An article posted on the liberal website salon.com shows the tragedy of a society that lost its conscience 44 years ago and has now murdered 55 million innocent citizens for pure selfishness and convenience.
The author, Mary Williams, unashamedly says that she knows and has always known that human life begins at conception but that she is ardently pro-abortion and could care less. Her basic argument that she tries to make in a horrendously written piece filled with logical fallacies is that since we treat life in different segments of society differently (ie, criminals, terminally ill, war victims), then it is the same thing with unborn “fetus” human life. Her final argument is that the rights of some human life trumps the life of other human life and so abortion is a not tragic in any sense. It is simply a matter of societal structure that needs to be understood.
The title of Miss Williams’ article explains the disgusting content of the article “So what if abortion ends life?” and although it will infuriate those with a conscience, especially Christians, it is an important read. It is rather easy to find quality, dependable information arguing the pro-life position, and so I am not going to write about that. Many great blogs have been written this week challenging us to embrace life as this is the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, so I do not need to write concerning that. But I do want to address the rhetoric and arguments Miss Williams makes from the perspective of philosophy and worldview.
Miss Williams begins her article with the following:
Of all the diabolically clever moves the anti-choice lobby has ever pulled, surely one of the greatest has been its consistent co-opting of the word “life.” Life! Who wants to argue with that? Who wants be on the side of … not-life?
I was fascinated by her opening line. This is a common tactic in rhetoric, frame your opponent as not playing by the rules-not playing fair. But she even goes further, she not only says that “Pro-life” people don’t play fair, they are guilty of evil moves and they are lobbyists. She ignores the fact, that most pro-life groups are privately funded and are made up of moms and dads who work normal jobs, but value life. She labels them as faceless lobbyists filled with diabolical schemes to only cares about getting people on their side. This rhetoric tries to create sympathy before an opinion or position is even stated. It is an obvious tactic…that works most of the time. It was sadly comical to read the article further as Miss Williams seemingly pleads for dialogue and “fearless and empathetic” conversation, while at the same time calling those who disagree with her as “wingnuts,” “archconservatives who browbeat us,” “push for indefensible violations like [gasp] forced ultrasounds,” and “bullies.” So much for empathetic dialogue!
The content of Miss Williams article was also lacking in other areas as well. She never did answer the question, “So what if abortion ends life?” She assumed the answer, obviously her answer is that is no big deal. She took a complex issue, life, and dumbed it down to “Meh, life shmife” [my words not hers]. What if we did that with other complex issues? Thousands of people die in wars, “So what if war ends life?” Or the brutal killing of the teachers and students in Newtown, CT, “So what if those kindergartners lost their life, the shooter was older his life had more value?” Now, I am not suggesting that Miss Williams would ever say such a thing, but this is the essence of her argument.
But we make choices about life all the time in our country. We make them about men and women in other nations. We make them about prisoners in our penal system. We make them about patients with terminal illnesses and accident victims. We still have passionate debates about the justifications of our actions as a society, but we don’t have to do it while being bullied around by the vague idea that if you say we’re talking about human life, then the jig is up, rights-wise.
This too is a logical fallacy, to apply particular choices in one instance to another unrelated instance. She is saying that since we make choices about others life in going to war then we can decide to kill the human life of an unborn baby. Since we make decisions as to whether or not a criminal can die, then we can kill a baby in the womb. Since we may choose to unplug a terminally ill patient from life support, then we can have abortions. This is lunacy rhetorically speaking. The complexity of pregnancy and the formation of life in the womb is not of the same type as arguments about war. One glaring difference in all these examples, Miss Williams thinks she deftly proves her case with (this is the only argument she gives), is that in each of these situations, the “victim” has a voice. Possibly with a comatose patient, the person does not have a choice (and I am not saying euthanasia is acceptable), but this is why such cases become so prevalent in the public sector, and most of the time, someone close to the person has some idea of the unresponsive person’s choice in the matter. Who is advocating for the human life in the womb. Even in our penal system, we give representation to advocate for serial killers, but the courts do not appoint an advocate for the innocent child in the womb. Miss Williams, your logic is astounding and your supposed argument is baseless.
The closing argument of the piece is astounding.
And I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.
Miss Williams often comes back to the reality that the “fetus” is life, but she honestly admits that it is a life of lesser importance and worth sacrificing so that the woman can have life. Some might think, but that is a difficult decision, life of the baby or the life of the mother. But wait, Miss Williams is not talking about the “life of the mother” in the terms of death, but rather in the quality of life, the love of life, the fullness of life, the happiness of life. Earlier in the article she said that she is over 40 and if she got pregnant, she would not hesitate to have the “World’s Greatest Abortion.” She is redefining life for women and comparing it to the real meaning of life for a baby. This too is a clever logical fallacy. Who wants to say that they do not cherish life for the mother. But wait, one cannot use the word life to mean to clearly different things in one sentence, that is intellectually dishonest and deceitful. In essence she is talking about trading a beating heart, creative mind, fingers and toes, a smiling face, legs and hands, personality and human life for the convenience of being able to have your cup of coffee every day, being able to go to the store whenever you want, being comfortable and conveniently unhindered by the troubles of a child. Miss Williams, what makes that baby’s life worth sacrificing, but your life not worth sacrificing. You have indeed assigned value to human life, but really only your life–and that is the essence of narcissistic sadism.