Friday, January 22, 2016

All you need to know about abortion

That's really all you need to know.

Because you already know this:
We don't target and kill innocent human beings.
We don't use violence to solve our problems.
We don't pit mothers against their own children in a death match.

Roe v. Wade is a dark and evil mark on our nation, and it must not stand.

Pray, march, speak, and work to end abortion.

Lord, have mercy.


  1. I mentioned to you on Facebook recently, Leila, about my daughter's friend who had an abortion. The friend had an RU-486 abortion, which she called the most physically painful experience of her life. I wish I had asked my daughter what, exactly, happened when her friend delivered her very tiny baby. Did she flush it down the toilet? Because if I had taken RU-486 when I was pregnant with my daughter, it would have been my very own little girl being flushed down the drain.

    It seems that with 3 and 4D ultrasounds, people are becoming more pro-life. The "blob of cells" line doesn't sell like it used to. But my 20 year old nephew mentioned at his job that he was going to the March for Life, and the comments from his co-workers were disturbing, very negative. I'm wondering if other people are finding that there is increased hostility to the pro-life message among young adults.

    God bless the people who are traveling to and from DC today. The weather is supposed to be brutal right about the time the March is ending. I'm keeping them in my prayers all day. God alone knows how many women will be given the grace to choose life because of the sacrifice of the marchers in DC.

  2. I'm guessing that the woman did flush her child. That is probably routine. :(

    Thankfully, the pro-life movement is a very "young" movement, lots of young adults and teens. Unless they have bought the leftist, secular line. But in general, people don't appreciate a third of their generation being executed.

    The troubling thing lately is that pro-abortion advocates no longer really try to hide that it's the killing of a human being, they simply say that it's not a "person" yet, or that this human being is a parasite, or in the wrong location, or has no "right" or "permission" to be in his/her mother's womb. That's even a bit more chilling than denying the killing of an innocent human being. It's justifying why we are allowed to kill an innocent human being.

    Yes, please pray for all those in DC, including my nephew and several others I know. Brutal weather coming. I will be speaking here at my own Phoenix march (prayers appreciated) and we are spoiled with sun. Feeling like a wimp today....

  3. Amen to this blog post, Leila.

  4. I don't know if any of you follow redeemed online, but today's video is very powerful:

  5. The line of thinking I see from adamant pro-choicers is now that it is a parasite, then maybe around the end of the 2nd trimester it magically turns into a baby, but the mother still has a unilateral right to evict the baby.

    I still find that there are far more reluctant pro-choice people. They're the ones who are uncomfortable with abortion as birth control, but don't want to make that decision for others. They are the ones who can really tip the scales because they're far more likely to become pro-life than those described in the first paragraph.

  6. I will continue praying for you all who are marching and speaking.

    I will be blowing out my windows with this powerful song on my kitchen speakers, on continuous repeat, rosary in hand, letting all my pro-choice neighbors (and pro-lifers, for that matter) know of the immense majesty, mercy, and humble love of God.

    “Your Name Is Glorious” – Kim Walker

    God's love is endless. May God Bless you all and keep you this day.

    Who is like you, Lord? Put an end to the abortion industry and keep our feet from slipping into the pit. Amen amen amen.

  7. I think technically I am pro-choice, but I personally wouldn't get an abortion. Maybe I'd consider it if I were raped or something, but I find it quite...distasteful. The idea of dismembering my own child and then vacuuming it out of me like debris is just very un-classy.

    That being said, I guess that makes me one of the reluctant pro-choicers PRG mentioned. How can I tell a woman who has been raped and violated that I will take away one last measure of control from her body? I can't look her in the eyes after she has been so degraded and destroyed and say I'm sorry I require one more sacrifice of you. I just can't. I'm sorry. And when I see all these men marching around calling for us to be pro-life, I just can't help but think it's unfair. Do they know the feeling of vulnerability women have? Physically speaking (yes I know men can be raped too)? Can they empathize? And what of the selfish men who impregnate women and abandon them? It may save more fetuses to encourage men to be responsible than to tell women they shouldn't be promiscuous.

