Posted by: gmscan | June 26, 2013

The Most Powerful Pro-Life Article I’ve Ever Read

I’m sorry, folks. I hate to just re-post other people’s writings, but Ben Domenech has been on a roll and I need to share this with you. As I said earlier, Ben writes and publishes The Transom every day. If you like it you can subscribe for only $30/year — the best deal in media.



Obviously the overall story about how Americans view the right to marriage is one of ever increasing majorities. From just a few years ago, when Americans were split on the issue at best, they now have marked majorities in favor of same sex marriage – 71% according to some polls, 86% according to others. The argument has been won, and cultural unanimity is virtually complete.

Oh, my mistake. It’s actually half of Americans who favor gay marriage. Those figures are for the percentage of Americans who support banning abortion after the first trimester (13 weeks), and after the second trimester (28 weeks), respectively.

But that can’t be possible. Because if that was the case, wouldn’t we have heard about it, from the newspapers? Maybe they just haven’t gotten around to reporting it – a blind spot missed amidst all the other pressing news. Except – it looks like Americans have thought this for almost two decades.  The percent supporting a second trimester ban has never dropped below 64 percent, and the percent supporting a third trimester ban has never dropped below 80 percent in that time. These positions are true elsewhere, too – once a baby starts looking like a baby, people tend to think it ought to be protected.  That’s why most of Europe has bans on abortion ranging from 10 to 22 weeks, and the major countries have first trimester bans – Portugal at 10 weeks, Germany and Spain at 14 weeks, Italy at effectively the end of the first trimester. France is at 14 weeks as well, and they even mandate a one-week waiting period for all abortions. Most of these countries also have conscientious objection clauses designed to protect those doctors with moral objections to abortion.

On such a divisive issue, you’d think the fact that this broadly popular position has endured in America and around the world to such a degree would inform the political analysis of the media. But last night we saw how personally invested many in the media are in the limitless, on-demand abortion regime in their obvious cheerleading for Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, who was filibustering a Texas measure that would limit abortion to the 20 week mark and require a host of regulatory steps which would shut down most Texas abortion clinics.  Most egregious of all was the point in the evening when reporters were actually urging protesters on, encouraging them to scream and shout to delay a floor vote on the measure.  This went well beyond the bounds of journalism – and indeed was indistinguishable from the single-issue abortion activists.

It was indistinguishable because the press is, by and large, unanimous on the issue.  We saw this in the disinterested approach to reporting on the Kermit Gosnell trial (until pressured into it by Mollie Hemingway and Kristen Powers). Those who write about abortion as a political issue are only interested in reporting about abortion politics when they view it as an opportunity to press its agenda. You will see a great deal of reporting in the coming weeks about Davis’s rising political star – she’s ambitious, with statewide hopes – because the reporters view her as the activists do: a heroic, courageous figure, assaulted by the GOP’s war on women. But you’ll likely see little reporting about the fact that 62 percent of Texans support the 20 week ban she was filibustering.  The agenda takes precedence. They know that fighting this bill now is better than fighting it before the Supreme Court.

Twenty weeks is, of course, an arbitrary mark to draw a line between protected under law and lump of cells. The general argument from the pro-lifers is that it is a point where the unborn obviously feel pain. Viability is a threshold that continues to move earlier thanks to medical science, and indeed some children born at 20 weeks have survived.  But there’s something else that happens at around the 20 week mark: the unborn can distinguish sounds. The first sound they will hear is the voice of their mother.  In the weeks to come it will be a soothing and recognizable sound, distinguishable from all the rest. They will respond to it and react to it, to changes in volume and conversation. Much later, they will even be able to recognize tones of voice. But at the twenty week mark, there is only the formless sound. The child cannot understand what she is saying. They cannot detect the difference in tenor when she makes the call, and schedules the appointment, and takes them from the waiting room into the operating room where they will die. They only recognize it as a mother’s voice, full of promise, enveloping them – familiar, reassuring, safe.



  1. It’s curious. The arguments about abortion keep focusing on the unborn child, as if trying to decide when an unborn child has a right to live that transcends the right of the mother to decide when to have a child.

    But the real focus of the question is us. Those of us who are alive. We define ourselves, in part, by the rights we claim to terminate the lives of others. We claim, for example, the right to accidentally kill women and children if killing them happens in the pursuit of killing, say, an ‘enemy combatant’. It happens in Afghanistan, it happened in Normandy. It happened in Vietnam.

    Who are we, that we claim this right? And where do we draw the line? When is it OK and not OK to take the life of another human being? The line moves with time and culture.

    What I find silly is trying to claim that there is a time in the development of a child when they magically become human. A human being is a human being from the moment of conception. Open up that single fertilized cell and you will find the DNA of a human being. They already have an eye color, hair pattern, the ability to develop speech and pattern recognition… Develop the technology to grow them in a pod, or in the uterus of a cow, and they will develop into persons. Human persons. All of that is there in the first fertilized egg. But up to some arbitrary line, we claim the right to kill it for convenience. It’s who we are. Today.

    As Christians, as followers of the Lord of Life, of the Prince of Peace, we have been continuously pushing the line back. Not a smooth continuous pushing back, but averaged over time, we have pushed the line back. When Christianity was born, it was OK in some places to torture and kill undesirable human beings in sporting events for spectator pleasure. We ourselves suffered that fate. (Spanish bull fights have their origin in that practice). Slavery was assumed, women were property, and undesired newborn children could be tossed at the city dump.

    Whereas we sometimes protect the rights of some people over the rights of others, forgetting to protect the rights of all, ultimately we keep pushing the line back because we take life, not just human life but all of life, to be sacred. Killing desensitizes us to the Giver of Life. But as followers of Jesus Christ, we are always preparing the Way of the Lord. We have been re-made in image of God. And killing is not in our new nature.

    It’s who WE are.

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