By Scott Tibbs, January 19, 2015
I do not get many comments on the blog, so I wanted to thank a couple people for their comments on recent posts on abortion, the rights of the unborn child, and the government role in regulating and/or banning abortion. (The first comment thread is here and the second one is here.) I wanted to take the opportunity to address some of those objections in a new post.
One objection was that traditional common law only saw abortion as a crime after the "quickening," or when babies start moving in the womb. Following up, here is a portion of that comment:
- It is only at the third trimester that the state has any legitimate interest in the well being of the fetus.
The problem with the "quickening" argument is that our understanding of gestation and fetal development, based on the rapid advance of medical technology, is much more robust than it was when the Constitution was written. We now know that the unborn baby is far from an "unviable tissue mass" because we have seen the photographs that prove it. Furthermore, there is nothing in the text of the Constitution that states that "common law" is the basis for all of our laws. The only mention is the right to a jury trial in a lawsuit over a certain amount.
Obviously, people disagree on where life begins, but where life begins is a matter of verifiable scientific fact, not opinion or philosophy. That point is fertilization, where sperm meets egg and creates a completely new and unique human being. From that point on, all of the building blocks are there and given nutrition and shelter that new life - that one cell human baby - will grow and develop through the various stages of life.
- perhaps your socially conservative argument against abortion would carry more weight if you didn't simultaneously try to lecture people as to every aspect of their "sexy time"
I have written at length about sexual morality and the harm caused by sexual immorality, as well as the need for our culture to embrace Biblical sexual morality once more. A lot of our problems as a society would be fixed by this. However, I have not advocated that government police sexual activity among consenting adults. In addition, the rights of the unborn baby to not be mutilated and murdered exist regardless of whether the person arguing for protection of those lives lectures about "sexy time" or not.
- perhaps you would find more success at saving unborn lives by advocating for better access to birth control.
I am not opposed to non-abortifacient forms of birth control. I am actively opposed to abortifacients. As someone who cherishes religious liberty, I find it abominable that anyone would be forced to pay for abortifacient drugs. If someone wants abortifacient birth control, he or she can pay for it (because it's not that expensive) or seek employment with a company that does cover those drugs. Ideally, I would like to see those drugs banned, so as to protect unborn life from the moment of fertilization onward.
- For example, do you support Sex Ed in schools?
It really depends on what is being taught. That is an incredibly wide term.
When I said "engaging in intercourse is a tacit agreement that pregnancy might occur," the following comment was posted.
- Only if said intercourse is both "straight" and deliberately unprotected.
No contraception method (other than total abstinence from intercourse) is perfect. The pill, condoms and other methods reduce the chance of pregnancy but do not eliminate that probability. Therefore, I stand by what I said. The fact that a couple tried to prevent conception does not eliminate the rights of the unborn baby.
Now to deal with some other objections to my "inconsistency" on being pro-life:
Objection to government welfare programs is not an objection to aid for the poor. In fact, many charitable organizations that aid those most in need are explicitly Christian organizations, including Backstreet Missions and Hannah House right here in Bloomington, Indiana.
I do not advocate more war, so that is irrelevant. Militarily, I am an isolationist. We should use military force only when there is a direct threat to or assault ion national security. Military force should always be the last resort. I have also not defended "murderous" police officers. I defend the right to legally use lethal force as a last resort, and I abhor excessive force. I have written extensively in opposition to excessive force, especially in the name of the War on Drugs.
I am an enthusiastic supporter of capital punishment, but in my opinion that is a pro-life position. We show we value human life so much that we must terminate the lives of those who commit murder. We need reforms in our criminal justice system to protect the innocent from fraudulent convictions, but the truly guilty have forfeited their right to life by taking the life of another. When the ultimate crime is committed, the ultimate punishment is required.
Even if I am inconsistent (which I do not believe myself to be) that does not affect the logical validity of the arguments on abortion and the rights of the unborn child. Again, thanks for the comments.