Feminist says baby is “a life worth sacrificing”

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision—a monstrosity that has presided over the legal killing of over 55 million human beings since 1973. And yet in the wake of this horror, the pro-abortionists are feeling the wind at their backs.

They’ve just reelected the most pro-abortion president in U. S. history. They received news this week that Roe v. Wade is more popular than ever with the American people. They’re doing touchdown dances in the endzone with creepy video tributes to abortion rights. And they’re convincing their political opposition to stand down.

They are also becoming more brazen in stating what they really believe about abortion. But I question whether Americans are ready to buy into what you are about to read.

In an article for Salon.com, Mary Elizabeth Williams writes an essay that is sure to send a chill up the spine of anyone who reads it. In short, she argues that human life begins at conception and that women should nevertheless have the right to kill their unborn babies. The humanity of the unborn should not be in question. Her argument is simply that some people’s lives are more important than other people’s lives. You’re going to have to read this to believe it. In her own words:

All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.

When we on the pro-choice side get cagey around the life question, it makes us illogically contradictory. I have friends who have referred to their abortions in terms of “scraping out a bunch of cells” and then a few years later were exultant over the pregnancies that they unhesitatingly described in terms of “the baby” and “this kid.” I know women who have been relieved at their abortions and grieved over their miscarriages. Why can’t we agree that how they felt about their pregnancies was vastly different, but that it’s pretty silly to pretend that what was growing inside of them wasn’t the same? Fetuses aren’t selective like that. They don’t qualify as human life only if they’re intended to be born.

When we try to act like a pregnancy doesn’t involve human life, we wind up drawing stupid semantic lines in the sand: first trimester abortion vs. second trimester vs. late term, dancing around the issue trying to decide if there’s a single magic moment when a fetus becomes a person. Are you human only when you’re born? Only when you’re viable outside of the womb? Are you less of a human life when you look like a tadpole than when you can suck on your thumb?

Notice how radical this essay is. Ms. Williams agrees with pro-lifers that the unborn are fully human persons. The humanity of the unborn is not in dispute! What is in dispute is whether every person has an intrinsic right to life. According to Williams, some people do have that right and some people don’t. I wonder if she would allow that argument to be applied to other classes of persons as well.

Williams contends that a woman’s “life” always trumps the life of the unborn baby. At this point, the author equivocates on the meaning of the word “life.” For the baby, “life” refers to physical life. For the mother, “life” refers more generically to the “way of life” that a woman chooses for herself. In short, a woman’s chosen “way of life” is more important than protecting the physical life of her child. She concludes with these chilling lines:

I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.

Behold the pro-death regime at its most honest. The cause of feminist equality must be preserved at all costs, even if it means killing one’s own child to achieve it.

44 Responses to Feminist says baby is “a life worth sacrificing”

  1. Griffin Gulledge January 24, 2013 at 2:16 am #

    And Utilitarianism raises it’s ugly head once again.

  2. matthew catalano January 24, 2013 at 2:27 am #

    This is not going to chill anyone’s spine except for those of us who are already pro life. In 20 years her view will be common place.

  3. Alice Carpenter January 24, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    I would argue that her view already IS common place, even if liberals try to pretend otherwise. Most people who have abortions are completely aware that they are killing a baby, and they do it anyway for their own pragmatic reasons. The fiction that it’s just “a bunch of cells” or “the contents of the uterus” is just a thin cover story that women use to make themselves feel less guilty. They know the truth.

  4. Paul Reed January 24, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    “I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. ”

    ~~~~~

    I’ll tell you what’s more chilling: Isn’t the above statement true for even many pro-lifers? Even many pro-lifers will say that it’s okay for the mother to kill her child if having the baby is a significant enough health risk. Liberals of course will go much further, considering the woman’s mental health, but the basic principle is there: The baby’s life compared to the mother’s life is of less account.

  5. Jose Rodriguez January 24, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    As despicable as her logic is, you have to admit that at least she’s an honest pro choice advocate.

  6. Don Johnson January 24, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    I commend the author of the original article for clearly seeing the truth and then stating the truth about a fetus being a human life. What she then does is flawed, but she does take some steps towards the truth that many pro-aborts refuse to take. The flaw in her reasoning afterwards is that it is really about power and not value of human life. The mother has the power to abort the fetus, the fetus does not have a similar power, so there is a power asymmetry.

  7. Anna Perkins January 24, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    I have an honest question to which I would love to hear a thoughtful response. Don’t we allow people to make choices about what happens to their bodies in other situations, even if it means another life must end? What if a woman and her already-born child were matches for a kidney donation, and the child needed one. Would we say that the woman should be LEGALLY REQUIRED to donate that organ? If not, then why should a woman be legally required to use her body to sustain a unborn life?

