Guest Column

The fatal double standard: Defining preborn children by their ‘wantedness’

Mexico, abortion, ultrasound

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this guest post are solely those of the author and are not necessarily reflective of Live Action or Live Action News. The author of this post asked to remain anonymous.

As a nation founded on the principle of equality before the law and God, Americans rightfully disdain double standards. The ones most often attacked publicly involve issues of gender (think glass ceiling or the double standard that protected Harvey Weinstein for decades) or judgment by law enforcement, the courts or the media.

But many in our country embrace a double standard that is always fatal—one that claims more than 2,000 lives per day.  It’s the one that defines and treats far differently wanted and unwanted unborn children.

The dissonance begins with selective language. No one ever throws a “fetus shower”. No one ever asks a pregnant woman how her “product-of-conception” is doing. No pregnant woman ever says the “clump of cells” just kicked me. Each of these situations assumes a wanted child, where we correctly and instinctively refer to the unborn child as a “baby.” Though physiologically indistinguishable from other unborn children, an unwanted child is often described in dehumanizing terms especially by advocates of abortion. Such manipulation of language is not new. Throughout history oppressors have used similar tactics to justify man’s inhumanity to man, of which the most prominent examples have been slavery and genocide.

WATCH: Witnesses say abortion survivors need protection, ‘wantedness does not define humanness’

Unplanned, a movie based on the autobiography of the same name by Abby Johnson, former Director of a Planned Parenthood clinic and current pro-life activist, captures the fatal double standard in a poignant incident recounted by Bishop Robert Barron in his review:

One of the most memorable scenes in Unplanned deals with an odd little party that took place at the clinic after hours. Abby, it turns out, was pregnant, and her colleagues, all female, gathered to give her a baby shower. Out came the balloons, the thoughtful presents, the encouraging hugs—all meant to show their joy at the birth of a new baby. But then we realize that these medical professionals, these good friends of Abby, have spent their entire day killing the babies of other women. How is this scene possible? The condition for its possibility is the lunatic ideology of “choice” referenced above: if the baby is desired, let’s have a party; if the baby is unwanted, kill him and cast his remains in a dumpster.

Human dignity is the North Star of the Hippocratic Oath, the Declaration of Independence, democracy, and seven of the Ten Commandments. It is the reason why, for example, most countries have laws like our 18 U.S. Code Section 3596 prohibiting execution of a pregnant woman, acknowledging the presence of an innocent person who would be executed along with the one found guilty. It is the reason for fetal homicide laws in 38 states that recognize the unborn child as the victim of a violent crime.

In the alternate universe of abortion advocacy, however, the human dignity of a weaker person can be turned off at will by a stronger person. Very recently states such as New York and Illinois have passed—and garishly celebrated—laws that extend this fatal double standard to the date of birth. Under some of them the duplicity continues post-birth, giving health care workers a pass to deny fluids, food and routine medical care to the survivor of a failed abortion—omissions that would be medical malpractice or even a crime in the case of other newborns.

If the foundational principle of our system of government and Judeo-Christian ethics rests on so slender a reed, how safe is the structure?

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