WASHINGTON, DC, December 19, 2012 ― You’re pro-choice? What if I said to you, “Personally, I am against rape but I think men should be able to make their own choice.” That was the answer I gave a woman who had just told me, “Personally, I’m pro-life but I think women should be able to make their own choice.”
The professional audience in the room was dissecting an editorial I had published regarding the election. This sincere woman, who quietly pulled me aside, believed I would be heartened to hear that at least one other pro-lifer was in the room and that I had her support. After a pregnant pause, her words stumbled out: “That’s outrageous.”
Yes, outrageous indeed. I did not mean to rebuff or rebuke her. But, this is the challenge that faces America—political definitions that make no sense. They lead us away from the truth and toward a time when words have no value and values have no meaning.
Liberal pro-choice politicians like to drape their position in the three-word mantra “safe, legal, and rare.” That is, they promote access to contraception as the path to “wanted” children and low abortion rates. Their rhetoric is that a woman’s direct control over when sex makes babies leads to fewer abortions. They convince themselves and many others.
However, while sex without consequence is exalted, studies by both the Guttmacher Institute and the CDC show that only about one in 10 unplanned pregnancies have anything to do with access to contraception. And, in the most liberal cities like New York, where reproductive health clinics are as common as Starbucks, forty percent of all pregnancies end in abortion. This rate climbs to sixty percent for black mothers.
Contrary to liberal claims, abortion is treated as contraception, and contraceptive sex breeds abortion.
Meanwhile, many pro-life politicians like to take a similarly illogical stance. They are against abortion except for the “Big Three:” rape, incest, and life of the mother. The exceptions argument is found in most legislation and judged a necessary compromise for many pro-life candidates. Even leaders in the pro-life movement endlessly debate the political need for exceptions.
The “Big Three” Lie
But whether the Big Three is the conservative’s rape, incest, and life of the mother—or the liberals’ safe, legal, and rare—these political positions ignore the fundamental essence of the matter: Human life that can be debated as not endowed by the Creator, without rights or intrinsic value, bargains that all life is open to discount.
No father would compromise to allow the rape of his daughter as long as it was safe and rare or only legal under specified circumstances. Rape is a violent act that is criminal without compromise (even when the girl is a willing sexual participant but underage). Yet, another violent act that actually causes death—abortion—is politicized as a reproductive right or an acceptable exception.
To say that you are pro-choice is little more than using a phrase that pretends to be noble by distancing itself from the reality of what is really chosen—the death of an innocent person. To proclaim that you are pro-choice, not pro-abortion, is just plain asinine and cowardly. Pro-choice what?
To state that you are pro-life with exceptions denies that which underpins the meaning of pro-life—the recognition that the preborn child is a human life. This is scientifically and ethically irrefutable: whether created by rape, incest, or in a petri dish has no bearing.
A slave was never less human than the plantation owner simply due to circumstance. We just acted that way because it was politically and economically expedient.
In reference to the life-of-the-mother argument, it is true that a surgical procedure necessary to save a mother may result in the death of a preborn child. However, the intentional and explicit termination of the baby as a lifesaving treatment is nowhere to be found in any medical journal. (At least, not yet.)
Defining people as less worthy
And this is why more and more pro-lifers now realize they cannot depend on politics, politicians, or any political party to advance the cause of the sanctity of human life. Think back over human history.
Has there ever been a time when government defined certain people as less worthy than other people and it ended well? Ever?
One thing is for certain: A culture of life will never become a reality based on politics. Politics is the art of compromise, especially easy when it involves someone else’s life.
Today, it’s preborn babies. Yesterday, it was “mental defectives.” Tomorrow, it could be Alzheimer patients, the comatose, the terminally ill, or all of the above. Leave it to politicians and who knows where political compromise will lead us.
When it comes to life, compromise is just surrender.
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