To the Editor:
It was with great interest that I read, “A pro choice view of abortion,” attributed to the Gasconade County Democrat Club (GCDC), collectively. I was surprised to see the same justifications for abortion we have been hearing for more than four decades. As such, much is outdated — scientifically and rhetorically. The early points made are especially common — used again and again.
“Pro-choice does not mean pro abortion,” wrote GCDC. Over the past several decades, proponents of legal abortion have emphasized two arguments. This is one of them. They have succeeded in “training” Americans and others to adopt “choice speak.”
Let’s make it clear — “pro-choice” was settled upon when early supporters of the deadly act gathered to discuss verbal engineering. Change the language and you change minds.
Slaveholders did not believe everyone should be forced to own a slave. They simply thought Northerners should not “impose their morality.” The Southern position was quintessentially “pro-choice” on slavery. “Many of us who hold pro-choice views would not personally own a slave, but...”
If slaveholders had come up with the “pro-choice” mantra in the early 19th century, it might have changed the course of history. Thankfully, while they espoused a “pro-choice” position, no one thought of engaging in wordplay to convince people to adopt “pro-choice” to gain the rhetorical upper-hand. So, as for me, I will not let those who justify the death of a preborn baby manipulate and choose my words.
GCDC argues abortion should be a “private, personal choice made by a woman and her doctor.” The pro-abortion crowd need to make up their minds. So You Don’t Want to Be a Sex Object, a publication of Planned Parenthood, describes the true relationship a woman should have with her doctor. If, in any way and regardless of reasoning, a doctor advises against abortion, the woman or girl should respond by saying, “‘Doctor, unless you’re proposing marriage, my per-sonal life shouldn’t concern you,’” or, “‘Doctor, I’ll have a baby when I choose…’” So much for the “between a woman and her doctor” spiel. But that’s okay; it has been a rhetorical bestseller.
The blanket statement that abortion is a “heart-wrenching decision” indicates an ignorance of more recent activities and projects of Planned Parenthood and likeminded groups. Women and girls are now urged to publicly state they had an abortion and embrace it. No “heart-wrenching” necessary — or wanted.”
The May 28, 2019, edition of Cosmopolitan offers an excellent example. “Here I am. I am Jenna, and I had an abortion. And guess what? A lot of other women have abortions too.” These women and girls should be proud of the decisions they made. After all, to do otherwise implies there is something inherently wrong with paying someone to kill another human being.
An opinion piece in the Aug. 15, 2014, edition of The Washington Post is titled, “Stop calling abortion a ‘difficult decision.’” The writer, Janet Harris, argues that “when the pro-choice community frames abortion as a difficult decision, it implies that women need help deciding, which opens the door to paternalistic and demeaning “informed consent” laws. It also stigmatizes abortion and the women who need it. Often, abortion isn’t a difficult decision. In my case, it sure wasn’t.”
Harris continued: ‘Abortion rights groups are struggling to expand their message from “pro-choice” — which they say no longer resonates with voters as it once did — to more broadly encompass women’s health and economic concerns. The movement needs such recalibration precisely because it was drawn into a moral debate about the fetus’s [sic] hypothetical future rather than the woman’s immediate and tangible future. Once these groups locked themselves into a discussion of “choice,” terminating a pregnancy became an option rather than a necessity. Pro-choice groups would be a lot stronger, more effective and more in sync with the women they represent if they backed away from the defensive “difficult decision” posture.’
“Government bodies, the majority of which are made up of men, do not have the right to govern when a woman chooses to have a child and with whom,” GCDC wrote.
The obvious problem with this statement is that every poll indicates women are more anti-abortion than men. So long as female politicians are voting for legislation to protect our fellow human beings temporarily residing in the womb, this sexist argument is a flop. Furthermore, if men are elected to legislative positions, they represent the people of their respective districts. No man can get elected without garnering the votes of women.
Despite the current political climate, being born female is not a qualification for public office. To suggest otherwise is to embrace a principle heretofore condemned by radical feminists — a person’s gender is immaterial.
The early feminist movement strongly opposed abortion, viewing it as a tool allowing men to “have their way” and escape responsibility. Yet the radical feminist movement has enshrined abortion as a fundamental way for women to be “equal” to men. Let’s not forget that in 1973, by distorting the U.S. Constitution, abortion was legalized by seven unelected men.
No lawmaking body seeks to “govern when a woman chooses to have a child and with whom.” But duly elected representatives of the people have every right to pass legislation protecting a human life once begun.
It is true that, “Making abortion illegal or more restrictive does not eliminate abortions.” The same can be said of everything that has been outlawed (drugs, car theft, rape, murder, etc.). Most people obey the law. The fact that someone will break a law has never been a reason to keep something legal.
“There is no legal or biblical definition of when life begins,” argues GCDC. This is inherently nonsensical. Since GCDC seems concerned about the possibility of laws based on religion, we will agree to leave such doctrines to each respective faith. We do not want religion to lead the way here; we want science to lead the way.
Virtually nobody active in this debate still argues it is not known when human life begins. As if we could not come to the right conclusion based on logic, science has provided the answer. Human life begins at conception. Neither the ovum nor sperm are, independently, human life. When they join, however, a human being is created.
This is basic biology; disputed only by those who oppose protective legislation. Nevertheless, these activists have been shockingly successful in making people doubt or even forget the fundamentals of human development.
The question is not humanity. The question is how we choose to treat the newest members of our species. If we declare the preborn are not legal “persons,” we may do anything we want to them. No need to dehumanize.
The denial of “personhood” has been used many times in history to justify horrific treatment of others. A “person” is whatever those in power choose to make him or her. This is a question of attitude; not value.
“If Republican legislators truly cared about life, they would improve the lives of women and children instead of forcing women who have been raped or are victims of incest to raise unwanted children in probable poverty.”
Why does this sound a lot like, “If you really loved me, you would…”
Any entity committing or defending the commission of abortions does not get to decide what constitutes “truly” caring about life. The hope is that everyone, regardless of political ideology, would help improve the lives of all human beings. I am all for looking for and adopting ways to help others, but I would have to insist that killing/death be taken off the table. It is not a solution.
Do you really want to argue that “unwanted children” will end up in “probable poverty?”
If I declare a human being “unwanted” (dehumanizing) and say he will probably live in poverty, does the right to life evaporate — if there were ever a right to life in the first place?
I don’t think this is truly what the caring people at GCDC really want. GCDC should join us in seeking positive, life-affirming, long-lasting answers.
If abortion — the death of a child — is the best we can offer women facing an untimely pregnancy, we are a sad society.
A very sad society, indeed.
(Douglas R. Scott, Jr., is president of Life Decisions International. He is author of Bad Choices: A Look Inside Planned Parenthood and has been an activist since the late 1970s).