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Abortion and Other Evils

Are All Pro-Lifers Men?

Pro-lifers, particularly male pro-lifers, get this objection all the time. Generally it goes like this: “You are a man. Fie on you for speaking about abortion. It behooves you not to even have an opinion!” Some people seem to think that since men cannot get pregnant, they are not allowed to have an opinion about abortion. I have heard a number of persons add that pro-lifers all seem to be white men in particular. Interestingly enough, I have heard the “you are all white men” objection solely from white men. However, I will focus primarily on the question as to whether we are all men before discussing the objection that we are all Caucasians, since I think that is more relevant (and a more common complaint).

First of all, if what pro-choice advocates are saying is that most or all pro-lifers are men, the objection is not even very accurate. Statistics show that there is actually a very narrow difference. From 2015 to 2018, 2015-2018 47% of men and 44% of women in the U.S. typically choose the pro-life label while 50% of women and 46% of men choose the pro-choice label. As a matter of fact, it is roughly equal at about 19% of both men and women who say that abortion should be illegal under all circumstances (I am one of them and in my opinion they are the only true pro-lifers). So I could hardly say it is fair to say we are all men.

More importantly, however, even if we were all men, that would still not discredit the pro-life position, the reason being that the entire argument is an ad hominem. How does the fact that all pro-lifers are male make their logical argumentation less valid? Now a pro-choice advocate might say it does not concern men. In a sense, that is true. Certainly, I am not in utero, for which reason the legality of abortion does not really effect me, nor indeed am I a woman, for which reason I am not about to experience an undesired pregnancy. However, we tell people to do or not to do things which do not effect us all the time. For instance, in the case of protecting the environment, the world will most likely not become inhabitable in our time on account of climate change, much less in the lifetimes of older individuals who are more often the one in charge of such policies. Now many will argue that on account of them being older, they do not seem to care about doing their job to combat pollution and other such things as much. That may be true, but it is not the point. Certainly they ought to try to protect the environment, though perhaps not for their own sake, for the sake of future generations. Honestly, I myself am glad to have been given the chance to be born and I would like others to have a similar chance. If a fetus is a human person, does not a man have as much right to speak out for those who have no voices as a woman does?

And second of all, are all the pro-lifers actually white? According to pew research in 2021, the pro-life stance is most common among Caucasians, as 42% say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases, although they are actually followed closely by Hispanic people at 40%. 31% of African-Americans and 30% of Asians hold the same view. I would note that Hispanic people are actually very close to Caucasians while African-Americans and Asians are about ten lower and also at roughly at the same level.

But again, this is another ad hominem, and a somewhat racist one as well. Whatever does the color of one’s skin have to do with abortion? Is it racist for a white person to oppose abortion because black people are more likely to get pregnant out of wedlock? That is like saying one wishes to legalize drugs to keep African-Americans out of prison. For cultural reasons mostly, drugs are unfortunately more common in the African-American community, but it is still somewhat unreasonable to say it is “helping” African-Americans more than any other group to de-criminalize drugs on that account, since it is not as if persons of African descent have a greater temptation toward cannabis or cocaine than any other group—and the same could be said of abortion. But whatever is the case, again it could be said that none of this discredits the logic of the arguments of pro-lifers. Indeed (and I say this as a minority myself) how can it not be anything but racist to claim that a human being should not have an opinion on a given issue (especially an issue which does not concern race whatsoever) on account of the color of his skin?

Bonum Certamen Certemus

I am the Catholic of Honor

Categories
Abortion and Other Evils

Are Pregnant Women Organ Donors?

So why do I spend so much time on abortion? After all, I am running an apologetics blog. Well, I set out to defend Jesus Christ and His Church which by necessity entails defending the lives of the weak and vulnerable, which is especially important when so many people in society do not care about them.

Now I would like to discuss the bodily rights argument for abortion. What it basically states is that even if a fetus is a human person, the fetus does not have a right to “life support” by using the mother’s body, the same way a man has no right to steal a kidney from another person without his consent, even if he needs to survive. This basic idea is contained in the violinist analogy which involves the Society of Music Lovers kidnapping you and forcing you to constantly give blood for nine months to a violinist with a kidney-ailment. I must say that Ms. Judith Jarvis Thompson, who invented this analogy, is quite excellent at making up interesting analogies.

