When mega pastor Rick Warren asked then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008, “At what point does a baby get human rights?” Obama famously stated: That’s “above my pay grade.” Liberals used to respond to this question by answering that personhood is established when the fetus is viable — meaning when the baby is able to live independently of the mother. However, as medical technology has enabled this to happen as early as 20 weeks — a time when almost all abortion advocates believe the procedure should be legal — the viability defense is no longer invoked. And now, it seems, abortion advocates — a la Obama — are opting to avoid the question altogether. Even worse, they’re using the red herring of women’s health and safety to divert attention from the real issue at hand: whether the pre-born child has the right to life.
Last week, self-described progressive talk show host Thom Hartmann posed the question, “Isn’t it time to have a conversation about . . . when life begins?” Women’s Campaign Forum President Sam Bennett responded that to talk about the origin of human life was to “devolve” the discussion and tangentially stated that women will die from sepsis if abortion is not “safe and legal.”
Moveon.org is beating the same drum with a new ad featuring House actress Lisa Edelstein, in which she asks, “Why is the GOP trying to send women back . . . to the back alley?”
The flawed logic is that abortion should not be outlawed because some women will find any way to get an abortion, even if it is dangerous. Apart from the ridiculous assertion that a law is only worth passing and keeping if it is upheld by all the people all the time (talk about an argument for anarchy!), the so-called pro-choice crowd does not give enough credit to women to act righteously with new information accessible to them. In other words, if women start believing — based largely upon recent advances in medical technology — that life begins at conception, hearts and minds on the issue of abortion will change and abortion will be seen as an immoral act — namely the killing of another human being.
Even Roe v. Wade author Supreme Court Justice Henry Blackmun left room for abortion to one day be rendered illegal, writing, “[If the] suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.” In the words of Georgia Right to Life Director Dan Becker, backer of the state’s Human Life Amendment, “The personhood of the preborn child is the single point on which the entire debate turns.”
If abortion is overturned in America, it will not be a strike against women. It will be because there will be a consensus that life begins at conception. As a result, women seeking an abortion in a “back alley” will not be the victim with no options portrayed so effectively in the days leading up to Roe v Wade. Rather, because the child in utero is a human being with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, she will be an accessory to murder. This may sound harsh, but perhaps that is because for 38 years we have become accustomed to the lulling, euphemistic language of the abortion debate. Even the very word “abortion” belies the brutality of the procedure in which a pregnancy is customarily ended by vicious tearing or sucking.
For too long, women have been deceived by organizations that have claimed to be pro-women but which have, in fact, been keeping women in the dark about abortion. Not only are organizations such as Planned Parenthood resistant to discussing the ever-important question of when life begins, but they have a history of withholding information about the physical and emotional impact of abortion and denying women access to ultrasounds. Undercover videos and former abortion clinic employees exposing these practices culminated with the U. S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voting on Friday in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood.
No doubt the abortion lobby will cry foul and attempt to persuade Americans that this is endangering women’s rights. We may hear more original songs by celebrity husband and wife team William Macy and Felicity Huffman, who recently crooned at a NARAL fundraiser (ukelele in hand), “I choose my church and I choose my school. I choose my husband or possibly two. This is my country — the greatest on earth. I get to choose when I give birth.” But surely what makes this country great is that we believe that all men — regardless of size — are created equal.
Heather E. Cirmo is managing owner of 440 Group Public Relations, a conservative political communications firm.