“Abortion Ends Life? So What?” Here be Monsters. – UPDATED

So, here is a title, over at Salon: “So what if abortion ends life?”:

Writes Mary Elizabeth Williams:

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!

Yeahhhh, wanting and affirming life over death; that’s…diabolical!

Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.

So, immediately after the disclaimer that she is not some “death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-” Nazi, Williams argues that some human lives are more worthy than others, particularly the “non-autonomous entities”. In the less enlightened, less compassionate days or yore, a “non-autonomous entity” would be called a helpless and innocent person, one who deserved protection from efficient sorts who would, by negating their humanity, do them harm. Here, Williams is making precisely the utilitarian argument made by every totalitarian ideology that ever slaughtered people by the millions, because they were the wrong sorts of people, or were useless eaters, or they could not contribute to the advancement of society, or their quality of life just seemed too dubious to those who did not know and love them. Immediately after expressing concern that “liberals” might look like monsters, she utters the monster’s line: you have no rights except those I give you.

…when they wave the not-even-accurate notion that “abortion stops a beating heart” they think they’re going to trick us into some damning admission.

Wait…after an abortion, the heart of the tiny, shredded human doesn’t stop beating? Ewwwwww….that’s so weird!

I can say anecdotally that I’m a mom who loved the lives she incubated from the moment she peed on those sticks, and is also now well over 40 and in an experimental drug trial. If by some random fluke I learned today I was pregnant, you bet your ass I’d have an abortion. I’d have the World’s Greatest Abortion.

I wonder if she’ll let her living kids watch her kill their sibling. Party hats and such? Look, kids, your sibling is alive and I love him or her just exactly the way I loved you when you were conceived, but since I am the boss, I’ve decided we’ll never meet this one, so let’s sing Happy Not-ever Birthday together. Blow out the candle. Whoosh. Greatest. Abortion. Ever.

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.

A point of order, please: One may certainly sacrifice one’s own life for another. That is what makes it a sacrifice. Sacrificing “another’s” life is not a sacrifice, unless that other person actually (like Jesus Christ or a soldier who has volunteered to serve, or a mother like this one) says, “yes, I will be sacrificed for the sake of others.”

Absent that permission, though, it’s not a sacrifice. It’s just an expedient, and wasteful killing.

In fact, the notion that someone else’s life is “worth sacrificing” for the furtherance of one’s own situation — the mindset that can advance that thinking — is precisely one that deserves the name “diabolical.”

When terrorists flew jets into tall buildings, they believed that those 3,000 lives were “worth sacrificing” for the furtherance of their situation. When Nazis led people with disabilities into gas chambers, those lives were “worth sacrificing” for society. When Herod had all the male children killed Bethlehem, those lives were “worth sacrificing” for his ease of mind.

The utilitarian mindset is a crystalline brutality of efficiency. If human beings of unknown or dubious worth cannot contribute to the comfort of a society, or the success of an endeavor or the happiness of one’s life, they are swept aside and away.

I give Ms. Williams props for her unstinting honesty here. It is, to my way of thinking, a rather courageous thing to speak plainly, these days, and without euphemism. It is perhaps doubly so when one is willing to simply stand up and say, “yes, I believe this is a human being, and I’m totally okay with killing him or her. People should be able to decide who lives and who dies, for any variety of reasons.”

These are dangerous waters. Were I a cartographer, I would hasten to warn Ms. Williams against this route; I would mark the map, “Here be Monsters.”

But I do wonder at her labeling herself, so vociferously, as a “liberal.” It is, truly, a most illiberal mindset that suggests that the expeditious deaths of others are worthy sacrifices they may justly call for. And it’s striking that she writes as though this is a brand-new idea she is putting forth.

In fact, Hitler and Stalin and Mao and so many others have beaten her to it.

“Happy Anniversary, Baby”. Wow. And now we’re celebrating genocide. Did you know that abortion ends almost 70% of all African American pregnancies in New York City?

While we’re talking the expeditious killing of inconvenient people
, Tim Dalrymple welcomes a guest blogger who writes on the deafening silence of the West as regards forced abortions in the East.

Also: “Special needs children need to be special somewhere else!”

UPDATE II: When it comes to end-of-life decisions, remember, the state does not love you.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • MarkC

    Abortion is a violent solution. That fact alone should give one pause. It should make a liberal shudder ..