The right to life, as we generally consider it, involves a negative. I cannot go down New York’s Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, for instance, and still respect the right to life of every human individual. However, there is a negative to that. If I were in a spaceship and there was a lady in the airlock about to be let out into the vacuum of space by an absent-minded controller, I would have a moral duty to do what I could to help her. Similarly, children have the right to be kept alive by their parents. If parents leave their children at home for a week and they starve to death, these parents are guilty of homicide. So it makes sense that as a small child has the right to food and shelter at his parents’ home, so also a fetus or embryo, who is a small child, has the right to both food and shelter in his mother’s womb.

As for the objection about using other people’s organs, donating kidneys is not equivalent to giving birth. First of all, the refusal to donate an organ fails to save a person from death, while abortion, on the other hand, actively kills by dismemberment or some other method of active killing. The child is generally dead before being removed from the womb.

Furthermore, the woman is nearly always responsible for the fetus being there in the first place. The woman caused the child to be in her womb and for this reason the child is dependent on her body.

Finally, my kidneys are not naturally ordered to keeping someone else alive, wherefore I have no obligation to use it for this purpose. The uterus’ sole purpose is to sustain life, however, and for this reason it is reasonable to conclude that the unborn child has the natural right to use this organ, just as he has the right to use his mother’s milk if that is the only way to feed him.

So pregnancy is actually ordinary care, unlike donating kidneys. A woman goes through an large-scale and uncomfortable transformation, but it is a natural transformation to which a woman’s body is naturally ordered, wherefore it cannot be considered on par with donating kidneys.

Bonum Certamen Certemus

I am the Catholic of Honor

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Abortion and Other Evils

In Defense of Pro-Life: Is Abortion Biblically Justified?

It is my understanding that some Christians claim that abortion should be moral based on the Bible. I have not yet responded to this and indeed it has been a while since I have spoken out against the evils of abortion, so I might as well do so now. I set out to defend orthodox Christianity and that means to defend the rights of the unborn.

“Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7) The general reason why people bring this up is that due to the fact that Adam received breath and therefore became a living being, anyone who cannot breathe by himself (i.e. a fetus) is not a real person. First, many babies do not breathe immediately after birth and some can take up to a minute to breathe on their own outside the womb. My cousin had quite some trouble breathing because she was born early. Are we to say that infanticide is moral? Of course, some people say infanticide is moral nowadays, but most do not. However, the unborn do breath, but through an umbilical cord rather than through their mouths. Before they develop the umbilical cord, they absorb oxygen through the lining of their cells in a process called respiration. Besides, some humans who are born must breathe through a tube in their throat. Shall we assume that these are not humans because they do not breathe “the breath of life” through their nostrils as Adam did?

Numbers 5:11-31 is the next verse that is often brought up. The Law commands that a wife suspected of adultery must drink water mixed with dust from the tabernacle floor. Some say that this will cause a miscarriage if she has been unfaithful. First of all, this only proves that it is up to God whether the child is to live or die. God caused the firstborn in Egypt to die and also the firstborn of David and Bathsheba. Are we to conclude that they were not human? We must remember that not everything in the Old Covenant were perfect. Divorce, for instance, was allowed on account of the Israelites’ “hardness of heart”. (Matthew 19:8) However, such a concoction (dusty water) cannot generally abort a fetus. The only way a bad reaction would occur, aside from Divine intervention, would be because of psychological reaction due to a guilty conscience. However, what the exact text says is: “And when he has made her drink the water, then, if she has defiled herself and has acted unfaithfully against her husband, the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her body shall swell, and her thigh shall fall away, and the woman shall become an execration among her people. But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then she shall be free and shall conceive children.” (Numbers 5:27-28) So it sounds like this sterilizes the woman rather than killing the child. Some translations say that she will miscarry, but most say something along the lines of her womb shrinking.

Finally there is Exodus 21:22-23: “When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life.” I see why one would suppose this, as if someone would kill an old person, the punishment would probably be more severe. However, how does it follow that because someone is fined for accidentally killing an unborn child God would approve the intentional killing of an unborn child through abortion? Evidently the child has some value. Right before this the Scripture says: “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be punished; for the slave is his money.” (Exodus 21:20-21) Notice that this text refers to an accidental miscarriage. There is no biblical directive for how to punish an intentional abortion. Besides, the text describes the woman as “with child”. If there is no child, then why does it say this?

