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“Infanticide” arguments are Band-Aids in the abortion fight

While cries of “infanticide” are attention-grabbing, the pro-life movement needs to do more to change hearts and minds.

Photo by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia on Unsplash

Pro-life advocates are galvanized after New York legalized abortion through the day of birth and a similar bill nearly became law in Virginia. Vice President Mike Pence published an op-ed against infanticide; President Donald Trump criticized Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s apparent support for letting a baby who survived an abortion perish, and addressed that controversy in his State of the Union address.

The reactions appear to be having some impact. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam may resign after his racist yearbook was exposed, allegedly by a former medical school colleague who heard the governor’s defense of infanticide. Trump and Senate Republicans are also pushing a bill to require abortionists to care for babies who survive abortions, though that bill will never pass the Democratic-controlled House (and was blocked by Democrats in the Senate).

But while cries of “infanticide” are attention-grabbing, the pro-life movement needs to do more to change hearts and minds. The education necessary to convince the public of the truth of abortion is enormous. Touting a bill to save children who survive abortions is important, but it’s a Band-Aid on an issue that requires a tourniquet.

After all, each abortion ends the life of an unborn human, yet 60 percent or more of Americans support the 90 percent of abortions that are done in the first trimester.

The education must be multi-tiered to account for our diverse society. For many, science is key to proving the value of unborn life. Our humanity at the point of fertilization is clear. Each person’s unique DNA is present even before our mothers know they are pregnant, and it is no less defined than that of a fully-developed fetus, a born child, or an elderly person. Each of us was once that new zygote, and our heartbeats began at six weeks’ gestation. Medical research indicates that unborn babies feel pain at or before 20 weeks’ gestation. Viability after birth is likely as early as 22 or 23 week’s gestation and babies have survived outside the womb even earlier.

Sociological arguments are also critical. Abortion creates uncertainty about the inherent value of human life. Abortions for the sake of disability denies the world those like motivational speaker Nick Vujicic, who has no arms or legs. Abortions for financial reasons open the door to killing elderly parents who are financially burdensome, or who may have wealth in their wills.

Religion is also powerful. Most Americans identify as Christian – and the Bible clearly condemns killing innocent humans, including the unborn.

But most Americans reject these biological, theological, and sociological realities until late in pregnancy. Late-term abortions are opposed by 75 percent of Americans, but they account for fewer than two percent of all abortions. Other popular restrictions are likewise limited in impact.

The result of Americans’ support for abortion is that many pregnant mothers don’t see the humanity of their unborn child. Ultrasounds solve some of this challenge. As Heartbeat International Director of Communications Andrea Trudden told me in an e-mail, ultrasounds provide a “window in the womb.” At Heartbeat’s 1,900 member pro-life pregnancy resource centers, which provide ultrasounds, this window “gives women (and men) a chance to make a fully informed choice about their pregnancy, after which about 80 percent make a choice for life,” Trudden said.

But even this impact is limited. Studies show that viewing an ultrasound has little impact on women who are considering abortion, unless those mothers are already uncertain about getting an abortion.

The fact is that without the underlying truth about every unborn child’s humanity, public opinion isn’t going to shift much on abortion. Without such a shift, Planned Parenthood – which performs one-third of America’s abortions – will likely still receive half-a-billion dollars in public funding for abortion and other services; the Democratic Party will likely still support taxpayer-funded abortions from fertilization to birth.

Worst of all, more than 800,000 abortions each year will be backed by the American people, even though all abortions deny a pre-born child the same right to life that you and I possess.

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About Dustin Siggins 4 Articles
Dustin Siggins is founder of Proven Media Solutions, a communications and business strategy firm. He is a former political journalist who is widely published on issues of public policy, culture, and politics in outlets such as USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Roll Call, and National Review Online. He has appeared on television and radio across the country.

1 Comment

  1. The problem is bigotry — MSM-manufactured bigotry the purpose of which is to dehumanize the child in the womb in the public mind. One would expect those with the light of Christ not to be so deceived, but even the Catholic bishops give every indication that they are as deceived as the rest of the world, judging by how they prioritize the issues. One would think the mass murder of children by the thousands every day would have the highest priority. And rightly so.

    Abortion used to be against the law. Why? Well, is murder wrong? Yes. Is deliberately taking the life of an innocent human being murder? Yes. Is the life in the human womb an innocent human being? Yes. (What else could it be? Everybody knows that, which is why pregnant women used to be referred to as being “with child.”)

    So what happened? Why is murdering the child in the womb now legal? It isn’t. Mere mortals can only pretend to have the authority to “legalize” murder. “Legal” abortion was treated as a crime against humanity by prosecutors at the Nuremberg Trials. There were defendants at the Nuremberg Trials who demonstrated that they had done nothing illegal according to Nazi law – who were hanged anyway. Why? Murder is intrinsically illegal. That is obvious for those who take seriously God’s command “Thou shalt do no murder.” It should also be obvious to any civilized human being. A basic concept of civilization that raises it above savagery is that the powerful aren’t allowed to kill the less powerful simply because doing so serves their purposes at the moment. One doesn’t need to be a Christian to understand the following:

    • Humanity precedes the state and brings it into existence.

    • Therefore the state exists for humanity, not humanity for the state.

    • Therefore it is humanity that bestows and withdraws the state’s right to exist, not the state that bestows and withdraws humanity’s right to exist.

    • Therefore the state (if it is to avoid descending into diabolical savagery, albeit while carefully maintaining a facade of legitimacy as the Nazis did) simply doesn’t claim for itself any authority whatsoever to “legalize” the murder of innocent humanity.

    The Nazi experiment in “legal” murder was an unmitigated disaster. It sprang from the German intelligentsia’s advocacy of “legal” abortion and euthanasia that had begun a decade before the Nazis rose to power. That combined with the unrestrained-by-morality legal positivism of Austrian jurist Hans Kelsen set the Nazis on their path to diabolical savagery. Roe vs. Wade, with its abrupt withdrawal of the protection of law from a vast segment of humanity, set America on the same civilization-destroying path; the leftist, militantly atheistic governments of Europe are doing the same to Europeans.

    I think it takes proclaiming the gospel and living it out to dispel bigotry. Living it out will require Pro-Life activism at a level we haven’t reached yet in the U.S., viz., activism that is a response to mass murder that is commensurate with the urgency of the situation.

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