More Equal Than Others

Among Christianity’s many influences on Western civilization is the concept that “all men are created equal.” The idea that human beings are equally valuable simply by virtue of being human is common even among those who otherwise reject religious teachings. What was once solely a religious principle has become almost universally accepted as a humanist principle. Two people might differ in their race, gender, intellectual abilities, age, or level of wealth, but both are equally deserving of respect, fair treatment, and equality under the law.

Call this “Belief A”.

Most people who support abortion argue that the fetus gradually acquires human rights as his/her nervous system develops in utero. According to polling done by Gallup, 61% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal during the first trimester of pregnancy. That figure drops to 27% during the second trimester, and to 14% during the third trimester. Since human life biologically begins at conception, this means that roughly half of Americans believe that some human organisms (third trimester fetuses) should have a legal right to life, while other human organisms (first trimester fetuses) may be legally dismembered with metal clamps and vacuum hoses.

DE-abortion1

In other words, these individuals believe that human worth is not derived “simply by virtue of being human,” but rather by possessing certain physical qualities. Thus, all humans are equal, but some humans are more equal than others. Call this “Belief B”.

A person cannot rationally hold both Belief A and Belief B. If “social justice” extends to some groups of humans – but not to others – then it isn’t really social justice.

Pro-Life Quotes from Famous Women

“The rights of children as individuals begin while yet they remain the foetus…Whoever has read the ‘Weekly’ knows I hold abortion (except to save the life of the mother) to be just as much murder as the killing of a person after birth is murder.
– Victoria Woodhull (first female candidate for President of the United States)

“The gross perversion and destruction of motherhood by the abortionist filled me with indignation, and awakened active antagonism. That the honorable term ‘female physician’ should be exclusively applied to those women who carried on this shocking trade seemed to me a horror. It was an utter degradation of what might and should become a noble position for women.”
– Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell (first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States)

Elizabeth Blackwell

Elizabeth Blackwell

“Dr. Oaks made the remark that, according to the best estimate he could make, there were four hundred murders annually produced by abortion in that county alone….There must be a remedy for such a crying evil as this.”
– Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we wish.”
– Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“I deplore the horrible crime of child-murder…We want prevention, not merely punishment. We must reach the root of the evil, and destroy it.”
– Susan B. Anthony

“Guilty? Yes, no matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; but oh! thrice guilty is he who, for selfish gratification, heedless of her prayers, indifferent to her fate, drove her to the desperation which impels her to the crime.”
– Susan B. Anthony

“We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, of killings, of wars, of hatred. If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other.”
– Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”
– Mother Teresa

“Abortion kills twice. It kills the body of the baby and it kills the conscience of the mother. Abortion is profoundly anti-women. Three quarters of its victims are women: Half the babies and all the mothers.”
– Mother Teresa

“Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.”
– Alice Paul (author of the 1923 U.S. Equal Rights Amendment)

Alice Paul

Alice Paul

“My case was wrongfully decided, and has caused great harm to the women and children of our nation.”
– Norma McCorvey (former plaintiff in Roe v. Wade)

“Child murderers practice their profession without let or hindrance, and open infant butcheries unquestioned…Is there no remedy for all this ante-natal child murder?”
– Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton (early feminist)

How the Pro-Choice Mentality Exploits the Weak

Two recent articles illustrate the stark dichotomy between pro-choice and pro-life attitudes toward human life.

The first is a horrifying piece that appeared last week in The Telegraph:

“The unnamed girl was brought to the UK from Somalia with the intention of removing her organs and selling them on to those desperate for a transplant. According to the World Health Organisation as many as 7,000 kidneys are illegally obtained by traffickers each year around the world…

While there is a black market for organs such as hearts, lungs and livers, kidneys are the most sought after organs because one can be removed from a patient without any ill effects.

The process involves a number of people including the recruiter who identifies the victim, the person who arranges their transport, the medical professionals who perform the operation and the salesman who trades the organ.”

What does this have to do with abortion? Wintery Knight explains:

“Right now, we have a situation where a large number of people believe that it is OK to murder innocent unborn children so that their happiness in this world is not impacted by the needs of others. I believe that this pro-abortion position can easily be extrapolated to child-trafficking and organ-harvesting. After all, once you say that innocent unborn children can be murdered for your happiness, then what’s to prevent you from harvesting organs for less-innocent born children for your happiness? The logic of the pro-abortion view is “a grown person has more rights than an unborn person, because the grown person is bigger and stronger”. Well, a grown person is also bigger and stronger than a small born person. This is the pro-abortion view: bigger = “has more rights than”. It’s about exploiting weaker people who get in the way of your happiness.”

