CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Vignettes From the Abortion Wars

Aug 28, 2008

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.

www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24233499-5000107,00.html

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13 Responses to Vignettes From the Abortion Wars

  • Reveiwing the activities of the current Labor government, it seems that the adjender of cost cutting in the areas of Education and Health is hard to ignore. While prices go up and wages stay the same, there is more dependance on the public Education and Healthcare systems to pay. Julia Gillard’s recent statements regarding the suspending of Centerlink assistance for truant students (and indirectly their families), the push for protection against prosecution for assisted suicide of the terminally ill, and the new abortion bill including the anomalies with the Baby Bonus, all coincide with the Federal Governments spending. I suspect it is possible that the Labor Government is doing something similar to selling off public companies, they are slowly minimalizing their biggest bills, Healthcare and Education. After all, dead people don’t need money or Healthcare Cards and kids with no money turn to selling something illegal and end up dead anyway, better yet, lets kill ’em before they get to school – so win win for the Fedral Government’s bottom line. Lose Lose for the real victims of abortion, young women, conciencious men and the unborm children. Labor: Investing in the strong and getting rid of ‘dead’ weight.
    Joshua Ferrara

  • I was going to post this comment on one of your previous essays on the abortion issue, but this one will do. Early last year (2007), when Tony Abbot proposed that churches be brought into the pre-abortion counselling scheme there were the usual wails from the left about ‘church-state separation’ etc (you’ve heard the litany many times). But I was driving my car when the ABC brought on a rep from the Women’s Electoral Lobby who, apart from the usual complaints along that line, pleaded, “I hope Mr Abbot will ensure that the three alternatives are put before the mother: either to keep the baby, or to put the baby up for adoption, or….pause, pause; fumble, fumble…..or…terminate the pregnancy!” She clearly had got herself into a groove which only by some not-so-prompt mental gymnastics she could extricate herself. For the first two alternatives it was “the baby…the baby”, but then she had to re-adjust her thinking. She almost said “kill the baby”, but she could not bring herself to it, so she changed her tune: it was no longer a “baby” but “the pregnancy”. She knew the child in the womb was human and not merely a blob, but she had to salve her conscience somehow.

    That whole incident demonstrated clearly how murderers in general, and abortionists in particular, can only commit their nefarious deeds by first dehumanising their victims. That’s how Nazi soldiers could come to terms with shooting Jews: they weren’t human; they were simply vermin, like killing rats or foxes. Likewise with the abortionists: when the mother wants the child, it is “the baby”; when she for some reason she does not want it, the baby is morphed into a blob of tissue.

    And so the double-think – and hypocrisy continues!

    Murray Adamthwaite

  • I sent this to both The Age & The Herald-Sun (they both had virtually the same article). No idea if they got published, but thought I’d post it here too.

    ——————
    Zoo staff can look at an ultrasound of an elephant pregnancy less than 25% underway and say this – “Everyone thought, oh that’s so cute’… it just makes it real. It just shows life and it’s really nice to see the calf moving around.” (Zoos trumpet jumbo baby bonus, 29/8)

    But some extremists and Victorian government ministers can look at a human pregnancy up to about 60% underway (24 weeks) and claim it is not life worthy of protection – and even think it progress to change the law to reflect that idea.

    I would really love a pro-choice advocate to explain this to me, because I just don’t understand.

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/zoos-trumpet-jumbo-baby-bonus-20080828-44kg.html

    Mark Rabich

  • Just came back from the pro-life demonstration today outside Victorian Parliament – quite an impressive and encouraging size crowd turned up – probably a few thousand people (I would post photos if I could ;-))

    My first time at such a demonstration was a bit of an education.

    I noted:

    1. The pro-choice crowd was substantially smaller (a few hundred at most), and accurately described as hateful and angry. I had to bite my lip not to laugh at some of the slogans they chanted – I mean, really, “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries”??? It was honestly difficult not to laugh out loud at this – first, plenty of non-Catholics (including me) oppose abortion, and secondly, they’ve got no problems keeping their death instruments on the ovaries of half the unborn who get aborted.

    2. The lack of children in the pro-choice crowd (I saw 2), unlike the pro-life crowd which had a much broader representation (and more reflective of general society) of age groups and gender.

