I’m not sure how many had the chance to see the following video as posted by the Washington Examiner yesterday, but it brings up a very simple point that I had been bandying about in my head and rhetorically bouncing off of my wife.
First, the video, in which a Christian-based group confronts an abortion doctor over abortions, contains some alleged fresh meat, as it were, as the doctor mentions being able to prevent “ugly black babies” (the doctor’s characterization) from being in the world:
Now, you can go read the comments from the posting itself (875 as of this posting) or on the YouTube page (nearly 76,000 views alongside 437 comments) and get all lathered up over what the doctor said.
I argue that both this group (allegedly Christian and pro-life) and the doctor (allegedly an abortionist and apparent Democrat supporter, though for the purposes of this discussion, really doesn’t mean squat) are completely off base on this topic.
In fact, I even argue that the terms, “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are completely meant to be disinformational regarding the truth of abortion.
Philosophically, all humans have a choice as to what their behaviors are. So, one could conceivably (no pun intended) say that a person who is “pro-choice” chooses life, just as a non-pro-lifer could be considered a “pro-choice” individual who chooses to take the life of an unborn child.
“…taking the life of an unborn child?” Yes. Let’s take this one step further. We as humans all have choices to make, and physiologically, the fetus (Latin for “unborn child”) is a separate being inside of the mother. In other words, the unborn child is not a part of the mother’s body in any way; to deny this simple fact stops the argument here. One cannot proceed any further without accepting these facts. Even further, I will assume that human life begins at conception, not at some arbitrary, vague, subjective point in the uterus or vagina on his or her way out of the mother. This would be the moral aspect.
Now, let’s recap once more, because to get to the ultimate point requires us to be completely clear regarding logic, rationality, morality and definitions each step of the way.
First, we have choices to make. We can kill children (by overtly doing something, or by covertly no doing something), or we can save children (again, overtly or covertly).
Second, the unborn child inside of the mother is a completely distinct being from the mother and is imbued with life at conception.
Given the above, here’s the point:
You cannot separate the act of sexual intercourse from the act of carrying a baby.
Well, you could, but then (to be really crass about it) you’d have to consider whether there is such a thing as a woman who is sort of pregnant. In the world of rationality, she either is or is not pregnant.
If you’re going to have sexual intercourse, you are essentially saying that you’re willing to take on the risk (to whatever degree) that you will become pregnant and will subsequently have additional choices to make.
I find it morbidly fascinating that the following is also a very controversial statement to make, but it’s worth making:
If you don’t want to consider having an abortion, then don’t have sex.
I think, unfortunately, that the presence of condoms and other contraceptives in our society have presented us with the illusion that somehow we can separate sexual intercourse from pregnancy. What I think we all have to realize is that such an illusion truly is just that. All we’ve done is reduced the degree to which a pregnancy can occur; we have not removed it 100%, and the verbiage on contraceptives states this very clearly.
OK! After having likely pissed off a good portion of anyone who reads my blog at this point, I’m going to go even further, because now we need to address the two parties in the above video.
First, the doctor who performs abortions. I’d question whether or not that such a doctor is not practicing a contradiction in terms. He was theoretically supposed to submit to the Hippocratic Oath, the modern version of which reads as follows:
I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
I will not be ashamed to say “I know not”, nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, be respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.
Is not killing a child “play[ing] at God?” I’m just asking.
Second, the Christian pro-life group. While I completely appreciate individuals who are willing to adopt kids as an excellent alternative to abortions, I think that right-wingers really need to take several steps back in the process.
Let’s imagine that we believe that the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution says that all individual citizens have the unmitigated right to keep and bear weapons. Let’s also say that we think, as a society, that some of those weapons are more dangerous than others (a rather comical suggestion, but I digress). Let’s also say that some in our society believe that if we possess a gun, then that means we’re going to use it at the absolute first opportunity (say, immediately upon leaving the gun shop in which the firearm was received). In other words, it’s the non-sequitor argument that says that if we possess a firearm, that means we are going to use it, without exception.
Why is this a fallacy? Simply put, possessing a firearm does not necessarily mean that it’s going to be used for hunting, for murder, or any other action. It could simply have been bought to complete a firearm collection and will never, henceforth, be used in the commission of anything.
Now, let’s take this to contraceptives (and let’s suspend whether or not one believes contraceptives are themselves moral for the purposes of this discussion). Let’s say that Bobby goes out and buys a condom at the local Wal-Mart. Let’s say that Suzy happens to be his girlfriend, and both of them are thinking of not just dating each other, but are heading towards becoming engaged to be married. Let’s say that they spend of a lot of time with each other and many opportunities present themselves where Bobby and Suzy could have sex with each other.
They have a choice, all the time. They could choose to forgo abstinence and decide to have sex before marriage, or they could choose not to. In either case, Bobby still possesses a condom, though its mere possession does not mean that it is going to automatically be used.
Let’s take this even further. What are the parents thinking? How old are these two? Do they still live at home, or do they live by themselves, maybe with roommates who may or may not share their moral value system?
Have the parents discussed with Bobby and Suzy the consequences of sexual intercourse? Have Bobby and Suzy had to learn the “birds and the bees” (what a crock!) on their own? Have the parents or the church organization leaders ever had discussions regarding sex? Regarding abstinence? Regarding contraceptives? Were Bobby and Suzy shamed into not asking such questions?
Maybe you’re getting my point, maybe you’re not. However, I believe all behaviors have an origination point, and I believe that that should originate with the family first, and then the church, second. If the family and the church are not directly dealing with sexuality, then these additional parties are really the ones to blame for even having to consider the possibility of abortion.
God invented sex, God invented hormones, and God invented for men to be attracted to women and vice versa. He even gifted Tommy Nelson and many others (www.songofsolomon.com, www.gotothehub.com) to show what I believe is ultimately the most moral way to deal with attraction, relationships, sexuality, and conflict that are a part of every man/woman relationship on the planet.
Now, if only we’d take advantage of these opportunities to prepare for the cause and effect of sex, regardless of what our background was coming to the truth. I know my wife and I did.
After all, if we’d pursue the truth, there’d be significantly less of a need for doctors who perform abortions to begin with!
P.S.: I purposefully have not talked about rape, incest, and the life of the mother, situations that must be handled a bit more empathetically and professionally above and beyond what I’ve posted, above. Regardless, it remains my belief that such horrid situations are cascading effects of a society that wishes to shun God.