I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize that the so-called “pro life” stance is, for the most part, a con, a scam, a diabolical deception.
The claim is that, when one choice is a baby-murderer, you should always choose the alternative, no matter how bad they seem.
And that might be true – but the unexamined assumption is that abortion at any stage is murder, that an undifferentiated clump of cells is a full fledged human person.
Anyone who has tried to get pregnant knows that that simply is not true.
If you try to get pregnant and fail, it is frustrating. If you have a heavy menstruation slightly late, suggesting that fertilization occurred but the pregnancy failed very early on, it is even sadder. But it is not the same as managing to be pregnant for several months and then finding that the fetus has died. And that in turn is nowhere near as tragic as having your delivery date arrive and the child be stillborn.
Mothers know this. Fathers who’ve experienced any aspect of this know it too. And so how can so many people nonetheless accept the stark and unnuanced claim that “abortion is murdering babies” without a blink?
In some cases, people may be simply trying to avoid the ambiguity inherent in the process of embryonic development. Any dividing line seems arbitrary (just like those related to driving, voting, and drinking ages), and so picking conception as the line in the sand is understandable, if still hard to justify.
But for many, I think that the stance is much more political and sinister. It is pretty much impossible to claim the moral high ground when seeking to maintain the status quo for the rich and powerful, and to actually oppose laws and social policies that seek to eliminate injustice
Unless your opponent is a baby-murderer, in which case you can get elected as the lesser of two evils.
And so adopting this ploy, deciding to pretend that the stance of your opponents amounts to infanticide in an attempt to get elected despite your policies being on the whole more evil, is itself evil. And that is why I felt compelled to speak in the title of this post about the immorality of the “pro life” stance. For it seems that it is indeed a ploy to persuade people to consider something “murder” that isn’t, in order to claim that immoral policies and politicians should get your vote because “at least they aren’t killing babies.”
I think it is time to expose this deception for what it is.
For more on this topic, including how recently this abortion politics ploy was adopted among Evangelicals, see Fred Clark’s post from a number of years ago, about the “Biblical” view that is younger than the Happy Meal, as well as several others he has written on this topic. And of course, there are many political cartoons that address this topic – or illustrate the tactic.