Judie Brown
Media madness: men and abortion
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By Judie Brown
June 11, 2009

The planet is a strange place these days where hyped political rhetoric continues to grow ever more bizarre. Take, for example, the recent comments by Adam Reilly in his article, "The Blessing of Abortion." http://thephoenix.com/Boston/News/84424-blessing-of-abortion/

The man has a penchant for using emotionally charged words to misinform his readers regarding basic differences between those who support aborting children versus those who abhor it. For example, he focused on the pro-abortion zealot Katherine Hancock Ragsdale http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/21537/ about whom I commented awhile ago. http://www.all.org/newsroom_judieblog.php?id=2552

She is the woman, you may recall, who defined abortion as a "blessing." Reilly is using Ragsdale's words to present his side of the discussion on abortion, not to mention his desire to paint pro-life Americans as unreasonable and uncaring. The single most chilling quote from Ragsdale's speech being

    And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion there is not a tragedy in sight only blessing. The ability to enjoy God's good gift of sexuality without compromising one's education, life's work, or ability to put to use God's gifts and call is simply blessing.

    These are the two things I want you, please, to remember abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.


Reilly uses Ragsdale's comments to assure his readers that according to Ragsdale's worldview, abortion is a good: "Something to be cherished and celebrated."

In addition, he opines that it is perspectives like hers that create a chasm of disagreement that does not permit a scintilla of common ground from existing. On that, he is totally correct. While he has missed the callous disregard for the baby, which is Ragsdale's biggest failing, he has also avoided admitting that the very decision a mother makes to abort her baby creates a deep scar emotionally, spiritually and physically that will not soon disappear. Not only that, but in Reilly's world, he has to be dismissive of any commentary pro-life Americans might make on the subject. He chooses to portray us as people whose arguments are steeped in venom and are a type of hate speech designed to create division rather than promote cooperation between the two sides.

In the end, one surmises that Reilly is conflicted. He cannot figure out how Ragsdale's comments play on the stage of public opinion. My guess is that he is confused because he has failed to take note of the fact that there are two people involved in a decision about abortion: a mother and her preborn child, each of whom would have equal human rights if indeed we lived in a sane society.

There is another gentleman who has recently given his opinions on abortion and his name is Ross Douthat. http://rossdouthat.theatlantic.com/bio.php Douthat is a commentator and senior editor at Atlantic Monthly. His recent New York Times commentary, "Not all abortions are equal" is another example of problematic rhetoric masquerading as common sense. My view is that Douthat's premise is flawed, but see for yourself: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/09/opinion/09douthat.html

    The argument for unregulated abortion rests on the idea that where there are exceptions, there cannot be a rule. Because rape and incest can lead to pregnancy, because abortion can save women's lives, because babies can be born into suffering and certain death, there should be no restrictions on abortion whatsoever.

    As a matter of moral philosophy, this makes a certain sense. Either a fetus has a claim to life or it doesn't. The circumstances of its conception and the state of its health shouldn't enter into the equation.

    But the law is a not a philosophy seminar. It's the place where morality meets custom, and compromise, and common sense. And it can take account of tragic situations without universalizing their lessons.

    Indeed, the argument that some abortions take place in particularly awful, particularly understandable circumstances is not a case against regulating abortion. It's the beginning of precisely the kind of reasonable distinction-making that would produce a saner, stricter legal regime.

Note his propensity to assign the "fetus" to a status of being a debate topic, a quasi-problem or a topic for a legal discussion, rather than admitting that when we discuss an expectant mother, we are also discussing her preborn child. The preborn child is not only an individual human being, but also someone whose human rights are equally as important as his mother's. This is not a philosophical position but rather a fact based on biology and human embryology. That being said, Douthat is suffering from a moral dilemma ... he likes Reilly and he wants to consider the preborn child as an entity that has the same standing as a bank bailout. In other words, the "fetus" is a topic for political debate rather than someone who should be recognized as having the same status as Douthat himself: human person!

While Douthat would like to see a "saner, stricter legal regime" for choosing which abortions to permit, those of us who know exactly who that preborn human is want to see his/her human rights protected regardless of the circumstance surrounding his/her existence. But as you have already recognized, it is the perspective of the Douthats of the world that wins the day with the media. The mainstream media are genuine lapdogs for the intolerant pro-abortion cartel. In their circles, phrases like "preborn baby" and "preborn human being with equal rights" are a no-no.

Finally, there is Doug Feaver who recently posted a blog on the Washington Post web site. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dot.comments/2009/06/the_abortion_debate_rages_on.html?hpid=topnews His task in his June 9 collection of comments appears to be providing a rant platform for those who want to say something one way or the other about abortion. His entry, titled "No Middle Ground on Abortion" gets off to a rocky start as he writes: "One question that never leaves the national agenda is abortion rights, and Our Readers Who Comment are involved in an often crude discussion this morning about Peter Slevin's http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/07/AR2009060702500.html story documenting how anti-abortion forces are concentrating their efforts on imposing state controls in the absence of gaining a federal ban."

First off, Slevin's report covers abortion regulation measures, many of which are being considered in state legislatures across the land. Since I have a definite negative attitude toward regulating how, when and at what time a child in utero can be murdered, we will not address the Slevin article per se. What I am most interested in is Feaver's conclusion, upon reviewing what readers are saying, that, "Our readers find no middle ground. Abortion is murder for one side; for the other, laws making abortion difficult are a profound violation of a woman's right to control what happens to her body. Restrictions such as those documented in Mississippi fall hardest on the poor at a time many states are cutting supportive programs for budget reasons."

Right there we have the age-old pro-abortion argument that the poor are being discriminated against by laws that propose to regulate abortion in some way. Pro-abortion commentators have been using that tired argument for years, and it is as ridiculous now as it has always been, but it makes good press and it convinces people that pro-life Americans are heartless, cruel individuals who care little to nothing for the poor.

Personally, I have never been able to figure out how it is charitable to help someone poor kill her baby rather than help her welcome her baby and improve her state in life. To my mind, it is the pro-aborts who are disingenuous when they say on one hand that they care about the poor, but on the other, present the poor with the only option that is viable to the pro-aborts: killing their children. Somehow that makes no sense to me at all, but then again, I hope that my thought process is a bit more logical that that of my opponents.

Speaking of logic, here is but one of the many comments Feaver's blog featured yesterday:

    One reason so many Pro-Choice people can't understand the general Anti-Abortion crowd is that the very people wanting to outlaw abortion are the same ones preventing teenagers and poor women from getting sex-education and contraception in the first place. If you truly want to prevent pregnancies, hand out condoms the first day of middle school, teach the teenagers about real life and how sex fits in, but don't tell them 'just say no' and then demonize them for acting like everybody else does.

This is an example of the apparently popular view that the only way to "prevent abortion" is by marketing contraception. Such silliness completely avoids the fundamental problem facing the culture today: a complete and total lack of respect for the integrity of the human person. The child who is handed a condom instead of challenged to live a life of moral courage is a child who has become the victim of the culture of death. It is a vicious circle that must be broken and the men of the media could be part of the solution instead of the problem they seem to enjoy advocating.

If I had but one wish to make for these men of the media, it would be for each of them, Adam Reilly, Ross Douthat and Doug Feaver to take a moment and consider who they really are and how fortunate they are that their mothers did not have the fetish for aborting children that they seem to have.

© Judie Brown

 

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Judie Brown

Judie Brown is president and co-founder of American Life League, the nation's largest grassroots pro-life educational organization... (more)

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