I wanted to revisit a conversation I once witnessed between @juliewashere, a Twitter user and founder the Golden Coat Hanger, a blog on feminist and abortion issues, and @KatyPundit (who is male and named David; so much for my uncanny ability to guess gender using forum aliases). It was almost two years ago and before I knew about WordPress’s supercool feature to reprint tweets in graphical format, so I have only text copies of the tweets involved.
I wanted to revisit the conversation because this is a line of argument that has always bugged me in regard to pro-choice folks. They don’t think that sex necessarily must equal a baby. While that is true, the fact is that a baby is a potential result of sex, and murder is not an appropriate method to deal with said consequence.
Julie asked when she gave consent to pregnancy, and David told Julie, “You gave consent when you spread em open.” Julie responded:
that’s consent to sex, and ONLY sex.
David replied, “LOL, Sex makes babies. At least that’s how MY kids got here… U came by Stork?” And Julie responds with a disconnect between sex and pregnancy:
no, pregnancy makes babies, and it takes several months.
What does Julie think causes pregnancy? I’m not sure. But I want to take a moment to ponder her position that consent to sex is consent to the physical act, and thus not tacit consent to pregnancy. Since there was no consent to pregnancy, this entitles the pregnant woman to terminate the unwanted pregnancy.
Let’s apply this to another situation.
If I needed a ride home from work, and one of my employees was kind enough to offer a ride, does that means I consent only to the ride home? Well, actually, it means I give tacit approval to whatever happens on the ride home — whether I like it or not. In other words, I can’t roll a d20 against my intelligence and disbelieve something I don’t like away.
For example, if the employee ran a red light and another car crashed into my side of the car, paralyzing me from the waist down. A grim outcome to be sure, and I can seek monetary damages against the employee for medical expenses and rehab. But I can’t wish the paralysis away.
In a way, abortion is the magic disbelieve roll. “I’m not ready,” or “I don’t want to be a parent yet,” or any of the other excuses (and they are excuses) one manufactures. The fact of the matter of is sex is tacit consent to pregnancy, since pregnancy is a possible result of sex. We are taught in grade school that that is the case, so there isn’t an excuse for not knowing.
Sex ==> Pregnancy ==> Baby
Divorcing pregnancy and parenthood from sex is a myth of our modern age, and abortion reinforces that myth. That is a very serious issue, and it comes to the forefront each year on this dark anniversary.
The ignorant comments of Senator Todd Akin add fuel to the already huge fire over the abortion debate. Many conservatives oppose abortion in all forms, even in cases of rape and incest. In an August 19 interview, Senator Akin was asked to clarify why he opposed abortion in cases of rape. The following epic fail issued forth:
If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child. (source)
I want to first address the two periphery issues our Democratic friends like to focus on, then the real issue. The real issue is obscured behind incidental (and I seriously hope unintentional) faux pas in his statement.
Calling them “faux pas” is too kind. I like to keep the blog family friendly, and words like “douchebaggery” run contrary to that; even though it is a more fitting term.
Let’s press on. The Senator’s first faux pas is “legitimate rape.” This seems to suggest that there are cases of illegitimate rape. Of course there are, but rape is under-reported, not over-reported. And it remains under-reported because of ignoramuses like the Senator who blame the victim.
Senator Akin’s comment seems to suggest that if a woman gets pregnant by rape, it isn’t rape. In other words, she must have wanted it. That type of thinking has to sicken feminists to their core. I’m not a feminist and it sickens me!
This leads to the second faux pas, suggesting that a woman’s body can somehow shut down a pregnancy if the rape is legitimate. That’s an interesting superpower. Why can’t women just do that for any unwanted pregnancy? It would end the abortion debate and the controversy over government-sponsored contraception in one fell swoop!
And how would the woman’s body know the difference, exactly? One fact I do know about rape is that the body reacts as if the sex is consensual, lubing up the right parts. So the woman is violated by the rapist and betrayed by her own body. That, of course, multiplies the shame exponentially and contributes to the under-reporting of rape.
