Jan 22 was the annual March for Life during which hundreds of thousands of young people descend on Washington DC in a peaceful protest that absolutely-under-no-circumstances will receive any media attention outside of (maybe) Fox News. Sad to miss it this year because of a business trip, I thought I would prepare a new post.
I was recently reading an article about the prevalence of sex selective abortion among certain cultural groups here in the West. As disturbing as the problem is, it really highlights a disconnect. At this point in time, there is widespread disapproval of sex selective abortion in the western world. And yet at the same time, easy access to abortion is being proclaimed by some to be a basic human right because absolute freedom demands "a woman's body, her choice." Logically, we can't have it both ways.
"A woman's body, her choice" means that it doesn't matter who the baby would grow up to be if allowed to live (girl/boy/whatever). It doesn't matter why the woman is choosing abortion, because it's HER body. If genetic testing shows that her son will be a brunette and she wants a blonde, she can abort him. If her daughter won't be as smart as she had hoped or as pretty as she had hoped, she can abort her. Test results could show that the baby will grow up to be the next Martin Luther King Jr. or another Einstein or Nelson Mandela. If the woman doesn't feel like carrying a baby to term--abort him! A woman's body, her choice means that even if I know ahead of time that the baby will be completely healthy but not as fill-in-the-blank as I want her to be then I am entitled to an abortion.
On the one hand, the "A woman's body, her choice" mentality is completely centered on the woman. In fact, we are told that the "baby" is merely a clump of cells and no human life actually exists at early stages of pregnancy. Therefore, we are told, nothing is being destroyed by the abortion.* On the other hand, laws against sex selective abortion (like in the UK) acknowledge the fact that a human person will result from pregnancy and that abortion can result in dangerous (for example, eugenic and genocidal) effects on a population.
*Not only is this fuzzy logic (Think. What will happen nine months from now if I don't have this abortion? How am I going into labor if that thing wasn't a baby??) but it ignores that fact that third trimester abortions and live birth abortions (during which the baby is born prematurely and left to die of exposure) are legal and performed at many clinics.
When one considers the many reasons for which a woman might choose abortion, it becomes clear that the "clump of cells" is NOT part of the woman's body. It is, in fact, the first few cells which will form a NEW body. A body which, as Kathy Ireland points out, might even have a penis! And, remembering back to my fifth grade physiology class, a penis is typically NOT part of a woman's body. From the prevalence of sex selective abortion in certain cultures, it is clear that allowing women absolute freedom of choice can have a strong effect on demographics. Many of those who so wholeheartedly promote abortion as a means of liberating women would be outraged to find that females are aborted at far higher rates than males. But we cannot have our cake and eat it too. Either the woman is free to choose or she is not.
The same contradiction is present in the debates over assisted suicide and right-to-death laws. Many of us are perfectly happy to provide certain suffering souls with such a service. We are happy to grant them death because we assume that we would not want to live under such circumstances. However, we don't want to grant free access because we know that this would almost certainly have tragic and disastrous effects. But how can we impose limitations? If a person has a right to die when he/she chooses then there should be no conditions imposed. For those who would complain that a depressed person cannot be trusted to make such a decision because he is not in his right mind, I would tritely reply: "Who am I to judge?"
We have lost our integrity. We no longer seek the truth but rather formulate arguments to justify what we 'feel' should be true. In order to maintain intellectual integrity, we need to know what we believe and follow our arguments to their logical conclusions. We need to pick a side. As the Lord said in the Book of Revelation: "Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth." We have taken on a nauseating lukewarmness.
And so I encourage everyone to pick a side--become hot or cold. If you are telling me that you support gay marriage then I would prefer to hear that you also support polygamy and the revocation of laws prohibiting incestuous marriages. If you are telling me that you believe abortion should be legal, then I would prefer to hear that you also support eugenics and infanticide. If you are telling me that you think the terminally ill should be allowed to self-administer lethal amounts of drugs and choose their time of death, then I would prefer to hear that you also support the right of your angry neighbor to choose death in order to get back at his parents who never really loved him. However, my hope is, of course, that upon following these beliefs to their logical conclusions, your eyes will be opened and you will become hot rather than cold!