  8. "The idea of dismembering my own child and then vacuuming it out of me like debris is just very un-classy."

    Just "un-classy"? Not evil?

    Sunwoo Shim, when I read the first part of the second paragraph, I thought to ask you, "So, then you would be okay with 99% (the non-rape conceptions) of abortions being illegal?"

    But then you said the think about the "men" marching around.... I just don't get that. I spoke at our rally here in Phoenix today, and looking at the thousands of (mostly young) people there, there were at least as many women as men, and probably more. In fact, most of the women I know were the ones who convinced their husbands to be pro-life (that's what happened in my marriage). I've been pro-life for all of my 48 years, and that's the one argument ("pro-lifers are men!") that I have scratched my head about every time I hear it. It make no sense, and it's not at all true.

    So then I wanted to ask you what your philosophy is for when we may or may not kill "fetuses" (which simply means "little ones"). Because everything we have to live according to principles. One basic Christian principle is that the end doesn't justify the means. In other words, we cannot do evil in order to bring about a good. So, what is your principle, if you don't mind my asking? It sounds a bit like, "Killing innocent human beings can be allowed if their lives are causing other human beings to suffer greatly enough." Or, "We can kill innocents if we don't want other people to suffer."

    But this doesn't make sense, does it? Doesn't that take us to some very, very dark places?

    And as a Christian, you know that God creates a new human being (made in His image and inviolable) at conception. You know that at the Visitation (Gospel of Luke), when Mary greets her cousin Elizabeth, there are four people in that scene. The women, and their unborn children. John the Baptist leaps in Elizabeth's womb when he is in the presence of an embryonic Jesus Christ.

    How do you reconcile your principles on this issue with the Christian faith? Thanks, I appreciate your candor in discussing this here.

  9. Sunwoo Shim, I just wanted to say something quickly: a child conceived in rape wasn't there when the violent crime happened. He wasn't even an innocent bystander. He came later. So why on earth does he have to be the one punished? Have you considered this thought?

  10. Sunwoo Shim,

    If it's so distasteful and unclassy, then why would it matter what the circumstances were surrounding the abortion? It's not distasteful in one circumstance but tasteful in another.

  11. I might not address everyone's questions and I don't have time to come back for each comment on this post so here goes:

    Philosophically, to be pro-choice as a Christian is to hold a very weak position, if a tenable position at all. How one justifies classifying a fetus a person at one point and not at another is arbitrary. I know what the logical outcome of a fetus is - a soon to be adult who talks, walks, goes tonachool, etc. this is indisputable. Do I think it's acceptable to slaughter an innocent person walking down the street? No, I don't.

    Then why am I still nominally pro-choice? Well, I don't have strong feelings on this exact topic and I haven't done the research into it much. My stance is mild and I don't spend much time thinking about this, so I kind of defaulted into being pro-choice. Im also very uncomfortable with the idea of forcing my views on other people (you may say but Sunny we are talking about human lives here and that is a legitimate objection). My biblical principles may point me in one direction, but I don't know if I can tell others they need to adhere to them too.

    There is another reason why I've sort of just wearily become pro-choice. It's not the most logical position to hold, and I do it more as an emotional objection than anything else. And I've decided it's time to just admit it because we are here for the truth. From a philosophical standpoint, as Christians we know what the Bjble says and we are expected to obey it. But when we see so much hypocrisy in our midst (sexism, chauvinism, double standards for men and women, etc) it becomes harder and harder to adhere to those laws and/or force them upon others. I can't get over the fact that I know people blame women more than men for the pro choice movement. I can't forgive people for holding women to higher standards of sexual purity than they do men. I can't ignore the callous way historically (thank God the culture has changed in our time) we have treated female victims of rape. I can't help my bitterness at how we rail against gays for destroying the family when heterosexual people do it every day. Where do you think the pro choice movement came from? Selfish heterosexual people wanted sex with no consequences. It goes on and on. It takes two to make a child yet we focus on the role women play in all this and fail to indict the men.