Now on with the real issue. Viewing this from a pro-life standpoint, abortion is morally wrong; it is murder. In that light, when aborting a child conceived in rape, you punish the innocent child for the crime committed by the rapist.
Senator Akin later clarified:
I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life, and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action. (source)
This was the point he was making in the first place, skewed by the stupidity of the surrounding context. Liberals pick up on the wrong part of the message — but Senator Akin needs to realize that he gave birth to that monster by spouting the douchebaggery in the first place.
I defend the child conceived in rape as having a right to life. I denounce the ignorance and backwards-thinking of Senator Akin, and join my liberal opponents in shock that he would make these comments. But let’s keep the focus on the right to life, not assbag Senators who thoughtlessly spew epic fails that alienate large portions of their constituency.
This awesome tweet gets the last word:
It is January 22, the anniversary of the worst Supreme Court decision ever — the decision granting a woman the right to kill her unborn baby in the womb as a matter convenience. This day is used by NARAL to celebrate this grotesque choice, and they encourage bloggers and tweeters to talk about the woman’s right to “choose.”
But what are these women really getting to “choose?”
Abortion advocates say that this “choice” advances the cause of womankind and empowers the woman with freedom over her own body. She is no longer a slave, she doesn’t have to be forced to surrender her vital organs to sustain something she may not have wanted in the first place.
So, those who hold the unopposed power of life and death over another human being are justified in using that power to kill someone who is a mere inconvenience?
Let’s get real. As much as the pro-abortion crowd likes to belly-ache about situations like rape, incest, or saving the life of the mother, few abortions are actually performed for those reasons. Most abortions are performed for convenience. An unexpected pregnancy might be detrimental to the plans of the woman and/or man who would be the parents of the resulting child, so they kill the child. It’s as simple as that.
Or the child is the wrong sex.
Or the child has a deformity or has the markers for a mental handicap.
This means that most women who have abortions are doing so out of selfish reasons.
An old episode of He-man and the Masters of the Universe illustrated this exact situation, with fantasy elements (of course). In this episode, Skeletor (the villain) has learned the location of the Starseed. This artifact is a piece of the singularity that resulted in the Big Bang — and whoever possesses it has the power of God. Total omniscience along with omnipotence.
Let’s see what happens when He-man and Skeletor battle to possess it:
Do you agree that He-man made the correct decision?
Holding the power of life and death over another person in your hand and not using it is far more powerful than using it. In the cartoon here, as well as in real life, holding someone’s life in your hands and ending it is always an evil act.
Reality check for my fellow pro-lifers: Our side makes a big deal about electing only pro-life officials to Congress or the Presidency, over getting the right mix of Justices in the Supreme Court to overthrow Roe v. Wade. The government isn’t where we are going to win the battle, nor where we are going to make the greatest impact. It is with this power of choice.
The powerful testament to He-man’s character in that clip comes from the fact that he has the power to obliterate Skeletor, but he chooses not to. For all his evil scheming, Skeletor surely deserves nothing less than annihilation. However, He-man chooses to preserve Skeletor’s life — and when faced with the chance to kill his greatest enemy he reacts with mercy and forgiveness.
As Zodac points out, He-man’s refusal to use the power of the universe for selfish gain demonstrated his goodness.
Pregnancy is a responsibility handed to the pregnant woman by God, and abortion is the coward’s way to duck that responsibility. How much of a testament to a woman’s character would it be if she were in dire straits, became pregnant, had the option of aborting the child, yet still chose life for her unborn child?
The Christian band Texas in July is going on tour with numerous other acts to raise money for a website called sexetc.org. According to Bryan Kemper, this website is staunchly pro-abortion despite purporting to present a “balanced view.” In fact, it only provides links to organizations that encourage abortions, and derides pro-life organizations in blanket statements.
Basically, the site promotes values contrary to Christianity and shouldn’t be supported by persons who call themselves Christians. Yet, Texas in July is a very vocal supporter.
A commenter to Kemper’s article, Jordan W., raises an interesting philosophical question:
As if any of you -author included- knows what’s best for the band. It’s pretty clear that this tour is serving the purpose of getting their name out there and promoting One Reality. I love this band, and I am a faithful Christian as well. Who are we to judge what they do? If you want to actually support the band, support them by going to shows.
