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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Abortion Religion

Average “pro-choice” people in America are actually quite moderate. They support a ban on abortions after the first trimester. They support informed consent and waiting periods. And they do not join a mob at the state capital to spit on pro-lifers and chant “Hail, Satan.”

This is not a post about average pro-choicers. This is a post about abortion activists who dedicate significant portions of their lives to defending the practice of prenatal killing against any and all regulation, or to actually committing abortions. I’m talking about activists who believe in abortion with what is practically a religious fervor.

Religious doctrines can provide a tool for understanding the views of these abortion rights hardliners. Below, I draw upon traditions from Catholicism, Hinduism, and other faiths to shed light on the pro-abortion worldview. Whatever your own beliefs, I hope that you find these analogies to be helpful.

Admittedly, not every abortion advocate subscribes to every belief listed here. But these themes appear frequently enough that pro-lifers are bound to come across them in conversations and debates with people from the other side. Bear in mind, too, that people can hold these beliefs without having examined them carefully or even consciously realizing that they hold them.

Transubstantiation
“[B]y the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.” ~Catechism of the Catholic Church
“Well, in my heart and my mind, you know, life begins when the mother says it begins, not when anybody else thinks it begins. For some women it’s before they conceive; for some women, it’s never. Even after they deliver, it’s still a problem, not a baby.” ~Late-term abortionist Leroy Carhart
The basic idea of transubstantiation is that when a particular individual speaks particular words, this causes the fundamental nature of something to change, even though this change is not physically apparent or scientifically measurable. In Catholicism, the speaker is a priest, the words are a blessing, the object is a loaf of bread or goblet of wine, and the transformation is that the bread or wine becomes the body or blood of Jesus. In abortionism, the speaker is a pregnant woman, the words are an acknowledgement of positive feelings about motherhood, the object is the unborn child, and the transformation is that the "clump of cells" becomes a living baby.
7 weeks, 4 days

Of course, this is the sort of thing that has to be taken on faith. An 8-week-old unborn baby who is scheduled to be aborted looks and functions just like an 8-week-old who is loved by his or her mother. Both have clear signs of life.

Reincarnation
“When people die with strong unfulfilled desires, which can only be fulfilled on earth, their minds—while they are in the other world—strongly yearn for the fulfillment of those desires. As every conscious action is prompted by a thought, those unfulfilled desires eventually bring them back to earth, thus causing their rebirth or reincarnation.” ~Swami (monk) Bhaskarananda, Vedanta Society of Western Washington
“Abortion access is very rarely about being a mother vs. not being a mother, about having a baby to love or not. While that's true for a small percentage of women seeking abortions, for most women, it's about timing. Women just want to give the children they do have the best possible shot at a good life by having them at the right time.” ~Abortion supporter and blogger Amanda Marcotte
Unlike the abortion transubstantiation doctrine discussed above, abortion advocates rarely state a belief in reincarnation explicitly. But it is implicit in the idea that abortion is not a matter of deciding which children will be born, but when children will be born. If abortion is all about the “timing” of parenthood, and abortion is a morally acceptable way to accomplish that timing, then unborn children cannot be unique individuals; the aborted child and the later-born one must be essentially the same. This flies in the face of scientific and medical evidence, which shows that every human being has unique DNA from conception. But reincarnation makes sense of it; the aborted child may not be physically the same as her later-born sibling, but they are spiritually the same. The aborted child is “reborn” at a more convenient time.

Fundamentalism
“Good Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions.” ~Rev. Jerry Falwell
“You can't call yourself a feminist if you don't believe in the right to abortion.” ~Nora Ephron
Fundamentalism has been widely criticized, by secular and religious leaders alike, because it makes a virtue of closed-mindedness and fosters an “us versus them” mentality. When you meet an abortion advocate who refuses to see pro-lifers as anything other than misogynists, and who declares “You will never change my mind,” you are dealing with a fundamentalist. No amount of evidence for the humanity of the unborn child will move them; it will go in one ear and out the other. Just as religious fundamentalists reject any facts that contradict their religious texts, and try to prevent those facts from being widely disseminated, so too abortion fundamentalists condemn life-saving ultrasound technology and try to insulate women from the reality of the abortion choice.

19 comments:

Drew Hymer said...

i know some fundamentalists and they would have some real qualms with your definition.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fundamentalism?s=t

i don't see "close-minded" in the definition. You probably should use a different term.


A lot of pro-aborts are definitely close-minded. i just read yesterday one pro-abort denying that the science is clear that conception begins the life of a human being.

Jameson Graber said...

Pretty bold post. The last one should technically be called "fedeism," I believe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fideism

ChristinaDunigan said...

The fetus dies for your sins and through its death your life is redeemed.

Donna Zerrath said...

Good article. Tha last slast statment being the most convincing.

prolifeintn.blogspot.com said...

Why don't you have a tweet button for us?

Kelsey said...

I'm not sure how to incorporate that with Blogspot. But I SPL has a twitter account, so I will tweet this to you.

Faye Valentine said...

I actually see that quite often.

Faye Valentine said...

Excellent article. I wholeheartedly agree. I'm tired of being accused of being scientifically-illiterate or irrational when I'm not the one clinging to a viewpoint couched in Dark Age mysticism of things like "quickening" and "ensoulment".

JDC said...

"Well, in my heart and my mind, you know, life begins when the mother says it begins, not when anybody else thinks it begins. For some women it’s before they conceive;"

So, if a women wants to conceive but is not successful, she still has a baby or something? This guy's completely nuts.

Coyote said...

LOL at that pro-abortion choice comment! By that rationale, Hitler could have said that the lives of the individuals that were killed in the Holocaust don't begin (or rather, wouldn't have begun) until they would have reached age 150 (which is biologically impossible without anti-aging technology or a mutation in your genes which slows down the aging process in your body).

Coyote said...

If only all of these fetuses would get resurrected afterwards like Jesus allegedly was.

Coyote said...

No offence, but it does appear to be extremely stupid and ignorant to deny that a new human life begins at conception/fertilization. An intelligent pro-abortion choicer would stick to arguing about whether or not the fetus is a person, since pro-abortion choicers actually do have a case there (if they fully follow the logical principles behind their reasoning, which many/most of them would probably be unwilling to do).

Alisha said...

As a religious person who only tries to use secular arguments when discussing abortion this post has be slightly troubled. If your approach is secular, use secular analogies not religious analogies.

vinícius said...

Many women I talked with - even who don't straight believe in reencarnationism - believe an aborted embryo or fetus will eventually reincarnate latter.


Other beliefs: God wouldn't give a soul to a being who would be aborted before having a chance to actually live. (This one is tragic) The baby will be better with God than in this world. The soul incarnates the fetus once the neural system is ready.

Tater said...

Zombie-fetus apocalypse? Oh the mewling! The humanity!

Cyclemom said...

How can you relate transubstantiation with abortion???????

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adaynasmile said...

I am a Christian and therefore am a pro-lifer due to my belief in the commandment not to kill. But that is unimportant in the grand scheme of things. The truth is, this is a human being who is being ripped to pieces in the name of freedom. I have never understood the justifications and although I still am in disbelief I appreciate the explanations. It sheds a bit of light onto the subject. (Found your post from a comment on Life News.)

jesussaves said...

somebody just made an abortion video game... www.zombiefetusapocalypse.com