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