Need I remind you that August Burns Red went on this exact tour with The Human Abstract a few years back? Cmon now, be supportive and quit your judging.
Kemper didn’t even touch on a philosophical response to what was raised here, but I wish he would have. He talked about the practical implications, responding that Texas in July was actually raising funds for sexetc.org, where the other Christian bands mentioned weren’t specifically doing that. Jordan kept up the “Stop judging!” reply, which isn’t really what Kemper was doing. He was, as he put it, “It is not about being offended, it is about calling out an injustice.”
But, the broader and more philosophical question not pondered is, “Can I do what’s best for me, even if it spits on the face of the God I claim to serve?” Read the rest of this entry
I had planned to write a post yesterday refuting two common Bible verses that pro-choice advocates cite to “prove” that the Bible is actually pro-choice. Of course, if the choicers understood the historical and cultural context of those verses, they’d be singing a different tune. Or at least not using them to undermine the Bible’s clear pro-life position.
For more, check the blog fellow apologist and brother in Christ, Dave Armstrong, who has listed numerous verses on why the Bible is pro-life.
If I had scheduled that post to appear today, that would have left me free to read and research on the scientific and philosophical reflections on what makes a life alive. That would have been posted tomorrow. And then I’d have the weekend free to finish my series on DaGoodS’s questions that Christians hope no one asks.
But I got unexpectedly busy yesterday, and that busyness continued through today, which means I wasn’t as active in “Ask Them What They Mean by Choice” Day, the pro-life countermeasure to Blog for Choice Day, as I wanted to be.
But I still wanted to do something for it, so I found @juliewashere, a Twitter user and founder the Golden Coat Hanger, a blog on feminist and abortion issues, and I decided to use her tweets to show how extraordinarily inconsistent her pro-choice position actually is. It’s inconsistent to the point of frightening. Let’s look.
Twitter user @KatyPundit (who is male and named David; so much for my uncanny ability to guess gender using forum aliases) told Julie “You gave consent when you spread em open.” Julie responded:
that’s consent to sex, and ONLY sex.
Which is a perfect example of why sex education in America is failing. Pregnancy results from sex. Not every time, but it is a looming possibility each and every time a man and a woman lay down together. So, if you have sex, you’d best be prepared for pregnancy.
David reminds her of this fact: “LOL, Sex makes babies. At least that’s how MY kids got here… U came by Stork?” And Julie responds with a disconnect between sex and pregnancy:
no, pregnancy makes babies, and it takes several months.
Nice, genius. What do you think makes a person pregnant? I think this line of reasoning comes from someone who wants to have sex with any given partner at any given time and not have to worry about a potential pregnancy. In other words, sex isn’t for intimacy and love; it has no spiritual dimension, nor should it always be connected with bringing new life into this world. Sex is purely for the enjoyment of the two people doing it.
Yet another instance of people wanting to give into the flesh and jettison anything to do with higher, spiritual decisions. It can’t be about self-control and discipline! Sex feels too good to be disciplined about it, right? I heard Brian Sapient of the Rational Response Squad argue that pre-marital sex was a right belonging to all human beings that has been co-opted by religion. I guess Julie would agree with that line of reasoning.
Jack Yoest (@JackYoest) said, “The mothers went in to get a dead baby,” of Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s patients. Julie responded:
No, they went in to get rid of fetuses.
What does she think a fetus is? Not a person, as she tweets:
Fetuses are real, they just aren’t people. Learn to read.
I was never a fetus just like I was never a sperm. There was simply no me yet.
First, notice that there was no “her” in either the sperm or the fetus. That will become important later. Now, look at this contradictory tweet:
Live doesn’t begin at conception, it was already present before that. You fail biology.
And Julie fails the argument. Abortion takes a human life unjustly, which is the textbook definition of murder. She just admitted that life was present before conception, therefore it follows life is also present during the pregnancy and development of the unborn child (she denies the existence of an “unborn child” in another tweet). However, if she denies that a fetus is a human life, she must explain when it becomes one.
