The debate thus far:
Part 2: I object.
Part 3: Calvin Defends.
Terminating a pregnancy in the first term isn’t murder. You know it, I know it, and anti-abortion activists know it. The difference is that those who campaign against legalized abortion don’t realize they know it.
Here’s how we know: we judge people’s sincerity in holding their views based on what they do, not what they say.
When I presented the dialogue between Josh Marshall and David Horowitz I did not judge the editor of Talking Points Memo by what he said about his position on the war with Islamofascism. Whether he says — and thinks — he takes it seriously or not is irrelevant in uncovering what’s actually lurking in his heart and mind. Instead I studied where he chose to invest his publication’s time and resources. And the answer was that according to TPM conservatives and corporations were a greater threat to the world than Islamists. Just count up the number of stories and posts of both subjects and it becomes clear what Marshall really thinks.
So anti-abortion activists can use whatever rhetoric they want in trying to fight legalized abortion. But they won’t be taken seriously because their actions quite clearly do not match their rhetoric. (And it’s harder to take Calvin’s use of “murder” as anything more than emotional rhetoric when he actually confesses “does it make a difference?” as though words don’t matter. It’s as though the ends justify the means in the quest to criminalize abortion. And I’m sorry, but the question is important. If abortion is murder then women who get abortions should be regarded as murderers and considered social pariahs.)
If a stranger’s child is going to be murdered then you do whatever it takes to prevent that from happening. You’re morally obligated to do so. If you have to kidnap the child or shoot their would-be assassin then you do it. And you accept the consequences for it. If I had to commit a crime and spend time in jail to prevent a stranger’s child from being slaughtered then I would without hesitation.
If abortion is murder and the past 40 years of legalized abortion is indeed a Holocaust then the fact of the matter is that every bombing of a clinic and assassination of an abortion provider is entirely justified. It’s literally no different than waging guerilla warfare against Nazi Germany — no different than attacking a concentration camp. Thus, the main reason why mainstream anti-abortion advocates condemn such violence is because it’s such bad PR for the cause — not because they think it’s morally wrong for abortionists to get the death penalty or be prevented from ever aborting another fetus.
Here’s the secret for why we all know in our bones that abortion isn’t murder: we are trained instinctively by nature to understand that not every pregnancy will result in a new human being. John Nampion wrote in his post,
Whether a fetus is a life now seems to me to be beside the point. We can at least all agree that it will become life if not interfered with.
But that’s not true at all — it never has been true in any animal species on the planet and it’s not true in us. Miscarriage is a basic fact of reproduction:
Miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Chemical pregnancies may account for 50-75% of all miscarriages. This occurs when a pregnancy is lost shortly after implantation, resulting in bleeding that occurs around the time of her expected period. The woman may not realize that she conceived when she experiences a chemical pregnancy.