Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Abortion time limit fight 'is like battle to abolish slavery'

There Christian charity CARE has compared the battle to lower the abortion time limit to that of the abolition of slavery.

This is nonsense.

If the proposal before Parliament were for the total abolition of abortion, there may be some grounds for such a comparison. Or if Wilberforce had ever argued that slaves ought to be part-time captives, or that slave owners ought to decrease incrementally year by year the number of slaves they owned, there might be grounds for such a comparison.

But Parliament is not contemplating the abolition of abortion, and Wilberforce proposed no such compromise on slavery.

Wilberforce was absolute on the full humanity and equality of those who were enslaved. For him this was a known known. But Parliament is faffing around and arguing the toss over such unknown unknowns as when an embryo becomes a foetus, when a foetus becomes a baby, and when any of them become sentient or ‘ensouled’. Many of those MPs who are the most vocal in their laudable campaign to reduce the abortion time limit are manifestly not opposed to abortion per se, still asserting the primacy of the ‘rights' of the mother woman over the ‘rights’ of the messy multiplicity of cells dividing and developing in the womb: they simply wish to save a few babies at 20 or 22 weeks, while continuing to condemn to death those who are aborted at 19 weeks.

It is absurd to assert that anyone can know beyond doubt that a baby aborted at 20 weeks feels pain while one aborted at 19 weeks does not.

But CARE does not assist the Christian cause when they state that ‘supporters of abortion rights believe unborn babies are not fully human, just as plantation owners justified their ownership of African slaves by claiming they should not be treated as men’.

There are very many proponents of abortion who believe unborn babies are fully human, but they quite straightforwardly reason and conclude a moral argument for the superior rights of the mother, who is also fully human, and who wishes to eradicate the parasite which is feeding on the host. That fully human beings may be parasitic is not in doubt. Many of the worst offenders are usually to be found at Westminster sitting on the Labour benches.

CARE is equally fatuous in their assertion that ‘the similarity between (abortion and slavery) shows how little English society has progressed since the 19th century’.

Have these people entertained for one moment what it was really like to live in Victorian England - to experience society before Barnardo, before Shaftesbury, before Fry; before a myriad of inspirational individuals and societal developments which have manifestly ameliorated society a thousandfold?

Yet CARE does have a point when they state that both struggles are about ‘what it means to be human’. For what is not fully human has no need to be treated as human. That might at one time have been the negro, while now it is the developing baby in its mother’s womb.

If the battle to abolish slavery was about recognising that all men are made in the image of God, the battle over abortion is about recognising that life begins at conception. The fertilised ovum is sacred not because of its potential, but because of its being. It is human not because of what it will be, but because of what it is.

As the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill comes again before Parliament on Wednesday, let us hope that MPs will reject any relaxation of the abortion laws.

And let us go on praying that sometime from somewhere a latter-day Wilberforce might arise who will lead a campaign to abolish abortion altogether, for it is a stain on the conscience of humanity, and a fearful offence against God.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace.
While many so called reasons are trotted out for the wholesale slaughter called abortion, i.e the
return of the back street old crone
willing to kill for a price to the social responsibility of bringing
an unwanted child into a suffering world. The fact is that murder is murder if it's in an alleyway or a clinic. The fact is that it is & always has been a buisness of supply & demand for fiscal reward,
just like its cousin euthanasia.
justice & morality have no place in these industries, & we are probably only ashort step away from recycling the products of
these abbatoirs for yet more profit.
One would suggest that women who are considering "termination" should be shown the results of it before finally deciding. If my personal experience is anything to go by they would be horrified by the outcome of this simple lunchtime op.
May God have mercy on us all.

21 October 2008 at 11:35  
Blogger Dave said...

It shows that "Christian" charities like CARE are just another single interest lobby group who will use any scare tactic to get their point over.

What disturbs me the most is not the subject matter, but the tactics of the opponents. Will we see the emergence of militant Christianity? Willing to murder doctors who carry out abortions?

21 October 2008 at 12:17  
Anonymous Rebel Saint said...

"CARE are just another single interest lobby group who will use any scare tactic to get their point over."

Couldn't be further from the truth. Go and have a look at the length & breadth of the work they are involved in.

On the original post, I think you mis-represent Care's views your grace. They are not saying the HFE bill is like slavery, they are saying the whole attitude of the pro-abortion lobby is like that of the slave-traders. That the HFE bill is just a further indication of the logical conclusions that follow when a subset of humanity is treated as less than human. Their arguments are valid and their conclusions are sound.

21 October 2008 at 12:22  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Your Grace
There are similarities between the views of the nation regarding slavery in the eighteenth century and those regarding abortion today.

