Skip to comments.Pro-Life v Pro-Choice: A Conservative Justification for a Third Option
Posted on 01/12/2010 5:10:45 PM PST by T Christopher
When the issue of Abortion arises, there are essentially two camps Pro-Choice and Pro-Life. Contemporary politics, or at least common uses of the labels, would lead you to believe the following about the two groups. The first believes in a womans right to have dominion over her own body and hence, believes she has the choice to determine if she will carry a pregnancy to term. The latter believes that life begins at conception, and that any subsequent taking of that life is the moral and/or legal equivalent to murder. The second camp is the home of the group of individuals that label themselves as conservatives. I too consider myself to be a member of this illustrious group and will humbly attempt to discuss our position as well as my problems with said position. We believe in principled governance and we expect our elected officials to share in this belief. A noble endeavor no doubt, but it is curious to this conservative how simply pledging allegiance to this Pro-Life camp without further explanation or justification, and ignoring every other piece of evidence that would infer principled governance, gives one the conservative credentials that a principled electorate so passionately longs for. Why do we as conservatives time and time again continue to deny admission to our illustrious group any individual who even hints at the idea of opening a dialog with the other camp? Is our goal to find like-minded individuals, or is our goal to save the lives of innocent children? Given that preservation of life implies nothing about increasing our membership, I would be inclined to assume it was the latter, but that doesnt always appear to be the case.
My own thoughts and frustrations with this vetting process have led me down many roads in search of answers many of them admittedly taking me to the limits of both liberalism and libertarianism in pursuit of clarity on the matter. I find it hard to believe that one can truly be committed to the goal of protecting innocent life if he cannot allow himself, even for a moment, to attempt to understand the rationale of the other side. After much deliberation and personal reflection regarding the issue, I have come to the conclusion that we simply need more camps.
My exploration of the Pro-Choice camp has led me to the belief that while we as conservatives need to be mindful of their rationale, it is of little importance to our position on this issue. Their position on Abortion is derivative of an entirely different paradigm as the focus is on the mothers rights rather than any determination of said rights being afforded to the unborn. I do not dismiss that position on merit or even as a matter of politics, I simply believe that once this examination has been undertaken, it is more important for us to focus on solidifying our own position rather than deliberating over how to discredit the opposing argument. For we too are not without flaws. In fact, I think we have many.
So focusing on the Pro-Life camp, I am led by many of my conservative peers to believe that this is a moral choice; it is the religious choice; and accordingly, it is the only choice. As a Christian myself, I appreciate this position but I am deeply confused by the fact that many of my conservative brethren forget that Christianity is a personal choice as well. It is not compulsory for this or any American to affiliate with any religious institution or agree with any religious belief Christian or otherwise. Our 1st Amendment guarantees that we have the Right to practice religion in any manner we see fit or to not practice at all. As conservatives this right forms the justification for nearly every argument that we make in the public forum and the political arena. With that in mind, I am deeply troubled when, on issues such as this, we abandon that 1st Amendment high ground; and rely upon as the foundation of our Abortion position that- this is a moral choice; it is the religious choice; and accordingly it is the only choice and fail to see how said justification flies counter to the spirit and the letter of the 1st Amendment.
As I stated earlier, I am a Christian and I do believe that ones faith has a role in the political process. I think it is our Right as Americans to vote for candidates in a manner that reflect our values. That being said, I believe that far too often, those on the political Right confuse the difference between conservatism as a philosophy or ideology with what many consider being conservative in ones daily life. The latter typically implies an emphasis on things like family values or a religious upbringing. While I certainly believe that those things are virtuous, I do not believe that they encapsulate what conservative ideology is truly all about. I see it more as a process toward decision making, or in a political context a process that leads to policy formulation or choosing positions on issues. The everyday role of conservatism is no less important, it is simply individual in nature as I believe the spirit and the letter of the 1st Amendment intended for it to be.
