Just recently, Ohio legislature moved to pass an abortion ban after the period of six weeks. The bill sat at the hands of John Kasich, who effectively had ten days to sign the bill. Yet Kasich vetoed the heartbeat bill.
The Germans have a word for it: schadenfreude.
Quite simply, it involves deriving pleasure from another’s misfortune. Incidentally, I do believe, contrary to popular sentiment, that many truly derive a sense of pleasure over the misfortune of those within the womb. To be sure – many struggle through the decision to abort; some even still are coerced into terminating the life of their unborn child. Yet many simply see this as a means to continue their lives carte blanche. Children, after all, are a [sic] terrible burden on one’s career and personal life. Statistically, the argument for “what if the woman was raped?” or “what if it happens out of incest?” simply don’t hold up in the long run. They play a marginal role, at best, in the staggering amount of abortions performed readily across the country.
The tenuous arguments for abortion hang on the very definition of an infant being inhuman – yet interestingly, no one debates the humanity of an infant when they desire to keep him or her or when the pregnant mother and her unborn child die in an automobile accident (even if she was not privy to the pregnancy, the guilty will be charged with double-homicide). The time humanity comes into question is when one must grapple with the quality of their life post-birth. Or perhaps, the time humanity comes into question is simply due to a rationalization under-girded by a disposition that hates the good gifts that God has given through common grace to all mankind because they hate the Giver of such gifts.
Yet might I suggest that what makes us human, beyond the work that God has done in fashioning mankind, is the common bond one finds in an expression of morality and ethics? This is what in particular sets humans apart from any other species in the animal kingdom. Many animals are highly intelligent and have an ability to not only utilize tools, but also actually fashion them. The inherent difference then, is that even the least intelligent of humans has an uncanny ability to function both on a cognitive and ethical level beyond that of any animal on earth. There is a remarkable difference and seldom do people stop to think of such a thing.
What I mean by this is that humans are not driven by animal instinct. There is an intrinsic sense of right and wrong – even if one’s sense of right and wrong is malfunctioning to the detriment of themselves and society. An unethical position is still derived from a sense of ethics – it is simply wicked and a poor use of the faculties granted to formulate truly ethical principles. What this plainly means is that human beings are not only able to function on a moral level – but by their own ability to do so, they do so by default. It is simply part of the way with which they operate because they are born with the predisposition to rationalize and philosophize about the nature of morality and ethics and specifically, how they can govern their constituents by this same natural principle. This is all born out of the idea of the Imago Dei, which is quite simply the image of God stamped on humanity – as it sets them apart in their function and purpose in every specific instance of their lives so that they are intrinsically a moral people.
Yet when metaphysics and ethics enter the debate on legislature, the hairs on one’s neck start to bristle and the clenching of teeth commences. Invariably, we all recognize someone loses out on certain rights; one person won’t be able to operate in the full freedom they desire. That’s precisely how laws work; restriction and constraint are natural guidelines flowing from an objective ethical framework – yet when that ethical framework is altogether abandoned or marginalized for another, subjective ethical framework, well, everyone does what is right in their own eyes and this precise sentiment becomes the mantra for legislature, hence why we have been under the yoke of Roe v. Wade since 1973.
The goal is not merely settling for minor political action by Governer Kasich in signing a ban that allows for mothers to kill their children – but that the practice of abortion itself is barbarically torn up into tiny little pieces by medical forceps, sucked up with a vacuum, and discarded into the trash heap. Think my description is too visceral? Well, perhaps it may conjure unwanted images that affect the raw emotions tied to the practice of abortion – but the sad reality is that such a depiction must be part and parcel to the discussion on abortion.
Yet that visceral reaction causes one to operate on an ethical, moral, and logical framework due to the conjuring of words upon an electronic screen. Though the screen obscures my personhood – it has still caused a reaction only possible through that of a human being. Let’s borrow this momentary reaction and now take it front and center to the humanity of the child in the womb, who though perhaps obscured due to the faceless nature of a sonogram and liberal rhetoric, is still a human being, on all scientific, rationalistic, empathetic, religious, and yes, even non-religious grounds. Many an atheist recognize the barbarism that is abortion.
We all know what goes on behind the curtain. There is no magical wizard in the land of Oz. There is simply a human capable of great evil going to another human being who is likewise capable of great evil, procuring a service of great evil. Let’s please stop pretending there is some sense of nobility to the act of abortion. Autonomy and unbridled freedom in the slaughter of infants is not a thing to celebrate as noble and ethical. It may be derived from an ethical system – but it is clearly a defunct ethical system and one that ought to be discarded for another which doesn’t propose the slaughter of the innocent.