Category: Abortion

How not to argue for abortion

One thing that has become clear in the debate about abortion in Northern Ireland (and everywhere else) is that, in lieu of a single convincing argument, abortion proponents like to carpet-bomb the conversation with multiple terrible arguments in the hope that quantity will make up for quality. This is because abortion-choicers have already decided that pro-lifers are ignorant women-hating rubes who wish to impose their religious views on everyone else, so why even try and come up with a convincing argument?

Exhibit A: This Belfast Telegraph Facebook thread on Liam Neeson’s abortion-choice advocacy. There are too many awful abortion-choice arguments here, so I’ll respond to the best of the worst.

don't like abortion, don't have one

The common “don’t like abortion, don’t have one” argument confuses objective claims with subjective claims. When a pro-lifer says abortion is wrong, they’re making an objective claim that abortion unjustly takes the life of a defenceless human being. In other words, abortion is objectively wrong for everyone, regardless of whether one likes it or not. It misses the point entirely, like saying, “Don’t like wife beating? Don’t beat your wife!”

Subjective claims cannot be deemed right or wrong as they are matters of personal taste. You cannot reasonably argue that cheese and onion crisps are objectively better than ready salted crisps. But objective claims are different. They can be evaluated as true or false based on the evidence. “Every successful abortion intentionally ends an innocent human life” is an objective claim based on evidence. If you think it’s wrong, prove it with science and facts. Anything else is intellectual laziness.

“Shut up, you silly man!” is basically what this comment is saying. Instead of defending the abortion-choice view with facts and reason, this person is trying to censor the pro-lifer by attacking their gender (but, oddly enough, not Liam Neeson’s gender). But: arguments have no gender.

Furthermore, there is no such thing as a “woman’s perspective” on abortion that trumps all rational inquiries into the issue. Feminists – let alone women in general – have no single view on abortion. The ability to bear children is irrelevant. And who says men can’t physically bear children? This is 2016!  Oh, the transphobia!

bad abortion arguments

Two terrible arguments for the price of one here. Scientifically, we know “Embryos, zygotes and foetuses” are distinct, living, and whole human beings. It doesn’t matter what names we give them. Sure, they differ in appearance but not in nature. This is such an obvious truth that not even abortion providers deny it. Faye Wattleton, a former President of Planned Parenthood, said: “I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don’t know that abortion is killing”.

Philosophically, there are only four differences between the embryo you once were and the individual you are today: size, the level of development, environment, and degree of dependence. None of these are value-giving properties. Humanness determines human value. And the unborn are human beings.

The second bad argument here is the absurd idea that in order to be against abortion, you must first care about already-born children. This is like some sort of ultimatum a movie villain might make: “If you care about the hostages, you’ll give me the gold bullion”. Or, “If you care about animal rights, why aren’t you adopting all the turkeys this Christmas?”

Maybe pro-lifers do care about already-born children, maybe they don’t (they do). But I don’t see how an alleged unwillingness to care for a child justifies the deliberate killing of one.

bad abortion arguments

The idea that personhood begins at birth (or that a “person” and a “human” are separate things) is not an argument, but an arbitrary and unqualified assertion. When pushed, the pro-choicer will probably respond by defining “person” as a self-conscious, thinking, and intelligent being. It is these qualities, say pro-choicers, that give human beings the status of “person” and therefore the right to life.

There are a couple of serious problems with this, though.

First, why is a capacity for thought, self-awareness, and intelligence value-giving in the first place? And why a particular degree of development? Why not full development? Is an adult human with an IQ of less than 40 a non-person? If not, why not? Says who? These are questions that abortion advocates never adequately address.

Second, and rather scarily, all of these qualities don’t happen until after birth, meaning newborns are also disqualified. After all, infants are not self-aware and cannot make conscious decisions until (at least) a few months after birth, so what’s wrong with infanticide? Same goes for comatose patients, dementia sufferers, and the sleeping.

It is true that “Being against abortions will not stop them,” and, “Having abortions illegal will not stop them”. So what? By that logic, should we legalise murder, domestic violence, and burglary? After all, being against those things and making them illegal doesn’t stop them. Nonsense. The core question is the status of the unborn: Are they human beings? If so, we should legally protect them like any other vulnerable group.