Julie defines human life in this tweet:
children are sentient, sapient, non-parasitic human beings. Nothing magic about it. Welcome to reality.
Julie’s previous tweets show us that she understands (though she may not acknowledge it) that the mind and the brain are separate. This tweet essentially confirms that position. I’ve established in this post that the brain and major organs function in a fetus prior to 10 weeks. Julie explains that while in the womb, before and after conception, there was no “her.” She believes that it is the mind that makes a person a person. That is evidenced by the fact she has tweeted “Women are people. There is just no compromising that point” and “bio fact: fetuses are non-sentient.”
Yet the mind and the brain are inexorably connected. When the brain ceases to function, the mind loses its ties to this material existence. Without my Christian faith, I couldn’t answer for certain what happens then. The problem Julie has is that she must explain when the mind begins to exist in order to definitively argue that the act of abortion isn’t murder. She never does that; she is basing her pro-choice position, then, on the unproven assumption that the fetus has no mind. Yet it has a brain that functions.
It looks like the pro-choice crowd is so pleased with having the ability to end a human life on a whim that they are actually celebrating the 38th anniversary of the day they were granted that “right.” January 21st is the sixth-annual Blog for Choice Day.
It’s not going to stop with blogs, either. Pro-choicers are called to use Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites to get the pro-choice message out.
Jill Stanek has announced a counter-initiative called “Ask Them What They Mean by Choice Day” for the same day. Each time a pro-lifer encounters pro-choice rhetoric, we should (as the name suggests) ask them what they mean by “choice.” Of course choice is code for “kill the baby.” Just like the term “reproductive rights” is code for “right to decide if my child lives or dies.”
Last I checked, the power of death and life belonged only to God, not to us. Short of saving the mother’s life (and even then I can still see a serious moral dilemma, but we live in a fallen world where sometimes choices like that become necessary), I can’t think of a single justifiable reason to abort a child that doesn’t use a lot of wild suppositions and far-out “what if” statements. Like, “What if the baby doesn’t get adopted and ends up in an abusive foster care home?” Or, “What if the baby is born with a terminal disease?” And so on. Those just dodge the issue.
Look for a post this Friday refuting some pro-choice positions that try to use the Bible against our pro-life stance. Under consideration will be Numbers 5:11-31 and 2 Samuel 11:15b-23. I’ll also contrast some philosophical details with scientific details of life.
Abby Johnson is a former executive from Planned Parenthood. Recently, she renounced working for the company and has become a pro-life advocate.
When asked why she switched sides in the debate, she said something very touching and powerful. I almost cried. Here is her account of why she had to leave Planned Parenthood:
I had never seen an ultrasound-guided abortion before. They’re not standard procedure because they take a few extra minutes. To the best of my knowledgeit [sic] was the first time it had happened at our facility.
I was called in to help. My job was to hold the ultrasound probe on the woman’s abdomen so that the physician could get a view inside the uterus. I got everything ready. When I looked at the screen and heard them say that she was 13 weeks pregnant, on the screen I saw the profile of a 13-week-old baby in the womb. I had seen thousands of ultrasounds before, including ultrasounds of my own daughter Grace, who is now four. In that instant, I had a flashback to my own ultrasound of my daughter when I was 12 weeks pregnant. In that instant, I realized what was about to happen and what I was about to witness. . . .
When the abortion procedure started, I saw the child begin to move away from the abortion instrument and recoil. The child knew that it’s life was in danger. Before that moment, I had never even considered that the child in the womb felt pain or felt anything for that matter. Planned Parenthood had always told us that the fetus had no sensory development until 28 weeks.
So, something that isn’t “technically alive” and has no sensory apparatuses recoils at a medical instrument? Interesting. My question is this: does the child really not have any sensory apparatuses? Let’s look at what Pregnancy.org tells us this happens for the first 13 weeks of pregnancy:
Neural tube forms – It will develop into the nervous system (Brain, spinal cord, hair, and skin). Already your baby has the foundation for thought, senses, feeling, and more!
