Opinion

What if I’m pro-life, but I don’t want to force my beliefs on other people?

“I’m pro-life, but I don’t want to force my beliefs on other people.”

It’s not hard to come across statements like the one above, especially in our politically correct climate. While the sentiments expressed in this sentence seem well intended, they ignore the facts of abortion and are a weak attempt at sheltering oneself from criticism.

There are, at least, two problems with this statement.

First,

It makes no sense.

People express this idea in various ways, but what they’re really saying is, “The value I place on unborn human life is less than the value I place on a woman’s right to choose to end that life for, statistically speaking, personal progress or financial reasons.”

More succinctly, “The life of the human in the womb is less important than the life circumstances of the mother.”

Notice, it is not, as is usually claimed, a comparison of the value of the baby’s life vs. the mother’s life. Instead, it is the value of the baby’s life vs. the mother’s life circumstances.

Aside from situations where the mother’s life is actually in danger, which are extraordinarily few, we cannot seriously argue that one’s circumstances are more important than another’s life.

As fellow human beings, this is not good enough.

The difference between the person inside the womb and the one outside is predominantly one of location. Certainly, the person in the womb is still developing, but he or she will continue to do so for much of life. Unfortunately, the individual in the womb suffers a lack of human dignity in the abortion argument simply because of his or her location. Babies at the same age are treated differently by society at large based on whether they are still inside their mothers’ wombs or if they have been born prematurely.

Again, as fellow humans, this is not good enough.

And simply put, it makes no sense. How can one believe that the unborn baby is a human while also believing that his or her life is less valuable than the mother’s circumstances? Short answer: you can’t.

The second problem here is,

We force our beliefs on each other all the time.

The idea of it being wrong to ‘force’ some beliefs on others, while popular, is patently absurd. Moral beliefs directly inform many of our criminal laws. The illegality of murder, robbery, burglary, rape, and assault are all based on a moral belief that these actions are inherently wrong. In these circumstances, we humans do force our beliefs on those who do not agree or who want to make a difference choice. We have laws specifically written to prohibit and even punish these actions.

The idea that we as a society do not force moral beliefs on each other is silly and observably false.

If you’re ‘pro-life,’ then you believe that the ‘fetus’ is a human life. You wouldn’t argue for the repeal of anti-murder laws, and since murder applies to innocent humans, this should presumably include unborn humans. This position — that one can be ‘pro-life’ but in favor of ‘choice’ for the mother — is indefensible. Those who say this aren’t pro-life; instead, they deem it better to sit on the fence of this debate, hopefully far away from the criticism of either side. It’s like saying, “I’m anti-murder, but who am I to tell someone not to murder?” Or, “I’m anti-sexual assault, but I don’t want to tell people what to do,” ad infinitum.

The two positions taken in these absurd statements are, in fact, mutually exclusive.

You cannot be both pro-life and pro-choice. It is an either/or. If you say you are both, then you are not pro-life; you are pro-choice. The pro-life position is that the human in the womb has intrinsic value. The pro-choice position is that the human inside the womb is valuable only insofar as the mother determines — for any reason at all. These are not the same positions, and they cannot coexist in a consistent view on the matter.

Maybe you don’t feel like you know all the answers to abortion. Maybe you are pro-life, but you’re not sure what the solution is. Perhaps you’re pro-life, but you’re not sure if passing legislation to restrict abortions is the right course of action. While I’d love to explain how passing laws against abortion is the right thing to do, admitting you still want to find good or better solutions is more consistent than claiming you are pro-life and pro-choice at the same time. That’s not possible. The value of the baby’s life demands that one cannot simply choose to end it.

Saying you’re ‘pro-life’ but still in favor of choice is worse than being ‘pro-choice’ because you’re refusing to act on the truth you know.

If you are ‘pro-life,’ you believe the baby is a human being. If you also believe that a woman should have the legal right to kill that baby, your view is worse than the views of most pro-choice people because you are openly advocating for the murder of babies. You know they’re babies [you’re correct here], and yet you still think their moms can ‘choose’ to kill them. Most pro-choice people believe that the ‘fetus’ is a clump of cells, or merely potential life and thus not equal to the mother. You, however, affirm the humanity of the baby, yet still maintain that it should be legal for the mother to kill that baby for predominantly fiscal or social reasons. In essence, this makes you pro-murder — according to your own belief system.

“I’m pro-life, but I don’t want to force my beliefs on other people.”

You’re not pro-life. Unfortunately, the position you’re taking amounts to being so politically correct that it makes you indifferent to the mass murder of babies.

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