Barack On Abortion

I was disturbed to see this video from Barack Obama talking about his intentions regarding the abortion issue…

I learned about this video from http://theologica.blogspot.com/2008/08/obama-and-freedom-of-choice-act.html. Be sure to visit that blog and check out the information there on the Freedom of Choice Act. Morally disturbing.

What’s the real issue?

Apparently, we are facing the same questions now. What is the real issue when it comes to abortion? Those in the Pro-Choice camp say the issue hinges on the right of women to determine when they have children. In the video linked above, (at about 11 minutes) Barack Obama says that even the most conservative person will answer yes when asked if he wishes his daughter to have the same opportunities as men. He says the battle must be fought there, on those big questions. However, those in the Pro-Life camp say the issue revolves around the right of an innocent human life to not be unduly terminated. Those who advocate the repeal or weakening of Roe v. Wade say the life of the unborn must be protected (and of course, the woman could have taken the responsibility to limit her own reproduction through means prior to conception not least of which is abstinence).

So who is right. Which issue is this? A consideration of history will help.

Back in the days of the civil war, each side had an understanding of what they were fighting for. The North was fighting for the sake of the Union and the freedom of the slaves. The South was fighting for their right to govern themselves.

According to the North, it had to do with justice for all. According to the South, it had to do with freedom and the rights of the states.

So what was the real issue? It was an issue of rights.

This is only one example. World history, and personal experience consistently teach that each party in a conflict is fully convinced they are right and within their rights to hold their position. Each party is convinced the other party is infringing on their rights.

In other words, those who are within the conflict are incapable of settling the matter from the basis of who is right. The only way to avoid direct violence is to appeal to an authority outside the conflict.

In our country, that authority has been and will continue to be the federal government.

Whose rights will the government protect?

Civil War: Should we protect the rights of the states or the rights of the powerless slaves?

Civil Rights Movement: Should we protect the rights of the majority or the rights of the oppressed?

In both cases, the federal government stepped in and said (eventually), we will defend the rights of the powerless and oppressed. However, when it comes to Abortion, the question reached a new level of complexity. No longer is there a clear line of demarcation between the oppressor and the oppressed.

Historically, women have been powerless and oppressed. One reason is that women are the ones to bear our children, and both pregnancy and nursing significantly limit what a woman can do. Technology and medicine have alleviated some of those issues, but historically, pregnancy and nursing have kept women in the home while men go out and “do the real work.” In addition to that, the average woman is shorter and weaker than the average man, so physical abuse has been the norm for many societies throughout history.

In other words, women have been oppressed and their rights have been infringed, and much of it surrounds the fact that pregnancy and nursing takes a woman out of the working world for months or years on end. If a woman is not in charge of her choices regarding pregnancy, she is at the mercy of others and therefore less free.

It is a clear cut argument. In order for a woman to be on the same level as a man in every aspect of society, pregnancy and child rearing must become a non-issue. So what happens if a woman accidentally gets pregnant? At that moment, she becomes less valuable to her workplace. Her ability to work will be limited and there will be months if not years where she will be absent from the workplace. To offset this, legislation has been enacted to preserve a woman’s job after a reasonable “Medical Leave,” and many women work quite productively throughout their pregnancies.

However, that legislation doesn’t change the fundamental reality that women are regularly far more responsible for child rearing than men are, and even one child irrevocably changes that woman’s life.

Therefore, in order to give women equal rights with men, they must have full and complete control over the biological realities of their bodies.

So, on one side of the issue, it appears to be one of women’s rights.

However, a new reality has emerged since the dawning of Roe v. Wade. More than 48,589,993 otherwise healthy infants were terminated through elective abortions between 1973 and 1997. Did they have rights? Were they humans? Were they alive?

If the unborn are living human beings, then they should have at least as many rights as the newly born or the nearly dead. They may be thoroughly dependent on another person, they may be completely helpless on their own, they may be a total inconvenience on people who didn’t ask for the responsibility, and they may not even be consciously aware of all the work that is being done for them, but if they are living humans, they have inherent rights, not the least of which is the right to life. Finally, all scientists agree that the fertilized egg is two things: (1). Fully human, with distinctly different DNA than the mother, and therefore, a distinctly different human from the mother. (2). Alive as much as any other living organism is. Therefore, the fertilized egg is a living human and should have all the rights of other living humans.

Whose side are you on?

So people have been taking sides on this issue for thirty years, and the tone of our government has been to take the side of women’s rights instead of the rights of the unborn. Why is that? Well, the government of the US has wisely through the years learned to take up the cause of the oppressed. This is a noble thing, and federal regulations have equalized the playing field in many respects between those who historically were oppressed and those who were the oppressors.

However, the unborn are oppressed in staggeringly large numbers (48,589,993
abortions from 1973 to 1997 equals nearly ten times the Jews who died in the holocaust, and nearly 20% of our total population). Why is the government not standing up against this violation of human rights?

// OPINION ALERT // OPINION ALERT //

The only thing different in this human rights case and any other human rights case throughout history is that the unborn have no voice. The slaves were oppressed, but they had a voice. Writers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom’s Cabin) gave them that voice. In the Civil Rights movement, men like Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a voice to those oppressed by segregation. In the Women’s Rights movement, many voices have continued to speak up since the 1966 formation of NOW.

But the unborn have no voice. Others have attempted to speak up for the unborn and on their behalf, but the unborn have no voice of their own. Additionally, the voices on the side of women’s rights can make a very rational argument on why reproductive decisions are a fundamental right of every woman, while the voices for the unborn always seem to sound simplistic (“Don’t kill babies”), traditional (“Pregnancy is a woman’s gift”), religious(“God made that baby”), or misogynistic (“She made her choice, got pregnant, and now she has to deal with the consequences”).

The voice of women’s rights is far louder and far clearer than the voice of unborn rights.

And in any government of the people, the loudest voices win.

One Possible Solution

The battlefield has been defined as one for women’s rights just as the civil war battlefield was defined by the North as one of slavery. The South tried to redefine the battle, but lost anyway. Likewise, anyone who wants to be pro-life must realize that redefining the battle here and now will not work, and will instead appear to the rest of the world like a Confederate holding on to antiquated ideals.

Here’s my proposal for a solution, and it is simple: MEN, GET OFF YOUR REARS, BE THE MEN GOD CALLED YOU TO BE, AND LEARN TO LOVE WOMEN PROPERLY!

  1. Love your wives sacrificially, pursue their best, promote their best, and encourage them to achieve their best.
  2. Love your wife so much that if you are not married now, you will still honor your future wife by keeping your pants on now.
  3. Love your wife so much that whether you are married or not, you will stand up for the honor of the women around you and call other men to behave honorably toward them too.
  4. Love your wife so much that no matter what difficulties you come across, you will stay faithful to her alone.
  5. Love your wife so much that YOU MAKE THE CHOICE to be involved in the raising of your children.

Perhaps that was all a little too wordy, so if I wasn’t clear enough, let me be straightforward:

  • Pay women just as much.
  • Listen to women just as much.
  • No sex without marriage.
  • No sex unless one of you is sterile or you are both okay with pregnancy.
  • No divorce or threats of divorce.
  • No cheating.
  • No laziness.

Real men stand up for women.

Listen, if men were honorable enough to have sex only with their wives who were willing to be pregnant, abortions would decline dramatically! Abortion is a problem of no self-control, and I blame the men.

Just a final thought.

I wonder if Thomas Jefferson had a reason for putting “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in that order. Should the right to life supercede the right to liberty?

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