The second article is a great deal more hopeful. It tells the story of a woman who regretted her medically-induced abortion, and how her mother, boyfriend, priest, and doctor mobilized to reverse what was thought to be an irreversible decision.

“Nineteen years old and pregnant, Cynthia Galvan had an abortion pill in her mouth and turmoil in her soul. She was unmarried and felt unprepared for motherhood.

A medical abortion was the solution. The day before Galvan had ingested the first drug in the RU-486 regimen, mifepristone, intended to detach the embryo from the uterus. Now she was taking a misoprostol pill, which would cause her body to expel the baby.

Yet she doubted. Her mother was in tears over her decision, and a local pro-life doctor told Galvan over the phone he might be able to reverse the effects of the prior day’s pill.

A call to Planned Parenthood’s staff suggested the opposite: The baby was already dead, they assured her—or if not, it would be born with major birth defects. They warned that unless she took the second drug to expel the pregnancy now, she could experience severe pain.

Galvan spit the pill out, unsure who to believe.”

It goes on to describe how Dr. George Delgado successfully reversed the effects of RU-486 by administering intramuscular progesterone.

“Delgado’s theory was that by flooding Galvan’s body with progesterone, he could reverse any damage that might have occurred to her placenta…

The abortion drug Galvan had ingested, mifepristone, works by blocking natural progesterone. “When you don’t have the progesterone effect, the placenta and the embryo dies, and you have a medical abortion,” Delgado explains. In essence, mifepristone starves the baby of nutrition and oxygen.”

Delgado’s clinic has since set up a website and hotline. A report detailing 6 cases (4 of which were successful in reversing abortion) can be found in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

This also sets up the interesting question of whether or not organizations like Planned Parenthood will ever embrace this therapy as a legitimate choice for women who regret their medical abortions.

Twelve Questions to Ask Your Pro-Choice Friends

These questions are meant to provoke reflection and conversation. Some are intended to gauge the pro-choice individual’s commitments and presuppositions. Others are designed to poke holes in the philosophical justification for “abortion rights”. Responses are welcome, and encouraged.

1. In terms of biology, the human life cycle begins at conception and ends at death. At what point in this life cycle do you believe human life becomes “valuable”? Is the value of a human life an “all-or-nothing” attribute, or are some human lives more valuable than others?

2. At what point in this life cycle do you believe humans should acquire legal rights? Why?

3. Pro-choice philosophers typically define the value of a human life in terms of utility (development of brainwaves, consciousness, etc.). If this is true, then why is it morally acceptable to sacrifice pigs and dogs for the purpose of medical/scientific research, but not human infants? Neurologically speaking, it’s not at all controversial to say that pigs and dogs are in many ways “more advanced” than human infants. Yet society only accepts sacrificing the former for experimental purposes. Do you? If so, why?

4. Do you support paternal child support laws? (Consider this quote from Dr. Michael Pakaluk: “[Suppose] that the reason the woman has sole right to decide to have an abortion is that the status of the fetus somehow depends upon how she chooses to regard it: thus, the fetus is not a child until the mother decides that it is, say, at some point later in pregnancy. But then a consequence of this is that the man, through having intercourse with the woman, does not conceive a child. Rather, he conceives only a fetus, and the fetus at some later point becomes a child, only because of the woman’s deciding that it is. But then the man’s role in intercourse is not a cause of a child. He brought into existence only a fetus, and it was the woman’s decision to ‘continue the pregnancy through term’ that made it a child. But if so, it is not clear why the man should have any responsibility for the child. How could the woman bring a claim for paternity support against him? After all, he could rightly reply: ‘You decided to regard the fetus as a child; so the child is your responsibility.'”)

5. Numerous state and federal laws allow for criminals to be prosecuted if an assault on a pregnant women results in injury or death to the fetus. Do you support fetal homicide laws? Why or why not?

