To date, I have not written anything on abortion, but the recent case against Kermit Grosnell, a physician in Philadelphia well known for providing abortions for poor minority and immigrant women, who was found guilty of murdering three babies born alive in his abortion clinic as well as being found guilty for involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of an adult patient, brings up some fundamental issues I have always had with the logic or the basic common sense lacking in the abortion argument.
I have never been able to comprehend how the minds of some of our best and brightest (not wisest) doctors, health care providers, policymakers, judges, and politicians can split hairs and separate the life of a fetus from the life of a baby or how they can put the right of a women to do what she wants with her body above the right of a child to live once conceived. It is unclear to me how the right to abortion is a victory for women or how it advances the cause of women. I do get that there are times when abortion may be necessary such as in the cases of rape, incest or serious physical danger to the mother, but other than that, to me one has to totally deny their life-affirming conscience to advocate, promote, politic and practice abortion. Abortion is not a celebration of life or the happy exercise of one’s rights, but a sad solution to a larger problem. Abortion is like treating cancer with chicken soup.
As many a bumper sticker factually state: “As a former fetus, I oppose abortion”, I find it difficult for me to understand how one comfortably makes a distinction between killing a 12 week old fetus and killing a 12 week old baby. In both cases a life was taken, one just a little earlier than the other. Nullifying a life in a womb, nullifies any chance of a life outside of the womb; you cannot have life period without first being conceived and having a life in a womb. The only logic that can be applied to make this distinction is both mean and twisted.
It is inconceivable to me that all of my family members’ and friends’ right to life was secondary to our mothers’ reproductive rights and it is only by some luck of fate that mercifully our mothers chose life over abortion. Can you imagine making comments like “if only they were a fetus…” or “if you were a fetus, I would take you out” or holding up political signs that say: “fetuses are inconvenient and are a drain on our limited resources”. How dark, silly and offensive are those statements, but these are the statements that can be made straight from the mother logic used to support abortion. Kermint Grosnell’s excesses, beyond just what he was convicted for, were a direct result of this inhuman logic.
I can’t help but believe that at some point as a society our collective conscience did not somehow get stunted. Could it be our emphasis on lust over love? Could it be our obsession with all things sexual– sexual freedoms (whatever that may mean), sexual technique, sexual orientation–over sexual boundaries? Or could it be more general, our emphasis on rights without responsibilities, or our fantasy that actions should not carry consequences, consequences often out of our control. It’s hard to tell, but to me it seems that abortion is not indicative of a progressive civilization celebrating life, but a shadow of a civilization regressing into selfishness and brutality with a very low value placed on life. We have to come up with better policies than abortion for a woman’s plight when she has an unwanted pregnancy. We have to be more supportive of life no matter how it comes to us.