Right On Life

Christian, Pro-Life, Conservative

Pro-Life and Pro-Choice: Is There Any Common Ground? Answer is No!

Fetus Sucking His ThumbAbout two weeks ago, Carter Lee wrote an article at The Washington Times Communities website in which he presented his argument “that one can be both pro-life and pro-choice”. One week ago, at the website for The American Prospect, E.J. Graff wrote an article explaining her view that a person can be both “anti-abortion and pro-choice”.

The latter argument hinges upon the central thesis that the unborn is not a life. E. J. Graff insists that a person can be both “anti-abortion and pro-choice” though she herself is evidently staunchly pro-abortion.

I know I am part of a minority—about a third of the country—that is especially anti-sentimental about embryonic development.

She declares emphatically that the unborn is not human. In her argument with Rachael Larimore, she denies that a 10-week-old embryo with limbs and eyes and organs and a brain is human. Graff says,

I see an embryo, the size of a pinkie, that couldn’t survive even in the most intensive NICU. It doesn’t have a working brain, internal organs, or lungs that could function under any circumstances. It’s a mush of rapidly dividing cells with enormous potential to be a human…

Because it cannot survive, it is not human, she says. A key part of Graff’s humanness test is viability. She goes on to make her moral argument against the enslavement of women with the role of pregnancy in human reproduction. “Enslavement?” you ask incredulously? Yes, enslavement; while Graff did not use that word in this article, it is a fair summary of her position:

That’s what I mean about making women mandatory incubators. If a woman does not believe that that pinkie is a human, should the government force her to hold it inside her until it is?

But Graff’s position does not stop at dehumanizing those who do not possess viability. Her position potentially dehumanizes all who are dependent and all who are profoundly mentally retarded.

I don’t think that the moment of having heterosexual intercourse—willingly or otherwise, with or without contraception—should be the last moment when a woman may consider whether or not she would harbor a cluster of cells all the way up until it’s a full, independent, sentient being.

What else can “a full, independent, sentient being” mean? Everything less, according to Graff’s words is, a potential human. And if the person can never achieve fullness, independence, and sentience, her words suggest that the mush of cells lacks even potentiality.

E.J. Graff asserts that the unborn is not human. This principle is a commonly, though not exclusively, held pro-abortion principle. For many, the principle is like a medicine taken in a proportionate dose to alleviate the pangs of conscience. Graff seems to take this principle to its terrible conclusion.

Carter Lee takes a fundamentally different approach.

Lee, who, I infer, thinks he is both pro-life and pro-choice, begins by drawing an analogy between the outlawing of abortion and Prohibition. The analogy does not fit well. First, abortion, at least throughout our legal history from ancient Britain to today’s USA, has always been illicit but for the present brief period; whereas Prohibition is unheard of but for a brief 20 years early last century. Secondly, abortion rights is seen as a companion to women’s rights these days and it is Temperance (read: teetotalism) that was seen as a companion to women’s rights) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Ironic, no?

Lee makes his key assertion in this bold phrase, “There is no absolute.” He demonstrates his philosophy:

I, like many people, believe that life does start at conception, but I do not believe that it is the government’s role to legislate morality and make deeply personal decisions for women and family members.

He may as well state that: he, like many people, believes that infants are alive, but he does not believe that it is the government’s role to legislate morality and make deeply personal decisions for women and family members. Shocked that I should say that? Don’t be. Post-birth infanticide has been practiced in history by some of the most depraved societies by people who doubtless recognized that babies were alive. Abortion-providers do not, in fact, willingly stop killing should the fetus manage to get beyond the wall of the uterus alive. The baby’s success in his struggle to survive would be seen as a failed abortion. Reaction to this reality engendered both Illinois’ Induced Infant Liability Act (which, by the way, Barack Obama voted against) and the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

He goes on to argue that, since some number of innocent persons are killed by capital punishment and second-hand smoke, no one can be one-hundred percent pro-life, everything is shades of grey, and there can be nothing more pro-life than the 66% increase in adoptions and 16% decrease in abortions in New York City while Rudy Giuliani was mayor. The argument is so absurd that to state it is to refute it.

Carter Lee’s argument does not depend on the assertion that the unborn is not alive—he grants that the fetus, the embryo, and the zygote are alive. He simply denies they any right that supersedes our right to kill them.

Whose principle is more poisonous to a well-ordered society?

9th November 2011 5:47 AM - Posted by | Abortion Reasoning | , , , , , , , , ,

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