6. Perhaps the strongest argument in favor of “abortion rights” is the pregnant woman’s right to autonomy (read more here). This is especially relevant to abortion cases involving rape. Consider the following thought experiment: Suppose that a woman lives alone in a remote location. One day a man breaks into her home, assaults her, robs her, and before leaving, deposits his infant son on the woman’s kitchen table. Clearly it will require the sacrifice of both autonomy and valuable resources to care for the child until help arrives. Furthermore, it’s likely that the very sight of the infant brings back traumatic memories for the woman. Considering these challenges, is she morally justified in killing the infant, or allowing him to die of exposure? Does she have any legal (or moral) obligation to attend to the survival needs of the child?

7. What is your position on “two-minus-one” abortions? Are they ethical? Should they be legal?

8. Many of those who identify as “pro-choice” are particularly concerned with issues of inequality and discrimination. Are discriminatory abortions (such as sex-selective abortions) legally or morally defensible? Suppose that scientists developed a prenatal test to determine whether or not one’s child will be homosexual. Would you support a woman’s legal right to abort her fetus solely because of his homosexuality?

9. In the United States, many pro-choice activists believe that it violates women’s rights to ban abortions after 20 weeks (even when these restrictions include exceptions for maternal health). Suppose that two women get pregnant at the same time. At 23 weeks, the first woman decides to legally obtain an abortion. On the same day, the second woman delivers a premature infant. Several hours after the delivery, she decides she doesn’t want to “keep” the infant and smothers him to death. Should the second woman be held legally accountable for her action? Why or why not?

10. It is often claimed that a fetus cannot have legal rights if she isn’t “viable” (that is to say, capable of living independently outside of the womb). Interestingly, this fetus is capable of living and thriving within one environment (the womb) but not another (Earth’s atmosphere). You and I are capable of living and thriving in Earth’s atmosphere, but not underwater or on Jupiter. Does an individual’s ability to survive within a specific environment have any bearing on his or her moral worth?

11. Suppose you have a friend, daughter, or sister who excitedly begins informing people that she’s pregnant. Do you believe that it’s ethically consistent to simultaneously celebrate the new life growing within her, and deny the personhood and legal status of that new life? How would you respond if, after giving birth, she was reluctant to let pro-choice individuals near her child (knowing that they had, only recently, denied her child human rights and legal equality)?

12. What argument (or arguments) convinced you to identify as pro-choice? What did you find persuasive about these arguments? What objections to these arguments would you anticipate from pro-lifers, and how would you address these objections?

More Hard-Hitting Journalism from “Slate”

This morning I ran across one of those articles that manages to be both frustrating and (unintentionally) hilarious. And also kind of revealing.

I’ll be addressing it in block quotes, but you can read the original piece on Slate.

The author’s primary complaint seems to be that the successful film “It’s a Girl” – a documentary about the horrific practice of sex-selective abortions in China and India – was directed by someone with…*wait for it*…religious and pro-life connections. Since the film isn’t heavy-handedly “pro-life” in its approach, it’s being screened by a number of prominent feminist and pro-choice organizations.

“How did this happen? How did a movie linked to a pro-life group become the darling of the pro-choice community? The story involves clever disguises on the part of financing sources that managed to hide their involvement and pass off a movie about the horrors of sex-selection abortions as just a sympathetic movie about the plight of women in India and China.  And the pro-life message is subtle enough that they got away with it.”

It’s often said that pro-life and pro-choice activists should compromise by keeping abortion legal and simultaneously working together to reduce its prevalence and abuses. (Trent Horn correctly points out that this isn’t really a compromise at all. “Compromise entails two sides giving up parts of their position in order to reach a middle ground. This is just asking pro-life advocates to give up fighting for the unborn child’s right-to-live.”) Yet, ironically, a documentary that manages to achieve broad appeal across the pro-choice/pro-life spectrum is being attacked here simply because it was created by someone who is pro-life.

The author discovered this insidious pro-life connection by doing some online detective work (i.e. googling a few names).

“I finally searched the owners of the domain name associated with the film’s official production company. The domain name of Shadowline Films is registered to Evan Davis of Tucson, Ariz., (the same name as the filmmaker except without the middle name). Only after searching for ‘Evan Davis Tucson Arizona’ was I able to discover that Davis is also the media director of Harvest Media Ministry, and the domain name of that company is also registered to Evan Davis of Tucson…Among its portfolio of works, the website features a video describing ‘unborn children’ as ’46 million people who will be killed this year.'”