“I will hunt you down, I will find you, I will kill you” – said the abortionist to the unborn child.

In sharp contrast to the lazy and ill-thought out pro-choice arguments above, the pro-life position is robust. It stands up to scrutiny. Pro-lifers contend, based on philosophy and scientific facts, that no human being, regardless of how developed they are or where they’re located, should be excluded from the community of human persons. It is an inclusive view open to all, especially the weak and powerless. Pro-life means equality, in the truest sense of the word.

Pro-life rally meets pro-choice rally: five observations

This was interesting. On 2nd July 2016, Belfast city centre hosted both a pro-life rally and a pro-choice rally. This has never happened before – not in my lifetime anyway – but I’m glad it did, because it gave us a unique insight into how both sides espouse their views.

As expected, thousands turned up (approx. 1,000 pro-choice, 2,000 pro-life), proving that this is an issue people are passionate about. Of course, it’s not about numbers or which side is more passionate; it’s about which view is right. This is why seeing both rallies side by side, especially for those undecided on abortion, helped to point a few things out. Here’s five of them:

1. More people are pro-life than the media will have you know

Ok, I’m contradicting myself here. Numbers do matter. Not in a “we have more people, therefore that makes us right” kind of way, but to dispel the liberal myth that most people in Northern Ireland are in favour of abortion.

speech

If you ever listen to abortionistas like Dawn Purvis or Goretti Horgan, you’ll continually hear the abortion-choice mantra that young people, particularly women, are all for abortion. They’ll tell you that liberal values are tolerant and cool and groovy. They’ll talk about the pro-life movement being the invention of religious old men and crusty politicians, whose only purpose for a woman is to have her sweep the fireplace and clip their cigars. 

But then you look at this year’s Rally for Life, and it was jam-packed with hundreds of vibrant, happy, young people – especially women. In fact, the whole pro-life movement in Ireland (and afar) is fuelled and run by women. Yet the media image is of the complete opposite. How strange.

2. Pro-choice campaigners don’t understand science (or at least pretend not to)

It is an established scientific fact that human life begins at conception. This fact is the rock that the pro-life cause is built on. In response, the pro-choicer has two options: accept the humanity of the unborn but continue to support abortion anyway (like this honest pro-choice writer), or simply ignore the science. If the pro-choice placards on display were anything to go by, they choose the latter.

As one anti-science placard profoundly and poetically put it: ‘Not every ejaculation needs a name’. Yeah, no. Somebody wasn’t paying attention during biology class. Sperm cells are not human beings. No pro-life advocate argues that sperm is sacred and in need of protecting (or a name). Sperm is a byproduct of a larger human entity, like skin cells, hair follicles and spit – it is not in itself a human life.

Ignore the maverick spacing; the sperm cells look really accurate.

It’s true: NoT EVERY E  JACULATION NEEDSANAM.

By contrast, the unborn – from embryo to nine months – are confirmed by science to be distinct and whole living human beings. Taking the life of a distinct and whole human being is a radically different action from not naming your sperm. Besides, if you name one sperm, you would have to name them all. And that could take all weekend.  

3. Pro-choice campaigners have a fetish for scary symbols and ideologies

One much-photographed banner present at the pro-choice rally featured the hammer and sickle. Another one extolled the virtues of anarchism, while another said: “Making feminism a threat again” beside a big picture of some knuckle dusters.

Maybe I’m missing something, but if your campaign claims to be about freedom, fairness and equality for women, why would you align yourself with symbols of violence, chaos, and, in the case of the hammer and sickle, an ideology responsible for the deaths of millions? It’s not like abortion has ever… oh, wait… abortion has killed millions. Carry on.

pro-choice hammer and sickle

13537685_1335789916449668_212650790308169358_n

If anything can bring the politically disparate communities of communism and anarchism together, abortion can. Beautiful.