  • pagansister

    Again the point of just when does “life” begin comes up? Is it when the fully formed fetus first emerges from the birth canal or is removed by C-section? Natural abortions take place early. The first 3 months the (as those who consider conception a child) embryo is not viable outside it’s immediate environment. IMO, an obvious non-Christian, an abortion should be done no later than the 3rd month. Plenty of time to assess if one moves on to 9 months and gives birth or terminates early. Having said that, I would sincerely wish that no woman would ever be faced with “to carry or not to carry”. I’d prefer she chose an alternative. The interesting part of the above article is that Ms. Williams admits she feels that the embryo is a child and is alive from the get go, but could go thru an abortion with that attitude.

  • Jo

    I have grown tremendously tired of the ‘my body my choice’/ autonomous vs. non-autonomous being rhetoric. It fundamentally denies the reality that every single person on this earth is dependent on others for its health and well-being. Each person has varying levels of this dependence in each stage of life, ability or infirmity, or economic circumstances, but we are dependent nonetheless. This is part of what makes us human. If one is intent on being so autonomous and self-centered in the content of abortion, he or she must also be prepared to make every other decision based on those same principles. There is something eerily Dagny Taggart-like in this kind of rhetoric.

  • kmk

    Yep–my three year old is pretty dependent. Wouldn’t hand him the car keys just yet.

  • Pam

    So as the autonomous woman, I can decide that it’s okay to drink heavily during pregnancy because my right to relaxation at this moment in my life trumps the baby’s right to develop normally absent the influence of alcohol? Wonder how that one would go over…

  • Another Old Navy Chief

    But Anchoress, abortion is sacrafice, much in the manner that the Mayan’s and Aztec sacraficed to their god, so our modern society sacrafices the unborn to the new god of “Me, Me, Me…”

  • http://www.arsvivendiblog.com/ Inge (Ars Vivendi)

    If the benchmark for an abortion to be okay is ‘life can sustain itself’, why is infanticide still illegal in most countries?

    Being pro-life has nothing to do with being Christian. Both my parents and my brother are militant Atheists and Socialist, yet they are fiercely against abortion and euthanasia. At least THEY are consistent in their rationale: they are for protecting the weakest members in society. I hear many pro-choicers claim they want to protect the weakest members.
    Anyone remember how POTUS said he wanted to protect all children? Yeah. Right.

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com Jan

    An admission by the anti-life crowd that they are, in fact, anti-life. How refreshing.

    How scary. I wonder if the writer will be so glib when someone decides she is an inconvenience – and it will happen. You “bet your ass” it will happen.

  • Klaire

    If anyone ever needs proof that abortion is from the gates of hell, just attend a Catholic Mass. During the consecration, the Priest, (acting as Christ ,in Pesona Christi), lifts up the Eucharist with the words, “This is my Body.”

    Bishop Sheen always said the true sign of the demonic is when the most sacred is “reversed and profaned.” No better example than this.

  • John B

    So uh… I wonder how she would react when we talked about killing those non-autonomous entities that can not support their own lives without external help. No! Not the ones who depend on their mothers, the ones who depend on us tax payers.

    “Really…. supporting you is just not convenient for me now…. Die”

  • David Lentz

    Funny, you can take the all people are not equal argument, and substitute slave for fetus. .

  • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com JoAnna

    Excellent analysis, Anchoress.

    I wonder if Williams views infanticide as acceptable, because her article is an excellent defense for it.

  • Donna G

    Living in aggressively secular New Zealand, I’ve become increasingly aware of this attitude – they know exactly what abortion is, they cheerfully admit that it’s taking a life, but other concerns are more important than that life. Now it’s extending to the end of taboos around euthanasia and the killing of newborns. In the words of one of our second-rate media celebrities, “I don’t agree with this sanctity of life thing.” How do you fight that? It fills me with despair at the sort of frightening world I live in, where everyday people have become monsters.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    That is the perfect example of why Liberals are monsters. I don’t even want to comment further. There are just too many mirrors here reflecting misery.

  • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin Tierney

    I for one salute her honesty and bravery. Though she might wish to ask herself why her ideological compatriots wouldn’t dare argue as she does, much as it would do to clarify matters.

