Peggy Loonan, a columnist in Colorado, recently wrote an opinion piece about “anti-abortion hardliners” such as yours truly. She claims that many of us are eager to talk out loud and clearly about criminalizing hormonal birth control. She is, of course, accurate about that. But she has either intentionally avoided discussing the process that would be followed once legal recognition of human personhood is restored to all human beings from their beginning, or she is too wild-eyed about birth control to see past the fluff.
The fact is that, first and foremost, Colorado’s human personhood proposal acknowledges that a human being is deserving of recognition as a person from the beginning of their biological development. This means that a single-cell human being would receive the same legal protection and respect for his or her human rights as anyone else.
Once human personhood is clearly recognized in the state constitution, the state legislature would have to address the criminal penalties to be imposed for violating it. Legal experts have informed us that, firstly, abortion would need to be defined as a crime. After that, the specific forms of abortion, such as chemical abortion, would have to be clearly defined and addressed. So far, this discussion has not taken place, since a human personhood amendment has not yet been added to a state constitution. Thus the fundamental question, personhood for one and all, is the only thing we can discuss intelligently at this point, unless there are other agendas at work—which is precisely what I believe is occurring with Loonan and her ilk.
Rather than admit that the birth control pill has three modes of action, one of which is interference with the human embryo’s ability to implant himself in his mother’s womb, thus rendering him unable to survive, Loonan focuses on so-called reproductive rights while ignoring scientific facts. That is the way culture-of death advocates operate. Loonan could have researched this from clinical and legal perspectives. But never let a fact get in the way of an ideologue hammering away at a theory!
To my mind, what underlies Loonan’s overzealousness is not a desire to present scientific facts, but rather to paint a portrait of miserable pro-lifers who want to rob women of their “right” to use the drug of choice for recreational sex: the birth control pill.
So let’s respond to her negativity with a bit of honesty. While I'm not sure she can stand it, readers of this commentary should be willing to at least consider the possibility that human beings—at any stage of their development—deserve and should be able to expect integrity from commentators promoting certain so-called rights. In this case, the so-called rights in question are often described as “reproductive rights.”
Many years ago, Margaret Sanger, according to some of her more supportive biographers, was a champion of “reproductive rights.” Sanger paved the way for the current discussions about the value of the human person and the nature of human procreation by decrying all that is sacred about the human body. Very early in her career, she had an experience that was pivotal in the formation of her philosophy:
When one of her patients died of a self-induced abortion in 1913, Sanger left her nursing career. "It was like an illumination….There was only one thing to be done: call out, start the alarm, set the heather on fire! Awaken the womanhood of America to free the motherhood of the world!" Sanger wrote. "I resolved that women should have knowledge of contraception. They have every right to know about their own bodies."
Of course, at that time, Sanger did not actually study how the female body works nor the tragic physical consequences of ingesting birth control pills, because they had not yet been developed. But her advocacy paved the way for what Loonan now claims as a fundamental "right" for women.
Loonan opines, “The birth-control pill is a proven method to prevent an unintended pregnancy and is an American icon of women’s reproductive health and pregnancy prevention and more importantly, it is where the majority of the American public beliefs [sic] the common ground in the abortion war begins.”
Erroneous information, to be sure, but like Margaret Sanger before her, Loonan’s overriding concern is that women of all ages be free to avoid having an ill-timed baby. And that’s the rub! You see, people who celebrate birth control, abortion and the like typically have never reflected on why God did not create human beings in such a way that,at birth, a package of birth control pills would emerge along with the umbilical cord.
God is a Father Who trusts each person He has created to exercise their free will, and either follow Him or follow Beelzebub and accept the consequences. Fundamentally, most who prattle on about the “need” for birth control are people whose trust in God would fit on the head of a pin, if indeed they even acknowledge Him as their Creator.
Or perhaps they do embrace a tortuous form of religious conviction. After all, Loonan did tell her readers that the birth control pill is an American icon. The word icon comes from the Greek word eikon, which means religious image. Icon can also be defined as “an object of uncritical devotion.” So it really isn’t a stretch to imagine that, like many of her genre, Loonan has a religious fervor for all things leading to promiscuity and permissive sexual adventures. After all, Episcopal minister Katherine Hancock Ragsdale has told the world that “abortion is a blessing.”
Whatever her belief system, I would invite Loonan to loosen up and take the time to actually learn the facts before going on a bashing binge against pro-life Americans. We are not, as she suggests, extremists who are desperate to do whatever it takes to make political headway. We are pro-life human beings who love life, love people, and want to ensure that each and every person’s human rights are protected.
We still love you, Ms. Loonan, and we promise to pray for you. That’s what pro-life living is all about.