I believe that this distinction is where many conservatives get thrown off course on this or any issue. They read political websites and hear speeches given by candidates that show a laundry list of issues that they support, and they say things like we believe in family values, a strong national defense, the preservation of life, the sanctity of marriage, and the Right to Bear Arms. Then proudly written somewhere on the page or read loudly in the speech is the word CONSERVATIVE and they believe they have finally found their man. Now I would like to believe that these politicians understand that they have just fused the ideology and the principle together in the same message, but I do believe that many conservatives no longer understand the difference between the two. It is this problem that I would like to address and will try to do so by using the subject of Abortion.
N00b, just so you know, nuancing over the killing of the alive unborn is a decidedly liberal characteristic. And you might want to focus the discussion on the notion of ‘self-defense’ rather than female dominion over her body and thus the specious right to kill an innocent helpless alive other.
There is no third option. We don't have to or need to redefine ourselves for the sake of the foolish!
Some things are black and white.
Nonsense like this has resulted in over 50 MILLION DEATHS in the past 37 years with another baby being murdered EVERY 24 SECONDS.
I sniff a strong scent of Troll in the air.
It looks like another version of, “I’m personally opposed, but...” BS.
Yep, not just a blog pimp, but a pro-abortion blog pimp.
Quisling double-talk. 3rd option my arse!
BTW...nobody here likes a blog pimp...jus' sayin'. IBTZ!
Suttee, honor killing and child marriage - keep the government out of our families and homes.
Is that you, Colin?
Because murder is murder -where is the third position going to fit - only some murder is actually murder?
There is no debate, new human life begins at conception. Open up an embryology book for cripes sake.
Is the writer assuming that pregnancy is something that you catch like a cold?
No one finds themself pregnant. Really really, it just doesn’t work that way.
Of course the mother's rights are important. She has many rights in this area: avoid behaviors that lead to an unwanted pregnancy, seek medical care once she is pregnant, compel the father to support the baby, elect the preferred avenue of givng up ther child for adoption, not be Christian or religious, -- all these are her rights and every conservative I know supports them.
Killing a baby she doesn't feel like bringing to term is not one of them.
No! No! Quisling double-talk is the third option. Tell your arse. ( ^8 }
Let me state this very simply so that it is unambiguous to anybody.
First, human life begins at the moment of fertilization. The blastocyst has 46 chromosomes; it is a human life. Those 46 chromosomes are not the same as the mother; it is its own life. Through natural processes it will mature, grow toward maturity, have the capability of reproducing, will age, and will die.
You will note that I quoted no religious text in establishing this rationale. So far, so good.
Since we have established that a separate human life begins at the moment of fertilization, we now need to address the issue of whether or not it is right to destroy that life.
The answer to that question is if there is an inherent value to human life or if one life is more valuable than another based upon some arbitrary criteria (known as a utilitarian view).
The view that there is an inherent value to human life is relatively self-explanatory. This is also the view that is espoused by all reasonable conservatives and libertarians, as well, as it is the view espoused in our country's founding documents as well as in the Constitution:
From the Declaration:
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.
From the Constitution:
Amendment 14.1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Amendment 5: No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law
Amendment 9: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The utilitarian view looks at the value of life based upon some arbitrary criteria: age, physical condition, education, race, religion, or whatever.
If one establishes that it is OK for a mother to abort her child, he says that the mother's life is more valuable than the child. It is a very short trip between that and saying that the lives of the elderly or infirm are not worth as much as those of the young and healthy.
It is a larger jump, but it is the same thought process used to justify killing populations.
Frankly, that doesn't sound too conservative; that doesn't sound too libertarian. Honestly, that sounds a lot more like the progressive eugenics movement, to me.
And if that's the way you want to redefine the Republican party, you'll be doing so without me or the vast majority of the people who post here.
By the way, do you intend that your entire existence on Free Republic be that of a blog pimp? (seeing as that's all you've managed to post in the two weeks you've been on this site)
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