    So let’s try and encourage more honesty. And if the people end up backing her… .well…. we kinda should expect that.

  • Kim

    Klaire…I believe that the whole action of the Priest during the Consecration is to follow Jesus’ words at the last supper. “Do this in memory of me.” I had to study the Catholic Mass in order to interpret it into American Sign Language (ASL). I would suggest you ask several legitimat sources to see if this is correct?

  • Bridget

    this is a devastating example of horrendous propaganda as a result of truly tragic ignorance.

  • zmama

    I have to admit it took me a moment to realize the author was calling pro-lifers (er-”anti-choicers) diabolical. It will be interesting to learn the reaction of the author’s children when they are fully grown and discover their mother’s writings. Will they feel like survivors, having been conceived before their mother turned 40? I don’t think I’ll click on the link to read the entire piece. I honestly don’t think I can stomach much more of this sort of commentary. It will just keep me awake all night. Anchoress, your critique of this all too common mentality is spot on. I can remember 3 decades ago when my parents would describe their encounters with “pro-choicers’ outside the abortion clinics where they went to pray and hand out information re. their local network of families offering shelter and support to women in need. One particular day my sweet dad described the screeching coming from the other side as sounding like something from the bowels of hell. He was never dramatic so his comment always left an impression on me. Later I was with them when we returned home and found a flyer left outside their door with an image of a church and a statement to the effect of “We’re going to lock you in the church and burn the f’er down!” I was frightened for them because we knew someone had obtained the home addresses of those in their respect life organization. Since then the other side has continued to be both more vocal and more mainstream simultaneously. I wish I were able to attend the March for Life on Friday but I am not able to this year. It is such an uplifting experience to be with hundreds of thousands of like-minded pro-lifers that it serves to innoculate me from voices of those like Ms Williams.

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  • Klaire

    Kim I’m sure I’m correct. I attend mass just about every day, and no mass would even be a legitamite mass without the priest elevating both the blood and the body of Christ.

    I posted what I did mostly for non-Catholics who would most likely not know that. As Catholics, we believe in the Real Presence of Christ under the from of consecrated bread, which again is why the words, “This is my Body”, are so profound.

  • Margie

    “In a world where the internet presents every awful detail of every celebrity’s life; how can we help our children develop the ability to discern and know when to mourn or “weep” as Jesus did over the people of Jerusalem? Our Lord Jesus knew that the people of Jerusalem (and society in general) were in peril of being lost from God’s grace forever. He mourned for mankind, even though He was about to face humiliation, agony and death. Our Lord demonstrated and role modeled the ultimate example of compassion. Do we possess this level of compassion? Do we mourn the sins of others? How can we instruct our children to develop and experience forgiveness, mercy, grace and kindness? This is our challenge. As parents we need to live by example for the sake of our children. We need to try to be mindful of what we say about others who have made grave errors and in turn have hurt us. Teaching our children that we are all made in the image of God means we must have grieve for and forgive all humans. If we can behave as our Lord did, with compassion, then we can soften our own hearts, become closer to God and hopefully help our children develop that Christ-like manner.” — from the article “Teaching Your Children to Mourn” by Angie Giallourakis, Ph.D., an adjunct professor at Cleveland State University.

  • Lizzy

    So continuing with Williams’ “not all lives have the same value” line of thought, how is this applied to these less valuable who are living? Is she OK with the infirm or defective being treated differently overall? Do they deserve healthcare given it’s a finite resource? What about other resources, such as education? What about in the private sector – should companies have to employ them or make their services available to them (such as the restaurant article linked above)? Williams may have been brave for admitting she does not value some lives as much as others, but she’s not yet ready to face (of maybe just admit) that wishing death on the inconvenient also effects how they are treated when they haven’t had the courtesy to just die already.

  • http://yorked.podomatic.com James H. Dobbins

    The autonomous argument would, if it is honest, apply to anyone who is not a producer and who gets in the ay of my happiness. This leads to euthanasia as well as abortion, and ultimately to murder for convenience. The total absence of any reflection on God in this mindset is disturbing, and should give one cause to fear for our country, for it is a mindset that is thoroughly pagan and antithetical to everything God has revealed about human life. God is immutable, and does not change His mind on matters of morals. He told us in Leviticus and other places how much an abomination He considered the child sacrifices and orgies done as part of religious ceremonies offered to Baal and Molech. The only difference now is that these “liberal” people substitute themselves for the pagan gods. I sacrifice my child to appease myself. I, as an abortionist, sacrifice your child for your and my desires, yours for freedom from responsibility and mine for the money. Since there are no other gods but you and me, we will never have to answer for our actions. I shutter to think of what will happen when God finally says, “Enough.”

