abortion: complex or painstakingly simple?

Our President recently said at his address to the graduating class at Notre Dame,

“Maybe we won’t agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this heart-wrenching decision for any woman is not made casually, it has both moral and spiritual dimensions.  

So let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions, let’s reduce unintended pregnancies.  Let’s make adoption more available.  Let’s provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term.”

So let me get this straight.

We’re agreeing that the decision to abort a baby is not one to be made casually.  Why not?  And is a decision that has moral and spiritual dimensions.  What would those be?  I’d really really like to know what the President thinks the moral and spiritual dimensions of abortion are.  

Is part of the “moral dimension” that a woman is making a decision to kill?  Is it that a doctor is complicit and profiting from this decision to kill?  

And is the “spiritual dimension” that an eternal soul is being put to death?  And that there’s no one standing in the gap for this eternal being, created in the image of God?

If there’s nothing wrong with abortion, then why make it rare?  Why not have one casually?

As President Obama acknowledges the “moral and spiritual dimensions” of abortion and asks us to work at making it rare, pro-lifers can take heart.  In his desire to be all things to all voters, he is conceding important ground in the abortion “conversation.” (I really hate don’t like that term.  When it’s babies dying, having a “conversation” is not exactly high on my priority list, but rather, saving babies.  I digress).

After all, there’s nothing conversational or civil or calm or reasoned when a baby is killed.  It’s violent.  It’s brutal.  It’s painful.  It’s very very ugly. 

The new (or old and re-used) M.O. of abortion advocates or “pr0-choicers” as they prefer to be called, is to throw out words like, “complex” or “complicated” when describing the situation surrounding a woman choosing abortion.  As though trying to navigate a difficult (abusive even) relationship with a boyfriend or figuring out career and college and baby make killing understandable and “complex.”

Yes, real life is always complex.  Situations are always multi-faceted.  Abuse is real.  Relationships are hard.  And killing a baby is still always evil.  

Often when discussing the Civil War, someone will throw out the assertion that the Civil War wasn’t really about slavery, it was about state’s rights.  As though it was just some crazy coincidence that all the states concerned about state’s rights were also the ones who wanted to keep their slaves.

I support state’s rights, but the truth is that the Southern states were using “state’s rights” as a cover for doing something so wicked and immoral that it dwarfed the issue they were covering it up with.  It couldn’t be covered up.  

Neither can abortion be covered up by saying it is complex or pointing to the sad stories of the women getting them.  The evil being perpetrated so dwarfs the difficult circumstance surrounding it to make it null.  And I fear for and pity those who so strongly advocate for the “rights” of these women.  I do not speak with winsome softness towards them.  To do that would be to dishonor those sacrificed on the hard altar of convenience.

The cop-out, “I call myself pro-life, but I’m not comfortable with making abortion illegal,” just doesn’t work for me.  Slavery didn’t end because of people saying, “I’m anti-slavery, but I’m just not comfortable making it illegal.  Let’s just work to make slavery rare.”

One day, history will look at pro-choicers with the same disdainful wonderment that it now gazes at those who fought for slavery.  And to them I say, it’s not too late to change your mind.  And I pray that you will.  For your own sake and the sake of those dying.


8 thoughts on “abortion: complex or painstakingly simple?

  1. Dear Abigail,

    Your passion elevates your prose to the category of eloquent.

    “After all, there’s nothing conversational or civil or calm or reasoned when a baby is killed. It’s violent. It’s brutal. It’s painful. It’s very very ugly.” Powerful words.

    “As though it was just some crazy coincidence that all the states concerned about state’s rights were also the ones who wanted to keep their slaves.” Cutting to the exact heart of the issue with precise clarity.

    “I do not speak with winsome softness towards them. To do that would be to dishonor those sacrificed on the hard altar of convenience.” Such words are so clear, so strong, so accurate, so true, so convincing, I am amazed and inspired all over again.

    Thanks for this writing. You should submit it for publication somewhere.

    Dad

  2. I agree with your dad. You should submit it.

    Very well said. And a great reminder for pro-lifers (myself included) who might get caught up in the politics & peace-making & fancy words of those on the other side that might make us think we’re crazy or veil the issue by pretending it’s about something different. Let’s not forget what abortion really is.

    Obama might just be a good man with good intentions, who is just extremely disillusioned by his desire for popularity. Let’s hope the rest of us avoid that trap.

    Thanks, Abigail. I’m inspired.

  3. Thanks Dad, thanks Heather.

    This is definitely one issue where I’m willing to put it all out on the table and let the chips fall where they may.

    Thanks for your support and encouragement.

