The Wall Street Journal’s William McGurn recently opined that while 47 percent of Americans now describe themselves as pro-life, they do not want abortion to be totally illegal; they only want it to be available “under certain circumstances.”
He then brings up that old friend of the compromise wing of the pro-life movement, “the lesser of two evils” excuse, arguing that this is actually a plausible position—sort of like voting for pro-abortion Senator Scott Brown and claiming it was really a pro-life vote. McGurn calls this contradiction an understandable sensibility; I call it wrong.
Strangely, McGurn is joined in his quest for compromise by Nancy L. Cohen, who told readers of the Los Angeles Times that, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, the entire discussion about abortion is nuanced and Americans are really more divided than a simple poll can possibly report. Cohen undoes her argument, however, when she suggests that the choice Americans really have to make is between being “pro-freedom” and pro-life.
No matter which of these commentators one agrees with, they are both misguided. They fail to point out that the correct question is not being asked in polls. Maybe McGurn and Cohen are confused.
The only question that really matters is this: Does a human being exist prior to birth, at every stage of his biological development?
If the respondent says no, then abortion is another form of surgery, period. If the respondent says yes, then he has to consider whether or not he agrees with an expression of “freedom” that is actually an act of murder.
Bingo! This is why such a question is never asked. Pollsters know that if one gets into the subject of the actual humanity of the baby before birth, thorny questions about contraception and in-vitro fertilization will follow.
Clearly, if indeed there is a human being in existence from the very beginning, then IVF and the most popular forms of birth control would have to be outlawed. Why? Well, if taking the life of a preborn child is a crime, then those practices or chemical actions that may cause such a person to die would logically be illegal.
Aha! That’s the “sensibility” nobody wants to touch with a 10-foot poll.
So, what to do? There are only two choices. Pro-life Americans can agree that abortion should remain protected by law in some cases, or they can correct the current course and get back on track.
Simply put, we have to do a better job of teaching the basic facts about human persons and do less political jockeying. Pro-lifers have to focus on human beings, their characteristics and their identity as members of the human family.
Lest we forget, our mission as pro-life people is to acquire legal recognition of human rights for every individual—rights which are endowed to each human being by God and not the state. Our obligation is to focus attention on the facts about the human person that have clearly confused the American public.
Our task is to focus on the obvious: An end to the killing through a restoration of the human rights that were robbed from our fellow preborn human beings by politicians, judges and self-proclaimed experts.
Let the dangerous declarations about abortion end; let the drive toward human rights for one and all begin. Human personhood now!