activists testified that no more than about a 1,000 partial-birth abortions were performed every year. Only 1,000? Not long afterward it was revealed (but not in the establishment press) that in one New Jersey hospital alone 1,500 partial birth abortions were performed annually. In fact, one abortionist came forward to admit they had lied during the hearings.
Partial-birth abortions are only performed to save the life of the mother.
Isn’t it amazing that the president of the United States could stand before the nation and lie about something like this? Of course, the information was available and known to the president. But for those people who don’t have the statistics, common sense will suffice. A partial-birth abortion is by definition performed while the baby is in the birth-canal. Let’s take our time here. If the baby is only three or four inches from being completely removed from the mom’s body, what possible mode of death could be averted by such a procedure? If you are trying to think of one, stop, don’t waste your time. All experts agree that there is not one death or injury that can be prevented this way. Now, picture this, your baby is in the process of being delivered, only the legs remain in the womb. You go into shock. To save your life, the doctor takes a hammer and bludgeons your baby to death. Whew! Close call. What if he had taken the time to pull the baby’s legs out?
You have only addressed a very few issues. Are you too timid to continue?
No, my husband says my column is too long.
Why did you write this column anyway?
Those who are adamately in favor of abortion rights over life-rights for ideological reasons will never be swayed by reason and truth. Their agenda is far more important than the women’s lives they ruin and the 30 million American children who have been killed. People of this mind-set represent a tiny minority. Pro-life rights activists know everything I have argued. In fact, this column has most likely bored them, unless they are satisfied with having the truths of this issue enumerated without shrill, illogical counterpoints. So, to the rest of you, who are still part of the group from which I extricated myself, I dedicate this column. May I be trite? If only one person has their mind changed by reading this … no, I just can’t say it.