The official Rally for Choice poster displayed some interesting design choices, too; an angry fist against an ominous black and white background, with the silhouette of what looks like a baying mob. It looks more like an advert for a Leni Riefenstahl film than a call to do something good and meaningful. 

rally for choiceThe Rally for Life poster, on the other hand, couldn’t be more different; smiling young people (all female), bright colours, and a clear message – choose life. And what exactly does #TRUSTWOMEN mean anyway? Which women? 

rally 4 life

4. The pro-choice rally had very few children in attendance

One of the most striking aspects of the pro-life rally was the amount of children present. I mean, there was lots and lots and lots of them. They seemed to be having a great time, too, getting their faces painted and blowing up balloons. It was a proper family-friendly affair.

In stark contrast, the pro-choice rally looked like a scene from a Mad Max film. Any child that had the misfortune of being there looked either lost and bewildered or terrified. Of course, they’re not at all to blame, they’re just kids, but it is telling. What child wants to hang around with humourless communists and anarchists, stomping around with their clenched fists and knuckle dusters, on a Saturday afternoon? And not to mention the overtly sexual placards.

A baby worriedly looks on, grateful that she's already been born.

A nervous baby politely reminds an abortion-hungry protestor that he has already been born.

And what exactly do you tell a child at a pro-choice event anyway? I imagine it would go something like this:

“Mummy, what’s pro-choice?”

“Well, eh, you know when you were in my tummy?”

“When I was a baby?”

“No, when you were a foetus. Well, some women choose not to have a foetus in their tummy, so they have an abortion.”

“Is an abortion like giving birth?”

“Sort of. But instead of being born, the foetus gets poisoned by a doctor. Or if it’s too big, dismembered with a giant set of forceps with metal teeth, and thrown in a bin.”

“Mummy, can I have an abortion?”

“… Eh, it’s bed time now. Mummy wants to watch Orange is the New Black.”

5. Abortion sets the stage for every other cultural battle

This is perhaps the most important observation of all. As the huge turnout showed, abortion is one of the biggest defining issues in our society, because it gets right down to the very core of who you are and what you believe. 

A person’s position on abortion informs and guides every other position they take on every other subject. This is why one side had militant artwork, anarchists and communists, and the other side had joy, positivity, a hopeful message – and colours other than black and dark purple. If we cannot first establish that life matters, then nothing else matters. Anarchy, in other words.

Make no mistake, juxtaposing a pro-life cause with a pro-choice cause was extremely helpful, because it highlighted just how much the world needs us to be pro-life. People need to know that all human life has intrinsic value. This is the pro-life position. And it’s the right position.

abortion law relax

Liberal Christians say the darnedest things – a response to Rev. Lesley Carroll’s comments on abortion

By Dinosaur Dave.

In light of the recent abortion pill court case – brought against an unnamed women who bought drugs on the Internet to procure her own abortion, then left the resulting body in a bin – you would think that the spotlight would have been shone upon the guilty party. Like, you know, what normally happens when human remains are found in a bin.

However, as society continues to sink into subjective moral madness, even some Christians are confused. Instead of standing up for the weakest and most defenceless members of the human race, as Christians are called to do, some Christians – media darlings of the liberal kind – are stepping off the bench to bat for Team Abortion. The media darling, in this case, happens to be Rev. Lesley Carroll, styled by the newspapers as a “senior Presbyterian cleric”.

As part of the research carried out by the Belfast Feminist Network, Rev. Carroll said:

“While I am not in favour of a blanket extension of the 1967 Act, I do think there needs to be more discussion with an emphasis again on choice and on the fact that we can draw lines where we want them to [sic].”

When pressed by the News Letter on her beliefs regarding whether life begins at conception, Rev. Carroll replied:

“These are very technical debates, but we are already in a situation where women can go and get the morning-after pill. So we’ve already made that judgement, if you like. Society has already made that judgement even by allowing the morning-after pill.”

Now, I know I’m a regressive old dinosaur (a Theolosaurus Rex, to be exact), but I happen to know that science establishes human life begins at conception (more on that later). It matters not what society judges. And her views, despite what some liberals will have you believe, are at complete odds with Christianity in general. Indeed the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, Rev. Carroll’s own denomination, was moved to issue this statement on the following Monday morning, reaffirming:

“[T]he Presbyterian Church in Ireland holds a strongly pro-life position. We believe that the current law attempts to protect both the life of the mother and the unborn child.”

