Thursday, July 02, 2009

Can you be 'Sort of' Pro-life?

My wife was having a discussion with a friend regarding the abortion issue and her friend stated the following:

"I am for the life of the baby, but I believe that others should be given a choice."

Admittedly, this statement baffles me. If you look at the statement again, this person is basically saying:

"I am for the life of the baby, but I believe that others should have the right to kill their baby."

There is no middle ground. The question then arises, "Can someone be personally "for the life of the baby," but then claim that others should have the choice to kill it? Clearly, the answer is no. You are either for the life of a child or you are not. You are either pro-life or pro-death.

Please do not misunderstand the purpose behind this post. I concede that there was a time when one could have gotten away with claiming that the abortion issue was merely a “religious issue,” however, that is no longer the case. Modern science, as indicated here, has proven that life does indeed begin at conception.

Further, philosophers such as Doug Groothuis, provide sound, non-religious arguments in-favor of the pro-life position that can be seen here.

As Groothuis rightly puts it:

"...who are we to say just what qualities make for membership in the moral community of persons? The stakes are very high in this question. If we are wrong in our identification of what qualities are sufficient for personhood and we allow a person to be killed, we have allowed the wrongful killing of nothing less than a person. Therefore, I argue that the best ontology is to regard personhood as a substance or essence that is given at conception. Even if one is not sure when personhood kicks in, one should err on the side of being conservative simply because so much is at stake." [1]

Further, where does the right to choose end? Meaning, if someone believes that they should be able to kill an 8 month old child (late-term abortion), as our current president does, how does one then turn around and say it’s wrong to kill a one-year old child? On what grounds can you say one is right and the other is wrong?

In Greg Koukl's newest book, Tactics, he writes of a conversation he once had with a lady, who was a Wiccan, who believed, "women should have a choice..." It went as follows:

Koukl: "So you're Wiccan?"

Lady(nodding): "It's an Earth religion, like the Native Americans. We respect all life."

Koukl: "If you respect all life, then I suppose you're pro-life."

Lady: "No, actually I'm not. I'm pro-choice."

Koukl: "Isn't that an unusual position for someone in Wicca to take, I mean, since you're committed to respecting all life?"

Lady: "You're right. It is odd. I know that I could never do that. I mean, I could never kill a baby."

Koukl: "Well, maybe you wouldn't do anything to hurt a baby, but other people would. Shouldn't we do something to stop them from killing babies?"

Lady: "I think women should have a choice."

Koukl: "Do you mean women should have the choice to kill their own babies?"

Lady: "Well...I think all things should be taken into consideration on this question."

Koukl: "Okay, tell me: What kind of considerations would make it all right to kill a baby?"

Lady: "Incest."

Koukl: "Hmm. Let me see if I understand. Let's just say I had a two-year-old child standing next to me who had been conceived as a result of incest. On your view, it seems, I should have the liberty to kill her. Is that right?"

Lady: "I'd have mixed feelings about that." [2]

As Koukl goes on to say, "I hope so!"

Conclusion

Many have concluded that being personally opposed to abortion, while believing others have the right to choose it, is some kind of compromise between the pro-abortion and pro-life positions.
It isn't. There exists no difference between one that is pro-choice and one that is pro-abortion. To the baby who dies it makes no difference whether those who refused to protect her were pro-abortion or "merely" pro-choice about abortion. [3]

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Resources:

1. Doug Groothuis, Why I am Pro-life: A Short, nonsectarian Argument, http://theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2009/03/why-i-am-pro-life-short-nonsectarian.html, March 2009, Emphasis Mine.
2. Greg Koukl, Tactics: A Game Plan for discussing your Christian Convictions, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008), p. 25-26.
3. Randy Alcorn, Why Pro-Life?, p. 94-95.

2 comments:

Brian said...

Indeed. It boils down to moral relativism and the idea that intolerance is the unpardonable sin. Don't anyone dare say that something is wrong!

Can you imagine someone is saying, "I personally think rape is wrong -- but for someone else it might be okay."

Anonymous said...

Hello. I have been re-visiting the issue of abortion lately. Thanks for this post. I read the article by Dr. Groothuis, and felt that it was thought provoking. However, just as food for thought, perhaps contraception (oral contraceptives in particular), should be looked at more closely. Although two mechanisms of action deal with prohibiting the egg and sperm from meeting, the third mechanism of actions involves a fertilized egg which takes place AFTER conception. The fertilized egg has a completely different DNA profile from either the father or mother. The third mechanism of action of oral contraceptives can prohibit implantation of the fertilized egg due to changes in the composition of the uterine lining (which is a result of hormonal changes occuring due to the oral contraceptive). So whether intentional or not, the loss of life at the earliest stage can occur possibly as a result of use of oral contraceptives.