    3. What real tolerance looks like.

    4. What fake tolerance looks like.

    5. How despicable and evil (I don’t think that is an exaggeration) some politicians can be. (Although, big note of gratitude to both Bernie Finn and Peter Kavanagh who both spoke powerfully)

    6. How the pro-life view affirms women – this was especially poignant when a young girl, Madeline, spoke of her forced abortion at 15, and her inner turmoil that followed. Her story was profoundly stark in contrast to the empty chanting in the background. Their screeching in the background was ridiculous. She was so composed and articulate I found it difficult not to be emotionally moved at her emphatic message in the face of that hostility. She is now an early-twenties mum training to be a lawyer. It was like looking at a young Sarah Palin.

    7. The news skewed the facts. (I know how surprised some will be at that) Channel 7 and the ABC claimed and showed a few things that gave a false impression.

    Channel 7: Jennifer Keyte’s introduction (newsreader – probably not written by her) “Tensions have run high as thousands of protestors on both sides rallied in the city today. The two groups had to be kept apart by police as they voiced their opinions about historic changes being considered by state parliament” Unfortunately this gives the impression of roughly equal numbers. The reality would have been obvious to anyone there – Pro-lifers outnumbered pro-choicers about 8 to 1. And the police were mainly directing traffic and only clashed with pro-choicers occasionally to keep them away (and then only by forming a line for a couple of minutes)

    What followed was edited a bit oddly (Pro-choice voices over the pro-life march) and made it look like there was a lot of tension. In truth, the pro-choice crowd were the ones generating all the heat and noise with dumb chants over there on the corner, and the pro-life ones were mostly just standing in front of Parliament House listening to the speakers and occasionally cheering (btw, then easily drowning out the pro-death-ers) This went on for over an hour or so. The pro-life march prior to that had taken about 45 minutes.

    I think the story was about the 4th of the news service and ran 1:16. It was also in the headlines at the top of the service.

    ABC: Beaten in their opening headlines by real estate downturns and greenies opining on Ross Garnaut. And the footy. I think the Beijing Paralympics Opening was OK to mention because we wouldn’t the ABC to miss out on some of that cross-promotion it loves to be self-righteous about towards the commercial networks.

    The rundown order of stories:
    (full stories unless stated otherwise)

    -Real estate downturns
    -Ross Garnaut & the greenies
    -NSW Premier
    -WA State Election
    -SA & NSW by-election (live voice over)
    -Pakistan election
    -Haiti storms
    -Condoleezza Rice’s visit to Libya (live voice over)
    -Townsville chopper crash
    -Gay discrimination against a Christian campsite on Phillip Island (virtually all from the gay point of view and ran 1:43)
    -Abortion rally (live voice over and ran a whopping 38 secs)

    Let’s get this straight – my taxes help pay for this media organization, and the law in Victoria is about to be changed to make it legal to kill a child right up to birth. (the ’24 weeks’ often mentioned – and I only discovered myself this morning – only refers to the point where two doctors opinions are needed rather than just one – even Channel 7’s story made the distinction) This is apparently less important than some obscure minority homosexual group (called WayOut) supposedly unable to find some other place to run a camp except that they now have an opportunity to persecute Christians and lobby to change the law to persecute them even more – all in the name of tolerance!

    The ABC’s coverage of the abortion issue included using the most angry looking excerpt of Bernie Finn, and falsely gives the impression that the law only makes abortion legal until 24 weeks.

    I have formally complained to the ABC’s news service – via leaving a phone message with my number – about the adjacency with the previous story – clearly done to encourage a certain prejudicial worldview leading into the abortion story and will also mention the fact that it makes a false statement regarding the proposed law. The number to call them is 139994 if you feel so inclined.

    If anyone wants to dispute my version of events, I have lots of footage from today (in HD actually – but without a tripod) and also the news stories I have mentioned (sorry, but they’re just on my old VHS, but since I hardly watch any TV I didn’t have anything else setup)

    Frankly, if there was a news service that actually valued truth, I wouldn’t care if it only ran in black and white off a film projector with buzzy mono audio – I would watch.

    In the meantime, I can only marvel at the extent of the horror being contemplated to be made OK in the eyes of the law. If you read this and you live in Victoria, please do not fail to do something, anything you can. Best to contact politicians now anyway.