There are numerous reasons why the vast majority of churches take this stance, namely the compelling scientific and philosophical arguments in favour of the pro-life position, but since Rev. Carroll claims to be speaking for Christianity, let’s look at what the Bible says. Now, I know Rev. Carroll prefers to go by what society says, and society, mostly, couldn’t give two crusty fossils about what the Bible says, but I’m going to quote from it anyway:

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”                                                                                    

– Psalm 139:14-16

In addition, the New Testament writers believed that the unborn were fully human and valuable. The birth of Jesus and John the Baptist were examples of this (Matthew 1 and Luke 1).

But if Rev. Carroll isn’t persuaded by the biblical arguments, she should take a look at what cold, hard science has to offer. Hymie Gordon (BSci, BM, BSurg, MD, FRCP), professor emeritus of Medical Genetics at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, said this at a US congressional hearing on individual life:

“But now we can say, unequivocally, that the question of when life begins is no longer a question for theological or philosophical dispute. It is an established scientific fact. Theologians and philosophers may go on to debate the meaning of life or the purpose of life, but it is an established fact that all life, including human life, begins at the moment of conception.”

And in the stages after conception, even leading abortionists admit that abortion kills a human being. Dr. Warren Hern, author of Abortion Practice – the medical text that teaches abortion procedures (!) – told a Planned Parenthood conference:

“We have reached a point in this particular technology [D&E abortion] where there is no possibility of denying an act of destruction. It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current.”

The science is crystal clear, even for a regressive old dinosaur like me. Science has placed a window into the womb and given us indisputable evidence for the humanity of the unborn. It is a fact that a fertilised human ovum is wholly human, because, from the very moment of fertilisation, all genetic information needed for an individual human being is present. It is also a fact that abortion ends that human life. The abortionist who informs all other abortionists says so.

So, for the Christian, Psalm 139 is no glib quotation of Scripture – science backs it up. The words of Psalm 139 are an old-fashioned way of confirming that the frame of our body, our characteristics, our being is all contained in the secret place of the womb, under the sight of God – the God that Rev. Carroll claims to believe in.

For the good of human life, then, the spotlight must swing back from abortion-choice to pro-life. If it is wrong to take the life of a born human being in the name of ‘choice’, then it follows that it’s wrong to take the life of an unborn human being in the name of choice. A human being’s geographical location (the womb) is irrelevant. Human value is not determined by location (or any other arbitrary criteria), it is determined by humanness.

But Rev. Carroll disagrees. She thinks that society gets to decide. She claims that the question of when life begins is a “very technical debate”, despite what science and scripture says. She believes there should be “more discussion with an emphasis again on choice”. In Rev. Carroll’s book (which I don’t think is the Bible), human life is not necessarily fearfully and wonderfully made.

The only thing that Rev. Carroll seems to believe is truly fearfully and wonderfully made is her own opinion. I don’t know about you, but this dinosaur thinks she’s scientifically and, crucially, biblically wrong.

abortion pills northern ireland

People of NI – if you find a body in your bin, should you call the police?

In today’s postmodern world, nothing is black and white. ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ are manmade categories, and truth is not absolute. It’s understandable, then, that when a body was found in a bin, Northern Ireland was thrown into a state of moral conflict and confusion. Some believe that reporting the body to police was the right thing to do, others think it was the worst thing imaginable to do.

So what should someone do if they find human remains in a bin? Go to the police. Just kidding, only a woman-hating religious fundamentalist tyrant would do that. We live in a tolerant and progressive society now. The answer is campaign relentlessly – using half-truths and made-up non-medical terms like “fatal foetal abnormality” – to change the law so that professionals can throw the body in a bin for you.

Sure, some people will say, “there’s nothing wrong with a law that stops you from taking an innocent human life and throwing it in a bin”. Well, you can tell those people to shut their oppressive faces.  Firstly, that “law” dates back to 1861. Secondly, it was probably written by a man. Any tolerant person knows that a law predating Twitter and / or written by a man is obviously wrong. (Except the laws against rape and child labour, which were also written ages ago and by men).