    I know what scripture says about unborn children. I know what it says about those who know what the laws of God are and fail to obey them. From a philosophical stand point, it makes sense to be a pro-life Christian. But from the perspective of reality, it's tremendously difficult.

    I guess you can say I'm one of those burnt out Christians who can't get over hypocrisy within the church and has decided that if the church can't get its act together, then why should its views be forced on other people who aren't even in it? I'm really, really tired of the hypocrisy. And I know most of you find that something unrelated, something that shouldn't really influence the stances we take. But in real life, the emotional fallout from seeing this can take its toll. It's be great to live in a world where all Christians didn't lead double lives and led by example. I'm positive the numbers of pro life individuals would swell. But that's just not going to happen.

    And I apologize for going off on a tangent. Again. (I have a habit of doing that on this blog).

  12. Sunwoo Shim,

    So if I hear you correctly, you are saying that since others around you are sinners and hypocrites, you will become one, too?

    You are bitter, tired, burnt out (your words), so that is why you stand for something that goes against Scripture and the laws of God (again, your words)?

    Is this what you want to explain to Jesus when you stand before him and tell him why you broke from His truth and went to the "other side" in standing with those who would kill his children?

    I appreciate the honesty, I do. But God does not judge you on what others do. He judges you on what you do. Re-read the parable of the sower. Be the good soil. Anything less is like spitting on Christ as He hangs on the Cross.

  13. I think you need to learn some compassion then. It's the approach Jesus would take. From the perspective of women, gays, non-whites, the poor, etc, Christianity has been more full of hypocrisy than not. Barely acknowledging this and telling people to get over it is pretty insensitive. Do you know how many people have wept tears over the abuses and hypocrisies in churches? I have seen hypocrisy the likes of which would make your hair curl. When people say oh stop focusing on the negatives be positive and take cheer Jesus is coming again, it really doesn't give the respect people's pain is due.

    I'm sure a lot of you in this blog have a great experience with religion. Good for you, I really mean it. I'm glad you got to see Christianity and the gospel at its best. But for every one of you I know a dozen who've been so horribly treated, neglected, abused, etc. have some respect for their suffering. It's hard not to be bitter when you go to church and see all the advantages a wealthy heterosexual man and his trophy wife have over all the social outcasts religious people like themselves enjoy demeaning and mocking and condemning for their sins. It really is. Especially when such vain, materialistic people are some of the biggest hypocrites who commit sins that are condemned in the bible as well but not as condemned by society. But I sound like a bitter, broken record at this point I guess.

  14. And I'm not going to get into any political discussion regarding race, gender, etc. That's not why I'm here. So please don't launch into a discussion of why you are for or against this or that political movement, party, this policy that touches on gender issues, etc. politics can take a back seat.

  15. Interesting, as it seems to me the pro-choice crowd are the ones constantly forcing their views on others.

  16. Sunwoo Shim, this is why you need to be a Catholic. ;) In my parish, we are rich, poor, middle class. We are all nationalities. Probably half of our population is Spanish speaking, and many are undocumented, for sure. Look at the Catholic Church around the world. We are in every poor enclave as well as rich. We are as diverse as every nation and culture on the planet. It's not quite like American Protestantism.

    And as for compassion.... what good is compassion without truth? It's just as harmful as truth without compassion (Pope Francis has written beautifully on that in his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei). And how is it compassionate to facilitate a mother killing her own child? I can think of nothing that would harm a woman more, both on this earth and in the next life.

    We are not lacking in compassion. I wish you could come in to the crisis pregnancy centers here in Phx, and hear the testimony of the women who have been helped, loved, and saved from making a catastrophic decision. We even have male mentors to help the fathers now, who likely had no fathering in their own lives.

    In the next comment, I will post the speech I gave today at the (overwhelmingly young, probably majority female, and heavily Hispanic) AZ Life Rally. You be the judge if we lack compassion....