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    It’s very strange. Williams says that “Not all lives have the same value.”

    I wonder if she shares the progressive sympathy for condemned murderers (would she stand stand outside death row, singing, waving candles, etc.); I wonder if she shares the progressive sympathy for terrorists. (“It’s all Israel’s fault, donchaknow!”)

    She certainly seems to put a very high value on adult female life, for some reason. (Perhaps because she’s one of them?) “I am woman, hear me roar, and watch me assume power over life and death—because I deserve such power!”

    Satan, like a roaring lion, is in our midst, these days. We need to pray.

    (I recommend St. Patrick’s Breastplate, and Psalms 23, and 2, as good prayers, in these sorry times.)

  • Kim

    Klaire…I think I misunderstood your point? I was thinking you were saying Catholics re-crucify Christ every time the Priest does the Consecration and saying that was like abortion.

  • Lizzy

    Rhinestone Suderman, I wouldn’t be surprised if Williams and the others who are evolving beyond their “pro-choice” label are doing so because they want us to get comfortable with the idea of people other than the mother deserving the power over life and death decisions (i.e. someone else’s choice, which means no choice for YOU). When says “But we make choices about life all the time in our country….” it sure sounds like she’s on board with collective choices on the value of life vs. individual choices. And we all know where that leads.

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  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Lizzy, I think you’re right on this one.

    This creature is going to be shocked—shocked!—of course, when someone in power decides that her life, and/or the lives of those she actually cares about, aren’t really worth living.

    Too late for her, then.

    We need to pray.

  • Brian English

    It has always struck me as odd that liberals in this country are quick to condemn selfishness with regard to material possessions, but this ultimate act of selfishness–destroying another human life because it will inconvenience you–is regarded as acceptable, or even laudable.

  • http://www.thecatholicbeat.com Gail Finke

    Donna G wrote: In the words of one of our second-rate media celebrities, “I don’t agree with this sanctity of life thing.” How do you fight that? It fills me with despair at the sort of frightening world I live in, where everyday people have become monsters.

    No, they haven’t become monsters. They are normal human beings. The history of the whole world shows that normal human beings are capable of both great kindness toward others, including strangers, and also of great careless cruely toward others, even friends and relatives. As an idealistic young person I used to think that people were naturally good, and indeed there is natural good in people. But getting older has taught me that people are also naturally bad. It is religion or a very strong dedication to a philosophy that teaches them otherwise. The woman who wrote that essay was crueller than most, I think, but her basic way of thinking is the same as a great many people’s. And the celebrity who said, “I don’t agree with this sanctity of life thing” would have fit in just fine in ancient Rome or ancient Greece. It’s something that one needs to be taught, and something one needs to work at understanding and living. People are quite capable of sayign and thinking it, and still being devoted to a sick spouse or to rescuing injured dogs or being kind to a disabled neighbor. God demands a lot more from us than that, because we are quite capable of THAT on our own.

  • Peggy m

    This is the thinking of a sociopath. Some of her mentally-ill cohort have determined other types who are inferior and deserve “sacrificing”—first graders and their teachers; middle-western movie-goers; a group of Safeway shoppers listening to a congresswoman…Ted Bundy decided that slight brunettes had to go.

    Our Leaders have so twisted language that many no longer understand the concepts (“choice”, just for starters). Consciences are unformed or tamped down. Now we have sociopathic opinions printed in mainstream online journals and made into slick ads, and no editor or anyone else intervened to spare the public from the sewage.

  • Dee Matthews

    A pre-particular judgement conclusion: just goes to show that we DO judge ourselves & vie for damnation based on our own actions. Ms. Williams, you still have time to change your heart; I will pray for that.

  • http://www.patheos.com Amy

    It isn’t enough to just read William’s article on Salon. Take a couple of hours to read the comments that follow. We have to know the enemy and what they think and say. And pray.