The same regressive nut jobs will also claim that the body found in the bin belonged to a person, but of course us enlightened people know better; it was a foetus, not a person. The unenlightened might say that that’s a fallacy known as ‘making a distinction without a difference’ – a bit like saying, “jogging isn’t exercise, it’s physical exertion” – but don’t listen to their silly rhetoric. If they accuse you of poor logic and Newspeak, ridicule them by calling them a dogmatic dinosaur on social media.

Besides, you don’t need to appeal to science; the difference between a foetus and a person is blatantly obvious. Foetuses are not alive and they’re not human persons. Well, they’re kind of human and sort of alive, but they’re not persons. We know this to be a fact because some highly-educated, scientifically-minded freethinkers invented a special category for humans that aren’t persons called “Lebensunwertes Leben”. If you look up the meaning of this phrase, you’ll find it describes the foetus perfectly.

Now, I know some of you are concerned about the reports that this particular foetus had features and limbs consistent with what most sane people would consider to be an actual human being. That’s just lies from the mouths of our patriarchal dinosaur overlords. How can a blob of cells have limbs and facial features?! It’s absurd! And you can definitely ignore the claims that the foetus was male. These days, ‘sex’ is something that gets assigned at birth. How can it have a sex if it hadn’t even been born yet!

Most important of all, if there’s only one thing you take away from reading this, make it this: you need to ignore the fact that procuring your own abortion and dumping the corpse in a bin is illegal in backwards Northern Ireland. If you know someone who breaks this law, even if you are the one who discovers the human debris in the bin, don’t ever inform the police. And if someone does tell the police, you must hold them responsible instead of the person who broke the law.

So, no, if you release yourself from the bonds of coherency, science, logic, truth, and the law, you don’t need to tell the police that you found a body in your bin.

gay foetus

Answering five common pro-choice arguments

After I wrote this article a few weeks back, I hadn’t intended on writing about abortion again for a while. It’s too depressing and grizzly and wicked. But, alas, abortion is back in the news again in Northern Ireland (is it ever out of it?) – and with that comes all the usual arguments and rhetoric in its defence.

Let me start by saying that there are no good arguments in favour of elective abortion. Not one. But abortion arguments are often delivered with such force and emotion that it can be easy for the pro-lifer to be steamrollered into submission by them.

Thankfully, forceful and emotional arguments do not necessarily make good arguments. In fact, many pro-choice arguments are so bad, and so absurd, that it makes me wonder if those saying them are even being serious. 

So, from ‘gay’ fetuses, to cleansing the world of poor people, here are some answers to five common pro-choice arguments doing the rounds today. 

1 – “Don’t like abortion, don’t have one!”

This argument tries to be clever by shifting the emphasis from abortion being an act that is objectively wrong, to an act that is merely about personal taste – like so: “Don’t like pineapples, don’t eat pineapples”. This, of course, is ethical tomfoolery; there are no moral questions to be asked in the eating of a pineapple (unless you stole it). Abortion, conversely, is a moral minefield. That’s why it’s strictly regulated with timeframes and medical consent. Even Marie Stopes knows this.

So let’s take the logic of this argument out for a test drive: “Don’t like slavery? Don’t own a slave.” “Don’t like wife-beating? Don’t beat your wife.” “Don’t like child abuse? Don’t abuse children”. When you reduce something that is objectively wrong to something that is a matter of personal taste, you completely miss the point as to why people disagree with those things in the first place.

You're completely missing the point here, lads.

Completely missing the point here, lads.

Abortion – like wife-beating, slavery, and child abuse – has nothing to do with personal taste. When a person says “abortion is wrong”, they are making an objective moral claim, not a subjective one. Abortion is wrong because it takes the life of an intrinsically valuable human being. Whether someone likes abortion or not is irrelevant.

2 – Abortion reduces crime rates.

This argument reminds me of the Steven Spielberg film, Minority Report.  Set in the not-too-distant future, Minority Report tells the story of a guy on the run from “PreCrime”, a specialised police department that can arrest future criminals based on foreknowledge provided by special psychics.

And that’s pretty much exactly how this argument works, too. The unborn will commit crimes in the future, therefore they must be apprehended. The only differences being; the crimes committed by the unborn are based on mere conjecture, and instead of being jailed, the unborn get the death penalty. 