(Nice use of scare quotes, right?)

“On the website of Harvest Media, Evan Davis’ biography proclaims that his ‘passion is to equip those who are called to bring the hope and light of Jesus Christ to the world through the provision of strategic media communication tools and storytelling methods.’ Yet on his Facebook page that is associated with the film, under his religious views, he states that ‘it’s against my relationship to have a religion.'”

…which is an extremely common expression in many evangelical circles. But to her credit, the author did manage to sort out this apparent contradiction by interviewing Mr. Davis. He explained: “I don’t identify myself with a denominational group. But I believe in God. My faith is a factor in what motivates me in wanting to help people around the world and never tried to hide that.”

“Yet the film’s press kit does not mention his affiliation with Harvest Media Ministry and describes him as a ‘social justice advocate’ who writes videos and directs educational documentaries ‘championing the causes of the poor and exploited.'”

(Since, you know, these things are clearly incompatible with being religious and pro-life.)

“Why go to such efforts to hide the fact that Evan Davis aka Evan Grae Davis has also worked for a company that creates videos on behalf of faith-based groups to promote their interpretations of the teachings of Jesus Christ?”

Wow, this guy was even using an alias! Sometimes he used his middle name, and sometimes he didn’t. What a scumbag. Fortunately, efforts to hide his connection with Harvest Media Ministry were no match for this author’s unstoppable search engine skillz.

“When I asked Davis about this, he said that there was no ulterior motive in his failure to disclose his affiliation with Harvest Media Ministry and said he no longer works for the organization even though his biography is still on their website.”

Caught. Red. Handed.

“Pro-life groups have in recent years begun using the practice of sex-selective abortion—a practice that is rare in the United States—in foreign countries as an excuse for limiting women’s access to abortion here at home. A bill was recently filed in the North Carolina legislature to ban sex-selective abortion, and a similar bill was defeated in the U.S. House of Representatives last year. Although no one supports sex-selective abortion, pro-choice groups correctly worry that such laws could be misused to restrict abortion more broadly.”

Wait…”no one” supports sex-selective abortion? Clearly some people do, or they wouldn’t be happening.

“Regardless of what Davis’ goal is in making the movie, it is clear that efforts have been made to hide any affiliation with Harvest Media Ministry. In fact, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, a partner organization for which the film’s official website seeks donations, and whose founder features prominently in the film is also part of a coalition that seeks to ban sex-selection abortion in the United States.”

Yeah, you read that right. It turns out that the director of a documentary exposing the “tragic practice of sex-selection abortions” (<< the author’s words, not mine) is, in fact, in cahoots with an organization that seeks to ban sex-selective abortions in the United States.

Ten Outstanding Pro-Life Articles

Today is the 40th anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade decision – as good a day as any to pass along some pro-life resources that I’ve found particularly insightful:

  1. Bad Pro-Choice Arguments (Neil Shenvi): Dr. Shenvi debunks a number of popular, yet seriously flawed, pro-choice arguments. Examples include “The unborn is not a human being, it is just a mass of cells” and “We should combat abortion by reducing poverty, not by making it illegal.” 
  2. Questions for Pro-Choice People (Michael Pakaluk): Dr. Pakaluk poses some tough questions to those who support legalized abortion. This is a must-read for anyone who considers himself “pro-choice”, but nonetheless has a few inner qualms about the actual practice of abortion.
  3. A Future Like Ours (Clinton Wilcox): This summary of Don Marquis’s “Future Like Ours” argument appeared recently on the Secular Pro-Life Perspectives blog. The argument states that murder is wrong, in part, because it deprives the victim of future experiences. This “future value” of a living entity constitutes a sufficient reason to presume that killing is wrong. Abortion is thus tantamount to murder…even though the embryo or fetus is at an early developmental stage, and may lack some of the physical qualities that we otherwise associate with “humanness”.
  4. The Pro-Life Position and the Bible (J.W. Wartick): My friend J.W. demonstrates how Scripture compellingly supports a pro-life stance. He’s written extensively on the issue of abortion, and you can check out an index of his pro-life posts HERE.
  5. Why I Lost Faith in the Pro-Choice Movement (Jennifer Fulwiler): In this powerful narrative, Ms. Fulwiler explains how she came to abandon her support of “abortion rights”. In particular, she discusses the widespread fear of information within the pro-choice movement, as well as the startling lack of interest among many pro-choicers in defining when, exactly, we should start protecting life.
  6. Unstringing the Violinist (Gregory Koukl): The well-known “violinist argument” for abortion rights (sometimes formulated as the “parasite argument”) is widely regarded as one of the most persuasive pro-choice arguments. Mr. Koukl uncovers some serious flaws with this argument, however, and explains why its strength is only illusory. In addition to Mr. Koukl’s criticisms, I would also emphasize the issue of implicit consent to the possibility of pregnancy that comes with the act of sex – at least in the vast majority of abortion cases that don’t involve rape.
  7. Why Your Friends are ‘Pro-Choice’ (Scott Klusendorf): This article analyzes the common claim, “I don’t like abortion, but I don’t think the government should be involved in taking away a woman’s choice” (or, “Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one.”). Abortion is wrong not because pro-lifers find it distasteful, but because it violates rational moral principles.
  8. Responding to Pro-Choice Bumper Sticker Speak (Jennie Stone): This is a great response to some of the more common pro-choice ‘one-liners’. I also recommend checking out the articles she cites near the beginning (by Kristen Walker and Kristi Brown, respectively).
  9. Pro-Life or “Anti-Abortion”? Who Decides? (Richard Evans): Richard reflects on how terminology (“pro-life” vs. “anti-abortion”) is used to re-frame the debate. He also raises some important questions about what “choice” really means…and when it should take place.
  10. Guest Post on BadCatholic (Michael Frances): In the “pro-choice” vs. “pro-life” debate, which viewpoint is the scientific default, and which viewpoint must rely on philosophical or religious assumptions? The answer might surprise you.

As a bonus, I’ve listed below a few of my own previous articles on the issue of abortion:

  1. The Roots of the Abortion Debate: I explain why pro-life and pro-choice advocates both seem to genuinely believe they are acting ethically. The answer, I believe, often boils down to one’s philosophical views on the value of life.
  2. Abortion Methods: An Overview: I describe the various surgical and non-surgical methods used to terminate a pregnancy. I intentionally avoided using gory photographs, but the content is nonetheless quite disturbing. As it should be.
  3. Possibly the Worst New York Times Op-Ed in the History of New York Times Op-Eds: This was my response to a NY Times opinion piece by Thomas Friedman. I point out the hypocrisy of those who support a “woman’s right to choose” when it comes to killing her unborn child, but not when it comes to consuming “giant sugary drinks”.
  4. In Defense of the Pro-Life Movement: A Response to Greg Rubottom: In this post, I respond to attacks on the pro-life movement from a member of the “progressive Christian” community. In the comment section, you’ll see that this also involved some interaction with Frank Schaeffer (the son of Francis Schaeffer).

If you have any good pro-life resources that I’ve overlooked, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

In Defense of the Pro-Life Movement: A Response to Greg Rubottom

Earlier today I received an email from a good friend, asking for my feedback on Greg Rubottom’s recent guest post on Frank Schaeffer’s Patheos blog. The original article (“Death throes of a great deception – the fall from grace of the pro-life movement”) can be found here.

About three sentences into my response email, I decided to make this into a blog post. The article is fairly long, so I’ll try to limit myself to the major points.

Rubottom begins by describing “the Republican Party’s nefarious campaign to teach Americans that God opposes abortion”. He includes this paragraph:

“Modern medical abortion is a relatively new phenomenon in the world. When this procedure was unexpectedly legalized in 1972 many struggled to understand it. There were no centuries old church degrees (sic) concerning abortion in existence. The responsibility therefore fell on all believers to decide for themselves what the “will of God” might be concerning abortion.”

I don’t want to spend too much time nitpicking history…but medical abortions have been around for thousands of years (qualifying them as “modern” in order to call it a “new phenomenon” is just being redundant). Christians have been responding to the practice (and generally condemning it) since Roman times. It isn’t as if the moral ramifications of abortion suddenly fell from the sky in 1972, blindsiding Christians everywhere.

“The pro-life believer feels confident that rape can not be the will of God – because rape is a bad thing. But despite the other obvious “bad things” staring them in the face, a woman required to bear a rapist’s child against her will and a child growing up with a rapist father, they still steadfastly refuse to consider the possibility that God might actually prefer to terminate a conception.”