  17. My name is Leila Miller and I am so honored to be here with you today. For several years now, and on an almost daily basis, I have had the opportunity to engage those on the other side of this issue in dialogue and debate.

    There are two things I have learned that I want us to remember as we march today, and every day after, as we work to end the injustice and violence of abortion:

    FIRST, many average Americans who call themselves “pro-choice” simply don’t know what that entails. They need education, which is such an important part of what the pro-life community is all about. But for those on the other side who are fully committed to abortion advocacy, who are what I would call “true believers”, there is almost always something else going on. There are deep, deep wounds. I can give you so many examples, but one particular women sticks out in my mind. She came in out of nowhere to comment on my blog and blast pro-lifers. She was livid, raging, using nasty words, calling us ugly things. I had to chastise her for being so rude, warned her not to come back with that kind of language, and that was that -- or so I thought. Days later, I received an email from the same woman. She apologized profusely for her anger and outburst, and she said (paraphrase), “That was not me. I am not like that. My sister had an abortion a few years ago, and my family has never been able to get over the loss of our niece or nephew, our grandchild. I don’t know what to do or where to place my anger, so I lash out at pro-lifers. Please forgive me.” Such a different picture, when we can see the wounds.

    When we have only superficial, surface contacts with those on the other side, we miss great opportunities! I ask you, good people, come to every pro-abortion advocate with compassion in your heart, because, to quote the wonderful Patrick Coffin, “they are wounded by the very thing that they are vociferously defending”! Think about that!

    Norma McCorvey is the “Roe” of Roe v. Wade. She was the poster child of the pro-abortion side for many years. She had a massive conversion to the pro-life side, as you all know, and there is a reason she entitled her story, “Won By Love”. She was won over by the love of pro-lifers like you.

    The SECOND thing I have learned and want to you to remember: There is a great fear that underlies the pro-abortion side that we rarely think about. On our side, we are thinking about the defenseless human child, and the incredible injustice that comes from the constant, relentless attack on the most weak, the most helpless, the most vulnerable among us. The other side does not think of the child, not at all, but only the woman. They have a great fear, again, stemming from great woundedness, that the woman is forgotten, marginalized, or despised. They believe this about us: That in the abortion debate, we do not care for the woman. This is not true of course; it is a lie! But we must show them what a lie it is. We must show them what even they know deep in their hearts -- that we must never pit a mother against her own child in some kind of death match, but we must love and care and support both the woman and her child. In helping the mother, we are helping them both. We are not “the bad guys”. We want everyone to be safe and cared for. We want everyone to live and thrive, and we know that violence and death are never a solution to a problem. We -- you -- are providing the message and the resources and the hope for a woman to make a choice that everyone in the equation can live with.

    There is so much darkness, so much hopelessness out there. You are bearing the light in the darkness, you are providing the hope! Thank you, and God bless you, for your love and dedication to the cause of life!

  18. Beth B, exactly. Forcing the views is exactly what happened with both abortion and gay "marriage". It came from the top down, not from the grass roots at all (unlike the civil rights movement).

    One cannot "force" the natural law (the universal moral law), one can only wrench human beings away from it, forcefully, violently, by deadening and killing the conscience. And the destruction in its wake is always the opposite of life, peace, joy, freedom. The opposite of what Christ has promised us if only we take up the Cross and follow Him. (And carrying our Cross doesn't mean going with the spirit of the age....)

  19. And Sunwoo Shim, how does any of the hypocrisy you have seen lessen or negate your personal love for and obligation to Christ? I don't get that at all....

  20. Wow. This has given me a lot to ponder.

  21. There is philosophy and there is reality. Logically speaking, when we see hypocrisy, we should not be swayed from our foundation. Other people neglecting the principles they profess to believe in does not make those principles false. But we live in the real world, and practically speaking, what do you think will happen when young people grow up being taught by those not leading by example? Why do you think there is so much cynicism toward religion, even in its own ranks?

