Going Back on Abortion

Driving down the pike this morning I pulled up behind a little blue two seater with a bumper sticker that said, “Keep Choice – No Going Back – Keep Roe”

Here in Greenville, South Carolina one doesn’t see too many pro-abortion bumper stickers, so it made me stop and think, and as I stopped to think it became clear that the driver of the blue car had stopped thinking.

Somehow or other she had got the idea that abortion was a step forward and not having abortion was a step back. There at the stop light I saw the light and it made me stop. Here was an example of what we call “progressivism”–that heresy that is a subset of “historicism”.

Historicism is the idea that the human choices and events of the past (and present) are conditioned merely by the time period they are in, and that they are otherwise neutral. In Roman times they had slavery. So what. That’s what they did then. Now we do not because now we don’t think that’s very nice. For historicism there is no over arching meaning or purpose to history. Events just happen due to a random sequence of what happens. That’s it.

Progressivism is a strange and contradictory subset of Historicism. The progressivist, on the one hand, believes that history is random because at heart he believe in historicism (even if he is unaware of it) and yet the progressivist also believes that what is new and now is intrinsically better than what was old and then. The progressivist (despite all evidence to the contrary) truly believes that humanity is getting better all the time, and that we must be better than people from the olden times simply because we live at a later date than they did.

The advance of technology has helped to make the progressivist lie very persuasive. We must be better! We have iPhones, WiFi, Google and restaurants with thirty seven flavors of milkshake!

So the girl in the blue sports car imagines that the choice to have an abortion is an advance and having to give birth to a child once pregnant is a retreat to a more primitive time. The reality is exactly the opposite, but to understand how, one must have a broader understanding of history than that usually understood by twenty somethings who drive blue sports cars.

Is abortion an advance and giving birth a retreat? This is where an education in the Old Testament and classic civilizations comes in handy. It was the bloodthirsty age of the Old Testament patriarchs where we learn about the great god Molech into whose brazen jaws the pagan peoples threw the unwanted “products of conception” after their debaucheries. It was the cruel and brutal Roman civilization, which in her later years, condoned infanticide and the exposure (or throwing away) of unwanted “products of conception.”

It was the Christians and Jews of the first centuries who exposed not infants, but the cruel and heartless barbarism of the people who could kill innocent children. Rather than abortion being a step forward into some brave new world, it is a step backward into the cowardly old world of world weary decadents who fornicate and conceive and throw their babies away.

It is the Christian who embraces not only  love, but life who accepts the child and accepts life and does so with maturity, sophistication and joy.

 

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker
  • Michael

    I agree that abortion is a horrible blight on modern society and we need to do everything we can to reduce it as much as possible. We need to make sure young people are educated on sex and its consequences, we need to teach at home and in school the importance of delaying sexual contact until appropriate and the proper use of contraception if the person chooses. Further more we need to be serious about helping women who choose to give birth, with proper and full societal support in day care, health care and enforcing paternity payments.

    What I’ve never heard though is the alternative. If abortion is made illegal again what penalty (fine or jail term) would be proscribed against the mother? Not the abortion provider or the pharmacy that may have sold the drug that would induce an abortion, but the woman who feels she needs an abortion?

    Are we going to start jailing women who had abortions again? As that would truly be a retreat to more primitive times.

    • Oregon Catholic

      All of the things you say you want more of we HAVE HAD lots more of since Roe v Wade and it not only doesn’t stop abortion it doesn’t even slow it down. More sex ed and contraception and welfare isn’t the solution. And until people really look at the reality of that and change the public script you’ve been sold by groups like planned parenthood nothing will change. The solution is self-control, a return to morals, and a recognition that contraception and sex outside of marriage is wrong. The more contraception is used to make sex ‘consequenceless’, the more abortions it leads to. Sex is SUPPOSED to have consequences, namely children!

      • Michael

        The rate is actually dropping ( http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/graphusabrate.gif ). Perhaps not fast enough, but it is dropping. Self control is part of the answer, an important part, but so is sex education. Abortion rates in states and other countries where there is comprehensive sex education is lower than where just self control is taught. I know that it means people are having sex using contraception but that’s better than abortion, at least for me.

