Aw geez, pro-lifers, can we talk?

Pro-life people, can we talk? Especially you Pro-life politicians out there.Please stop talking about rape. Seriously.

Why do you let Pro-choice folks lead you into those waters? They know those waters are murky and full of traps. Don’t you see that? You’re like one of those people at the start of the slasher flick who leave the safety of the lighted room to check out that noise. You’re gonna get killed!

Besides, you keep the conversation about abortion in this country focused on the wrong things. The cases of rape and incest (and for that matter pregnancies the life of the mother) concern only a tiny portion of abortions. Why not, for now, just cede those cases and focus on the vast majority of abortions?

The base assumption that justifies abortion on demand in this country is about when life does or does not begin. Pro-choice positions on abortion depend on distracting us from that very basic question. So please don’t play along. Don’t start speculating on whether a pregnancy resulting from a rape is God’s Will or not. Don’t speculate about legitimate rape or whether a woman’s body can prevent pregnancies from rape.

Focus instead over whether there are one or two persons in a pregnant woman’s body. My view, the Catholic view, is that the fertilized embryo should be regarded as a person and here’s why:

  1. Catholics do not know exactly when the soul enters the body. Science cannot tell us for sure.
  2. But we do believe that conception is the earliest point at which the soul could enter. The new life does not start developing until fertilization.
  3. Since we have deference to all life, especially lives of the weakest and most vulnerable persons, we think that we need to take the most cautious approach in determining personhood. If it may be a person, we need to treat it as a person and consider its rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness alongside the the mother’s.

At that point, you have the abortion conversation where it needs to be — how to balance the rights of two persons occupying the same body. Does a woman’s right to privacy, self-determination, etc override the right of a smaller, weaker person’s rights to continue to exist?

Now that’s the conversation we should be having. Pro-lifers have wasted another entire national election splitting hairs over exceptions like rape. Maybe next time we can have a real conversation?