Peculiar Penchants

It is perpetually true that when a genuine threat to the status quo becomes more than an idea in someone’s imagination, those who are most threatened by innovation become overcome with anxiety from which flows a whole lot of garbage. Such is the case with the growing popularity of personhood not only within the pro-life movement but within the political structure of various state legislatures as well.

The most recent addition to the mounting list of personhood victories is the State Senate in Montana, where just yesterday they passed a proposal authored by State Senator Dan McGee. He has distinguished himself in many ways over his political career, but most recently his call for personhood has made him a favorite among pro-life leaders who realize that without personhood the civil rights of preborn children will always be in jeopardy.

The bill that narrowly passed in the state senate, 26-24,  makes the following statement, "…person means a human being at all stages of human development of life, including the state of fertilization or conception, regardless of age, health, level of functioning, or condition of dependency."

In other words, should the bill pass the Montana state house as well, and go to the voters as a ballot measure in 2010, it would provide the people of the state with a great deal to think about when it comes to addressing exactly who is that human being who dies every time an abortion is committed. It would further challenge that status quo in a way that has never been done in the past.

In this struggle to defend the rights of the most vulnerable Americans in our midst, Montana becomes the second state this year to actually say, in one of the two legislative houses, that people of all ages deserve equal protection under the law. North Dakota became the first state just a week ago. There are, in addition, five additional states where measures are being pursued as I write, and even more taking the entire question into serious consideration.

Such progress is a huge hurdle for the evermore-frustrated proponents of the abortion establishment’s status quo. This is one of the reasons why I believe strongly that commentator William Saletan has extended a tired, but oh so tempting hand by telling his readers that the challenge that faces both pro-lifers and pro-abortionists is, simply as follows:

…to put these two issues together. For liberals, that means taking abortion seriously as an argument for contraception. We should make the abortion rate an index of national health, like poverty or infant mortality. The president should report progress, or lack thereof, in the State of the Union.

Reproductive-health counselors must speak bluntly to women who are having unprotected sex. And as Mr. Obama observed last year, men must learn that “responsibility does not end at conception.”

Conservatives, in turn, need to face the corollary truth: A culture of life requires an ethic of contraception. Birth control isn’t a sin or an offense against life, as so many girls and Catholic couples have been taught. It’s a loving, conscientious way to prevent the conception of a child you can’t bear to raise and don’t want to abort. It’s an act of responsibility and respect for life.

See what I mean by the “peculiar penchant”?  The man who can write with a straight face that abortion is killing wishes to placate the mushy, amoral middle, by calling on what he sees as “liberal” versus “conservative” factions to get it together and find that age-old common ground called contraception.

Dear Mr. Saletan, when will you learn that those of us who work so hard to defend the rights of our brothers and sisters who await birth already know that contraception is the root cause of abortion? 
Sociologist Lionel Tiger knows it. “With effective contraception controlled by women, there are still more abortions than ever…Contraception causes abortion.”

Christopher Tietze, a Planned Parenthood researcher, knew it too and wrote in 1981,

[A] high correlation between abortion experience and contraceptive experience … women who have practiced contraception are more likely to have had abortions than those who have not practiced contraception, and women who have had abortions are more likely to have been contraceptors than women without a history of abortion.

In addition, it is a fact, a fact that has been recognized by the very people who work so hard to see that abortion is a “right” and a “privilege,” that they themselves were the most influential in convincing the medical community that pregnancy had to be redefined. They did this so that their promotion of contraception would not put them in the embarrassing position of admitting that the pill aborts children. As a matter of fact, 

At the 1964 Population Council symposium, Dr. Samuel Wishik pointed out that acceptance or rejection of birth control would depend on whether it caused an early abortion. Dr. Tietze, of Planned Parenthood and the Population Council suggested, as a public relations ploy, "not to disturb those people for whom this is a question of major importance." Tietze added that theologians and jurists have always taken the prevailing biological and medical consensus of their times as factual, and that "if a medical consensus develops and is maintained that pregnancy, and therefore life, begins at implantation, eventually our brethren from the other faculties will listen."

Therefore it isn’t really that peculiar that a latter day culture war expert like Saletan would make a sincere effort to encourage principled pro-lifers to set aside their alleged religious beliefs and buy into the lie that contraception will curtail the number of abortions. That very argument is a tale as old as the culture of death, and it will persist until personhood is finally the mantra of the America people and the Constitutional fact it should always have been.

The last thing the pro-aborts want to admit is that our quest for personhood and our absolute opposition to contraception has nothing to do with religious beliefs but everything to do with truly caring for the health and welfare of our fellow human beings, born and preborn.

Mark my words, folks. Peculiar penchants are going to increase, and the one that always disturbs me the most is not Saletan’s, but that dehumanizing, but ever popular query, “Should fertilized eggs have rights?

My response to this one is, simply “Probably not if they are the product of plant or animal reproduction, but when they are of human origin they should have the same rights as you and I.  After all, that “fertilized egg” is actually a human being, an individual, a unique person with his own DNA.”  

In the early 1980’s, before anyone ever dreamed of “producing” human beings asexually [human clones and the like], Professor Jerome Lejeune, world-renowned geneticist, told us: 

[This is how] “the symphony of life is played. It is written in a very special code on DNA, and the first cell is the first part of the magnetic reading machine, so that it will decipher the code on DNA, and play human life. If the information that is inside the tape recorder, which is that first cell, is human information, then this being is a human being. We know that at the beginning there is a message, and this message, if it is spelled out in the human way, makes what is a human.”

“Ah, but let’s not confuse the people with facts,” our opponents would say.  “Let’s just give them another peculiar penchant that convinces them that pro-lifers who argue in favor of personhood are really talking about mere eggs, not real babies!”

Get ready, folks, because the counterfeit words are going to be slung around like rotten eggs.  Let’s just be prepared to debunk every one of them.  After all, there never was a peculiar penchant that couldn’t be disposed of with simple facts.