Moving on to week 5, the heartbeat begins, blood flows in the veins, and most of the organs take shape. The brain, center of the nervous system and the arbiter of sensory input, develops and grows in week 6. Elbows, fingers, and feet grow in week 7. By week 8 cartilage and bones form, as well as the tongue and the eyes. Independent movement begins in week 9, and at this stage the baby is capable of grabbing an object placed into its hand! By week 10, all critical development is finished, the “embryo” is now officially termed a “fetus,” and this is the point where the baby just solidly grows.
Take note of this. The aborted baby in Johnson’s story was 13 weeks. Pregnancy.org tells us that at 11 weeks, the major organs start to function. That would include the brain, which would interpret all the sensory information from the nervous system. Is there any reason to assume that the baby is incapable of feeling pain? I’m no scientist, but it seems likely that the baby would feel pain, as he or she has all the necessary organs to.
At the 12 week mark, the fingers and toes separate and dexterity improves, but as we’ve just learned, a little one of only 9 weeks is capable of grasping an object. Since the eyes aren’t functional, the only way that the little one would know to grasp something in his or her hand would be to feel the object being placed there. Are we to believe that the baby is only capable of feeling pressure changes?
At week 13 is when the hands are fully functional, and the little one might start playing with his or her fist for comfort. Further, the baby begins to practice inhaling and exhaling. It is here that the little one that was the catalyst behind Johnson’s conversion was aborted.
I needed to believe that [they baby can’t feel pain until it’s 28 weeks] to continue to justify abortion. I was surprised, shocked, appalled and disgusted at what I was watching. I felt betrayed because I couldn’t believe that this company that I had believed and trusted in had lied. I didn’t want to believe it, but was looking at it so clearly. The evidence was in front of my face. The abortion started and in just a few moments, the screen was black, and the abortion was complete. In that moment, I knew that my life was going to have to change. I knew that I couldn’t walk out of there the same way that I had walked in.
Her book is Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-opening Journey Across the Life Line. It sounds excellent.
Daniel Florien from Unreasonable Faith has a question that stumps pro-life demonstrators:
If abortion is illegal, what should the punishment be for women who have illegal abortions?
Florien thinks that this question will win any debate with pro-life people:
Now watch their faces as the cognitive dissonance sets in. They believe abortion to be murder. Murder deserves severe punishment. Thus, women who have illegal abortions should receive severe punishment — like life in prison or the death penalty. That’s the logical conclusion.
But they can’t accept this conclusion. They know it’s absurd and unfair — which means they know abortion is not really murder. (source)
Florien mistakenly believes that all pro-lifers are as inconsistent and uninformed in their views as the ones on the YouTube video that he accents this post with.
Why the inconsistency? Why are pro-lifers afraid to say that life in prison would be a reasonable punishment for a woman who has an illegal abortion? I’m not afraid to reveal that that is my position, after much soul-searching and prayer. Abortion is murder, and it should be punished as such.
However, to prove the copus delicti in these cases would entail proving both that the woman was pregnant, and she had an abortion. A careful woman would be able to conceal the fact that she was pregnant from everyone if she planned to have an abortion. There may be little evidence to prove that she was ever pregnant in the first place, and a back alley abortion clinic would have every reason to avoid admitting that they knew she was pregnant to protect themselves.
The mens rea would be a difficult process, too. You’d have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she intended to take her baby’s life, which means proving that, at the time the crime was committed, she understood that the baby was alive inside of her. Here it may be easy to feign ignorance or to muddy the waters by introducing medical data proving that the baby was already in danger of dying.
Conclusion: abortion is murder. Murder merits severe punishment. The punishment should be life in prison, as for any murder. But making a prosecutable case would be extremely difficult. But the possibility of such a sentence would still give anyone pause before committing the crime, and would make any law-abiding citizen consider an option better for the baby, like adoption.
Amid heartbreaking news that always seems to clog my RSS feeds, every once in a while a good one shines through. Finley Crampton was born to Jodie Percival and Billy Crampton weighing in at 6 pounds 3 ounces three weeks premature. An everyday occurrence, right? Not this baby: The couple had tried to abort him 8 weeks into the pregnancy. He survived the abortion and is expected to live a normal life.
Welcome to the world, little man!