Friday, March 23, 2012

Don't you trust women to make the right decision for themselves on their own?

Abolitionists are frequently challenged not to interfere with a "woman's right to choose" abortion on the basis of a perceived lack of trust in women's ability to make the right decision. We have several responses:

1) Many women do make the right decision, and we thank God for that.
Many make the wrong one, too, and we pray we can prevent that in the future.

2) Why have laws against rape? Don't you trust men to make the right decision for themselves on their own?
Why have laws against new mothers drowning their 1-month old children? Don't you trust women to make the right decision for themselves on their own?

In other words, no, we don't trust any sinful human being to make the right decision without guidance and authoritative, true laws to let us know what is right and wrong. Abortion is wrong; we should tell people it is wrong. Similarly, rape is wrong; we should tell people it is wrong.
This is why the argument must be theological. If we are adrift in this life and world without any communication from our Creator, we have nothing to go on. We make it up as we go. We have no guidance, no light.

3) Given that American women consistently poll majority pro-life, could we not ask you the same question? Maybe they know something you don't.

4) The number of women who bitterly mourn their aborted children over the course of decades is high, and testimonies thereof are easy to find. These women, with the benefit of hindsight, will tell you they made the wrong decision. Their lives and grief testify to the bad foundations of this challenge.

5) The objection is disingenuous. The pro-abort decries a perceived lack of education about abortion and contraception among Americans. S/he also fights against mandatory pre-abortion ultrasounds and discussions about what the baby actually is at that age (ie, that the baby is not merely a clump of cells).
Yet women make the wrong decision all the time. 54 million times in the USA alone, to be more nearly exact.
How can we trust women to make the right decision when those who are asking us the question routinely fight against legislation that would protect women from predatory business practices in abortion offices? That would mandate that those who stand to profit from women's crisis pregnancies educate the women fully on all the implications of the action before proceeding? Is it consent they want, or is it informed consent?

6) Apparently pro-aborts don't "trust women" either, since another common and mutually-exclusive objection is that this decision should be left between a woman and her physician.
So which is it?

7) This challenge is irrelevant to the central question in the debate. If the preborn child is a human being, then that human being must be protected, for he has the right to life. If the preborn child is not a human being, then why are we even asking the question?
Don't you trust women to make the right decision for themselves about whether to remove their wisdom teeth? Or have an appendectomy? Or a tonsillectomy?
Of course - nobody cares about that.

The thing is, deep down everyone knows that this is a preborn human child. People want to hedge their bets and try to act appropriately sober about "this difficult decision", but it's really not difficult, at all.
Either the child must have full protection of law, or it's not a child and we need have no pangs of conscience. It's really that simple.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Rho,

    While I'm on your side on this, I think we have to be careful about our approach.

    To assume that the opposition is not making the "right" choice assumes some facts that may not be in evidence.

    For example, the assumption that life "begins at conception" is fraught with theological and historical error. If one takes that approach, then the discussion will ultimately be lost to our side.

    The example of rape is likewise problematical. Nobody disputes the personhood of the rape victim. But the personhood of the fetus is in question.

    And "Abortion is wrong"? On what basis? It's not biblically wrong. It has not been historically wrong in the Christian church, save for the entirely modern phenomenon we are now witnessing. Why is it wrong?

    The only satisfactory answer I have found to that question has to do with us, as the church, and not with the couple who aborts. Dr. Stanley Hauerwas puts it rightly that we need to become the kind of community where life is more welcome than not.

    Maybe that is what God is telling us.

    Peace.

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  2. This is a strange comment. But if you want to know our arguments for why abortion is wrong, see:
    Www.abolishhumanabortion.com

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  3. CONSTANTINE SAID:

    "To assume that the opposition is not making the 'right' choice assumes some facts that may not be in evidence. For example, the assumption that life 'begins at conception' is fraught with theological and historical error.

    Your claim that Rho's assumption regarding the inception of life is fraught with theological and historical error itself assumes facts not in evidence. Why should we accept your claim?

    "If one takes that approach, then the discussion will ultimately be lost to our side."

    Why?

    "The example of rape is likewise problematical. Nobody disputes the personhood of the rape victim. But the personhood of the fetus is in question."

    I, for one, don't think the prolife argument is contingent on the personhood of the "fetus":

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2009/01/valuing-life.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2010/03/gift-of-life.html

    And 'Abortion is wrong'? On what basis? It's not biblically wrong.

    The case has often been made that it *is* biblically wrong. You may disagree, but you need to address the argument. For instance:

    http://www.meredithkline.com/files/articles/20-3-pp193-201_JETS.pdf

    http://www.opc.org/GA/abortion.html

    "It has not been historically wrong in the Christian church, save for the entirely modern phenomenon we are now witnessing. Why is it wrong?"

    To my knowledge the opposite is the case: there's a fairly consistent tradition of condemning abortion in church history, and only recently have some denominations liberalized.

    "The only satisfactory answer I have found to that question has to do with us, as the church, and not with the couple who aborts."

    I don't even know what that's supposed to mean. Do you apply that to other crimes?

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  4. The example of Christ is likewise problematical. Nobody disputes the existence of the atheist. But the existence of Christ is in question.


    There we go. I'm just aping the logic Constantine expressed, namely:
    P1) Disagreement among people means necessarily that neither side's argument is valid and/or sound.
    P2) Some people make arguments that Christ existed.
    P3) People disagree about Christ's existence.

    C) The arguments that Christ existed are not valid and/or not sound.


    This could work for ANYthing, and it's completely inconsistent with a biblical view of sin and truth. What was Constantine getting at?

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