Some would argue that since allegedly fifty percent of embryos die in the womb, they cannot be people, for God would not allow for such a high mortality rate. However, just because embryos may die of natural causes, does that mean that we can kill them? After all, one-hundred-year-old men frequently die of natural causes. Are we to conclude from that that they are not people? Furthermore, there have been times when infant mortality rates have been very high. Are we to conclude from that that infants are not people?

“For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth,” states Psalm 139:13-15. In other words, God knitted him together when he was still inside of the womb.

More importantly, Luke 1:41-43 tells us: “And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’” Why is John described as a “babe” if he is not yet a person? Why was he able to leap in the presence of the Mother of God? Furthermore, consider Elizabeth’s words: “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” If the life of Jesus Christ had not yet begun at this time, Mary was not yet the Theotokos, the Mother of God. I should probably note that by calling her the “Mother of God”, I do not mean that she generated His Divine Essence, but simply that she conceived and gave birth to God made Man. And as we know from science that the life of a human person begins at conception and from God that it is wrong to kill an innocent human being, how can it be right to kill the unborn?

The ancient Christian text, the Didache, states: “Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born.” (Didache 2:2) This was probably written at some point in the first or early second century. The Didache puts abortion and infanticide side-by-side. The Epistle of Barnabas, written between A.D. 70 and 132, states: “You shall not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shall you destroy it after it is born.” (Epistle of Barnabas 19) Again, the two deeds are equivocated. “And there came forth from them sparks of fire and smote the women in the eyes: and these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion,” states Apocalypse of Peter 25. (c. A.D. 130) The Apocalypse of Peter, by the way, although it is not inspired, was contained a couple ancient canonical lists. Athenagoras argues: “And when we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder?” (A Plea for the Christians 35) So abortion is murder, according to Athenagoras. “Now we allow that life begins with conception,” says Tertullian in A.D. 210, “because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does.” (The Soul 27) In other words, once a conception occurs, the ending of a life is murder. The Council of Ancyra in A.D. 314 states: “Concerning women who commit fornication, and destroy that which they have conceived, or who are employed in making drugs for abortion, a former decree excluded them until the hour of death, and to this some have assented. Nevertheless, being desirous to use somewhat greater lenity, we have ordained that they fulfil ten years [of penance], according to the prescribed degrees.” (Ancyra, can. 21) In other words, it is lenient for women who have abortions to have only ten years of penance proscribed to them. Some would point out that various Church Fathers held that ensoulment did not occur until six months after conception. This came from Aristotle’s erroneous theory (or wild guess) that the unborn went through vegetable and animal stages of life before being animated with a rational soul. That theory, is, of course, false. More importantly, the Fathers still never said abortion was moral. We must remember that contraception is also a mortal sin.

Bonum Certamen Certemus

I am the Catholic of Honor

***

All Scripture references are from the Revised Standard Version

Categories
Abortion and Other Evils

In Defense of Pro-Life: Is a Fetus a Person?

Now for a post for which all have longed. If you have followed my blog for a while, you may know that I have posted two pro-life articles already, Pro-Life—Except in the Case of Rape or Incest? and Why a Catholic Cannot Vote for a Pro-Choice Politician. This, however, is the big one. My argument is as follows: the life of a human individual begins at conception and for that reason, abortion is basically the same thing as infanticide. I am not trying to be dramatic or invoke emotion. I am writing very plainly. This is a scientific argument. For a more philosophical one, see Sunday’s post: What Makes Us Greater than the Animals? Some would say that this is a religious argument, which is supported by the fact that I am posting this on a religious blog. That is very much true as my religion bans murder,🐼 but the belief that abortion is evil actually very old. The Oath of Hyppocrates taken by ancient Greek doctors stated: “Nor shall any man’s entreaty prevail upon me to administer poison to anyone; neither will I counsel any man to do so. Moreover, I will give no sort of medicine to any pregnant woman, with a view to destroy the child.”🐻 Note that moreover is used and it refers in this translation to the fetus as a child. Even today there is a group of Pro-Life secularists (atheists, agnostics, humanists, etc.) concisely called “Secular Pro-Life”.

Now is a fetus, in a scientific sense, human? If a sow gets pregnant, she will have a pig fetus in her body. If a cow gets pregnant, she will have a cow fetus in her body. If a she-wolf gets pregnant, she will have a wolf fetus in her body. If a woman gets pregnant, she will have a human fetus in her body. What else would the union of two humans produce? Besides, a fetus has forty-six chromosomes. It comes from human DNA. It is human.

