Friday, February 9, 2007

Jay on Incremental Legislation [SK]

Sorry, Jay, this was too good to be left (potentially) unread in the comments section:

My argument is that all elective abortion is immoral. My goal is to see it all eliminated. The execution of that goal is my job.

"Will you, Jay, support a law that makes it illegal to perform 95% or so of abortions in Georgia, but continues to protect the rights of women to abort in the hard cases?" If asked that question I must first ask two questions of myself, (1) does supporting the legislation that acknowledges that 95% or so of all abortions are illegal and immoral compromise my moral stance? It does not appear to do so to me. My approval of the incremental, or in this case massive movement of the government in the direction of my moral stance does not qualify as a defeat for my moral stance or principle. Question 2, have we done the work to convince the people necessary to move legislation that completely agrees with my moral stance that "the hard cases" are not moral exceptions? If the answer to the second question is no, then the solution appears to me to renew my efforts to more effectively sway them to embrace my complete moral argument.

It is not clear to me that this is compromising my moral stance.

I think that there are two seperate components that we are addressing. Our message is consistent. I have never heard Scott, Greg Koukl, Frank Beckwith or any other who favors the incremental approach compromise on the complete humanity of the unborn or immorality of killing human beings in hard cases as a part of their message. What they suggest is that we accept legisaltion that represents a compromise from the other side for the purposes of saving lives. The law is compromising, not us. The law is 100% on the side of the pro-abort postion right now. Movement in the direction of my moral stance represents compromise on its part, not mine. The government of the United States will be admitting that it was not right about the humanity of the unborn and the legality of killing them, while I will continue to stay on message. Only now, Georgie will not allow 95% or so of abortions that they did previously endorse by law.

So I say yes. I will support that legisaltion while maintaining my moral stance and clarity of message. If a pro-abort wants argue whether this is hypocritical of me, bring them on. I am prepared to defend this position and keep the message on the unborn that remain unprotected by law.


  1. I agree that we should support laws that save as many lives as possible, when, for reasons beyond our control, we can't save all. Some "pro-lifers" who take this position also oppose laws that, if enacted, whould protect all human beings from the beginning of life. These would include "Personhood" laws and amendments. Some oppose these laws because "it's not the right time". Don't you agree that that is extremely weak? Shouldn't we go after the whole enchilada by attempting protect all babies?

  2. Drew,

    I think we should always fight for and defend the inherent dignity and intrinsic value of the unborn without compromise. And I agree if the disagreement to Personhood Amendments is simply stated that the timing is not right then it is weak.

    But that is not the full explanation even of a timing issue. If the timing is more than not right, if it is ultimately harmful as it risks putting in place new precedents to overcome and introduces pro-life defeat into strongly pro-life leaning areas then I do not think opposition is in that rationale is weak.

    I do not actively oppose Personhood laws. If you want to take that path more power to you. Just do me the favor of not throwing rhetorical fire bombs at the people who never encouraged you to do so if it fails in a particular area. I have seen this happen too many times.

    If that makes me a "pro-lifer" in your eyes rather than the type of pro-lifer that does not require quotation marks then I will have to learn to live with your disapproval.


  3. Sorry for the snappy ending. I am a little cranky from the last 24 hours.

    God bless,


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