"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

If We Only Save One Child...

I hit on a link that took me to a collection of tweets and retweets that began with this one from Matt Drudge:

Nice to see that Drudge is putting the pro-Life message out there.   But I also want to put two and two together on this.   Here's a quote from Joe Biden recently about the Newtown massacre and the Left's attempt to leverage it to enact new gun control legislation:
"If our actions result in saving only one life, they're worth taking."

Jonah Goldberg has done a good job of exposing the idiocy of the "if it saves one child" logic here:
The notion that any government action is justified if saves even a single life is malarkey, to borrow one of Mr. Biden’s favorite terms. Worse than that, it’s dangerous malarkey.

Let’s start with the malarkey part. The federal government could ban cars, fatty foods, ladders, plastic buckets, window blinds or Lego pieces small enough to choke on and save far more than just one life. Is it imperative the government do any of that? It’s a tragedy when people die in car accidents (roughly 35,000 fatalities per year), or when kids drown in plastic buckets (it happens an estimated 10 to 40 times a year), or when people die falling off ladders (about 300 per year). Would a law that prevents those deaths be worth it, no matter the cost?

But my question is this... if the Left really believes that we have to do something anytime the something that we do might result in saving the life of a single child, why aren't they pro-Life?   Hasn't one of the pro-Choice arguments always been that we don't really know when Life begins?   Here's a representative statement of that position from a group calling itself the Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion:
Personhood at conception is a religious belief, not a provable biological fact. Mormon and some Fundamentalist churches believe in personhood at conception; Judaism holds that it begins at birth and abortion is not murder; ensoulment theories vary widely within Protestantism. The religious community will never reach consensus on the definition of a “person” or when abortion is morally justified.
Put aside the problem that certain things about "personhood" are proven biological facts.   We know that each human person has a distinct genetic code, which exists from the moment of conception, and that the Human Genome Project can increasingly predict aspects of what a human person will be like from the code.  We also know that viability has been pushing back further and further from "birth" due to advances in medical science.   We also know because of advances in ultrasound technology that babies start looking like, well, babies, pretty early on.   Here's a child at 12 weeks:

Pro-choice arguments always try to make the case that pro-Life is a "religious" position, a superstition, something irrational, when the science is actually increasingly all on the pro-Life side.    But put all that aside.   Let's assume that the question of when "personhood" begins is, in fact, "not a provable biological fact."   But we know it does begin, and we know it does begin at some point on the continuum from conception (my position) to live birth or perhaps some point thereafter (noting that President Obama voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act when he was a state senator).  

The point is this:

If we don't know when personhood begins, shouldn't we err on the side of assuming that it begins at the earliest possible time?  

There are something over 1 million babies aborted every year in America.   Let's say you really are an open-minded liberal.   Wouldn't you have to concede that there's at least a chance that Catholics are right on when personhood begins?   Would you agree that Catholics might be right 1 out of 100 times?   1 out of 1,000?   1 out of 1 million?

But if Catholics have a chance of being right on Life 1 in 1 million times -- statistically for one of the million babies aborted every year -- shouldn't you be on the pro-Life side because, according to Biden, "if our actions result in saving only one life, they're worth taking"?

And if you don't believe that there's a 1 in 1 million chance that the 1 billion Catholics around the world might just be right on the issue of Life... well, just exactly how open-minded are you?

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