A Modest Proposal to End the Abortion Dilemma

I just read on FB a series of responses to a sort of cartoon suggesting that a woman's body belongs to her but not the living being she has engendered. The two commonest arguments were, first, that only a woman has the right to choose whether or not to bear the child. The second is that pro-lifers don't care what happens to a baby once it is born, because they do not support massive social spending on children.
What wonderful things one learns on Facebook. All these years, I thought it took a male and a female to make a baby. Setting aside cases of pregnancy resulting from rape, conception requires two willing parties. Pagan Roman law did not forbid abortion per se--though from the literary sources it was apparently viewed as disgusting--but a married woman who procured an abortion without her husband's consent might face a death penalty. An anti-Christian country will probably never restore the prohibition against abortion, but the argument that it is only a woman's right to decide is utterly fatuous, especially since if the woman decides to bear the child, the father may be held responsible for its maintenance.
As for the old wheeze that people who support life do not support live babies, this would require some evidence that the child protection racket--including public education, welfare programs, etc.--do not primarily support the college-educated teachers and social workers and bureaucrats who earn middle class incomes by meddling in the people's business and deforming the minds and characters of the young. One would have thought tht some of the furor over CRT and transgenderism would have wised up some of the pro-infanticide leftists, but that is too much too hope for. They are the best evidence we have of the deleterious effect of modern education.
Where the pro-life movement went wrong is in the naive belief that you can convert the death-lovers and baby-killers by passing laws. No morally sane person has ever regarded abortion as a remedy for anything but the most extreme circumstances, e.g., the rare cases of rape and pregnancies that actually threaten the life--and not the "mental health" of the mother. Laws against murder do not, cannot prevent murder, but they can establish moral norms within a society. In postmodern nations, we cannot hope even for this.
I do have one modest solution to propose: Let us demand moral consistency. If only supporters of abortion rights would have been conceived by parents who agreed with them, we would not have to live in a society dominated by those who seek to take the lives of unborn children. It's not too late, though, for those who think death is a solution.
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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

6 Responses

  1. Vince Cornell says:

    The chief problem with this proposal is that it would fail to prop up the large abortion lobbyist industry (both pro and anti). Think of all the poor Planned Parenthood shills not getting a chance to shake politicians’ hands or speaking on CNN/MSNBC. Think of the American Life League not being able to throw a Rock Concert for Life or print out catchy T-Shirts about how much they love babies. What would all the passionate Christian college kids do in January if there was no March for Life to attend? They’d miss out on the chance to feel righteous while whooping and hollering and screaming about how much they love babies, throwing beach balls at each other with “Babies are Great” written on them, pretending to care about what a long line of esteemed speakers is saying, and celebrating women not murdering their children conceived out of wedlock as paragons of virtue and courage. What would Republican politicians do? To curry favor with the Christian voters, would they have to actually start discussing policies and positions that are unpopular with their cheap labor or defense industry lobbyists, like unlimited immigration or not getting entangled in pointless wars? Think of the many Christian pastors who might now have to think of something to preach about other than Pro-Abortion politicians are the worst! Do you expect them to actually start reading the Bible and possible preach sermons calling out the sins they see prevalent in their own congregations?

    Sure, we might be rid of the rabid pro-abortion nutcases, but this reckless proposal could create upheaval and chaos in the lives of millions! They might even have to start focusing on their own children and obligations and communities. We can’t have that, can we?

  2. Robert Reavis says:

    This is an excellent little reflection . The emasculated male is only one consequence of the current feminist fad but also in a off the cuff remark last week you mentioned to Rex “the attack on the Incarnation, man in the image and likeness of God, perhaps not always intentional, but so pervasive today in every aspect of culture.”
    I heard Dr. Fauci say recently that he represents science and the attacks ( actually prudential disagreements) on him by others, (including other scientists) are actually attacks on science itself. This hubris represents the fullness of man reduced to a statistic and dissected like a big. It would be pitiful if it were not so dangerous.

  3. Robert Reavis says:

    Like a bug 🕷 or a big 🐜 bug,

  4. Michael Strenk says:

    Catherine Austin Fitts tells a story about giving a talk to a Christian group wherein she outlined how the entire financial system of the U.S. is intimately connected to and reliant on the illegal drug trade and all of its subsidiary businesses. She further suggested reasonable solutions to the problem with the caveat that the livings of a great many Americans would be either destroyed or greatly diminished because many “jobs” that most would not usually associate with the drug trade, benefit or are completely reliant on its continuance. She then offered an imaginary big red button which could be pushed now to make many of the ills of our society go away with the above-mentioned caveat understood. Being Christians and therefore honest people, out of a crowd, I think, of a couple hundred people, no one chose to push the button. Whatever one may think of the economics of all this (I think that she makes a good case) the priorities of the “best of us” are certainly fairly well exposed.

  5. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    I don’t know Ms Fitts, but her point was well taken

  6. theAlabamian says:

    The morning after pill, and increasing ease and acceptance of abortion or similar things is scary. There was a very popular Louisiana prosperity preacher who made a comment something the effect that Christians like going against abortion but do not support social welfare programs enough to take care of society, as if they were hypocrites. At this church/Christian gathering the pastor was black and the crowd was predominately white. These white Christians clapped in response. Their behavior is typical as majority cannot speak out against doing more in the form of welfare or social justice for fear of being hypocritical christians or racist.