No one wants to have an abortion. That’s what they say, right? Abortion activists insist that no woman ever wants to have an abortion — they just end up in circumstances which necessitate one. But then you get people like RH Reality Check writer Valerie Tarico, who writes about abortion in glowing terms. According to Tarico, having an abortion is taking the moral high ground. To Tarico, abortion is a sacred gift.
My friend Patricia offers a single reason for her passionate defense of reproductive care that includes abortion: Every baby should have its toes kissed. If life is precious and helping our children to flourish is one of the most precious obligations we take on in life, then being able to stop an ill-conceived gestation is a sacred gift. Whether or not we are religious, deciding whether to keep or terminate a pregnancy is a process steeped in spiritual values: responsibility, stewardship, love, honesty, compassion, freedom, balance, discernment. But how often do we hear words like these coming from pro-choice advocates?
… Can pro-choice advocates reclaim the moral and spiritual high ground? Yes. But to do so will require a challenge to the status quo on two fronts. Rather than ignoring the right’s moral claims, we must confront their arguments. We must also express our pro-choice position in clear, resonant, moral, and spiritual terms. In other words, in combination, we must show why ours is the more moral, more spiritual position.
There’s a reason that no one talks about abortion as a “sacred gift”, or that abortion advocates don’t use words like compassion, love, and responsibility. It’s because they aren’t applicable to abortion.
There’s nothing loving or compassionate about abortion. There’s nothing responsible about choosing to have sex with someone and then taking the life of an unborn child over your mistake. (It’s the height of irresponsibility, actually, destroying a life to cover your own sin.) Most people, even those who identify as pro-abortion, understand that.
People don’t call abortion a sacred gift because, again, even those who are pro-abortion realize that no woman spends her entire life waiting for that exciting day when she can finally kill her unborn child! Even when a woman feels like she has to have an abortion, it isn’t something that she feels grateful for. No one walks into an abortion clinic thinking about how sacred the clinic is — well, except maybe for extremists like Amanda Marcotte.
There’s also this rather offensive little segment:
The human body fends off most infections and cancers, but not all. It spontaneously heals most broken bones and closes many wounds but not all. Similarly, it spontaneously aborts most problem pregnancies, but not all. Nature tends to abort pregnancies where there are problems with cell division or fetal development, where there is little chance for a fetus to become a healthy, thriving person. Through medical or surgical abortion, as through every other medical procedure, doctors and healers extend the work of nature—of God, if you will—to promote health and wellbeing. By ending pregnancies that don’t have a good chance to turn into thriving children and adults, they are—literally or metaphorically–doing God’s work.
Abortionists who kill disabled unborn children are finishing God’s work. That’s her argument.
Let that sink in.
But perhaps the most idiotic part of her argument is this:
My friend Patricia offers a single reason for her passionate defense of reproductive care that includes abortion: Every baby should have its toes kissed.
This is basically the trite “every child a wanted child” argument. Babies should only be born if they’re going to be born into loving homes. And sure, in a perfect world, that would be the case. But it isn’t, and the problem with this idea is that it assumes that people only have value if they’re wanted. But our value does not rely on whether or not someone wants us, or sees our worth. We have inherent intrinsic value, simply because we are human beings. And in any case, even if the mother carrying the baby doesn’t want the child, that doesn’t mean that there’s no one out there who would.
Abortion is not a blessing or a sacred gift. To have an abortion is not to take the moral high ground. And that’s why Tarico is forced to ultimately conclude by urging abortion activists to remember the “moral continuum” — you know, moral relativism — because in order to accept abortion as a moral act, you can’t have any actual sense of right and wrong.