        • http://www.forhewas.blogspot.dk Matthew

          Celibacy is also on the rise. Getting pregenant is on the decline. But 40% of preganancies end in abortion, higher in some countries.

          Falling or Rising…. 40% of pregnant women choose abortion. That is atrocious!

          • Michael

            Forty to fifty percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriages, often before even the mother knows she is pregnant. Are you sure you don’t have the numbers mixed up? Only 22% of US pregnancies end in abortion. Too high, but lower than what you stated.

      • LongIslandMichael

        EXACTLY!!!!! Well said Oregon Catholic! Well said!

      • Sheila

        Couldn’t have said it better, Oregon Catholic. Thank you.

    • Mike

      In Poland the women are never charged with anything. Only the “doctor’ is charged with some crime. I think the same goes for Chile and Ireland.

      I think more people should just give up the child instead of killing it before it grows.

    • John

      Michael, the mother would face no penalty. Any law prohibiting abortion would be akin to today’s statutory rape laws. The minor is not prosecuted, even though the minor may very well consent to the conduct. This is so because the statute is designed to protect the minor, whether the minor wants it or not. Any law criminalizing abortion could be structured in the same way, that is, the law would work to protect the mother (and child) by criminalizing the conduct of the abortionist, even if the mother consents to the procedure.

  • Lynda

    Easy to see why she needed only a two-seater! How irrational is it to say that because something was universally acknowledged as evil in the past, we must now in our time, find otherwise. Such stupid people think earlier generations were stupid.

    • Michael

      It goes both ways. The inferiority of women, the acceptance of slavery, the divine right of Kings, practicing homosexuality leading to prison or death. All these things were accepted previously but we don’t now.

      • http://PortaCaeli Patricius

        It is by no means as straightforward as you suggest. Medieval English bishops attempted to stamp out slavery. Henry VIII brought in the death penalty for sodomy- the Catholic Church having been somewhat lax in dealing with this issue and, again in England, it was the Protestant James I who pushed the doctrine of the ( supposed) divine right of kings. Every age tends to present itself as an “advance” on the former- while generally going round in circles!

        • http://www.forhewas.blogspot.dk Matthew

          I don’t know the history. But I do know the actions of Catholic Royal sovereigns and the teachings and decisions of the Church are often confused.

  • jmt

    welcome to the theology of ‘me’, written by Lucy Fer, leading role by Sand Ra Fluke, directed by Barry H Obumur, choreographed by Cat Lean Cyb-ale-leus. And the Oscar goes to MSLSD, accepting the award, Tingles Matthews, on behalf the lame stream media.
    Sadly, being performed globally these days.

    • Will

      You should definitely try to spread your message here to as many people as you can. Tell everyone who will listen. Seriously, you’re doing great work, keep it up.

  • http://platytera.blogspot.com/ Christian

    Even the Chosen People backslid on baby-killing from time to time. Jeremiah scolded:
    “For the sons of Judah…have built the high place of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of Slaughter…”

  • http://www.treesforlunch.blogspot.com JD Curtis

    In addition to the Molech and and abandonment/exposure examples raised by Fr Longenecker, let’s remeber that there are few things that are truly new under the sun and aborting developing fetuses is not something that began with Roe v. Wade…

    Abortion in the Ancient and Premodern World
    A History of Traditional Methods

  • richard

    I bet she has a “Save the trees” bumper sticker. They will chain themselves to a tree or openly weep over one, but a child is a mere choice? God help us!

    • Mike

      Yeah I could never understand that. Even when I was a pro-choicer I didn’t understand how a tree or a fish could be more valuable than your own child.

      • John Evans

        It comes from a different perception of ‘person’. Among people who believe the soul enters the body at birth, not conception, aborting a pregnancy wouldn’t be as big a deal. Among people who don’t believe in a soul at all, ‘person’ is more tied up with a mind – having memories, thoughts and an identity – things a fetus or blastocyst does not have.

        When you also add the association between protecting wildlife and ensuring a healthier world for the children you DO have, it isn’t hard for me to understand why environmentalism and the pro-choice position are compatible.

