The Three Blinders

While the idea of blinders is relevant to any debate or argument, it is particularly noteworthy in the abortion debate. The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, in section one, the “Due Process Clause”: “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.”
Given what the due process clause actually says, somehow the Supreme Court found a “right to privacy” in that language, and further twisted that imagined right into the state of Texas having no right to legislate whether a woman aborting her baby is depriving a person of life, making this dubious interpretation the “law of the land”. Therefore, it should not amaze us that both opponents and proponents of baby or fetus murder (ending a life is the definition of murder) have been wrangling ever since about whether the fetus is a human being and whether due process applies to his or her life. The question is, “when does human life begin?” I hope I am not being naive in assuming that even the most ardent proponent of aborting would agree that a human being born in this country is entitled to due process, in this case securing the most basic right of all, the right to live. It cannot be scientifically nor logically established when the fetus becomes a human being, yet opinions on the question are vociferous, ranging from “it begins at conception” to ” it begins at birth”, something must be getting in the way of a more measured approach. I call that something the three blinders.
They are: the blinder of vested interest, the blinder of sympathy-popularity and the blinder of self-righteousness. My opinion that human life begins at conception is based on a biblical statement and logically justifiable consistency. The biblical statement is “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139. What an incredible statement David made under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The human being, with a soul, was formed by God before birth (every day of your life was formed before there was even one).
The logically justifiable consistency is that conception–the formation of a human fetus by the fertilization of a human egg by human sperm–begins a series of processes that culminate in the birth of a human child, not an aardvark nor a zebra. The developing human fetus has his or her own blood type, gender, fingerprints, organs and the ability to regulate the mother’s own hormones and initiate bodily changes. These changes were not willed by the mother.
Proponents of aborting insist on calling it a fetus rather than a baby. Why? Would simply calling it a baby bestow human rights? I believe so, and they must believe so. At the very least, calling it a baby would lose the public relations battle. That is the vested interest blinder: the desire to permit and justify aborting is a vested interest in ignoring and disparaging any arguments that imbue the fetus with humanity. The parties with that vested interest include mothers who did or are considering aborting, organizations like planned parenthood which profit from it, and men who have gotten women pregnant but want no responsibility for a child. I believe women do have the right to choose. They can choose to refrain from intercourse with a man they don’t want a baby with, they can choose oral sex, they can choose effective birth control, they can choose to avoid drunken parties where the risk of getting pregnant is so great. Do I sound unsympathetic here?
That introduces the second blinder, sympathy-popularity: The questions asked on the sympathy part are what about women who were raped, or whose birth control failed, or whose health is endangered by the pregnancy, or who can’t afford to raise a child and the like? Those are all relevant considerations, but they don’t contribute anything to the question of when human life begins, and it’s that question that must be answered before deciding whether the developing baby i. e. fetus has a right to live. The popularity part blinds both lawmakers and individuals who take either position as a way to get votes or be popular with their circle, without necessarily believing in what they espouse.
Many people of both the “pro life” persuasion and the “pro choice” persuasion suffer from the third blinder, self righteousness: Anything is justified to prevent the taking of human life in the womb, including murdering abortionists (a very small minority’s view), and the woman’s circumstances don’t matter. They do matter, but still don’t answer the fundamental question of when human life begins. Or on the other side, a “woman’s right to choose” is the highest moral ground, regardless of the life that is taken.
The other extreme from “life begins at conception” is “life begins at birth”. Proponents of aborting bear this opinion, but removing the blinders will show the weakness of this argument. If the fetus is not human until birth, what’s your criteria for humanity? Is it cutting the umbilical cord, is it being independent of the mother, is it feeding through the mouth rather than the umbilical? Is it the first cry into or the first breath from the air? How do you know that she didn’t cry in the womb? When does the soul enter the body? If it were medically feasible to cut the umbilical cord before birth, would the baby not be human in those moments before coming out? At what point during pregnancy can the fetus be considered human? All these questions highlight the arbitrariness of trying to define human life apart from conception.
Another way that the abortion debate demonstrates blinders is the protections and privileges that Planned Parenthood gets, from sympathetic media coverage to government funds. This organization, which aborts more lives than any other, was started by Margaret Sanger in order to promote the “improvement of the human race” by reducing the birthrate of undesirables. Who were these undesirables? Essentially the lower classes, especially minorities. That is their legacy and still they are the darlings of the abortion proponents. Go figure.