There is a viral video circulating that shows an ‘articulate’ young woman stating her case against using accurate abortion imagery outside a London GP surgery that performs abortions, you can view it here.
Francis Beckwith gives a short definition of what the Pro-life position entails, “The pro-life position is subject to somewhat varying formulations. The most widely accepted and representative of these can be defined in the following way: The unborn entity is fully human from the moment of conception. Abortion (narrowly defined) results in the intentional death of the unborn entity. Therefore, abortion entails the intentional killing of a human being. This killing is in most cases unjustified, since the unborn human being has a full right to life. If, however, there is a high probability that a woman’s pregnancy will result in her death (as in the case of a tubal pregnancy, for example), then abortion is justified. For it is a greater good that one human should live (the mother) rather than two die (the mother and her child). Or, to put it another way, in such cases the intent is not to kill the unborn (though that is an unfortunate effect) but to save the life of the mother. With the exception of such cases, abortion is an act in which an innocent human being is intentionally killed; therefore, abortion should be made illegal, as are all other such acts of killing…”.
What’s interesting is that the Abort67 activists are often the ones who are (falsely) accused of being confrontational and aggressive, however, what the video evidence consistently demonstrates is that aggression, irrationality and bullying are the tactics used by those who support abortion. The internet and the media put pro-life advocates in an almost impossible position, if they don’t record their discussions, they have no evidence to protect themselves against lies and accusations which in the case of Abort67 have all come to nothing, because, they had video evidence to prove their innocence! However, by recording their displays and interactions they are accused of intimidating women which is never the intention of any pro-life advocate. As can only be reiterated continually, the only reason Abort67 wear cameras is to protect themselves from lies, intimidation, and physical and verbal abuse.
Like many pro-abortion/choice advocates this lady makes several mistakes in her reasoning against the imagery and her support for abortion. This isn’t really a surprise because contemporary pro-abortion/choice ideology is commonly based on intellectually inane slogans such as ‘My body, my choice’ and ‘Don’t like abortion? Don’t get one’ which is about as vacuous as ‘Don’t like slavery? Don’t own one’.
Here is a summary of this young woman’s points and my response.
1. It’s wrong to show abortion imagery because we don’t know why they are having an abortion.
Let’s imagine for a second that we were talking about a newborn infant. Would it suffice to argue that because I might not know why someone is going to kill their infant that I would be doing something morally wrong by exposing the reality of the practice? Most people with a correctly functioning conscience would recognise that it would not be morally wrong in this instance because we generally accept that it is wrong to kill a human infant (Unless you’re Peter Singer). So in this case we see the common pro-abortion/choice tactic of begging the question, this young woman assumes something about unborn humans that she doesn’t about born humans (e.g. that they are not fully human and therefore not worthy of equal treatment, which in this case means not being killed for another’s benefit) . There is an implicit assumption (commonly made upon uninformed views on Embryology, Biology & basic Philosophy) made about the value of unborn humans that means it’s permissible to kill them before they are born but not afterwards. For some reason by changing location and moving out of the birth canal something magic happens and it now becomes morally wrong to kill them.
No one likes abortion imagery, it sickens me. But it is a true representation of what an abortion does to other humans and as a culture we have been desensitized to its reality. We like to think how sophisticated and erudite we are in the West, of course we aren’t like the ‘savages’ of the past who left their infants out to die because they didn’t want children yet, or because they didn’t want a girl. As one Roman husband wrote to his wife regarding their child “if it is a boy keep it, if a girl discard it,”. No, we are much better we hide our savagery away where its hidden, where no one has to see how we treat the most vulnerable members of our human community.
2. You are judging women who have abortions.
It’s common in our culture to deride people for expressing any moral conviction for or against anything (unless it takes no courage like condemning poverty and bankers bonuses), to do so leaves one open to the popular accusation that you are judging someone who thinks the opposite. What’s interesting about this accusation is that this young woman in one sweeping sentence condemns Abort67 for judging and then commits the same thing she thinks is so wrong. Accusing people of judging because you don’t like what they say isn’t particularly persuasive, it just means whoever has the loudest voice wins. The media love this sort of thing, this young lady ‘wins’ the conversation because she dominates it, whilst the abortion images speak for themselves, there is no need for prolife advocates to protest anything, abortion protests itself.
