I’ve been debating using that headline, because I know I’ll be accused of being a shock jock, trying to be incendiary, trying to use clickbait, or overstating my position. People can think what they want, but I mean every word of it, and I fail to think of another way to state it which cuts to what I need to say.
I’m an unapologetic pro-lifer, I believe abortion is murder, I will cede a legal “rape/incest exception”, and I believe abortion is comparable to rape.
Ever since my enlightening interview-turned-debate with actor Mark Pellegrino, I have been thinking about the abortion issue. This article will never convince someone like Mark, who believes that an unborn life only becomes a person with rights as an individual upon birth. I reject this premise (as do most Americans) , and I will continue to learn so that I can debate it more effectively in the future. I decided instead that today I would argue with the more typical position that at some point during pregnancy, an unborn child has human rights.
One of my first articles here at Halsey News was about abortion, though most of you reading this now probably weren’t following my work at the time. It’s called “Your Right To Sex Is Not More Important Than Your Child’s Right To Life”. This part is most relevant:
The statistically tiny group [rape/incest victims] of “hard cases” is used constantly in abortion discourse, as though we should decide 95% of abortion regulation based on the unique situations of 1.5-5% of women. This article is not about these truly difficult and heartbreaking cases. I believe abortion is always an evil, however, in rape and incest it may be an acceptable though regrettable evil.
But I digress.
We are talking about consensual sex here. An act that is expressly intended for the purpose of procreating. Sex potentially makes babies. All women know this. Therefore, when they choose to engage in sex, they are consenting to the possibility of pregnancy. I know this statement may be seen as offensive, but it’s also a clear logical fact.
I do not use the partial birth, late-term abortion “hard cases” in my arguments for the same reason I resent when pro-choicers use their version of the “hard cases”: these cases are an attempt to use the “tyranny of the minority”, if you will. Yes, they can be useful exercises in terms of logic, but are ridiculous in terms of policy. We can have a logic argument over whether or not the government should mandate seatbelt usage without anyone bringing up the fact that a minority of being have died in car accidents because of seatbelts.
So let’s get that out of the way. Abortion is murder. All of it. Every time. It is killing an innocent person. In terms of morality, I will never cede any abortion as a moral good or a moral neutral. Even if the mother is fifteen years old and raped by her dad, abortion is a second evil placed upon the first evil.
That said, absolutism in questions of morality does not often translate into absolutism in questions of law.
In terms of law, there are always degrees. I believe that killing another person is always wrong, but me killing a person trying to kill my toddler is not the same as me killing a person because they made me mad. Same goes for war. I don’t celebrate human death, because I believe God created all human beings as inherently valuable and precious, but I do see that killing other human beings can prevent a greater evil in some situations.
I do not believe I have a inconsistent view of abortion because I will cede a legal rape exception, for two reasons.
Firstly, If I can save the lives 1,000,000+ babies murdered per year in the United States by allowing the state-sanctioned murder of a couple thousand per year, that is a sacrifice I would make to save as many precious human lives as possible. The same way I would “sacrifice” the lives of the couple thousand women per year who would die from self-inflicted botched abortions. That’s reality, it sucks.
(Unfortunately, a rape/incest exception is not on the table, anyway. Pro-choicers do not use the rape exception as a compromise, they use it as a battering ram for the acceptability of all abortion.)
Secondly, Just because something is always wrong, does not mean there are not degrees of wrongness within that wrong. I see a very clear delineation between a woman who chose to have sex which resulted in pregnancy, and a woman who had sex forced upon her which resulted in a pregnancy. Does it mean two wrongs make a right? Of course not, and as I said above, I think that women who have been raped should still be encouraged to keep their children, and we should support them in seeing children as a gift in spite of tragic circumstances.
But here is what I’ve come to realize: abortion when a woman has not been raped is akin to rape itself.
As I laid out in my article linked above, I think pro-choicers misrepresent which rights are in conflict between woman and unborn child. The right that is in conflict is not the right to life – but the right to sex, which would fall under the “pursuit of happiness”.
One could certainly argue that one has the right to sex, insofar as it pertains to the right to pursue happiness. What no one will argue, however, is that the right to sex extends to denying another person’s rights to life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness.
And this is why I say that abortion is akin to rape.
When a man wants to have sex, he has the right to pursue sex. He has the right to consent to sex with another person, assuming that said other person is legally able to consent. What he does not have the right to do is to have sex with another person if they do not want to do so. It doesn’t matter if a woman has a tiny nagging feeling that she’s not in the mood – if she will not consent to sex, he has zero right to sex with her. By having sex with her, he would be violating her rights.
So why on earth do we not hold women to this standard when it comes to their own children?
(Actually, it’s worse than that, considering that pregnancy is almost always preventable through a multitude of birth control options which can be used in tandem with each other. This reality is undermined by the fact that there is a second chance option readily available.)
Abortion is the idea that your right to pursue happiness via sex can take away another person’s right to life – the unborn child.
Though it may not be “rape” in the traditional sense, it is certainly morally similar to a man committing a sex act against a woman who did not consent for him to do so. At its core, it is a woman deciding that her right to sex can impose upon the rights of another. It is repulsive. And, like “normal” rape, there are degrees of wrongness within it, and the possibility for others to forgive those who have committed it depending on the situation.
But it is still wrong.
Legally, I would never call for a position that any consensual sex with the intention of abortion is an act of presumptive offense, but morally, I believe that it absolutely is.
You may find this article harsh. You make think I’m being cruel to women who have made the difficult decision to abort their children (many women have, including friends of mine). You may find the very comparison to be vile – but I hope you take a moment to think about why.