Are we to play God, then, and decide that a fetus conceived through rape is undeserving of life? Do the circumstances of a person’s conception really determine their worth? Doesn’t this just open the door to prejudices from the not-so-distant past, when “bastards” were socially stigmatized as adults for the circumstances of their conception?

Or consider the following scenario from Dr. Neil Shenvi:

“Imagine a woman living in some remote area. A man breaks into her home and rapes her. But before leaving, he leaves his newborn son in her kitchen. The sight of the baby obviously brings back horrible memories for the woman. But is she morally justified in killing him to avoid the pain? No. Even if it takes the government weeks or even months to come take the baby, he should not be killed for the actions of the rapist. She is certainly a hero for caring for the needs of the innocent child. But her only other option – to kill the child – is morally wrong.”

“The pro-life worldview is promoted in our Evangelical churches [and by the Roman Catholic bishops] almost entirely by means of a very powerful appeal to ones’ empathetic emotions, along with a preference for some scripture over others and a complete denial or perversion of yet others. All to try to make a case for “human soul life” beginning at conception.”

Rubottom makes no attempt to engage with the Scriptural evidence for the pro-life position, but I think it’s worth taking a moment to do so. If you’re at all uncertain about the Biblical basis for the pro-life position, I implore you to read this excellent summary from JW Wartick.

“The teaching of the pro-life heresy in America’s churches (along with other blatant heresies all stemming from the belief in an inerrant Bible) imperils the very survival of Christianity in America.”

I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but I think Mr. Rubottom tips his hand here. After spending several paragraphs explaining why the Christian stance against abortion is in conflict with the Bible, he now claims that it’s a heresy stemming from a belief in an inerrant Bible.

Just think about that.

It’s an implicit concession that there is a Biblical basis for the pro-life position. Furthermore, by claiming that the Bible contains errors, he seriously undermines his previous attempts to refute the pro-life position on Biblical grounds.

“Just like nature, people should choose to allow a conception to proceed if a healthy body is understood as likely and the external environment is favorable for nurturing an emerging soul. Choice is simply another of God’s tools promoting our evolution toward perfection.”

Your eugenics alarm should be going off about now.

“God trusts nature to use her wisdom at times to destroy a fetus to ensure the best “body environment” for the potential soul.”

The author makes the mistake here of assuming that spontaneous abortions are acceptable to God (rather than a form of natural evil). In the absence of clear evidence that a fetus isn’t a “human person”, this is akin to saying, “God trusts nature to use her wisdom at times to destroy (via lightning strikes, flash floods, and eathquakes) newborn infants that lack an ideal ‘body environment’.”

And again, what kind of message is this sending to the physically and mentally disabled living among us, who WERE born with less-than-ideal “body environments”? Are their lives somehow less valuable? Isn’t this essentially telling people from impoverished families and broken homes that their lives aren’t worth living?

Is this the message of Jesus?

“Humanity must follow nature’s and God’s example by judging the “exterior environment” into which the potential soul will be born. The mental and physical fitness of the mother and father. The physical resources. Is there severe damage to the fetal body nature is blind to? Would pregnancy endanger the life of the mother? Is the conception against the will of the mother? All of these external environmental factors must be considered and found acceptable in order for one to truly say that “God approves” that another soul come into the world.”

As Mary Ann points out in the comments section, shouldn’t Jesus himself have been aborted according to this criteria? Wasn’t He born into abject poverty, in a barn, to an unwed mother?

Rubottom argues that babies shouldn’t be carried to term if the external environmental factors are unfavorable. Yet even a child born into a stable, upper-class family is certain to experience some degree of pain and hardship during her life. This “exterior environment” argument just seems so…arbitrary. Is there even such as thing as an ideal environment for bringing a new soul into the world?

Throughout the article, Rubottom spends a good deal of time arguing that the human body is merely a “container”, and that the soul is created as a “process” during human development. Yet, astonishingly, he shows no interest in even attempting to define when a human life becomes valuable and worth protecting.

When should we start protecting human life, and why? This ought to be the first question that’s asked.

My Previous Posts on Abortion

The Roots of the Abortion Debate

Abortion Methods: An Overview

A Pre-Election Post: Abortion and Right of Conscience

Possibly the Worst New York Times Op-Ed in the History of New York Times Op-Eds