Tuesday, July 08, 2008

On "canceling a soul"

I've recently encountered the online work of Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor who also blogs about issues of faith, family, and culture. After reading an article of his addressing legal and moral aspects of abortion, I submitted a response that was (I know, not surprisingly) rather involved. At Dr. Throckmorton's suggestion, I am re-posting my response here for discussion, and as a way to recommend his site to you. Quoting thusly, and like so:

It is interesting to read the scattered, specious, insubstantial opinions of people who haven’t taken the time to consider the consequences of indulging abortion-on-demand. Before addressing the behavior of Mr. Harrison’s (not “Dr. Harrison,” since he forfeited the use of that title after killing his first child), let’s review some of the boilerplate previously advanced, shall we?

1) Okay, I just find this law a little creepy. It isn’t as though women who choose to have an abortion don’t know why they there are there. It seems like a way to shame or scare people off from having abortions - rather than just giving them medical advice. And in what sense is a fetus whole or separate anyway.

I didn’t realize someone had to be “whole or separate” to be human; apparently, conjoined twins don’t make the grade. Do you understand that the developing child has a separate brainwave pattern, a separate heartbeat, and can even have a separate blood type from his or her mother?

And some of the best medical advice one can give a pregnant woman is “Don’t kill your child.”

2) Of course most people know that the images associated with abortion aren’t pretty.

Neither are images associated with lots of medical procedures.

Let’s just park there for a moment.

Abortion is not a medical procedure. It can be hidden behind abortionists’ phraseology, but at the end of the day, what negative medical condition does it address, treat, or relieve? Unless you’re of a mind to define pregnancy as an illness or other deleterious medical condition, the only available answer is “Why, none, Mike.”

I think most people would freak if they actually saw the images associated with open heart surgery - but we don’t expose people to that. In short there is no reason to be blatant with the imagery *unless* someone wants to push an anti-abortion agenda.

Abortionists lie to the women whose children they kill. Forcing them to tell the truth–and isn’t it fascinating that they must be forced to do so?–is only asking them to be held to the same standard actual, legitimate physicians must attain. To use your example, would you tolerate it if a heart surgeon working on a family member–or on you–lied about the goal of a surgical procedure?

Somehow, I doubt it.

3) What percentage of abortions does this procedure represent?

A remarkably small percentage, thanks for asking. But partial-birth abortion is but one tool in the abortionist’s kit. Are you familiar with the standard procedures used in the vast majority of abortions, or do you need details?

And given that the original Roe v. Wade decision does give States authority to regulate 3rd trimester abortions, wouldn’t that indicate there was some sort of necessity for this procedure?

Most state legislatures have been flummoxed by Roe v Wade and every other pro-abortion ruling since. But I thought you were the one who wanted to note how very, very rare third-trimester abortions were in the first place?

As for the law in question, I think it is just as bad as a law that said doctors have to tell their patients that “God thinks abortion is bad” or “If you vote for a Democrat, innocent children will die.” All of these statements (including the one in question) are based on philosophical or political beliefs not medicine. Medical science does NOT define when life begins (nor do I believe it should). It does define when life ends, but that is more of a legal definition (i.e. when can a doctor legally stop trying to revive or treat a patient).

It doesn’t take “medical science” to develop a definition for the beginning of human life, not when common sense is such a handy aid.

Would you say that a developing child eight months past conception is a living human being? Most folks would say “yes.”

How about seven months? Six? Five? From what I’ve heard and read, children only 22 weeks post-conception have survived premature delivery, which pushes things back to the five-month area.

So how about four months? Are you interested in saying that a child who’s a human being at five months’ gestation wasn’t a human being at four? Or at three? If we keep dialing back, developing children have a discernable heartbeat at roughly three weeks’ gestation, and discernable brainwave patterns at six weeks.

Even before this time, from the moment of conception, the developing human being is just that–developing, and with unique, and uniquely human, genetic information. Common sense will tell you that life begins at conception, if you’ll just employ it.

4) Perhaps we should get into a discussion about what abortion was like BEFORE it was legalized - would images of coathangers and the loss of the life of not only the child but the mother be better?

Ah, one of the best red herrings of them all. But read your own words: You define abortion as “the loss of the life of… the child”. Please ask yourself why you’re limiting your own argument to the choice between one death or two, when you could be considering scenarios where no one dies!

I see abortion as one of those necessary evils.

What other “evils” are “necessary”? I’ve never encountered even one, so I’d appreciate hearing why any sort of out-and-out evil is ever necessary.

I don’t agree with it, I stand opposed to it, but I will not force my particular belief onto someone else by voting for legislation that tries to make it illegal.

Then you are actively engaged in cognitive dissonance. If you say you believe a thing to be wrong, but you refuse to enter the arena of ideas and contend for the advancement of what you say you believe, you do not have a belief, but rather a lukewarm opinion that brings you comfort.

I think there needs to be limits to its use and that we should use eduction (sic) as one of our best weapons to lessen its occurrence. I do not, however agree that the world would be “better” if it weren’t legalized.

Millions of children have been murdered by people pretending to be doctors. It has been facilitated by politicians and judges with no substantive morality, and pursued by women (and the men who aid them) who range from the brainwashed to the hedonist. How is the world a better place by indulging the slaughter of fifty million children in the United States alone?

Bill Clinton, for all his faults, had a great quote that I use often: “Abortion ought to be safe, legal and RARE”.

“Faults”? Bill Clinton is a diabolical individual; you would do well to never consider anything he says to be “great.” But what inspires you to think his quote is even something he believed? What did William Jefferson Blythe Clinton ever do to make abortion-on-demand more rare? Anything?

Here’s an even better quote for your mantelpiece: “We must champion the innocent and the defenseless; there is no one more innocent, more vulnerable, than the child yet to be born.”

Now as for Mr. Harrison (and I use the “Mr.” loosely), it is evident from his statements that the psychological strain of killing approximately 20,000 children has taken its toll. If he frequents a church that at all preaches the Christian Gospel, he cannot help but be aware of (even if he will not admit it) the ramifications of willfully, freely violating God’s own standards by murdering child after child over the years, much less the ramifications of rejecting the call of God to repentance and faith in Christ.

While those of us who are Christians should pray for his salvation, we must not allow ourselves to be surprised when a man who indiscriminately takes life makes statements that are non sequiturs.

Dr. Throckmorton, you are being generous in your statements considering what Harrison has said. He will not entertain the notion that one of the 20,000 he has killed could have been anything other than an anguished, tortured human being with no chance of redemption; were he to do so, he would face being personally convicted of the crimes against God and humanity he has enthusiastically committed.