    Hey, I even got a letter in The Leftist last week… (after about the 5th or 6th try in two weeks)

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/letters/read-the-fine-print-this-is-good-news-20080903-48vh.html?page=4

    Mark Rabich

  • Thanks Mark

    Yes well done to the many who attended the pro-life march today. It would have to be the largest pro-life march in Melbourne for many years. That is encouraging news.

    And yes the MSM was pretty lame. I saw the three commercial networks plus the ABC coverage, and all four were far from objective. All gave the much, much smaller pro-death crowd at least equal time, if not more. And at least three finished up by giving the pro-death crowd the last word.

    And all four pitched the pro-life crowd in negative terms, by calling them “anti-abortion” while pitching the pro-death crowd in positive terms, calling them “pro-choice”. Still. It got a fair amount of coverage, and perhaps the pro-life movement is entering a new reinvigorated phase.

    Thanks for marching Mark, along with every other one who participated. And thanks for your valuable write-up as well Mark.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Any doubt that the unborn baby is a little human child should be dispelled by the amazing Baby Steps video presentation using 4D (real time) ultrasounds.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • When I visited my State MLC recently, amongst other things I asked him how it is ok to kill a baby just prior to birth but not so after birth. The best he could do was attack me for imposing “my view” on others. This MP was apparently trained as a lawyer (yes, another one) and seemed totally incapable of rational thought or argument. Whilst I was eternally grateful that my elected representative in the parliament would grant me an interview, he was clearly happy to “terminate” the meeting ASAP.

    Peter Coventry

  • My wife and I also attended the march. Salt Shakers has estimated the crowd at about 2000. Even if we were generous and said that the pro-death crowd had 200, that is still a 10 to 1 ratio.

    This was the third year we have attended and was certainly the biggest. At last year’s march there were only about a dozen pro-death fanatics who just ran around abusing people, although one of them did manage to briefly pull the plug on the RTLA PA system. This year they were much better organised with banners which included in small print at the bottom “Socialist Alliance”.

    Ewan McDonald.

  • It would be good for people to know that Oxfam Australia provides financial support to developing nations for the promotion and provision of abortions. This is in keeping with a ‘rights’ based approach around their long term development work – presumably, western women should not be the only ones with the ‘right’ to destroy their babies.

    For those of you who have donated to Oxfam – your money may have been used in their “Reproductive Health Services” – which includes abortion services. Clearly, your donations would be better directed to Christian charities.

    I worked for Oxfam up until finding out this fact about their work.

    Peter Jackel

  • Thanks Peter

    Yes you are quite right. Here is a recent news item showing the pro-abortion mindset of Oxfam: http://www.theage.com.au/national/ban-on-abortionlinked-aid-unjustified-oxfam-20080609-2nzz.html

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Does anyone from the pro-life camp keep a tab on these charities to check if they promote ‘reproductive health services’? Even the Christian charities are getting very secular these days, so how would we find out?

    Ewan McDonald.

  • Thanks Mark Rabich for your comment. I was there at the peaceful rally and the first time I have ever done any thing like it in my life. I was glad I did – I was a voice for all the unborn children and I felt proud to be doing what I was doing. I held a sign hoping that some one from the oposing side would read that if they just watched this youtube The Silent Scream they would change their minds. The bill allows abortion on demand up to 24 weeks. It also allows abortion up to 9 months; if 2 doctors agree it is appropriate on medical grounds and with regard to “the woman’s current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances.” In effect, this is abortion on demand up to 9 months. If that child was outside the womb the Dr would be charged with murder and the mother accessory to murder but because there is flesh between them it’s called an abortion and it’s all OK – well it’s not ok!!!!!!!!! I personally was advised to abort my child because they thought he was down syndrome or had cystic thrombosis but I refused and left it in the hands of God. This year my beautiful little boy started school and early in his first year he had a precautionary test and the only thing they found was a healthy, very alert, extremely high fine motor skilled little boy. If I had of taken the advice of the Doctors I would have had to live with my shame for the rest of my life not ever knowing for sure. But instead I can live my life with my son and enjoy watching him grow up and the most amazing blessing to be day after day. This bill is a very alarming development in Victoria and if it gets through we will be permitting abortion (better known as murder) right up until 9 months. These are the next generation of Aussies being taken away from us! They have the right to live! It is not about choice but it is about LIFE!
    Regards, Fiona Jane

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