Ironically, the people making this argument are often the same ones who oppose the death penalty. Yet here they are calling for it before a crime has even been committed. Spare the convicted rapist-killer, execute the might-be-convicted-in-20-years-time unborn girl. Yup. Welcome to our new rational and ethical future, people.

3 – May the fetus you save be gay!

The idea here is to call out religious people who oppose abortion and (possibly) homosexuality on religious grounds. The reasoning goes like this: “Hey, wouldn’t it serve those religious pro-life crazies right if a fetus they saved grew up to be gay? That’ll teach ’em! Bet they wish she’d been aborted now! LOLZ!”

This argument has several critical flaws. Firstly, it’s a genetic fallacy – that is, it attacks a perceived flaw in the origin of a person’s claim, then uses it to discredit the claim itself. For example: “Most pro-lifers are religious. I think religion is wrong. Therefore, pro-lifers are wrong about abortion”. A person’s religion has no more to do with whether or not abortion is wrong, any more than when that person speaks out against torturing pensioners for fun. 

There's a market for abortion merchandise. Who knew?

There’s a market for abortion merchandise. Who knew?

Secondly, this argument completely ignores the growing amount of secular pro-life movements. Like this one, this one, and this one. In fact, David Silverman, American Atheists president, conceded that secular arguments against abortion exist and aren’t going away. Even revered atheist Christopher Hitchens leaned pro-life.

Worst of all, though, is its rancid hypocrisy. Each year abortion kills hundreds of thousands of developing human beings that would have grown up to be gay. It seems the pro-choice movement has no problem killing the LGBT community so long as it’s before they’re born. It is the pro-life position, however, that argues from philosophy and science that all human life should be respected, regardless of age, gender, race, social standing, and sexual orientation.

4 – “Abortion is compassionate. You can’t condemn a child to a life of poverty!”

For several long, torturous years I lived on a street full of hard-partying students. Words can’t describe their awfulness. If only I had thought of this argument to justify getting rid of them. Here’s how the chat would go between me and my community police officer:

Me: “Yunno, those insufferable students are a real inconvenience. They pee in the entry and leave half-eaten curry chips on my window ledge. I’m going to kill them all.”

Police Officer: “You can’t do that! They’re whole and distinct human beings! Science confirms it!”

Me: “Well, that’s debatable. But think about it; I’m actually doing them a favour.  They’re only going to spend their days living in poverty and squalor anyway. A diet of Cornflakes and Tennents Lager is no way to live.”

Police officer: “Hmm. I hadn’t thought of that. Here, use my gun.”

This argument is terrible and scary because it assumes that certain human beings are somehow less worthy of life than other human beings simply because of their circumstances. This is full-on eugenics. Hardly surprising, though, given that the abortion industry was built upon such ideology. Just ask Margaret Sanger.

5 – My body, my choice!

If there’s one thing the pro-abortion lobby has succeeded at, it’s in hijacking the word “choice”. Let’s dispel the myth now: pro-lifers are not “anti-choice”. They respect the right to choose. They believe, without exception, that a person should be free to choose their own partner, who to vote for, their own job, their own religion (or none), etc., etc.

However, choice has limitations. You cannot choose to skin dogs for personal pleasure, abuse children or shoot students. The very nature of those choices is abhorrent. You have no right to choose them. Nobody – bar tyrants and the criminally insane – believes they can choose to take the life of another human being with impunity.

my body my choice

Moody black and white doesn’t make it true.

To “choose” abortion, then, begs the question and assumes something about the nature of the unborn. Are the unborn somehow different, less valuable, and off our moral radar? Can we just kill and dispose of them because their geographical location is different? Or because they’re smaller and less developed? Scientifically and philosophically, the answer to all of those is ‘no’.

And there are two bodies involved, not one. We know this because of embryology and ultrasound technology. Each human being has a unique set of DNA. Embryos have a unique set of DNA. Therefore, two human beings. Then, further along in development, the unborn can develop body parts and substances that a pregnant woman doesn’t have – like a penis or a different blood type. How is this possible if only one body is involved?

