It had to happen. Someone on the pro-death Left simply had to make this argument explicit, sooner or later:
The “life” conversation is often too a thorny one to even broach. Yet I know that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me. I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life. And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice....
Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always....
When we try to act like a pregnancy doesn’t involve human life, we wind up drawing stupid semantic lines in the sand – first trimester abortion vs. second trimester vs. late term, dancing around the issue trying to decide if there’s a single magic moment when a fetus becomes a person. Are you human only when you’re born? Only when you’re viable outside of the womb? Are you less of a human life when you look like a tadpole than when you can suck on your thumb?...
But we make choices about life all the time in our country. We make them about men and women in other countries. We make them about prisoners in our penal system. We make them about patients with terminal illnesses and accident victims. We still have passionate debates about the justifications of our actions as a society, but we don’t have to do it while being bullied around by the vague idea that if you say we’re talking about human life, then the jig is up, rights-wise.
[Applause to Sister Toldjah for the citation.]
Mind you, this is only what the pro-death crowd already believes: "We make choices about [human] life all the time." If it's okay to go to war in a just cause, or to execute a convicted mass murderer, or to take a brain-dead patient off life-support, or to attend to one accident victim before another, then it should be quite all right to kill an innocent unborn baby whose prospects for life are as yet uncompromised and unblemished!
As you read these words, Aristotle is rotating in his grave fast enough to power all of Europe.
There is nothing quite as appalling as the rationalization of evil on entirely specious grounds...nothing non-violent, at any rate. But such rationales present a great advantage to those of us who want to refute them: Once they've been made explicit, they can be shredded as completely as they deserve.
BLINDING FLASH OF THE OBVIOUS WARNING: When a proponent of an evil position makes such an argument, he's attempting to serve a covert agenda: an evil covert agenda. As Ayn Rand put it most memorably:
"When men fall for some piece of vicious insanity, with no way to make it work and no reason to explain their choice -- it's because they have a reason they do not wish to tell."
Evil covert agendas aren't all the same. Some are merely personal and selfish. Others are about the exercise of power over others.
Some time ago, I wrote about the Left's anti-life checklist:
- Abortion without restrictions.
- Assisted suicide.
- Involuntary euthanasia of those deemed untreatable or having "no quality of life."
- Compulsory surrender of the organs of the deceased for transplantation.
- Creation of embryos for research and therapeutic purposes.
- Government-enforced "triage" to conserve medical and financial resources.
- Compulsory acceptance of specified therapies.
- Procreation licenses.
- Government eugenics programs:
- At first, as subsidies to couples with favored genetic characteristics;
- Later, as compulsory donations of gametes for use in government-supervised breeding programs.
- Conscription for military purposes.
- Conscription for non-military purposes.
Peruse the items on that list. Ponder which of them are already upon us, and which are nearing reality. Then ask yourself, "How many of those measures would Mary Elizabeth Williams, the author of the Salon article, be willing to defend?"
I'd venture that she'd get behind the majority of them: perhaps all but one or two. Her support for unrestricted abortion might be grounded in pure selfish desire not to have her slutteries "punished with a baby" [Barack Hussein Obama], but the underlying premises that make support for unrestricted abortion possible would also support all the other positions in that list.
The core premise behind all such positions must be stated baldly to such persons:
A human being has no intrinsic rights.
It must be stated baldly to them because then they must either defend it or back away from it. As they cannot defend it without putting their own lives at risk, they immediately reveal the insincerity in their absurd defenses of unrestricted abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and so on.
That's how one puts the merchants of death -- retail or wholesale -- to rout.
It's possible that Miss Williams didn't originate the argument she advanced in her article. She might have been given it as a "talking point" by someone higher up the chain of command in the Left's death cult. Indeed, most Americans who willingly advance such noxious nonsense received the "logic" as a gift from someone else. There aren't that many clever folks on the Left.
However, the point of Williams's argument, whoever might have originated it, isn't to convince. It serves the Left's need to anesthetize the uneasy consciences of its followers about the evil they promote.
It has another point, as well: to bludgeon the opposition with an ancient rhetorical tactic. The classical Greek debaters called that tactic "Many Questions:" to assail the opponent with so many semi-relevant and irrelevant questions posed so swiftly that he loses the thread of the argument and thus, the coherence of his statements.
We who cherish innocent human life must endure such storms and remain focused on the key to the argument: the refutation of the Left's core premise. Now that it's on open display, voluntarily advanced by someone who claims to hold it sincerely, our task should be easier than ever.