  22. Then don't be a part of it. Lead by example. Be the one with heroic virtue (that is what the saints had). Don't be cynical. Be the one to live your faith with truth, peace, love, joy!

    If others don't do it, how can it be that you simply "join them" in false teaching and cynicism and hypocrisy? This is not what Christ calls you to.

  23. And regarding hypocrisy, sometimes we use that term wrongly. It's not really what we think it means, and so we have to look at the definition and then wonder if we are the ones lacking compassion when we call out "hypocrites"?

    If you have time:

  24. By that definition or the other, there are still plenty of hypocrites in the church. But I've spoken my part. Again, abortion is something I don't give much thought to.

    But there is something about your speech which hit the nail on the head. That is the second point. I don't think I've ever heard that articulated before, but it is something every pro choice advocates harbors in their deepest, darkest fears. They (I guess I should say we) do fear that the woman is not even being considered in this debate and is a mere afterthought, a vessel that carries a child into this world. But most pro lifers i know don't pay the woman that respect, they just don't.

    And to go off on another tangent, I think this is where feminism came from. A fear that without such a movement, women wouldn't have a place in schools, government, business, etc. that we'd always be quarantined to the house, agonizingly dependent on our husbands and fathers for financial support, valued only as sexual objects and child bearing vessels (not that bearing children isn't valuable, my mother considers her kids the best part of her life story) etc. go to any mainstream Christian church. They preach that God meant man to be the head of the household and church, and women are not to occupy those positions. Great. I can read scripture. I know what it says. But having seen women who have been abused, mistreated, and degraded by men, it's difficult to sit through a sermon about male domination that doesn't acknowledge its abuses. There is no apology for our oppression (there are still Christians in Africa who castrate their women). We are told to let go of the past, we are overreacting, we are too negative, etc. but for us this is our reality, and so many of us (women, specifically) feel incredibly vulnerable. There is no reassurance or comfort for us, only the instruction to submit and obey. Telling us to endure in this life and God will hold others accountable on judgment day is not very comforting.

    And I'm not even a feminist btw.

  25. "Logically speaking, when we see hypocrisy, we should not be swayed from our foundation."

    Sunwoo Shim, this is not the way to look at it. As a Christian, you should replace some of those words and it should read, "As a Christian, when we see hypocrisy, we should not be swayed from our foundation." Remember, The Lord asks you to be strong in the face of adversity, not weak. Call on Him! Do the right thing, no matter what anyone else is doing! That is the way to lead.

    And, I have heard that sort of thing (the male domination stuff) and I've heard that it has wounded many women. I have to tell you, I have heard that only from fundamentalist Protestants. I have not seen or heard the "male domination" homilies or sentiments from any of my Catholic parishes or popes over the years that I have been alive. I think that is an excess and a distortion in Protestantism, and as I mentioned, maybe you just need to be (or at least read a lot more of) Catholic. It's just never been my experience as a Christian, and it dismays me that some of our Protestant brethren have gone that route. Stick with the Barque of Peter.

  26. By the way, you might like Feminists For Life. They don't betray the original feminists, our foremothers, who definitely saw abortion as the "crime" (their word) that it is. They knew that abortion is anti-woman to its core. So, I can't understand how sympathy for women translates to allowing abortion? Nothing could come less naturally to the nature of woman than to have her children killed. To have some stranger force open her womb and tear out her child. Nothing can make me feel more sick to my stomach as a woman. Horror is the only thought I have.

    Economics, that's a whole other story. Economy, at its root, means care of the household. We have jobs (men or women) as a means to an end. Work is a very good thing, and we give glory to God when we work honorably. But work is not ever more important than human beings, and people, and the home and the family. I don't know at what point we put "power"/money/economics/career above the good of family, vocation, children, home? We have to wonder if we are more influenced by modern American/western cultural values rather than Christian ones?

