Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Heart-Breaking Decision: SCOTUS Won't Hear Arkansas Heartbeat Case

The American pro-life movement is coming to a head.

I believe that the American pro-life movement may soon run out of minor restrictions to legislate. When you've legislated all the exceptions you can legislate, where can you go?

Many pro-lifers are hungry to move beyond the safety regulations and notification laws to undermine the crux of abortion in the USA: elective, first trimester abortions.

But without the proper preparation, they're going to come up on decisions like this one.

I think that the United States is generally unfavourable to abortion. They don't like abortion as an act.

But I don't believe that Americans have adopted the mentality that the unborn child is a full-blown person, and that we need to stop discrimination against them.

There's an important nuance to be made between fighting abortion and fighting discrimination. Fighting abortion sounds moralistic. The opposition to abortion appears to be opposition towards an act. It amounts to legislating morality, which, in the heads of average people, translates into imposing one's values.

Fighting discrimination is about upholding the dignity of an oppressed population. I'm not sure that most people outside of the pro-life movement -- even among those who oppose most legal abortions-- have made the connection. In fact, I think the fact that most people don't think of fetuses as persons is the reason why most people support exceptions to abortion in cases of rape and incest. To most people who opppose abortion,  abortion is an immoral act that suppresses this thing we call life: it doesn't represent an act of oppression against a person.

As long as abortion is treat as an act to be opposed, like smoking weed or watching porn, I think pro-lifers will have an upward battle, because people are far less likely to take to the streets to stop an act than to defend people. Stopping people from doin' stuff one disagrees with is busybodying. Stopping people from discriminating is noble.

For this reason, I really wish we'd stop calling "the abortion issue"-- which is how our opponents frame it-- and call it "the fetal rights issue" instead. We shouldn't be asking politicians "what's your stance on abortion?" We should be asking them "what's your stance on fetal rights?  Should unborn children be legally protected?"

I also believe that the pro-life movement should put an emphasize of educating students in legal and medical fields -- including pharmacists and nurse practitioners who will be increasingly called upon to dispense abortifacients. If medical professionals and lawyers are converted to the pro-life cause, that's most of the battle. We won't have anyone dispensing abortions and we will have people in the legal system to uphold the rights of unborn children.

I would also like to end this commentary by speaking to the issue of Planned Parenthood. I think it's good idea to terminate funding of Planned Parenthood and put them out of business. They are abortion giants. But never forget that nature abhors a vacuum. If Planned Parenthood falls, and abortion is still legal, some scheming enterpreneur will start his own abortion chain to fill the gap. Plotting the demise of Planned Parenthood isn't the be-all and end-all of fetal rights. It's one fight among the greater crusade.