  4. Considering our President’s admission that matters of this kind are “above my pay grade,” Obama has a quite a straight forward record on the topic. For anyone who hasn’t read Robert George’s article entitled “Obama’s Abortion Extremism,” it is a must read. Find it here: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/viewarticle.php?selectedarticle=2008.10.14.001.pdart

    It is amazing how convuluted an issue this has become. Last week I listened to a nationally syndicated radio talk show who’s host was asking for callers on the topic of Sweden allowing abortion based on gender. I was amazed at the complete dismissal of logic and coherency so many of the callers displayed. (and that is taking into account our culture’s utter ineptitude with said skills) I must give the left credit on it’s fantastic framing of this argument. It’s not a person it’s an inconvenience, it’s not murder it’s a woman’s civil rights. This rhetoric all to avoid the main point: is the unborn a person or not. If it is not a person, no argument is necessary, if it is, no argument is sufficient. We (the church and the intellectually honest) have really dropped the ball on this issue in previous decades.

    Thanks for being our “local” torchbearer on this issue. I appreciate your good thinksmanship.

  5. @brad,

    Thanks for adding to the discussion. Thoughtful comments, as usual.

    The opposition by many pro-choicers to gender-based abortion is completely strange and baffling. It’s a strong point for pro-lifers (that and the disproportionate number of African American babies aborted each year), and we should make it frequently and clearly.

    Why should anyone care that more girls are killed in China than boys? Why should anyone care that more African American babies are killed (proportionally) than white babies? Because it’s adding evil to evil. If the first evil (simply killing any unborn baby) wasn’t truly evil, then the second evil (race-based and gender-based killing) wouldn’t matter. But it does. And it’s proof of the first evil, namely, any killing of unborn babies is wrong.

    Thanks again Brad.

  6. Abigail, I concur with all the previous commenters with regard to your eloquence. I especially liked the slavery comparison: “Let’s just work to make slavery rare.” Yeah, wonder how that would fly on the Left? But, it would be a valid comparison nonetheless.

    I, too, can’t stand that the pro-abortion crowd has co-opted the moral language and woven it into their argument (“…we can still agree that this heart-wrenching decision for any woman is not made casually, it has both moral and spiritual dimensions…”). Exactly as you have phrased it, they NEVER explain WHY it is heart-wrenching, what the moral and spiritual dimensions are, and why it must be made more rare. They get away with the assumptive language and are never called on it. Grrrr.

    Brad has a link to a great article by Robert George, one of the top intellectuals and apologists of our time. If you’ll recall, at the forum held by Rick Warren, responding to the question of when a human baby gets its rights, Obama responded with, “That question is above my pay grade.” I couldn’t STAND that weasel of a response, mostly for the fact that it was a complete lie! George hits it out of the park: “It was a profoundly disingenuous answer: For even at a state senator’s pay grade, Obama presumed to answer that question with blind certainty. His unspoken answer then, as now, is chilling: human beings have no rights until infancy—and if they are unwanted survivors of attempted abortions, not even then.”

    The George article has a link to an analysis by factcheck.org (http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/obama_and_infanticide.html), whose writer had this to say: “In discussions of abortion rights, definitions are critically important. The main bills under discussion, SB 1082 and the federal BAIPA, are both definition bills. They are not about what can and should be done to babies; they are about how one defines “baby” in the first place. Those who believe that human life begins at conception or soon after can argue that even a fetus with no chance of surviving outside the womb is an “infant.” We won’t try to settle that one.”

    Yes, definitions are important. And the Left is very skilled at parsing language so as to be ‘technically’ correct. So, they make a legal distinction between a fetus and an infant, and I guess, by extension, a baby. And did you catch this? “Those who believe that human life begins at conception or soon after…” Hey, the last time I checked, when a human ovum and sperm unite, the process begins by which we were all made. This is 100%. No poodles result from this phenomenon. So, I guess it’s a battle between “Those who believe” this basic biological fact and those who do not. And we’re the crazy ones?!? Actually, it sounds like the fight is over how to define “life,” not “baby.”

    Stand To Reason makes use of a very compelling argument called the SLED test. In short:

    “We all agree that toddlers are valuable human beings with rights. Yet the unborn differ from
    toddlers in only four ways: Size, Level of Development, Environment, and Degree of
    Dependency (the first letters of each of these differences spell an acronym, SLED).

    • The unborn is smaller than the toddler, but toddlers are smaller than adults.
    • The unborn is less developed than the toddler, but toddlers are less developed than elementary
    school kids.
    • The unborn is in a different location than the toddler, but toddlers can change environments
    without changing their value.
    • Finally, the unborn is more dependent than a toddler, but toddlers are more dependent than
    adolescents (even if some parents would deny this). And many other born people depend on
    medications, caregivers, and spacesuits to sustain their lives. They are more dependent than those
    who don’t need these things.

    So, there are only four ways the unborn differ from toddlers, but many toddlers and other born humans differ in exactly the same ways. So how can we justify killing the unborn on these grounds, when we protect born humans who have the same deficiencies?”

    (From http://www.str.org/site/DocServer/2.1_four_top_arguments.pdf?docID=861)

    Keep up the great blogging!
    A brother in Christ,
    The Purple Patriot

  7. Eric,

    Thanks for bringing the SLED acronym. It’s such a useful tool.. esp if one’s getting tongue-tied or frustrated in a conversation; it is so clear and salient.

    And thanks for your thoughtful reply overall. Great points.

    Abigail

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