  27. When I said "we," I meant Christians of course.

    Do Catholics not also teach that God made man the head of the house and church? I just assumed all of Christianity, Protestant and Catholic, derived that belief from the same scripture. Although I should clarify that although I think the Bible does say the spiritual leadership is designated for men, I don't think women can't be leaders elsewhere (like being congresswomen, judges, CEOs, etc).

  28. Sunwoo-
    I can see where you're coming from and how open you are to the possibility of not staying there, and that is good. Maybe if we just take apart an aspect or two of where the sticking points are we can reason about it, as the comments here allow.

    To your point about men and women and their roles within the Church:
    Married men and women are called to love, serve, and sacrifice for the good of the family and for each other, so there is no "dominant" role for men (or for women). Both share equal dignity and responsibility in the vocation of married life. In other words, yes, men are called to be the spiritual leaders of the household, but that in no way equals "lording it over the wife and kids". It is actually a call of humility, a service to the wife and kids. The wives serve by returning that love. There is no higher than/lower than dichotomy there. No sexist ceiling. Equal calling and equal billing for both men and women. To your point on female leadership: Of course Catholic women can be leaders anywhere. Whatever gifts we've been given, we are called to use those, sharpen those, and share those in service of some kind.

    As to your stance on abortion, it sounds like you are open to learning more about the Catholic position and that you're willing to understand the wider picture better and that's a good thing. Keep learning about the Catholic position, about the respect for life the Church has always upheld, etc. The Catholic Church cares about both the mother and the child. And there are so many stats supporting the reality that abortion does not solve any issue for the mother, ,but that it causes PTSD and all kinds of depression years after the abortion was procured. It's not about stripping the woman of any right, it's about the rights of both. Roe v Wade is a complete debacle that needs to be overturned on logical legal reasons alone. Maybe read some critiques of that decision and see the massive mistakes made in that whole process before the decision came down.

    The Catholic Church has always been about offering the high road- not the sanctimonious road, not the hypocritical road, even though we experience these things sometimes when we see others, etc. But our focus is there on the road, not on the people, necessarily, right? Let's not be discouraged by hypocrisy or whatever disappointment, we cannot beat that back. We can only keep our eyes on the road we know will bring us the great reward after all the struggle and confusion is said and done. Stay encouraged and keep learning.

  29. Sunwoo Shim, you asked whether Catholics do "not also teach that God made man the head of the house and church?" The Head of the Church is none other than Jesus Christ according to Catholic doctrine. As for the man being the head of the household, yes, the Church does teach that. But the rest of Ephesians 5:25-27 is also mentioned when this Scripture passage is brought up:

    "And husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church - and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the Church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish."

    The husband is not understood as a dictator or manipulator in Catholic teaching, but called to emulate Christ. What could be more humbling and beautiful? We are all called to obedience, the husband no less than the wife. That much seems clear to me in Catholic teaching.

  30. P.S. I am often not able to live up to that calling, and do not set a good example for others. But I still uphold the truth of the teaching. Does that make me a hypocrite? I can only ask for forgiveness, and try to pick myself up again and again, strengthened by prayer and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which is truly a blessing.

    What is your understanding of Eph 5 21-33?

  31. Sebastian, thank you! Yes, a husband is called to be like Christ, and give his entire life, even to death, for his Bride. This is not domination. This is love and service. Beautiful.

  32. Lord have mercy on us all! Looks like your "human; still human" headline just isn't good enough...apparently there is a case being made for "after-birth abortions".

  33. Jennifer, yep. Lovely, isn't it? But there is no "stop" to progressivism. No stop at all. Anything is permissible if one decides it is.

    The best abortion article I have read in years is right here:

    "When abortion stopped making sense" to this once-radical feminist.

  34. Okay! Let's talk about a few abortion points.

    "Life is meaningless without the chance to grow."

