All Life Is Not Equal
This Salon piece by Mary Elizabeth Williams is one of the most vile pieces of self-righteous garbage I’ve ever seen - So what if abortion ends life?
Of all the diabolically clever moves the anti-choice lobby has ever pulled, surely one of the greatest has been its consistent co-opting of the word “life.” Life! Who wants to argue with that? Who wants be on the side of … not-life? [ellipsis in original]
…Yet I know that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me. I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life. And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice.
She writes that pro-choicers tend to fall into illogical contradictions around “the life question” (her words). She misses the contradiction in saying a fetus is a life and then condemning anyone who would oppose destroying that life by claiming they have co-opted the concept of life that she defined herself. I suppose she resents anyone holding her to her own words. She continues about these illogical contradictions with this -
I have friends who have referred to their abortions in terms of “scraping out a bunch of cells” and then a few years later were exultant over the pregnancies that they unhesitatingly described in terms of “the baby” and “this kid.” I know women who have been relieved at their abortions and grieved over their miscarriages. Why can’t we agree that how they felt about their pregnancies was vastly different, but that it’s pretty silly to pretend that what was growing inside of them wasn’t the same? Fetuses aren’t selective like that. They don’t qualify as human life only if they’re intended to be born.
… It seems absurd to suggest that the only thing that makes us fully human is the short ride out of some lady’s vagina.
That is a key component of the pro-life argument. They question why it’s a baby when the mother intends to carry it to term, but just a clump of cells when the mother doesn’t want to keep it. Williams has firmly and unequivocally stated that a fetus in utero is a life. I’m not sure why a hardcore supporter of abortion would go to so much effort to define a fetus as a human life. So how does she get out of the corner she’s backed herself into?
Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. …a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides.
That’s it. All life is not equal. A fetus does not have the same rights as the
mother the woman in whose body the fetus is taking up space. A bit of verbal sleight-of-hand there. “Mother” sounds too emotionally charged, so make it a woman whose personal space is being encroached on.
She ends with this -
I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.
As the Anchoress astutely observes -
A point of order, please: One may certainly sacrifice one’s own life for another. That is what makes it a sacrifice. Sacrificing “another’s” life is not a sacrifice, unless that other person actually (like Jesus Christ or a soldier who has volunteered to serve, or a mother like this one) says, “yes, I will be sacrificed for the sake of others.”
Absent that permission, though, it’s not a sacrifice. It’s just an expedient, and wasteful killing.
In fact, the notion that someone else’s life is “worth sacrificing” for the furtherance of one’s own situation — the mindset that can advance that thinking — is precisely one that deserves the name “diabolical.”
The Bookworm Room follows this line of thought to its inevitable end, in a post about euthanasia -
The writer’s approach to human beings — we must sacrifice innocent lives for the greater good — has the same stark utilitarian logic found in the heartless and soulless socialist state that readily puts humans on a death pathway because they’re too expensive to care for.
All life is not equal. Per Williams, some must be sacrificed for the greater good. But whose greater good? Who decides which of us have greater rights than others?
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
– The Declaration of Independence
The quote from the Anchoress includes a link to another post of hers, about Chiara and Enrico Petrillo. They had already lost two children. She became pregnant with a third, but soon developed cancer. She declined treatment because of the risk to her pregnancy. She died soon after her son was born. Her husband said [emphasis mine] -
Chiara’s husband, Enrico, said he experienced “a story of love on the cross.” Speaking to Vatican Radio, he said that they learned from their three children that there is no difference in a life that lasts 30 minutes or 100 years.