Human rights begin in the womb

No case for rights of any sort can be made by those who insist on the lawful ability to kill babies.

It doesn’t get more basic than that.

Feminist author Naomi Wolf made an important and intellectually honest statement of fact in her 1995 article “Our Bodies, Our Souls: Re-thinking Pro-Choice Rhetoric”. I cited it in my book Non-Negotiable: Essential Principles of a Just Society and Humane Culture.

But to its own ethical and political detriment, the pro-choice movement has relinquished the moral frame around the issue of abortion. It has ceded the language of right and wrong to abortion foes. The movement’s abandonment of what Americans have always, and rightly, demanded of their movements–an ethical core–and its reliance instead on a political rhetoric in which the foetus means nothing are proving fatal…

By refusing to look at abortion within a moral framework, we lose the millions of Americans who want to support abortion as a legal right but still need to condemn it as a moral iniquity. Their ethical allegiances are then addressed by the pro-life moevement, which is willing tos peak about good and evil.

But we are also in danger of losing something more important than votes; we stand in jeopardy of losing what can only be called our souls. Clinging to a rhetoric about abortion in which there is no life and no death, we entangle our beliefs in a series of self-delusions, fibs and evasions. And we risk becoming precisely what our critics charge us with being: callous, selfish and casually destructive men and women who share a cheapened view of human life.

This comes to mind now as Congress prepares, again, to vote on the so-called ‘20 Week Abortion Ban‘.

Pro-life leaders are applauding the US House of Representatives for scheduling a vote this week on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy…

Eleven states have approved similar measures to H.R. 36. The New York Times reports that 37 new rules on abortion have been enacted in 11 states already this year. Arkansas alone approved six new laws. On Thursday, Wisconsin legislators proposed banning any abortion after 20 weeks.

In clearer language, abortion on a five month old baby.

In the meantime, while much of the new legislation focuses on waiting periods, counseling, and what doctors can say to patients, The New England Journal of Medicine last week published a study showing that severely premature newborns at age 22 weeks (some weighing 1.1 pounds at birth) may survive with intensive treatment with few lasting developmental problems.

Which wound up on the front page of the New York Times last week in a revealing article accompanied by a compelling photo of a young girl on a swing, fully healthy and alive, who represented those babies born so prematurely who received such life-giving treatment and clearly not only survived but thrived.

The issue of ‘viability of the fetus’ is a turning point in this debate over when abortion is ‘acceptable’ and must be protected as a ‘right’, and when it pushes the limit.

Abortion pushes the limit of what civilized society should allow from the very beginning of life when that society fights so many other battles to serve vulnerable minorities of other sorts in other conditions to secure their rights. Before they are whatever other identity in a protected class, they are first human.

This vote Wednesday better happen, and pass. Until the deception and insanity of Roe v. Wade can be undone, incremental common sense laws establishing long overdue limits have to work their way forward to protect the most innocent, youngest class of brothers and sisters among us. It is the civil rights movement of our time.

House votes to ban late term abortion

The horrors revealed in the trial of notorious abortionist Kermit Gosnell shook even pro-choice citizens and it won’t be the same again for the abortion movement. Which is probably why a bill to ban late term abortion made it to a floor vote in the House of Representatives this week, and the rhetoric about it got so dramatic.

Some people want to live in denial, in the land of make believe where language can be manipulated to mean whatever you want it to, especially as you intend it to stir people to sentiments sympathetic to your goals. Never mind what those goals actually are, and mean, and especially cause.

Thus, ahead of the vote, President Obama spoke out to threaten its veto if it passed.

In a Statement of Administration Policy, the president called the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (H.R. 1797) “an assault on a woman’s right to choose” and said it shows “contempt for…the Constitution.”

Well that’s interesting. Examine just that one line. You couldn’t get more explicit in naming a bill exactly what it covers, first of all. It’s a bill to ban abortion procedures that kill unborn children by the most torturous methods, so they first suffer before they die. The bills sponsors and supporters want to protect these children. Period.

Continuing on…For the president to call it an “assault on a women’s right to choose” is just more of the same shell-game language engineering to manipulate public opinion. It assaults sensibilities over the long-misused word ‘choice’ and it needs to be challenged. What is the “woman’s right to choose”? That’s an incomplete sentence. The woman’s right to choose what?  Finish the sentence. It’s about a woman’s right to choose to kill her unborn child at some point in time before that child is fully delivered. More on that in a moment…

Next…The word “contempt” is very apt, but certainly debatable for its selective application. And applying it to the Constitution? That’s somewhere between embarrassing and baffling, for a former adjunct law lecturer, who called the Constitution a “charter of negative liberties” in a radio interview long before he ran for president.

As president, his administration has certainly shown what some would call contempt for the Constitution and at least disregard for constitutionally protected rights such as religious liberty, free speech and due process in different mandates, most notably the HHS contraceptive mandate. So there’s irony in the president’s claim. As if saying something is so, makes it so.

Back to the “woman’s right to choose to kill her unborn child at some point in time before that child is fully delivered”, specifically the reference to “at some point.” Rep. Gwen Moore delivered quite an emotionally charged attack on the late term abortion ban under consideration on that day on the floor of the House, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”

She said it would “callously and cavalierly limit access to abortion” and called it an “unconstitutional bill”, which it is not”. She heatedly said that concerning “the subject at hand, women’s right to a medically safe abortion, we once again see men taking leadership roles in invading the privacy of medical decisions of women.”

Some snips of Moore’s further comments:

“so that now we have a bill born of ignorance and disregard for medical science in every way, shape and form…with no concern for the biology, physiology, sociology of the woman”

That is just reckless pandering. It is slanderous, ungrounded and irrational. This is another case of saying what you want to believe, emphatically, turning truth on its head to perpetuate a narrative. And that narrative is what disregards medical science and the health of the woman, not to mention the child in her womb. And they definitely don’t want to mention the child in the womb.

“This bill is an abomination!” At its heart, at its foundation, is a disregard for the dignity and health of women.”

Quite the opposite. The ideology she represents disregards human dignity for all humans. The abortion movement denies or discounts the reality of post-abortion syndrome and the physical, mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual suffering women can and do go through after abortions.

Recall, this is argument over a bill to ban late term abortions. After 20 weeks, for crying out loud. And yet Moore talks about sympathy for women who find themselves with complications and in distress after 20 weeks, “due to rape or incest, findings of fetal anomalies.” Leaving aside the question of abortion being justified for any reason at any time, for now, this raises some obvious problems in reasoning. Complications and distress over pregnancy resulting from rape or incest probably occur long before 20 weeks. And “findings of fetal anomalies” patently justifies euthanasia of impaired or special needs children.

There was another emotional plea on the floor of the House this week. It was on behalf of protecting unborn children, by Rep. Virginia Foxx. She said “no one on the other side has acknowledged that those babies being murdered feel pain, nor that half of them are baby girls”. Good point, while we’re focusing on women. And, she adds, “an affront to life for some is an affront to life for every one of us.”

“One day we hope that life will cease to be evaluated on a sliding scale…Regardless of this journey, we will continue to speak for those who cannot…

“May we mourn what abortion reveals about the conscience of our nation…There’s nothing more important than protecting voiceless unborn children and their families from the travesty of abortion.”

This goes to the Senate now. Senators need to hear from the people who elected them on this legislation. More pro-choice citizens are seeing things differently now, and their representatives need to hear about that.