Forget Gosnell: This Case Highlights The Real Abortion Issues

John Andrew Weldon, and the mother of his baby, and her property.

John Andrew Weldon, and the mother of his baby, and her property.

John Andrew Welden is being held on first degree murder charges for tricking his girlfriend, pregnant with his child, into taking an abortion bill ( Cyotec, a drug used to induce labor) that she thought was an antibiotic, because he had tampered with the label. The fetus, nearly seven weeks old, miscarried as a result. You can read this ugly story here.

She wanted to have the baby, he didn’t. He arranged his own abortion, deceiving her, betraying her, mistreating her terribly. But how did he commit murder? What he tricked her into aborting wasn’t a human being. NARAL says so. Sandra Fluck says so. President Obama says so.

The ethical and logical problem with our abortion laws, as well as the rhetoric and conduct surrounding them, is that they lack integrity and embarrassingly so. A seven week fetus is not treated as a human life if a mother chooses to have an abortion, and a doctor performs it. This must mean, in any sane, fair and ethical system, that it is not a human life. If it is not a life if a doctor aborts it, it isn’t a life if a boyfriend tricks the mother into aborting it. How can it be? The fetus hasn’t changed, and the conduct hasn’t changed. All that has changed is the agent, and there are only a few ways that can alter the act. “A deceptive killing?” A killing without authority,” perhaps. But the agent can’t make eliminating something first degree murder, if it wasn’t a human being that was eliminated.

Only one kind of object fits the rhetoric of abortion advocates, and that is property. They don’t like to acknowledge that, because the immediate and indeed appropriate comparison is slavery. An owner could kill a slave, and it wasn’t murder, just as a potential mother can abort the future baby she is carrying, for it is her body, just as it is his plantation–and she’s not committing murder either. If someone else killed the slave, well, that was a crime, but a property crime—after all, black slaves then, like the unborn now, just weren’t considered human beings. At least that was consistent. How can anyone say that it makes sense to charge  John Andrew Welden with the murder of a quasi-baby that was his as much as it was his girlfriend’s? She can “kill” it (I’m running out of euphemisms) to the applause of Sandra Fluke and Planned Parenthood, but if he does, he risks a lethal injection. Ridiculous. Illogical. Unfair. Ah, but it makes it so much easier for women, who don’t have to come to grips with a pivotal bioethical problem. Just have it both ways, even though they should be mutually exclusive.

Problem solved!

How lazy, hypocritical and cowardly.

I know that a lot of our cherished illusions rest on double-think and mythology, but when it starts sending people to the chair something is amiss. I think abortion advocates, legislatures, law enforcement and the culture need to stop ducking tough issues and decide: when, if ever, does a fetus become a human being with the rights of a human being, and no, “whenever the woman says so” is not an acceptable answer. And if the answer is “never until it pops out of mom and risks having its neck wrung by a Dr. Gosnell disciple,” that’s fine…but then you can’t charge a John Andrew Welden with murder.


Facts, Graphic: International Business Times

310 thoughts on “Forget Gosnell: This Case Highlights The Real Abortion Issues

  1. Something is still wrong, though. “If you really cared about stopping drug crime, you’d agree that we should distribute illegal drugs free to addicts.” That seems to me similar to Barry’s argument.

    I have to admit that I might have said that in a temperamental moment (no one’s perfect).

    But what I’m really talking about is revealed preferences.

    It probably is true that many pro-life leaders both believe that birth control is evil, and that abortion is evil. But their policy positions show that, given the choice, they’d rather have less birth control and more abortion, than they would less abortion and more birth control.

    In other words – if we take them at their word that they believe that abortion is child murder – then they consider not funding birth control to be more important than preventing thousands or even millions of child murders.

    That is never going to make sense to me.

    Nor will it ever make sense to me that people who believe that an zygote is the same as a child, aren’t pushing for more – or any – research on how to medically save the huge numbers of zygotes that die naturally. It’s as if we weren’t funding any research at all on how to cure cancer – that doesn’t make sense to me, if you think that the deaths of cancer patients are important.

    But in the end, it doesn’t matter if pro-life views make sense to me.

    I am pro-choice because no one has ever given me a logical reason to believe that the rights of a being that is profoundly, physically incapable of any thought whatsoever, should outweigh the rights of a thinking, conscious, existing person.

    I’m sure many pro-lifers are great people with only the best motives. But no matter how good their motives are, their arguments still don’t make any sense to me. There is nothing more central to the human condition than our capacity for thought and consciousness; an argument that treats that capacity as if it has no importance whatsoever, as pro-life arguments do, makes no sense.

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