The fight over abortion continues unabated. I believe one day the battle for life will be won, just as the battle against slavery was eventually won after much blood, sweat and tears. But in the meantime it’s all hands on deck. There is a war underway, and we all must be involved. Here are four recent episodes in the battle over abortion:
One. Resident atheist, feminist and pro-abortionist Jill Singer had a recent article in the Herald Sun. It was a good example of how an ideological commitment to a certain point of view can blind someone. Indeed, for such persons, no amount of facts, evidence, argument or logic will easily shift such dogmatic beliefs. Her article was a great example of lousy logic and moral myopia. Consider a few howlers from her piece.
She refers to abortion as a “distressing situation”. But why? According to her view of things, an abortion merely gets rid of a blob of tissue. Certainly a human being is not involved here. In which case, why is it so distressful? We don’t get bent out of shape over having tonsils removed, or fingernails clipped. Either the foetus is a living human being or it is not, Ms Singer. If not, there is no need to get stressed whatsoever.
She asks, what are “the interests of the embryo – to have a future independent of its mother? Does anyone really believe that a fetus has any notion of the future?” What a bizarre and twisted bit of logic this is. Because an unborn baby has not a full understanding of future realities, it therefore can be bumped off with impunity?
Her very next sentence, which is somehow supposed to buttress her argument, in fact completely undermines it: “It is a theory that is both unproven and unlikely, given that even toddlers struggle to understand the difference between tomorrow and next week.” But then by her own reasoning, we should bump off toddlers as well, since they also do not have a fully formed understanding of the future.
Consider another piece of mental gymnastics: “In trying to prevent what they see as cruelty, anti-abortionists can themselves be terribly, terribly cruel. I have no objection to people who oppose abortion, as long as they don’t insist that other people suffer for their views.” Just how does giving voice to innocent, voiceless unborn babies make one cruel?
And she is happy to have pro-lifers around, as long as they don’t make pro-abortionists suffer, whatever that means. I would imagine that one opposing paedophilia will always make a paedophile “suffer”. A rapist will “suffer” when a person objects to rape.
Ms Singer’s article goes on and on like this, with one ridiculous claim followed by another senseless accusation. It is a great exercise in how not to think clearly, argue logically, or act morally.
Two. Everyone by now would have heard of Colin (later named Colette – oops, wrong gender) the baby whale abandoned by her mother. The hungry, motherless calf was found recently in Sydney waters. After much deliberation, it was decided that the best course of action was to euthanase her, which was done by wildlife authorities.
There was a huge public outcry about all this. How dare they kill this baby whale, evidently unwanted by her own mother. One letter writer said, “I feel Australia is losing its social conscience.” Another asked, “What message are we giving to our children?” Another said, “For the very first time I feel embarrassed to be called an Australian.”
On and on the weeping and wailing – and whaling – went. There is nothing wrong with being compassionate about animals. But one must ask, why not the same outpouring of grief, emotion and moral outrage over the death of 100,000 aborted human babies each year in Australia?
Indeed, when it comes to abortion, the pro-death camp uses the argument that an unwanted baby must not be preserved. They argue that it is cruel to force a woman to have a baby that is unwanted. They insist that a mother should not be forced to have an unwanted baby, and abortion is the perfect answer for this. Yet here we have a mother (whale) which has clearly abandoned her baby (whale), and when the unwanted baby is euthanased, there is a huge public outcry. Am I missing something here?
Three. Senator Guy Barnett (Liberal, Tasmania) has moved a disallowance motion in the Senate seeking to terminate Medicare funding for abortions performed in the second trimester of pregnancy – 14 to 26 weeks gestation. He rightly argues that partial birth abortion is a brutal method used to terminate pregnancies during this period. Although it is banned in the United States, this horrific method of abortion may attract a Medicare benefit.
Several days ago there was a voteline on this matter in the Herald Sun. The results are interesting: 82.5 per cent (2236 voters) said Medicare funding for late and mid-term abortions should be axed, while only 17.5 per cent (472 voters) thought it should not be axed.
Four. Finally, this interesting item in the newspapers the other day. It seems that abortions are being paid for by the $5000 government baby bonus. A legal loophole is allowing the bonus to be claimed for late term abortions. The loophole comes about because doctors consider abortions after 20 weeks gestation to be stillbirths.
According to press accounts, parents of stillborn babies get the benefit on compassionate grounds. But Senator Barnett rightly reminds us that the baby bonus benefit was never intended for abortions, and this practice must cease immediately. The bonus of course was originally introduced by the former Howard Government to encourage people to do their bit to reverse our falling fertility rates. Families Minister Jenny Macklin is said to be now looking into the matter.
As these four vignettes illustrate, the battle over abortion is alive and well, and multi-faceted. We must fight on all fronts, and remain vigilant, until all babies can feel safe to be in their mothers’ wombs.