In his column, Abortion foes push beliefs to the brink, Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times presents a theory about pro-lifers. “Abortion is murder. Or so its vocal opponents say,” he states. “Do they really believe that?” he asks. “Sincere conviction – or mere rhetoric?”
Concerning the vast majority of abortions, Steinburg falsely claims, “The developing child being killed is the size of a grain of rice.” After casually admitting that a child is being killed, he gets to his point. “If abortion is murder, then why aren’t those who oppose it pushing to put people who perform abortions – the doctors and nurses – and those who instigate them – the mothers – and who facilitate them – the fathers – in prison?” Steinberg continues, “Even the most passionate, stand-on-a-street-corner-with-a-5-foot-tall-color-photograph-of-diced-fetal-parts-and-scream-at-traffic opponent of abortion isn’t getting misty thinking about the mass trials we’re going to have of all those murderous mothers and their accomplices once the laws are changed. Why is that?”
Maybe, Neil, it’s because pro-lifers understand history. In the 1860s, the majority of abolitionists who fought to end slavery didn’t push to put the slaveholders in prison. Yet the slaveholders were guilty of slavery. According to Steinberg’s theory, however, this means the abolitionists didn’t really believe the slaveholders were guilty of slavery. Seriously? And Neil, the women you refer to as “murderous mothers,” pro-lifers refer to as victims.
What abolitionists knew then, and what pro-lifers know now, is that when an injustice has touched an entire nation, the way to secure the best future possible for that nation is simply to end the injustice, without punishment, and to criminalize the injustice thereafter. Abraham Lincoln captured this sentiment when he said, “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.”
But Steinberg has a different answer. So, take it away, Neil. “The hunch that I’ve had – and it only took me 30 years of thinking about this, so if it seems odd, please muse on it for a day before writing to me – is that ‘abortion is murder’ is not a sincere conviction, but mere rhetoric. It’s something they say, the strongest argument people against the practice – invariably because of religious scruple – can hurl, which they tell themselves they believe and want others to believe too, but that they do not actually support in practice.”
Apparently, Steinberg prefers the motto, “With malice toward all, with charity for none.” A friendly word of advice, Neil. Stop theorizing, it’s not your thing.
For the record, the strongest argument against abortion is based on science: the biological fact that every human embryo is a human life and every human fetus is a human life. A human life begins at conception. And every human life has the right to life.