  • Mary

    Abortion is older than the bible you know. Archaeologists have uncovered, buried under sacred whore-houses, the skeletons of babies….lots of babies. Almost all of which were male. The females no doubt were being raised to serve in the temple as sacred prostitutes, or so they think. They also were knowledgable about birth control and abortion, in addition to infanticide. Condoms are very old, the first being sheep intestine and the old testament speaks of Onan being struck dead by God for spilling his seed upon the ground.” Pulling out as a form of birth control is also very old as that was in Genesis. Infanticide was common in pre-christian times, as was temple prostitution and it’s companion, abortion.

    I think the next wave of death will go the other direction. Having gotten society to accept murdering babies, they will now go after the old and sick. Euthanasia is simply another type of abortion, or murder.

    They may be coming for you someday.

    Or prehaps they will make abortion retroactive. Those that have children, say of the age of 3 and under, and the state decides they should not have them, prehaps a retroactive abortion will become the order of the day.

    Fancy words don’t actually change actions you see. Call it Euthanasia, call it partial birth abortion, call a baby a fetus, call it retroactive abortion…it is still murder no matter the words used.

  • Mary

    Oh, by the way, Archaeologists believe that ancient, as in pre-christian, Romans did not consider babies to be fully human until they were past the age of two. Talk about a late term abortion! They did not even give children under the age of two a proper burial.

  • Mary

    Think that is far fetched? Look at this article from today (actually, tomorrow, as it is tomorrow in the UK right now)

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2108433/Doctors-right-kill-unwanted-disabled-babies-birth-real-person-claims-Oxford-academic.html

  • Old man

    Abortion is bad, so progressivism is bad? Quite a leap.

  • Romulus

    Progressivism and Marxism are closely related. Both are determinist theories of history, leaving little room for human free will. Both are atheistic, insisting that history unfolds according to its own interior dynamic.

    • Mike

      Well either way the future belongs to those who get there. Look at the demographic situation in Europe and Japan and Korea, it doesn’t bode well for the future. I am surprised no one seems to have pointed the link between childlessness in Greece and its economic problems. Who wants to invest in a shrinking market?

    • Old man

      What are your sources for this?

  • Will

    Wonder why God seems so much less bothered by this than you all. I mean, when stuff bothered him in the Bible, He would flip out and suddenly it’s pillars of salt this, plagues of frogs that. You say that God hates abortion? One would think He would manifest His feelings about it, as the Bible says.

  • FW Ken

    Before I endorse “progressivism”, is like to know toward what we are progressing. If it’s more death, I think I’ll decline.

    And, I’ve been thinking: Laws against rape should be unconstitutional. We can educate boys against it, hold rallies like they did in San Francisco, and provide blow-up dolls to men at risk of becoming rapists. Heck, let’s provide all men with blow-up dolls, free of charge, or maybe vouchers for the services of a prostitute. Their employees can pay for it. Laws don’t stop all rapes, anyway, and good programs can certainly reduce the number of rapes.

  • Zeke

    Silly reasoning. An education in the Old Testament would have the girl in the sports car conclude that a retreat to stoning homosexuals, adulterers, witches, and heretics is morally superior to 21st century views.

  • Mary

    Sigh… rape is not a crime of sex but of violence. The sex part is secondary to the violence, a by-product if you will. Giving rapists blowup dolls or vouchers for the services of a prostitute would be useless, as it is not about sex. Many rapists are married men with no lack of sexual fulfillment at home, by the way. But they often have psycological problems with mommy. ;-) It is a crime of anger and violence against women, not an act of sex, as such.

  • FW Ken

    Mary,

    Good example of missing the point.

  • Bob Rodriguez

    Not true. . .nobody is claiming that birthin’ or not birthin’ is a step in any direction. Rather the step forward is the recognized autonomy of the woman, and man, to make theirown existential, sexual and reproductive decisions without government intrusion or imposition. It is the primacy of the individual over the state that is the step forward. My wife and I have one great daughter who was planned. We were uber-fertile and had to have two terminations, two vasectomies, a tubal ligation and an IUD for good measure to have the family of 3 we want. We have a great lifestyle, kid is great and well accomplished and retirement before age 55 is a real possiblity at this point. We owe all our good fortune to freedom, contraception, choice and education.. .but hey, you can live in the stone age if you want. . .

    • dominic1955

      Bravo, you murdered two of your own children so you can retire before 55…some “progress”.


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