|More hysterical rhetoric on issues of abortion, life|
Letter to the Editor:
In a recent letter, “We condone mass murder each day in United States,” David Whittingham accuses President Obama with complicity in the mass murder of innocent babies.
Sadly, this type of hysterical rhetoric — which denies even the possibility of reasonable argument — has become commonplace. They say abortion, any abortion, for any reason, is nothing short of genocide.It does not help that Whittingham misrepresents the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) by implying that the center characterizes a medical procedure as murder. The CDC does nothing of the sort in simply citing the 2009 statistics for legal induced abortions. That widely respected organization says nothing at all about murder. If Mr. Whittingham is looking for real murderers he might look in the direction of Eric Rudolph or Scott Roeder.
Whittingham does not seem to understand that there are genuine differences of opinion when it comes to the essential question of what constitutes a human person. It is this question that is the center of the debate. At what point in the development of an embryo and fetus does a collection of mere cells become a baby, a person? Simply arguing that life begins at conception does little to address that question — all forms of biological life involving sexual reproduction begin in this manner. An honest approach would be to admit that there are many possible answers, or none at all.
The kinds of accusations thrown out by Mr. Whittingham are particularly hurtful to the many, perhaps most, supporters of choice who see abortion as a very troubling decision both personally and for society in general. Few, indeed, take such choices lightly and words like murder and genocide should have no place in the discussion.
Finally, I must say there is an element of hypocrisy in this single-minded obsession with prenatal life. Humans, certainly including Christians, have been killing each other with abandon for thousands of years. We tolerate the worst kinds of inequality affecting the lives of real live postnatal persons. We shrug our shoulders at the proven unfairness of death-penalty systems, or even the use of torture.
To say that one is pro life in the narrow context of reproduction ignores the real-life concerns of the already living. Life, it seems, is a negotiable commodity and quite unevenly respected.
|Tuesday, May 07, 2013 4:15 PM|