Progressive discrimination

It’s funny that pro-lifers are continuously charged with discrimination. They “discriminate” against women. They “discriminate” against doctors. They “discriminate” against a tolerant society. But actually, to be truly pro-choice – to support complete bodily autonomy – involves embracing pretty much every kind of discrimination. Abortion because it’s a girl? Sexist. Abortion because it has Down’s? Disability discrimination. Abortion at 22 weeks but not at 25 weeks? Ageist. Abortion because a mixed-race child wouldn’t be acceptable? Racist. Abortion because the gay gene has been discovered and some parents don’t want a gay fetus? Homophobic.

If this is what liberals mean by “progressive,” God help us all.

abortion

Abortion takes a human life – why does having to travel for one matter?

You can’t go for more than a week here in Northern Ireland without something about abortion being on the news. From Judge Horner declaring that NI abortion laws are incompatible with human rights to the outcry over a woman facing jail for buying abortion pills, to a pro-life campaigner being convicted, then acquitted, of harassing a Marie Stopes clinic director. The main reason for this: abortion is heavily restricted in NI, so any woman seeking an abortion must travel to England to get one.

Cue the heated debates on Facebook, the protests outside City Hall, and the X-Factor-style appeals to emotion across the Stephen Nolan Network. One thing you’ll notice, though, is that rarely does anyone stop to ask: “what is the unborn?” No. Pro-choicers simply assume that the unborn are not fully human, and assert that abortion is a good thing, deserving of not just tolerance but praise and respect.

But it’s not. It’s really not.

Picture for a second that you have a young child playing out in the garden. The child comes in, hands cupped as if covering something up, and says: “Mummy, can I kill this?” Now, any right-minded parent would instinctively and concernedly say, “kill what?” (And then probably, “No, don’t be so cruel, put it back in the crisp packet where you found it!”). So when a woman says: “I want to kill this living thing inside me,” it is reasonable and natural to ask, “what is the thing you want to kill?”

But this basic human instinct seems to be missing from the abortion-choice camp. You rarely ever hear those supporting abortion elaborating on the technical details of an abortion, the tools and techniques used, or explaining what happens to the resulting debris. Even more rarely do you hear abortion-choice advocates discuss what they are in favour of aborting, except maybe to dismiss it as a “clump of cells”. (Which, as it turns out, we all are).

You will, however, hear a lot of rhetoric about “dinosaur” politicians holding our wee secular utopia back, or about how the ovary-clamping religious nutjobs want to impose their morality on everyone else (by the way, this argument works both ways. Everyone has a moral standard. If pro-lifers impose their morals on the mother, then abortion advocates impose their morals on the unborn. It’s not a matter of if morals will be imposed, but which).

You’ll also hear them talk about how men shouldn’t have a say in the matter (except Judge Horner, of course), or about how the repression of choice (one very peculiar choice, it has to be said, that isn’t like all the other choices in life, like choosing a partner, who to vote for, or what to watch on Netflix).

You’ll almost certainly never hear them talk about what precisely this  “choice” entails.

Why not? Because the unborn are human beings. This is a scientific fact – and they know it (scarily, some don’t care). To admit otherwise would be to make themselves complicit in the breaking of bones and the stilling of beating hearts. So, instead of trying to prove their position with facts and arguments, they ignore the science and start speaking Latin in a bid to confuse and dehumanise. But some of us understand Latin. I may even have a GCSE in it somewhere. We know what “foetus” means. It means “little one” (not that giving it a more clinical name changes anything. You could call unborn children ‘Pop Tarts’ and they would still be human beings in every sense).

The fact is, abortion is the intentional destruction of a human life. Pro-lifers (not always graciously or articulately, admittedly) have been saying this for years, but it’s taken until now, with the advances in ultrasound technology and our understanding of fetal development, plus the countless exposés on the abortion industry (it’s another boy!), to prove conclusively one simple fact: the unborn are human beings.

Shocker, eh? How this is even a discussion anymore is beyond me.

So, what we have here in NI is a certain category of human being, the unborn – scientifically confirmed to be whole and distinct members of the species homo sapien – that find themselves in the rather absurd and disturbing situation of upsetting a whole bunch of people because you can’t snuff out their lives closer to home. Well, if abortion takes a human life – and it absolutely, empirically, does – then the fact that it could be done here doesn’t seem to me to be something worth celebrating.