Not a human
Many years ago, I was driving down the highway, from North Carolina to Maryland, in the company of a friend, with whom I was secretly in love, and we were discussing abortion.
I had told him my stance. I was very pro-abortion. (I realize that, since then, someone came up with cute little terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice”, but this was before that. We still called it pro-abortion and anti-abortion.)
My reasons were as follows:
I believed that all life was sacred, that to kill would be to break a commandment. I believed that this was in direct disobedience to the will of God. So, I personally would never have an abortion.
BUT, I felt I had made this decision on religious grounds. Thus, abortion should be legal so that everyone could make their own decision based on their own religion.
I felt very strongly about this. So strongly that I had voted a pro-abortion ticket one year.
I felt this was about defending religious freedom.
But, as I chatted about the issue with my friend, he brought up the word murder.
“Abortion’s not murder!” I scoffed.
But I was a bit unnerved. Never had I before heard abortion referred to as murder.
“Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being,” quipped my legal-minded friend, who was an atheist just out of law school. He then listed the times when it is lawful to kill a human being: self-defense, defense of others.
Laws in favor of abortion, he pointed out, did not make it lawful to murder a human being. They merely defined an unborn child as “not yet a human being” and, thus, not covered by these laws.
I countered by explaining how, sometimes, a young woman’s whole life would be ruined by having a baby—both the mother’s and the child’s life would be miserable.
If the mother has an abortion and waits to have a child until she is older and settled, all will be much better. For everyone.
These were not idle words to me.
A good friend had been raped and had an abortion. (I would say ‘decided to have an abortion’ but later I found out she was more pushed into it.)
A good friend had gotten pregnant. The father was a boyfriend who was younger than her…too young to legally marry. She was bright but came from a difficult background. Had she decided to keep the child, everything in her life would have been thrown out of whack. She didn’t even have a place to stay.
Despite my personal objections to abortion—my personal religious views—I had gone with her to the clinic, so she would not be alone.
So, I did not speak idly when I talked of the cost to the lives of young women, should they chose to keep their babies.
My legalistic, atheist friend—who didn’t care one way or the other about abortion—countered thoughtfully with something like, “It’s a huge burden to have to take care of your aging grandmother. Some people’s lives are financially ruined by such burdens.
“Should we be able to kill our senile old grandparents?”
It was like being struck by lighting.
Because, of course, the answer was no.
Not even if it would be really, really convenient were we allowed to murder another human being.
So, why was having a baby different?
The baby would at least eventually grow up and live on its own. One’s aging relatives might never recover, and yet…
There was no argument by which doing away with unwanted human beings was not murder.
So…why was abortion different?
It took my fifteen years to make up my mind about this question and come to the conclusion that I had been wrong to be pro-abortion.
Now, you might ask: why did it take so long?
Simple question, right? Murder is wrong? How could you take so long to grasp that?
Because of my friend—the one whose hand I had held at the clinic, the one who had been raped, and others.
I felt that if I took a stand against abortion, it would be like betraying them.
And I didn’t want to let them down.
Eventually, however, I realized: We don’t do our friend any service by telling them that something is okay if it is not okay. That is not friendship.
That is cowardice disguised as friendliness.
But I also feel that taking a stand against something that is wrong does not mean that we have to be rabid about it.
I don’t have to call my friends and brow beat them about their past bad choices. Or even think badly of them for the choices they made with the best wisdom they have at the time.
After all, at the time, I approved, too.
On the third hand, allowing more children to be murdered because of not wanting to condemn the mistakes of the past is not good either!
Because killing human beings does something to our souls.
Once you dehumanize other humans, things go wrong in other parts of your psyche.
Once it is okay to kill a clump of cells, what about through the first three months?
What about right before the baby is born?
What about after it’s born? You can find papers on the Internet saying that a born baby isn’t so different from an unborn one, so we should be able to kill it, too.
There is something very, very wrong with that argument!
Did you know that for late term abortions they have, at times, turned a baby around, during labor, so that they can kill it as it comes out.
Because, according to the current crazy lawsin some states, if the head is still inside the mother, it’s not human and can be torn apart with scissors or stabbed in the brain. While, if the head comes out first, and the feet are still in, it’s human, and cannot be killed.
There is something very, very wrong with that, too.
.And the methods for killing it involve scissors—on a baby who would be alive and breathing, if they waited a few minutes.
Can you imagine if it were legal to buy kittens and puppies and keep them while they were cute and fuzzy, but the moment they grew into dogs—we were allowed to cut they apart or stab them in the head with scissors?
Without any painkiller?
But that is not legal. We have laws against cruelty to animals.
If we, as a culture, know better than to treat animals in such a fashion, shouldn’t unborn human beings—with the potential to be just like you and me—be granted at least the same rights?
The advantage of not dehumanizing human beings—not killing them at any state, born, unborn, grandma or grandchild, young or old, sick or well—is: if our laws protect humans, even the marginal ones, they will stand strong.
Human beings will be protected.
The moment we start chipping away at the strength of the law to protect human life, we are all in danger.
You think not? You think we can keep just a few types of humans dehumanized and protect the rest?
It used to be that abortions were supposed to be safe and rare. That was the rallying cry of the DNC. “Abortion is a tragedy, but sometimes it is a necessary tragedy.”
This summer, the crowd at the DNC cheered an abortion.
They cheered because a baby had been murdered.
Run, Grandma, they'll be coming for you next!