Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stuff to Look At [Scott]

Townhall columnist Mike Adams, using The Case for Life, helps a student formulate questions for a pro-abortion professor.

Jivin J reports on a leading U.K. health official who suggests letting babies die to save money. Jivin replies, "Doesn't socialized medicine sound great?"

Ten reasons why Trevin Wax is an encouraged pro-lifer.

Nathan Schlueter on drawing pro-life lines: "We live in a regime that protects the right to abortion on demand. How can we best save lives under these circumstances?"

Matt Yonke of Pro-Life Action League sums up last week's discussion on incremental legislation (reposted from the comments section):

Hi everyone.
It seems to me the debate is not being framed correctly. Personhood advocates are often fond of saying they don't support laws that end with, "And then you can kill the baby." This is a rhetorical feint as no law ever written in American literally ends with such language.

What they mean is that they believe these laws give approval to abortion under certain circumstances. But nothing could be further from the truth.

What must be remembered is that the one-two punch of Roe and Doe said that you can ALWAYS and for ANY REASON kill the baby until it's out of the womb. Since the highest court in our land has ruled that, no lower law or legislature can give a woman more right to an abortion or approve it more.

Put another way, the abortion license is as big as it could possibly be. State laws can't make it any bigger. The only thing state and local laws can do is limit the abortion license, and they do that quite effectively, all the while making the public more and more conscious of the humanity of the child in the womb.

So, far from ending with, "And then you can kill the baby," incremental measures really end with "And then you CAN'T kill the baby." If you're a minor and your parents don't know about it, you can't kill the baby. If you don't wait three days, you can't kill the baby. If you won't look at the ultrasound, you can't kill the baby.

The default position under Roe is you can kill the baby. Incremental measure say, under certain circumstances you can't kill the baby even if Roe says you can. Hopefully, such laws will continue to close the abortion license little by little until such time as it can be done away with altogether.

With the debate framed that way, there's not only nothing wrong with incremental measures, there's also nothing incompatible between personhood and incrementalism. There's no reason supporters of incremental measures and supporters of personhood amendments can't work side by side. Heck, there's no reason the same person couldn't support both.

One final note, when personhood advocates throw incrementalists under the bus for being less-than-truly-pro-life, just remember who you're throwing under that bus. You're throwing my boss, Joe Scheidler, Fr. Frank, Troy Newman, Lila Rose, Monica Miller, Bryan Kemper and a host of others who have dedicated their lives to saving unborn babies from abortion under that bus too. Are you sure you want to do that?

Note: Comment threads for last week's discussion topic are now closed unless you add something really, really, novel to the discussion that causes us to go, "Wow, we never heard that one before." We wish you luck.


  1. i like Nathan's statement completely. I am a Personhood Advocate who doesn't believe that "incrementalists" should be thrown under the bus. Instead of bashing "incrementalists", we should be reaching out to them. We're allies and we should work together.

    There are times, though, that it seems that "incrementalists" throw Personhood Advocates under the bus. They seem to bash our efforts as useless or even counter-productive. When an incrementalist works against a Personhood measure, you can understand why some Personhood folks would react bitterly and doubt the incrementalist's pro-life sincerety.

    i doubt this comment meets your "Wow, we never heard that one before" standard.

  2. Speaking of stuff to look at, have you looked at Kevin Corcoran's review of Beckwith's "Defending Life" in the latest edition of Philosophia Christi? He presented some challenging critiques that I would love to hear your response to. Perhaps you could do an interactive review of his review.

  3. David,

    No, it's not online.

    Corcoran is an associate professor of philosophy at Calvin College. From what I gather, he is a Christian materialist with respect to human persons (no soul).

    He asks what makes something an individual rather than an aggregate. His main argument is that the unborn is not an individual human organism until at least day 13 because the collection of cells up to that point are not coordinated (they are just an aggregate). In his words, up to that time "there is not 'an unborn entity' but multiple entities none of which will ever be born." Somewhere around day 13, however, when the aggregate of cells begin to have their "coordinated activities...directed toward the maintenance of a single, highly individuated, biological event know as organismic life," then an individual human being comes to be.

    He also makes the argument that rather than the human being persisting from the zygote stage through birth, the zygote ceases to exit when it divides in two (and enters the embryo stage).


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