Monday, April 21, 2014

When Wanting Fame Means Having an Abortion [Daniel]

 In the UK there has been a number of recent cases that reflect poorly on the abortion industry. One case in point is wannabe celebrity Josie Cunningham who became 'famous' after receiving free breast enlargements on the NHS which was a controversy in itself. However, it has recently come to light that she plans to have an abortion (at 18 weeks) because in her own words... “An abortion will further my career. This time next year I won’t have a baby. Instead, I’ll be famous, driving a bright pink Range Rover and buying a big house. Nothing will get in my way.”. She was recently given the opportunity to appear on celebrity Big Brother but when their interest waned on hearing she was pregnant she decided that her dreams of fame and fortune were more valuable than the life of her unborn child.

The Cult of Celebrity

 In another demonstration of the cult of celebrity Josie Cunningham argues that her quest for fame should not be risked by giving birth to her baby. Quite rightly this has caused uproar in the British media and presents a further challenge for pro-choice reasoning. After-all if the unborn are not morally valuable how much should the reason really matter? If the early human fetus isn't sentient, self-aware, conscious or a continuing subject of experience why should the reason matter, especially if most reasons for abortion are effectively utilitarian (to promote the best consequences i.e. to maximise happiness etc). If Josie thinks having an abortion will promote the best consequences for her and if her unborn child is only instrumentally valuable shouldn't she be free to do so? That's the reality of much of the Pro-choice reasoning.

The Success of Dehumanising Language in the UK

 The way in which Josie talks about her unborn child as if they are something disposable and fickle exposes how successful the dehumanising of the unborn has been in the UK. The maternal relationship is now seen as something tentative and conditional. The unborn must meet societies standards of normalcy before they are allowed to continue their existence, that is providing they come at the right time.

Contemporary Western Values

 Francis Schaeffer once said that the two values of middle-class America were affluence and personal peace and I think they're also applicable in the UK, and you can see these values reflected in Josies' reasoning. By affluence Schaeffer meant the acquisition of things and more things, that's why Josie wants her pink Range Rover and big house, if her unborn baby gets in her way to achieving those ends (utilitarian reasoning) its the unborn baby who loses. Personal peace simply means wanting your own lifestyle undisturbed regardless of the effects on others and in this case the unborn functions as a disturbance to her personal peace. 

 Unfortunately when those values are combined with the uncritical dehumanising of the unborn there will only be outrage at the reasons for abortion rather than the act itself. I know many people will want to be angry at Josie but she deserves our prayers because as hard as it is to comprehend she is also a victim of the culture of death in which she lives. We can only pray that she does not go through with her planned abortion next week and instead chooses to take seriously the gift of motherhood.


  1. Daniel,

    Would you be saying those last 2 sentences if Josie were killing her 2 year born child instead of her 18-week unborn child? No talk from you of Josie deserving prison or anything like that. Just "she's a victim -- let's pray for her". It's like, do we believe our own arguments about the unborn being people? Selfishness is a huge understatement for this mother. It's not like she just double-parked or something. She is about to kill someone.

    You know, we could bring someone on this forum from Planned Parenthood, and they will tell you that the unborn have value and some will say they're babies-- it's just that their value isn't near as much as a born child. That is, killing a fetus is like killing a pet hamster-- regrettable, but certainly not worthy of criminal charges for the perpetrator. What's the difference between the unborn and the born child that changed your mind? For many, it's the "level of development". If Scott Klusendorf's S.L.E.D. arguments won't convince us, they're not going to convince our opponents.

    1. Paul,

      thanks for reading and taking the time to write a comment.

      *Would you be saying those last 2 sentences if Josie were killing her 2 year born child instead of her 18-week unborn child?*

      I do not doubt the selfishness in her reasoning and pointed this out implicitly in her desire for personal peace (her desire for an uninterrupted life). In regards to your question, my answer would be no I wouldn't have. But that's because there hasn't been a concerted campaign to dehumanise two years old for the last forty years. That's not to say it couldn't one day happen but it's different and somewhat easier for the unborn to be dehumanised and therefore put outside the moral and human community. The humanity and moral worth of born children is bar a few philosophers simply a brute fact for most people today, even if that hasn't been historically the case (Ancient Roman and Greek cultures etc).

      The problem is, she is whether you like it or not a victim of misinformation and propaganda and her unborn child will suffer as a result. I agree, she is about to kill someone but UK law does not recognise that to be the case so shouting loudly (as much as I would love to) that she should be imprisoned will fall on deaf ears. However, even under UK law procuring an abortion for the reason she gave is illegal so if she goes through with it the Dr could be prosecuted. Unfortunately the CPS rarely go ahead with a prosecution which is a moral travesty but I certainly will kick up a fuss.

      *What's the difference between the unborn and the born child that changed your mind?*

      I'm not sure I understand since I do believe the unborn are human persons and defend that claim from the end of the process of conception. You're right though Scott's S.L.E.D. acronym is a great discussion tool which I wholly embrace.

      Please let me know if you want me to clarify anything I've said.


    2. If we're ever going to win, we have to get over this "aborting-woman-as-victim" mentality. In plays right into our opponents hands. Our opponents can say, "see, even you see how ridiculous it is to compare abortion to murder. You wouldn't send an fetus-killer to jail any more than you'd send someone who kills a hamster." Many of our opponents will even exploit this as part of their "war on women" rhetoric: "Women can't be trusted with moral decisions like abortion, but given their tiny lady brains, we shouldn't be prosecuting them, because that would be like prosecuting a 13 year old. Women are innocent and simple and just don't know what they're doing".

      Look, I totally understand that we're going to catch a lot of flak if we really criticize women who get abortions. Even the pro-life movement has deemed this politically incorrect. But if even one woman becomes convinced of our rhetoric, we just might save a baby. A woman who thinks she's a victim is going to get that abortion; a woman who believes she's a murderer won't. And if a lot of people become actually convinced of our rhetoric, we'll change the laws. Our country's laws follow our presumed morals, not the other way around. The elites of this country are never going to give us a law against abortion on their own -- we're going to have to convince people that abortion is *really* murder. Otherwise we'll just end up with abortion being generally legal, with this-or-that restriction in place in the more conservative states.

    3. Paul,

      I can only reiterate the first step is making sure that those who commit illegal abortions feel the full force of the law to set a precedent. The vast majority of abortions performed in the UK are actually illegal already but this is ignored. I'm actually not saying *all* women are victims but many are and that is undeniable. I would also like to clarify that just because someone is a victim does not mean they bare no guilt.

      Some women know they are killing a whole, living, distinct and growing human being and they continue anyway those women are clearly not innocent. However, the culture of silence from the pews is as much of a problem as the secular based dehumanising of the unborn is for this.

  2. "Unfortunately when those values are combined with the uncritical dehumanising of the unborn there will only be outrage at the reasons for abortion rather than the act itself."

    I am outraged at the reasons and the act itself. If others object to the reasons or the act, the act will not happen.

    1. Chandler,

      thanks for your comment. I'm glad you're outraged at her reason and the act of abortion, we all should be. My point is that even those who are pro-choice and honour those two values can be angry at her reason but still not view abortion as morally wrong. Most of the outrage has come from those who are pro-choice but object to her reason, this is a good start! See this article for a good example >>>

      That's where we are at in the UK, morally confused to the extreme. I have my work cut out.

    2. I am sad to hear that this problem happens in other places like the UK too. It may be bad in the US but I know other places have the same problems. Relativism seems to have infected many cultures.

      I particularly like the pro-choicers who refer to abortion as a "necessary evil". What we can all work for is making the evil unnecessary.


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