21 May 2007

Death Roe: Who decides?

(Possibly a recurring series)

The following is from DeathRoe.com, a pro-life site. They have a page which offers pro-life answers to pro-abortion questions. Here is the first:

Pro-abortion stance--
The issue is who decides, the woman or the state. It’s about freedom of choice.

The abortion lobby has always realized that abortion itself is indefensible. This has forced them to argue that whether abortion is the deliberate killing of a living human being or not, is unrelated to the question of whether it should be legal. In short, they have to divert attention toward the philosophical concepts of “choice” and “who decides” because they can’t afford for the public to look at what’s being chosen and decided.

To imply that the issue is not abortion, but choice, is to say that what’s being chosen is irrelevant. That is clearly illogical given that all choices are not equal. Choosing whether to buy a new car is vastly different than choosing whether to produce child pornography, and the morality of those choices is not affected by the eventual decision. However, the pro-choice position is that abortion becomes acceptable simply by the act of choosing to do it.

Defenders of slavery also used this same strategy. During the 1858 Abraham Lincoln- Stephen Douglas debates, Douglas said he did not support outlawing slavery, saying, “I am now speaking of rights under the Constitution, and not of moral or religious rights. I do not discuss the morals of the people favoring slavery, but let them settle that matter for themselves. I hold that the people who favor slavery are civilized, that they bear consciences, and that they are accountable to God and their posterity and not to us. It is for them to decide therefore the moral and religious right of the slavery question for themselves within their own limits.”

Just substitute the word abortion every place the word slavery appears, and this statement perfectly defines the pro-choice position in America today. Lincoln’s response to Douglas’ pro-choice position on slavery was, “He cannot say that he would as soon see a wrong voted up as voted down. When Judge Douglas says whoever, or whatever community, wants slaves, they have a right to them, he is perfectly logical if there is nothing wrong in the institution; but if you admit that it is wrong, he cannot logically say that anybody has a right to do a wrong.”

Lincoln recognized that there is nothing intrinsically noble about the concept of choice, and that there are choices which a society cannot allow the individual to make.

The fact is, before one can rightly claim that the issue is “choice” or “who decides,” he or she must first examine what’s being chosen. If it’s what color shoes to wear, that’s one thing; if it’s whether to kill another human being, that’s another. Except in self-defense, the decision about whether one human being can kill another one cannot be left up to the individual who wants to do the killing.

Besides, this “who decides, the woman or the state” rhetoric is idiotic on its face. Laws against abortion would not let the state decide who gets abortions any more than laws against rape let the state decide who gets raped. Instead, they establish that certain behaviors are so unacceptable they must be illegal.

Finally, as used by abortion advocates, the term “pro-choice” is both inaccurate and dishonest. In an abortion, at least three people are directly impacted: the mother, the father, and the child. The pro-choice argument is that only one is entitled to a choice. Additionally, it has never been a part of their agenda to protect any choice other than abortion. They don’t lobby for women to have the legal right to be prostitutes or use crack cocaine. Yet these laws, and thousands of others, deny women “the right to choose” just as much as laws preventing abortion would.

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