In the first part of this post, we looked at the false dichotomy created by one abortion advocate’s position that abortion must remain legal in order to protect a woman’s health. In her article in The Atlantic titled, “The Dishonesty of the Abortion Debate”, Caitlin Flanagan also acknowledges that a baby in the womb is just as human as anyone reading this.
Let’s stop right there. While it’s troubling to imagine any woman undergoing a so-called “back alley” abortion, shouldn’t it be even more troubling that anyone could acknowledge how abortion snuffs a life and then justify that it’s okay because it (allegedly) helped a woman out?
Most pro-abortion advocates will argue that the unborn child is pre human (or not yet a person with right). In this way they avoid the whole question of whether abortion kills a human being.
But, the author of this piece is sincere in her acknowledgement of human life, growth, and development inside the womb. She doesn’t see a clump of cells; she sees a baby. She acknowledges the science that proves an unborn baby is a person. And yet, she believes it’s okay to decide to end that baby’s life.
Remember the old lifeboat ethics dilemma? Students are encouraged to argue who can stay on the overcrowded boat, and who must leave in order to spare the lives of the others. Determining who lives and who dies is a true moral dilemma. There are no other options, there’s no way to save all the people.
But abortion is not this kind of dilemma. With very few exceptions, most abortions do not happen in the context of taking one life to spare another.
So if one can acknowledge life, but choose not to respect it, don’t they take a position similar to that of history’s worst perpetrators of crimes against humanity? How can you recognize humanity and yet justify its slaughter? Admitting a baby in the womb is fully human and then arguing it’s okay to kill this child is macabre at best, heinous at worst.
It’s been said that no one who owns a zoo would watch the animals killing their young and say, "We should help them do that more efficiently." Instead they'd say, "What's happening in this zoo that is causing mothers to believe they have to kill their own children?"
We can feel compassion for the women who were desperate enough to use Lysol to kill their babies. But, we aren’t actually offering them any helpful solutions through legalized abortion. The truth is, this one procedure doesn’t help women with any of the issues surrounding their decision to have an abortion. It can’t improve their marriages, their finances, or their pain. Abortion can’t take away all the stress or heal broken relationships. Abortion isn’t an antibiotic. It doesn’t make the sick person well. It only removes the baby. Who’s there to care about her heart, her hurt, or her health after the deed is done?
Perhaps we need to ask this question: What is happening in our culture that causes mothers to believe it’s better for them to kill their children? If we could put as many of our resources into helping the hurting expectant mother—both physically and emotionally—how different would our culture look?
Yes, it’s barbaric to think that a woman facing a crisis pregnancy was once offered a can of Lysol. But, if we’re intellectually honest, don’t we need to look at the data and ask if offering her a legal abortion is really that much better? Abortion advocates promised that legalized abortion would help take care of a number of issues—ranging from child abuse, to poverty, to illegitimate births—but none of these promises have been fulfilled. Maybe the real dishonesty of the abortion debate is not about the numbers of women who die from illegal abortions or the atrocities that allegedly happened before Roe v. Wade, but rather the fact that abortion can’t cure society’s ills or heal women.
Accordingly, the Pro Abundant Life response is to be the proverbial zookeeper who works tirelessly to improve the “environment” so that the vulnerable never have to be sacrificed to preserve the lives of the powerful.