    Allow me to clarify. By grow, I mean the ability to exist and persist in existing. If babies simply died right when they exited the womb, it would be very hard to determine the "why" aspect of birth. It would be pointless, as the babies themselves would have zero life experiences. I simply extend that meaninglessness to intentional killing. Whether moral or amoral: a fetus/baby that dies in the womb has had a pointless and valueless life (this doesn't mean that they didn't have value to the mother or others around the mother, but that their own lives had no value to themselves). There is no intrinsic value in a life that did not get the chance to live.

    This is not a debate about the morality of abortion, but simply an inquiry into whether a life unlived has any inherent meaning unto itself. I certainly think that most don't mourn the 4/5ths of zygotes that die naturally in the womb, which is telling to the value of zygotes themselves.

    If a zygote, in and of itself a full human, were truly believed to have the same value as a full grown, out of the womb baby, then those deaths, natural or not, would pull on our heartstrings more, as late term miscarriages do. However, when said zygote has no chance to "grow" into a full term baby, we find nothing to grieve over. At least if the death is a natural one.

    To the zygote, however, there is no difference between the natural and the artificial death. So, I assert that, whether a miscarriage or abortion, the value of the life of a fetus that cannot come to term is negligible.

    1. John, I think you accidentally put this on the wrong post. Could you please repost it on the other post? Thanks! :)

  35. Whether moral or amoral: a fetus/baby that dies in the womb has had a pointless and valueless life (this doesn't mean that they didn't have value to the mother or others around the mother, but that their own lives had no value to themselves).

    You’re basing value on self-knowledge or self-awareness, because you’re saying the love of the parent is irrelevant (fine, that’s actually not Catholic teaching anyway. Love of parent or warm feelings don’t “give” inherent dignity, value, or worth to human life. God does).

    So, fine, let’s go there, then. Where does this lead us, logically? See, you say:

    To the zygote, however, there is no difference between the natural and the artificial death. So, I assert that, whether a miscarriage or abortion, the value of the life of a fetus that cannot come to term is negligible.

    Following your logic, you must also assert that it’s okay to kill a newborn since a newborn doesn’t know anything either and you’re obviously basing human value on cognitive development. Really?
    (“Heart strings” or mom and dad’s feelings have nothing to do with intrinsic value of life.)

    Apply your logic, John. Just straight away. See the logical application:
    If someone is 26 and is horrid at math, is it morally okay to do away with that person? They don’t know their fractions well enough, their mental perception is weak and useless, and let’s assume they’re not even aware of how dumb they are, to boot.

    According to your opinion, “value” is all based on cognitive development and self-awareness and this person knows diddly about numerators and denominators, right? So you’ll need to justify killing at any age, then. At any development mental stage, too.

    What if you know nothing about Chinese culture? Or poker? What if you’re not even aware that you lack knowledge about life, or about certain subjects (which you/we do) John? Are you, therefore, less of a person, or is your dignity and value deeper than what you merely know in any given moment?

    You are saying the worth of a person (value) is based on their self-awareness, or even, generally, their knowledge (cognitive development).

    Question: Are you aware that you’re aware of your thoughts, John? At what age did you come into this understanding? Were you less of a person before you knew this (cognitively)? Or was your worth or value in place before this, or even before you exited the womb?

    This is not a debate about the morality of abortion, but simply an inquiry into whether a life unlived has any inherent meaning unto itself.

    A life unlived is not a life, so this is a non-angle. This “life lived or not lived” stuff doesn’t logically tie in because you cannot “measure” what isn’t lived, even with your own gradient scale here.

  36. John, I've redirected people to this thread, so let's just continue here.

    Just a quick question: Are you saying that your principle for who lives or dies, who has human rights and who doesn't, who is valuable and who isn't, is based on "wantedness"?

  37. John, as the mother of four children who died prior to birth (as well as five who survived to be born), I find your comments heartless and cruel, not to mention logically inconsistent.

    First of all, you claim that babies lost to miscarriage don't "tug on our heartstrings" as much. Quite obviously, you were never present in the aftermath of any of my miscarriages, in which I sobbed inconsolably for hours. Quite obviously, you've never been present when I've laid awake in the middle of the night, grieving for my lost babies. Quite obviously you've never attended any of the funerals we've had for the babies we've lost.