3. You’re a hypocrite because you’ve had an abortion.
Some of the heroes of social reform and social justice have been those who have committed the very practices they ended up condemning. Is someone whose life was wrecked by illegal drugs better placed to speak out against illicit drug use or a hypocrite? Is the reformed former alcoholic better placed to speak to those addicted to alcohol or a hypocrite? Was the former slave trader John Newton a hypocrite for condemning the evils of slavery as a former slave-ship owner? I could go on and on, it’s simply nonsense to accuse someone of hypocrisy because they now realise that a previous action was wrong. It would be hypocrisy if the women who had an abortion working with Abort67 had an abortion whilst publicly condemning the practice, but that isn’t the case. Misusing terms like hypocrite may be persuasive for pro-abortion/choice ideologues but not for anyone else.
4. Some of the women wanting an abortion may have been abused.
Let me be as forthright as I can, I condemn any abuse against women wherever I see it, it physically sickens me. Whenever I’ve seen it in public I have never hesitated to step in even though I was scared to do so. Men who abuse women should feel the full force of the law. Unfortunately for all the talk in our society our present generation is no less misogynistic than its predecessors, the present generation of young men give lip service to equality whilst being fuelled by copious hours of porn fuelled hypocrisy.
Women who have been abused need, love, support and counselling, and encouraging abortion in such instances is not a solution and in many cases can make things much worse. It is the abuser that should be punished not the unborn human. Abortion itself is not a psychologically neutral action but has the potential to cause ‘…moderate to highly risked increase of mental health problems’, see the British Journal of Psychiatry here. Women who have been abused need help, the sort not provided by having an abortion. The vast majority of the 190,800 abortion that took place in England and Wales in 2013 had nothing to do with abuse and rather than solving anything, abortion may in fact negatively contribute to an already complex emotional situation.
To argue for the need of legal abortion because of rape or abuse is like arguing for the repeal of all traffic laws because you may in rare occurrences/emergencies have to break the speed limit or go through a red light. Even if abortion were still legal in the case of a rape, proving an exception does not establish the general rule.
5. Because women may choose to kill their child they should have the option to abort.
The young lady in the video gives the example of a woman who abandoned her baby who was found in a bin, and she suggests that it is better to have an abortion than to have more instances of infant abandonment. She seems to blame ‘people’ like Abort67. However, what Abort67 see is pregnant women changing their minds and keeping their babies, and many others who never knew what abortion looked like who now intend to never have an abortion. You can never stop people killing other humans but you can make it more difficult and this is commonly reflected in the law even if people will continue to break it.
Intentionally killing another human is always a prima facie wrong at any stage of human development, being less developed than another human being is not good justification for killing. Followed to its logical conclusions we could conclude that it’s a greater moral wrong to kill an adult over a teenager, or a teenager rather than a toddler, or a toddler rather than an infant. Being at a later stage of human maturation doesn’t make you more valuable than someone who is less so, in fact, it is irrelevant to our intrinsic moral value as members of the human community, as is our size, degree of dependency or environment.
6. It’s wrong to use abortion imagery.
Images are powerful and they can be painful viewing, as I said I hate looking at the images. It’s often far more painful to see injustice than it is just to hear about it, this is why images have been so integral to social reform. It’s why Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce used images of slavery. It’s why Martin Luther King Jnr welcomed the press taking pictures of the way they were being (mis)treated by the Police. It’s why Lewis Hine’s photos forced a change in child labour laws. It’s why we use images of the holocaust and starving children to produce an empathetic response to obvious injustice and illicit a response that wants to put an end to it.
The images used by Abort67 are true representations of abortion and they help to re-establish the humanity of the unborn. This can be helpful because many people acknowledge the term ‘abortion’ but do not always connect it with the violent act committed against a less developed although whole human being. An act that results in their death, since they were previously alive as a whole self-directed, growing and distinct human organism. The images are obviously emotive and rightly so, images of abuse of other humans should rightly make us angry and make us think about what we are doing.
The key reason that Marie Stopes and BPAS don’t like Abort67 and images of abortion is because they are bad for business. There is no other instance where we would allow those who benefit from a practice to be entrusted with giving ‘unbiased’ support and counselling that they benefit from if not persuasive. This is the reason they are trying to remove prolife groups like Abort67 from near where they intend to profit from the destruction of the most vulnerable member’s of the human community.
Please share around, the original video has now been seen millions of times!