Is a fetus alive? Of course. A fetus needs nourishment. Its heart is beating sixteen days after conception.🐷 What does an abortion do? Some would say that it removes the fetus from the mother’s womb. But what happens to it then? It dies. Therefore it must be alive. Someone might argue that as the fetus cannot live outside of the mother’s womb, it cannot be alive. But that only means that it cannot survive in certain circumstances. In certain circumstances, we cannot survive either, such as if we were hurled into the sun. A fetus cannot survive in very many circumstances, yet it is still alive inside the womb.

But of course it is living and it has human DNA. That is obvious. So do all our cells. How can we know that it is an independent organism? From what I can find, The definition of an organism is a living thing that has an organized structure, can react to stimuli, reproduce, grow, adapt, and maintain homeostasis.🐙 So, given enough time and the right environment (staying inside the womb), can a fetus grow react to stimuli, reproduce, grow, adapt, and maintain homeostasis? Does it have an organized structure? Of course. Note that a five-year-old cannot generally reproduce yet, but still is an organism as he or she has the potential to do so. A fetus is not like a cancerous tumor as tumors cannot grow into human beings.

But what of intelligence? Yes, they are human, but must you not also have intelligence to gain personhood? If that were actually true, one might wish to stop and consider whether pigs, elephants, and dolphins were persons as they come fairly close. Research suggests chimps in some ways to be our intellectual superiors or at least equals.🐝 But if intelligence actually made personhood, infants should not be persons either, nor anyone younger than at least three. Children that young could hardly be said to have much intelligence. Furthermore, if intelligence actually did generate personhood, smarter people would be much more persons than those who were dumber and gifted individuals would be much more persons than the intellectually challenged.

Alright, perhaps a fetus is a living human organism, in other words, a human child, but the fetus relies on his or her mother for life. What makes the fetus greater than a parasite? If we have helminthiasis and some parasitic worms are feeding on us, is it wrong to kill them? It is not wrong, but that is only because parasites are not human. A fetus is human. If a human princess were magically transformed by an evil witch into a hookworm because the princess was prettier than she as the typical fairy tale goes and then teleported into one’s intestines, it would be wrong to kill her on that account because she was an actual person. However, pregnancy is quite different from a parasitic infection as it is the natural way healthy children are supposed to be born. There are some times that pregnancy can threaten the life of the mother and the child, but that is relatively rare and I will not bother with such cases in this particular essay. But if someone says that if the fetus relies on his mother to live, it is alright for the mother to kill him, think about what that means. How is it alright that if someone is utterly helpless and relies entirely on someone else for his very existence for those nine months, the one he relies on to live can kill the helpless one? If a man is temporarily stuck on life support for nine months, is it alright to take him off of it and let him die? Does that not make it even worse?

So a fetus is a person, not only a human but a child. Abortion is a literal murder. I do not say this as people say taxes are murder, anchovies on pizza, are murder, and portions of a story can be murdered. Abortion is very literally a man-slaughter and not only a man-slaughter, but a baby-slaughter, and such a vile, heathen practice must end if we wish to call our country free.

Bonum Certamen Certemus

I am the Catholic of Honor

***

🐼Catechism of the Catholic Church ¶2320

🐻https://doctors.practo.com/the-hippocratic-oath-the-original-and-revised-version/ Accessed June 20, 2020

🐷https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3833015/A-baby-s-heart-beats-just-16-days-conception-Heartbeat-breakthrough-lead-new-cures-congenital-disease.html Accessed June 17, 2020

🐙https://www.biologyonline.com/dictionary/organism Accessed June 18, 2020

🐝https://psmag.com/environment/chimps-smart-82875 Accessed June 19, 2020

Categories
Abortion and Other Evils

Pro-Life—Except in the Case of Rape or Incest?

There are those who are Pro-Choice. They often say: “The fetus is my body. Therefore, to kill it is my choice.” The Pro-Lifers often respond to this, saying: “The fetus is not your body, but that of your child. Therefore to kill it is murder.” If you are unable to guess with which I side, look at the name of my blog — “The Catholic of Honor”. Honor implies some degree of orthodoxy. If you are still unable to tell, look at this link. If you are still unable to guess, I will not tell you. In the meanwhile, though there is much to say between these groups of which I may in another post, I will not get into that here. Instead, I will write of those who say this: “I am Pro-Life, but abortion is okay if the child is a product of rape or incest.”

