Sunday, July 03, 2005

On calling things by their right names

My belief that life begins at conception isn't religious, it's scientific. If you try to tell me that an embryo isn't "alive" or that one possessing the requisite dna, growing inside its human mother, is not "Human", then I lose all respect for your argument. It's basic sixth grade biology.

As for whether abortion is right or wrong? It's not a religious issue for me, either. God is concerned with our immortal souls, not so much with our mortal bodies. And I'm a reincarnationist; I think those unborn souls go right on into their next incarnation.

So why am I virulently anti-abortion?

My problem is that I think we cheapen all human life by allowing the destruction of people based solely on their location, age, and convenience. I think the "slippery slope" is valid, and that Roe V. Wade is directly responsible for the number of infanticides and dumpster babies occuring in the modern age. I think legalised abortion is bad for our society, plain and simple.

If someone wants to debate me on the morality of it, argue that it's justifiable homicide in some cases- but don't tell me its a surgical procedure, a women's health issue, or some other bit of euphemism. Call things by their right names; know what you're speaking of. Dilation and curetage is forcible opening of a cervix to cut the baby to bits and scrape it out. Suction aspiration tears the baby to bits and sucks it out of the uterus with a vacuum hose. Dilation and evacuation rips a baby to pieces to pick it out with forceps. Saline injection bathes the baby in an acid bath, killing it slowly over an hour, so the mother may vaginally deliver a dead infant. (Or sometimes, a dying one.) The mass of tissue, products of conception... is a person. Just the same as you or me. A living being, snuffed out in the name of "choice."

If I could get past all this, maybe I too could be pro-choice. But I suck at lying to myself. And euphemism doesn't work for me. Some people hear "reproductive health" and think positive things like mammograms and pap smears. The Ornithophobe hears those tell tale words and sees baby bits on a metal tray. And no matter how much I want people to like me, I can't pretend like I don't.

In some ways? I think I AM liberal. Because the way the lefties get over microwaved mice in sunscreen, or bloody baby seals clubbed to death? That's how I get over dead babies. I get sick to my stomach, I get righteously angry. If you think I get uptight about dead baby seals, you should see me about dead baby humans.

What I want to know is, why would anyone NOT feel this way? What sort of mental and emotional gymnastics are necessary to be OKAY WITH THAT? How does one do it? How do you get there? Can you draw me a map? Because I just don't understand.


TPK said...

Don't ask me, I don't get it either.

Have you read this article?

Apparently the phrase "pro-choice" is no longer really cutting it with grey-area Dems, who are uncomfortable about the idea of "choice" (a consumer word) vs. "life" (a moral issue).

Another blogger whose stuff I read regularly just quoted Mother Teresa on the subject of abortion and selfishness: "Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want."

afp763389 said...

... :)

Anonymous said...

With the understanding that this can lead to no good, I will volley back. I agree with your saying that a fertilized zygote is a "human," in the scientific sense that that is its species name. But later you call it a "person," as if those two things are equivalent. They aren't. A fertilized egg doesn't have the ability to feel pain, and it is certainly nowhere near consciousness. The procedures you described certainly do sound disgusting, but would it change your mind if there was a device you could just touch on the mother's tummy and make the baby disappear? I think bringing them up is an emotional appeal, which hampers the ability to have a reasonable discussion. And banning abortion would increase the number of infanticides and dumpster babies. It would only effectively ban poor people from having abortions, because rich people would just travel to pro-choice states or countries for abortions. I think when abortion rates drop to 0, it will be a great indicator of our moral progress. But banning abortion won't achieve any of the goals it supposedly would.

Ornithophobe said...

Ah, Anonymous. How I wish you'd left your name. I don't like talking to people without calling them by name; it seems somehow terribly rude.

See, for me? The fertilised egg, with its own unique set of dna, is already a person. A person is a human being. That's all. This is a human being. It may be very early in its development, but so once were we all. And yes, the "procedures" sound disgusting... because they are. They kill someone, and that's never pretty. They've yet to invent the pretty death. Well, outside of the movies, that is. And no, 'disappearing' the baby out of existence doesn't strike me as any more palatable. If anything, that seems even more sinister. Wave a magic wand and poof- someone vanishes. Shudderworthy.

Unfortunately, more money always brings more opportunity to bend the world to your will, to purchase whatever one wants, be it illegal or immoral or what have you. Yes, outlawing abortion would make it harder for people to kill their kids. But it would not make it impossible. I choose to come down on the side of the marxists with this one- the greatest good for the greatest number. If even one person would be spared by making it tougher to get an abortion, then I think the law should move in that direction. But I suspect it would be a great many more than just one spared by such a change. We've lost large portions of my own generation to this disgusting practice. Its victims are numbered in the millions.