    I can assure you, losing a baby before birth hurts as much as losing one after birth.

    Now, as to the illogic of your arguments: you claim it is "experiences" that determine whether or not a human being should be allowed to live. Does that mean you support and advocate for infanticide, or legal murder of the developmentally disabled?

  38. WOW. John, exit your bubble. My 3 "zygotes" who died before birth brought me grief like I could have never imagined. I never knew them, they never knew me, yet they existed as human beings and I miss them daily. I could direct you to miscarriage support groups, Facebook pages, blogs, websites, articles - the list goes on - of people who grieve their "zygotes" (and yes, I'm talking even very early miscarriages, before the baby is "fully developed" as you say). your eyes and talk to a few people. Do some research. Miscarried babies are mourned as much as "known" babies. Stop being a heartless fool.

  39. Thank you, ladies, and I'd even go further... John, there are some homeless folks whom no one has grieved or missed. There are paupers' graves, nameless dead, people who have never been identified. There are children strapped to cribs in Eastern European orphanages, baby girls abandoned on the roadsides in China, all of them experiencing only misery and no one to love them. Are they intrinsically worthless human beings? I'm dead serious. I really want to know how you arrived at your principle.

  40. That reminds me, Nicole, I was going to comment on John's apparent lack of knowledge regarding human development.

    John, a "zygote" is the term referring to an organism immediately after conception. Several days following conception, the organism is called a morula, and after that a blastocyst. After implantation occurs, approximately 4-8 days after conception, s/he is then termed an embryo. (More detailed information here.)

    Women can't find out that they're pregnant until after the embryonic stage has begun, so I'm really curious how you expect women to mourn a baby if they had no way of knowing that a baby ever existed. Perhaps I do have children who were conceived but never implanted, but I won't know about them until I get to heaven. That doesn't mean I wouldn't mourn their deaths if I did know about them.

    However, as Nubby said, it's really irrelevant. How we feel about a person's death is irrelevant to if that person has intrinsic worth and value. Leila's point is excellent as well -- one could argue that it should be legal to kill homeless people or kids in foster care or other allegedly "unwanted" humans if "wantedness" was the standard by which we assigned human rights. Thank God that it's not.

  41. John and his mates are (possibly unwittingly) playing God. It is they who now clamor to determine the value of individual human lives - and then decide, based on those determinations, whether a particular life should be allowed to continue or not.

    John launches his argument for usurping the prerogatives of the sole Maker of humankind, by mentioning zygotes (a priceless, unique and irreplaceable eukaryotic cell containing all of the genetic information necessary to form a complete new individual human being). He points to their involuntary loss, and then (abracadabra!) with a swift sleight of mind, and sans further ado, morally equates that naturally occurring phenomenon with the deliberate and voluntary disposal of embryos and fetuses (pre-natal human beings - as unambiguously and consistently defined by science, and indeed known by simple common sense to all but the deliberately blind).

    Tomorrow such arguments will be waged (indeed, are already being waged) to include those born, at any stage of their lives. All lives will then be individually evaluated by John & Co., according to their cognitive or functional ability, desirability/wantedness, existential bliss or lack thereof, subjective experiences, usefulness, productivity, skin color, genetic traits or whatever else takes these humanogods' fluctuating fancy.

    Let us be crystal clear: if all human life - at whatever stage of gestation/development/growth/ability/functionality or decline - from conception to natural death, is not of equal value, then no life is possessed of any intrinsic, unalienable value. None, for factors discounting the worth of any individual life at one stage or another can always be proffered - and quite readily, in fact, with the malevolent inspiration of the powers of Hell.

    Pray earnestly and campaign ceaselessly that John & Co. are never ever in a position of power to decide whether or how much longer you or your brother may continue to live, in any "devaluing" circumstance which might happen to befall you or your brother in life.


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