Rape is indeed a grave evil and an offense against marital relations, which are sacred. However, there are three people involved in it, the mother, the father, and the child. Generally, the guilty one is the father, and if it is the mother, it is her own fault that she became pregnant. The most innocent one of all is always the child. It is not his or her fault that he or she was made in horrific and perverted way. Why kill the most innocent human being in the affair? This would be like arresting someone for being mugged. If one of them is to be killed at all, it ought to be the father. I am sorry if any woman must bear a child which she in no way planned to have nor willingly indulged in actions for that to come about, but murder is not a way to escape it. And make no mistake—a fetus is an infant who is not yet born. What is abortion but murder? And not only murder but infanticide and filicide at the same time.

As for incest, perhaps one might blame the two parents on a level closer to equal. Perhaps one parent is more to blame, in which case, my argument for rape still applies. But again, although incest is bad, it is not the child’s fault. Therefore it is still wrong to kill him or her. Some say there is a danger of birth defects, although I do not believe there is much if the family does not already have a history of incest. Still, even if the baby does have birth defects, does that make it okay to kill him?

So, if abortion is wrong, it is wrong at all times, regardless of how the child came to be, whether he or she came the most horrific of roots or not.

Bonum Certamen Certemus

I am the Catholic of Honor—and by the way I am Pro-Life

Categories
Abortion and Other Evils On Catholics

Why a Catholic Cannot Vote for a Pro-Choice Politician

We know as Catholics that life is sacred from conception to natural death.1 For this reason, abortion is a great evil, which the Church has condemned since the first century. “The second commandment of the teaching: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not seduce boys. You shall not commit fornication. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall not use potions. You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child,”2 says the Didache, also known as “The Lord’s Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations” (thank goodness that we can just call it the Didache for short!). It can be noted that it is right beside “you shall not murder” “you shall not seduce boys” and “you shall not commit fornication”. Certain people nowadays would not be fans. The Church actually attaches a canonical excommunication to abortion,3 although excommunication seems to have gone out of fashion. Perhaps it should come back, but I am not an expert on that. I am set out to argue, in this presidential year of 2020, that a Catholic cannot vote for a Pro-Choice politician.

I am fifteen years old. I cannot vote, but if I were able to vote, were there a politician advocating the legality of murder for fifteen-year-olds — let us name him Muddy Hoggard, because that name is fun to say — I would most certainly never vote for him. Would you do so if there were a politician advocating for the legalization of murder of all your age? Yet abortion advocates for the legalization of all who are not yet born. Are the lives of people your age of any more value than those who have not yet even seen the light of day?

Or if Mr. Hoggard were to support the right of a mother to kill any child under three — and some studies suggest that pigs (yes, pigs🐷) are smarter than they4 — would you under any circumstances vote for such a politician?

One may argue that other things lead to more deaths. This may be true, although it is estimated that 1.437 million infants are murdered in surgical abortions alone every year, besides chemical ones.5 But think about it this way:

Do you oppose war? Many innocent young men and women may die in war but they are all sinners and some may go to hell. Every infant murdered by abortion is innocent and I doubt any go to hell.

Do you oppose guns? Many innocent people may be killed by guns, but guns can also be used to protect the innocent by killing evildoers in self-defense. Abortion is never used in killing evildoers out of self-defense.

Do you oppose the death penalty? Many people may be falsely convicted by the death penalty, and that is evil. Even if one is guilty, one might wish to have mercy on the criminal, as Pope Francis is so strong on it,6 but not a single unborn infant is guilty of a crime.

You may oppose these things, but none are worse than abortion. I therefore will not tell you whether to vote for Donald Trump or some pro-life third party candidate, but do not vote for Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and above all, do not vote for Mr. Muddy Hoggard!

Bonum certamen certemus.

I am the Catholic of Honor.

1 Catechism of the Catholic Church. Paragraph 2270

2 Didache 2:1-2

3 Catechism of the Catholic Church. Paragraph 2272

4 https://www.humanesociety.org/animals/pigs Accessed March 22, 2020.

5 https://www.all.org/learn/abortion/abortion-statistics/  Accessed March 23, 2020

6 https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2017/10/11/pope-francis-death-penalty-contrary-gospel Accessed March 24, 2020