Recently I wrote about how Planned Parenthood is moving away from using the label “pro-choice”. Their new approach is presented in this impressively stylized video.
Here’s some key excerpts and three little questions I would love to see answered.
“Most things in life aren’t simple, and that includes abortion. It’s personal. It’s complicated. And for many people, it’s not a black and white issue.”
1. Why isn’t abortion a black or white issue?
Planned Parenthood’s video later admits that other medical interventions like mammograms or cancer treatments should not involve the government. For them, these issues are black and white and women should be able to choose these things without controversy. So why isn’t abortion just as uncontroversial? In fact, the only surgeries that seem to be morally ambiguous, or “gray”, are surgeries like circumcision which involve (or for some people mutilate) innocent children. Does abortion involve an innocent child that would make it a difficult decision? What does it, pray tell, do to the child?
“A majority of Americans believe abortion should remain safe and legal.”
2. What abortions do most people want to be legal?
I already know the answer to this one. A recent CNN poll (page 13) showed that most people only want abortion to be legal for hard cases like rape or if a woman’s life is in danger. 52% thought abortion should be never be legal or only legal in a few circumstances. Only 35% thought abortion should always be legal. Abortions for the so-called “hard cases” account for less than 10% of all abortions. The majority of abortions are done because the child is unwanted. Shouldn’t we have laws that reflect the popular opinion that at least these children deserve legal protection?
“When it comes down to it, we just don’t know a woman’s specific situation. We’re not in her shoes. Ultimately decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child, must be left to a woman, her family, and her faith, with the council of her doctor or healthcare provider.”
3. Should we judge women who decide to kill their children after birth?
To see how inane the above reasoning is, let’s use a parallel case. The decision to kill a newborn you can’t care for and can’t bear to see being raised by someone else is very personal. When it comes down to it, we just don’t know a woman’s specific situation (maybe she gave birth and didn’t know she was pregnant). We’re not in her shoes. Ultimately decisions about whether to choose adoption, end an infant’s life, or raise a child, must be left to a woman (like this one who killed her infant in Canada and was not punished because the judge said infanticide is basically like abortion), her family, and her faith (that may allow for infanticide), with the council of her doctor or healthcare provider (who may think there’s nothing wrong with infanticide).
There are a few things in the video I actually with agree with. For example, the narrator says the words “pro-choice” and “pro-life” do not accurately express how people feel about abortion. I agree. I’ve met many people who are “pro-life” for themselves but think abortion should be legal. The best terms are “pro-legal abortion” and “anti-legal abortion”, or one is either in favor of keeping abortion legal or not in favor of keeping abortion legal.
In order to discuss that issue, with the respect and empathy that Planned Parenthood requests and I also agree should be present, we must ask a more fundamental question, “What is being aborted?” If the unborn are human beings, then abortion is inhumane. If they are not human beings, then abortion is inconsequential. There, black and white and pretty simple after all.