Life or Death – A Struggle

tattered_flag2Recent events have led me to comment on the abortion debate.  Those events are the Kermit Gosnell abortion butcher trial and the controversy in Texas regarding new restrictions on abortion and the abortion industry.  These two events compel me to state my views in this space and elsewhere.  While I cannot force my views on anyone I would seek to convince others that my position should be considered and hopefully some minds will be changed in favor of limiting abortion as much as possible if Roe v. Wade cannot be overturned.  Kermit Gosnell is the tip of an iceberg.  Hopefully others will come forward to expose these kinds of atrocities as more are surely occurring.  ”Where there is smoke there is fire” is axiomatic and it applies here.

I used to be “pro-choice”.  I’m older so my support of abortion pre-dates even the term “pro-choice”.  I believed that a woman should have the right to “terminate her pregnancy” for almost any reason and that the “fetus” was just a lump of cells.  But I also felt that any abortion should be performed as soon as possible.  Looking back on my position I think I realized that the lump of cells was a baby and that if an abortion was to be performed, it should be done before the baby was more recognizable as such.  Guilt for me over such a decision then was proportional to the age of the baby.  Over time as technology has improved it has become impossible to justify that position in my mind. The baby is clearly a baby, a life.  Only the most cynical would argue otherwise at this point.

I also realize that part of my thinking was based on a selfish attitude that if I wasn’t ready to be a father for whatever reason then I shouldn’t be forced to be, much less force my partner to be a mother.  In my opinion, many women (maybe most) have abortions because their male partner is selfish, irresponsible and unsupportive and therefore at the critical time they are often convinced by either an overt or coercive pressure from their male partners to have an abortion.  It is understandable that a woman would not want to face single motherhood alone or motherhood with a resentful partner.  Being a mother is tough enough with a somewhat equal partner but very difficult indeed for a woman, especially a young woman, by herself.  I am in favor of doing whatever is required to force men to face up to their responsibilities as fathers – ethically, morally and financially.  But let’s be clear, the baby did not put herself in this compromised situation.  In the vast majority of cases the baby was put in that position by two willing people of child bearing age who understood the potential consequences of their actions.

By now, with over 50 million abortions performed in the USA,  so many women have had abortions and so many men have coerced or encouraged abortions that almost everyone has either had an abortion, been a party to an abortion or has a friend or family member who has had an abortion.  The natural inclinations then are to justify, acquiesce or excuse.  ”Everybody’s doing it”.  We are engaged in a race to the bottom.  However, more and more people like myself are starting to recognize that it is time to say that we as a culture have made a big mistake.  We need to adopt an attitude of no recriminations, no blame, no guilt, we have made a big mistake.  Let’s turn the situation around. Let’s stand up for the most powerless, the weakest, the most vulnerable, the most innocent. Let’s go a different direction. Our country at it’s founding cursed the black man. In our expansion we cursed the red man. In our enlightenment we are cursing ourselves by killing our children. But we can break the curse and turn it into a blessing.

The argument used to be over when life begins.  In my opinion that argument has been settled, and the answer is much sooner than many would have conceded earlier.  Now the argument is over “reproductive rights” or “controlling ones own body”.  It is a fallback position but there’s another body to consider.  Abortion proponents would shift the moral equation now from life to power, i.e.., life = power.  If the baby is to have life then the mother (the woman) must necessarily concede some measure of power.  The same applies to men if they are to meet their responsibilities.  Giving power over yourself to an infant must be a scary thought to a lot of people but isn’t that what happens when you become a parent?  Abortion proponents want to preserve all of their power for themselves.

The following excerpts from an op-ed piece by Camille Paglia, a pro-abortion feminist, pretty frankly sum up this point.

But the pro-life position, whether or not it is based on religious orthodoxy, is more ethically highly evolved than my own tenet of unconstrained access to abortion on demand…Hence I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue…I have never understood the standard Democratic combo of support for abortion and yet opposition to the death penalty. Surely it is the guilty rather than the innocent who deserve execution?…Because pro-choice Democrats have been arguing from cold expedience, they have thus far been unable to make an effective ethical case for the right to abortion…And it is equally foolish to expect that feminism must for all time be inextricably wed to the pro-choice agenda. There is plenty of room in modern thought for a pro-life feminism — one in fact that would have far more appeal to third-world cultures where motherhood is still honored and where the Western model of the hard-driving, self-absorbed career woman is less admired.

The extermination of the powerless by the powerfulfull article here.

By now, since Roe v Wade,  there have been 55 million abortions in the USA.  I would ask pro-abortion citizens if there is any number of abortions that they would consider too many?  Is there any number at which you would say “That is wrong”.  That’s too many”.  ”Something about this is not right and we need a better solution.”?  100 million?  500 million?  One billion abortions?  I assert that 55 million is that number and whatever can be done SHOULD be done to minimize the number of abortions going forward.

Now enter the state of Texas and others.

Those who currently control the government of the state of Texas want to change the formulation and put unborn children on more of a footing of equality with adult women and men, specifically mothers and the other adults who side with or would coerce the mother into being abortion-minded.  Within the confines of Roe v Wade, the only way to do that is to pass reasonable regulations and restrictions which make it more difficult and costly to provide and obtain abortions.  Those regulations and restrictions must of course pass constitutional muster.  Many pro-choice proponents would say that they should not presume to make that decision for other people.  But shouldn’t the duty of the state be to intervene on behalf of the powerless?  I hear that argument for other issues.

The thought of this happening has sent abortion proponents into paroxysms of fear and loathing.  What can only be described as an angry mob of demonstrators virtually shut down the Texas Senate preventing it from passing the measure which only led to the governor calling a second special session to get the measure passed.  Thus ensued much wailing and gnashing of teeth with both political parties whipping their  partisans into a frenzy.  The passage of the bill and the signing by the governor is not even in question.  It will happen and it will be the law of Texas.  I for one will not be shouted down by the most extreme elements of the pro-choice movement.

I will stand up for those who have no voice even though at one time I would not and did not.  There are many tough issues and situations surrounding this entire question.  I will grant that there are many shades of gray.  But in the end it is a question of life or death and that should be black or white.  Let’s CHOOSE to give the benefit of the doubt to the powerless and voiceless whenever possible and sort out the other issues surrounding that choice.  We can do better and we must.

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