Our Ongoing Holocaust

By most estimates, the death toll since Roe v. Wade 40 years ago today stands at 55 million people. I was never indifferent to the slaughter of the unborn, but I was at one time “pro-choice” because I didn’t believe it was “right” or “practical” to ban abortion. In time, I realized what a facile dodge that was. If people are being murdered, you don’t just shrug and say “Well, I can’t impose my views against murder on their executioners”: you stop the killing.

In our history, the depths of our crimes have always been evident to some while they were being committed, whether it was herding Indians onto reservations to die or enslaving a captive people.  Each was made possible by denying the humanity of a group of people.

Child at 8 weeks

The humanity of an unborn child is self-evident. It’s not in a state of becoming human. It is fully human because all that he or she shall be already exists in pure potentiality, and is already becoming actual. The pages of the book of life are bound, and the text begun, at the moment of conception. Life–this wholly improbable miracle, this staggering power–has been unleashed.

You can’t unmake a person. You can only deny that a person is a person, and then kill him or her.

Please don’t ever deceive yourself about that lie, or reduce this to some gibberish about “women’s health.” (“Health of the mother” accounts for fewer than 3% of abortions.) Pregnancy is not an illness. It’s a wholly predictable and widely understood result of sex. It’s what sex does. The pro-life movement is not denying a woman a “right” because there is no such right in natural, common, or constitutional law: just a sleight of hand by a Supreme Court acting way beyond its mandate.

Today, people will March for Life, as they have for the past 40 years. And, as always, the media will ignore them. If 400,000 people can show up in Washington to protest something and the popular press collectively yawns, then it’s up to the alternative media to make sure those voices are heard.

Although I can’t be there today, I’m one of those voices. My name’s Thomas L. McDonald: I’m a husband, father, writer, editor, teacher, student, and American. And I am pro-life.

About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • bill bannon

    Deacon Kandra refers to Ed Peter’s article that according to canon law, pro choice Catholic pols cannot be excommunicated yet in 2011, Pope Benedict amended canon law for liturgy reasons: http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=11891
    So…apparently canon law is not analogous to the stone tablets from Sinai…it can be amended when a Pope is interested in doing so. To the non Catholic intelligent, literate world then…we might look odd in that we excommunicate latae sententiae a young girl who has an abortion and the attendant nurses if Catholic but the pro choice Catholic pols haven’t a worry as they enable young girls to do so. It looks half hearted to the outside world. Excommunication is partly for the good of the soul excommunicated…to shock it into fear of the Lord which scripture says is the beginning of wisdom. Why can a Pope take the trouble to amend canon law in a lesser than life area…but leave the abortion canon in a piecemeal state in the abortion area?

  • Subsistent

    “If people are being murdered, …: you stop the killing.” Yeah, but if that person is murdered (cut to pieces, burned, poisoned, or crushed) when it’s inside your body, how as a practical matter do you legally enforce any law against such murder? By going after the abortionist: the murdered child is not inside HIS body. (And, of course, he usually gets money for his killing.)
    Once established in law that a human embryo or fetus is a person, is there even any need for a statute specifically against abortion? Why couldn’t a direct killing of a human embryo or fetus by an abortionist be prosecuted as a homicide?

  • http://cs.gettysburg.edu/~tneller/ Todd Neller

    Another good post I’ve seen lately: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/we-know-they-are-killing-children-all-of-us-know
    Thank you for adding your voice and persisting in hope that our nation may repent of this sin, Thomas.

  • Rivkah

    I’m hear from the front page of Patheos. I thought you might like to know that using the term “Holocaust” without substantiation is going to make many people — especially Jewish individuals — ignore your message. Even if they would otherwise be sympathetic to your words and someone whose heart and mind you could change, using this comparison will cause them to completely shut down any willingness to listen to your message.

    Of course, if you can justify your claim — eg, if legal abortion in the United States means that the state encourages pogroms on fetuses’ businesses, schools, places of worship, and homes; that fetuses are rounded up in large groups, shot, and buried in mass graves (some still alive, and living for days afterwards), then by all means, call it a Holocaust. If fetuses are crowded into airless railway cars and then shipped to camps where families of fetuses are separated, some sent to immediate death… if those who survive this initial culling are forced to do hard labor on starvation rations, or operate the gas chambers and crematoriums where they kill other fetuses and incinerate their remains… If legal abortion in the US means that fetuses are tattoed and must wear colored badges showing their crime (gay, Jewish, other religious minority…) and line up daily while the wardens randomly choose who to execute randomly… if fetuses are literally worked to death…. if legal abortion is a deliberate campaign to execute all unborn children, and any who attempt to harbor them die with them…

    If that is the case, then by all means, call it a Holocaust! And provide evidence to back up your words. If not, many people will feel the comparison trivializes the victims (dead and surviving) of the actual Holocaust and decide you are heartless and devoid of compassion or empathy, which I think is exactly the opposite of how you see yourself and want others to see you when the legality of abortion is discussed.

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com Thomas L. McDonald

    Holocaust, noun–destruction or slaughter on a mass scale.

    Now go away, and spare us your patronizing and scolding tone.

  • Rivkah

    You’re right, I could’ve been less scolding — earlier I was regretting telling you that you thought of yourself as compassionate, rather than saying you were. But the comparison between legal abortion and the Holocaust is hurtful and alienating, and I was, honestly, hurt and upset. However tragic the deaths of unborn children to abortion, very very few of them suffer (are even physically capable of suffering, full stop — which is definitely a mercy for them), and none suffered the way the victims of the Holocaust did.

    Does lack of physical suffering make them less human or less oppressed? No. My ancestors fled Russia to escape pogroms there. The pogroms were horrible, wrong, and my ancestors were people (at least, that’s something everyone except for neo-nazis can agree on) and they suffered. But what my ancestors suffered was not the Holocaust. And I would not trivialize the Holocaust to claim to be descended from survivors of it.

    I will go away now. And I apologize for being scolding. But people who are hurt and upset are not good at gently disagreeing — and using “Holocaust” for legal abortion does hurt and upset many people.

  • http://wdmt.blogspot.com/ Mike

    …and regarding “health of the mother”, direct abortion is *never necessary* for the health of the mother. Even in those 3% of cases that cite it as a reason, the abortion was not the only (or even the best) course of action. Time and time again doctors have testified to this.

  • Loud

    Thank you. Numbers have been updated, though, places like Fox now are estimating 500,000 or more.