Dallin H. Oaks, a lawyer and LDS Church leader, spoke these words about abortion in 1999. I’m posting them here for two reasons. The first is because of his stance on abortion. The second is because of the applicability of his message to the same-sex “marriage” movement today. I’ll post his words, then write a little more about them.
Because choice is a method, choices can be exercised either way on any matter, and our choices can serve any goal. Therefore, those who consider freedom of choice as a goal can easily slip into the position of trying to justify any choice that is made. “Choice” can even become a slogan to justify one particular choice. For example, in the 1990s, one who says “I am pro-choice” is clearly understood as opposing any legal restrictions upon a woman’s choice to abort a fetus at any point in her pregnancy.
More than 30 years ago, as a young law professor, I published one of the earliest articles on the legal consequences of abortion. Since that time I have been a knowledgeable observer of the national debate and the unfortunate Supreme Court decisions on the so-called “right to abortion.” I have been fascinated with how cleverly those who sought and now defend legalized abortion on demand have moved the issue away from a debate on the moral, ethical, and medical pros and cons of legal restrictions on abortion and focused the debate on the slogan or issue of choice. The slogan or sound bite “pro-choice” has had an almost magical effect in justifying abortion and in neutralizing opposition to it….
Being pro-choice on the need for moral agency [also called free will or free agency] does not end the matter…. Choice is a method, not the ultimate goal. We are accountable for our choices. (Source).
Just as abortion activists turned abortion away from a moral and ethical issue to an issue of a woman’s “rights”, same-sex “marriage” advocates also are trying to turn the issue to one of “rights” and “choice”. The parallels between the movements are striking. The marriage issue is not one of rights or choice, it is one of morals and doing what is in the best interest of society.
The following post started as a response to an article arguing in favor of abortion (the link is not provided here). So what does abortion have to do with the 2008 elections? There are a few core issues that I feel are the most important political issues. Abortion is one of them. I find it very difficult to vote for someone who supports abortions. It would take a lot of issue agreement in other areas between that candidate and myself for me to vote for her or him. I won’t go as far as saying that I will never vote for candidates who support abortion but I am disinclined to favorably cast my vote for them. This is why that for all the admirable qualities that the various Democratic candidates have, I have not been able to get behind any of them and offer true support. I admire and respect their good politics and policies (and conversely don’t admire their bad politics and policies) but the social issues are like a gorilla in a family of chimpanzees; they outweigh the rest. Therefore, the candidates that I can really support are, at their core, socially conservative.
By Jared Tanner & Daniel Kay
Advocates of “abortion rights” have labeled their movement pro-choice, as if without abortion there is no choice. It’s an insidious term because it leads to the implication that if you oppose abortion you are againstfreedom, liberty, and personal choice (e.g., “Don’t tell me what to do with my body!”). The issue about abortion has never been about choice though, it’s about morality and responsibility. The evidence for this is argued as follows: We are pro-choice when it comes to abortion – a woman can choose not to get pregnant in the first place. [We are not insinuating that women are solely responsible for pregnancies or for abortions, they clearly are not; however, we chose to limit our focus to women for conciseness]. A choice was made at some point to take some action (even if it was choosing to do nothing) that directly led to pregnancy. This leads into one of the exceptions when abortions should be allowed: in cases of rape (and incest). If a woman is raped and becomes pregnant, she should be able to get an abortion if it’s what she wants to do. This is because the woman’s choice was taken away from her; in a sense, pregnancy was violently forced upon her. Again, abortion is not really about choice – choice is always there whether or not abortions are legal. Most pro-choice supporters are actually pro-abortion – in which the term pro-choice is used as a clever cover. Common tenets of this movement are: first, the idea that the world is over-populated and abortion is a means of minimizing the growth of the population; second, and most importantly, is the idea that women who are aborting their children are the kinds of people that will raise poor quality citizens and abortion will limit this. To the elitist, abortion is killing two birds with one choice (pun intended).
Many forget that abortion is about morality and life. When does human life begin – at conception, at birth, or somewhere in between? We don’t know. It’s actually irrelevant. A little protoplasmic bundle, a little blastocyst will turn into a person if a pregnancy is allowed to continue. There is no question about that. If there is something wrong with the embryo, oftentimes the embryo or fetus will spontaneously abort. As inane as this sounds, humans don’t have penguin babies or trees or whatever else. Humans have human babies, so the fertilized egg, the blastocyst, the embryo – whether or not it constitutes human life – will in fact grow into a person. The clearest point at which the formula to a single human life is set in motion and on a self-driven course of development is at conception. Continue reading “The Politics of Abortion”