In the eighteenth century slavery was accepted a fact of life, and encouraged, from the highest (even the Royal Family) to the lowest in the land. Today a similar attitude prevails in the UK with regard to abortion.

The anti slavery society felt that it was too large a task to campaign for the abolition of slavery - they felt that a more achievable, though still daunting task was to campaign for the abolition of the slave trade. Abolition of slavery was to be become a 'phase 2' in the struggle.

So campaigning for reduction in the statutory limits on abortion is regarded as a daunting but more achievable goal for the pro-life organisations - and would presage a later campaign for complete ban.

Although I have personally gone along the strategy of first seeking reductions in the statutory limits, it is clear now that even if achievable, such reductions cut no ice with abortion providers (sorry - pregnancy advice services) like BPAS who when their clients come to them with a pregnancy beyond the UK statutory limit, they just arrange to send them overseas where some countries are even more liberal than ours. If Obama becomes president he might reintroduce partial birth abortion, and then BPAS can send the mothers to the US, where the children can be terminated right up to the moment of birth.

And what scare tactic is 'Dave' talking about? I have noticed over the years that the pro-abortion lobby in this country are very quick to accuse anyone who has a contrary opinion of being about to murder an abortion provider. An hysterical tactic but a little motheaten today.

21 October 2008 at 13:28  
Blogger The Gentleman Loser said...

I agree with Your Grace's substantial point regarding the number of weeks. It has genuinely surprised me to see Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor support moves to lower the abortion limit to 20 weeks as if a 19 week abortion is somehow less unacceptable than a 20 week one.
However like UGC I don't think the slavery comparison is as fatuous as Your Grace suggests. The thinking seems to be that there are two types of human; expendable and non-expendable. Humans which can be used as means to an end and humans which cannot and without wishing to sound alarmist menschen and unter-menschen.

21 October 2008 at 17:46  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

"Willing to murder doctors who carry out abortions?"

Depends if you believe in the death penalty and whether it should be performed extra judicially.

21 October 2008 at 18:20  
Blogger Wrinkled Weasel said...

The decision whether or not to abort is so much easier if you know that you live by the grace of God and know Jesus as your personal Saviour; for you have a merciful living powerful God to come before. It is not for me to judge what his answer will be, but it will be the best one in the circumstances and His Grace shall be sufficient. And we know also that we will get an answer if we ask God to guide us.

In the world, we bear the consequences of the apotheosis of man. Non believers do not have comfort or hope. The descent of this debate into tawdry and emotional exchanges of venom is unseemly but only to be expected. It has merely become one of many battles for hegemony in a society of relative values and perverted ideals, where fox-hunting is deemed more evil than abortion, where Christians are mocked and where Muslims are tyrants and where pragmatism tops truth.

22 October 2008 at 00:08  
Anonymous Miserable Sinner said...

Even if abortion were to be completely outlawed, abortion pills and the vacuum extraction method would NOT disappear. There would be little reason for a return to "dangerous back alley abortions" performed by unqualified people, because the newer easy, fast & safe techniques developed since abortion was legalized will still be available, and could be offered with relative safety by people with very little training.

The present-day effect of making abortion illegal would be to reduce premarital sex, increase the use of effective contraception, shift some of the burden of an unplanned pregnancy back toward the male who pressured the woman for sex (men reportedly felt more responsible for out-of-wedlock pregnancies prior to WWII), increase "shotgun marriages", and increase the use of abortifacient pills for early pregnancy termination, with a very significant decrease in the number of unwanted pregnancies being allowed to progress to the stage at which the pills no longer work. The truly desperate would always find a way to travel to another country, or find some other way around the tougher rules.

Within a year or two, people would simply accustom themselves to the new rules and live their lives accordingly. Many other Western countries have stricter rules than the UK and USA, and life certainly goes on for them.

22 October 2008 at 00:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would ask His Grace’s readers a question.
A couple are in their car the man driving, they have an accident that is entirely the man’s fault, unfortunately the stress both mental and physical causes the woman to miscarry. Should the man be charged with causing death by dangerous driving?

22 October 2008 at 03:23  
Anonymous my little pony said...

Jobrag, if it's an accident it's nobody's fault, surely.
Perhaps it might help, when arguing with anti-abortionists to mentally substitute "embryo" with "toddler" in any point you might wish to make as that is the moral status anti-abortionists would assign to an embryo/foetus.
So in your scenario, there is a toddler and his mother in the car, rather than a pregnant woman.
Have made that substitution I still don't know the answer to your question.

22 October 2008 at 14:58  

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