    • Lauren Garcia January 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

      Those are some really good thoughts. But I think a clear distinction needs to be made between a body part/organ and a life. One can live without a kidney. One cannot live without a beating heart. Also, the focus cannot be on the woman’s life, but on the life inside of her. Just as we cannot kill someone just because they are an inconvenience to how we live our lives. We can’t kill someone just to make our lives better. Because they have a right to live, the same as we do. Just because a child is in a womb, not exposed to the world yet, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have that same right to live, just as the mother has a right to live. The quality of life doesn’t matter. We can’t control our quality of life, no matter how much we think we can. Everything we work hard for can be taken from us in an instant, but one can still find happiness in the midst of this. Killing someone to make our quality of life more bearable does exactly the opposite.

    • Daryl Little January 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

      I wouldn’t say legally obligated, but I would say morally obligated.

      But the comparison is bad.
      To be equal, we’d have to start with a conceived child looking for a womb in which to grow.
      Or, alternatively, we’d need to talk about the right of a parent who has a child needing a transplant, to shoot the child rather than provide medical assistance. That would be a valid comparison to abortion.

      We’re talking baby-killing here, not the simple with-holding of medical care to a child in need.

      And please, don’t say we’re talking about with-holding medical assistance to the woman. She isn’t infected, she’s carrying an already created and living person. A person she has no right to murder.

    • steve hays January 24, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

      Why are you limiting the question to the mother? What about the father?

    • Jay Jorgensen January 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      Jay Jorgensen
      The woman does not die in donating a kidney and usually not from childbirth. Abortion kills the baby, donating a kidney doesn’t. Also, a woman (for the most part), have a choice when they decide to have sex. That is when she is making a decision, not afterwards. Sex makes babies. It is the way our species grows and expands. Its that simple. If you don’t want a baby, don’t do what makes them. I believe in the right to choose……….. whether or not to have sex, not whether or not to abort a baby.

      • Evelyn Grebe January 25, 2013 at 10:41 am #

        And there are plenty of methods to prevent pregnancy by using birth control devices.

    • Micah Kelley January 25, 2013 at 12:09 am #

      The difference is between an action and lack of action. One would not be obligated to give a kidney, their lack of action would be their choice. However, in the case of an abortion, someone is taking an action to end a life that, left to natural progression would occur.

      So, to fully answer your question; should someone be legally required to give their kidney? No. Should someone be legally forbidden from ending the life of another? Yes.

  8. Jackie Evans January 24, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    I believe if all Pro- choice folks would just admit what this woman says is true… that all fetuses are human life… then the true discussion on the moral issue of abortion can FINALLY begin. We can get past the hogwash on arguing whether a fetus is human or not, and can start addressing the root issue which is the of the value of a human life and the right to take that life or not. The argument of ‘a clump of cells’ only serves to distort the real issue in the general public’s mind.

  9. Andy Moffat January 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    I wonder if she would carry that argument through if she stopped and inserted a different human life. Instead of using the word fetus, maybe she should insert the word woman, or black, or Jew, all groups who at one time or another have been considered less than someone else and not deserving of full human rights. The hypocrisy of her comments is stunning!

  10. Zach Nielsen January 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    A couple thoughts…

    1. The most honest reflection on abortion will demand that you walk down the road to infanticide. One can clearly see that here. She doesn’t seem to know it (maybe she does!) but she is making a great argument for infanticide. Why not infanticide? Honestly and calmly, why not? If it’s life in the womb, as she passionately admits, yet it’s worth sacrificing, why not say we should allow mothers who have kept their babies to change their minds and sacrifice the born baby? Honestly, why not?

    Parenting is really hard after all. But please note, you are not allowed to say that killing infants is self-evidently wrong. One would think that based on this woman’s argument that she would be passionately pro-life, but in fact, the opposite is the case. So really, what is all that wrong with a little infanticide? Some lives are worth sacrificing after all. If the unborn is worth sacrificing, why not a 12-week-old? On what specific basis is one wrong and not the other?

    Keep in mind, infanticide is where we are headed. Don’t think it’s not possible. Ten years ago I would have thought that this woman’s article would not have been possible to publish in a public forum.

    2. At least she is being honest about the issue. Everyone knows what we are doing. “It’s a life worth sacrificing.” If that doesn’t make you want to weep for where we are as a country, I don’t know what will. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes, there are mothers out there who are scared, poor, and alone. May the church rise up to their defense without condemning attitudes and harsh judgments! But being scared, poor, and alone can never justify murder. In what parallel universe could we ever say that is justifiable?

    But let me frame this differently. How come we don’t say that the child in the womb is “scared, poor, and, alone?” If there was a three-year-old that was backed into the corner by their mother wielding a knife and saying, “Hold still, this will just take a second. This parenting thing is too hard and I am too poor to support you” would we not define that child as certainly scared, alone, and poor in the most profound sense of those words? Would not everything in you want to rise up and defend that child? Is it not possible to have profound compassion for that struggling mother at the same time demand that she not kill her three-year-old?

    Ok, what is the difference between that and the justification for abortion that this woman at Salon.com is giving and that sadly, many Christians give for it? What is the foundational difference between that scenario and the abortion doctor? How come we don’t define the unborn child as scared, poor, and alone?

    I know why. It’s because they can’t talk. The three-year-old can scream, the unborn can’t. We couldn’t bear to hear the screams of the chubby, cute, and innocent three-year-old. We do a fine job bearing it when the killing is quiet, quick, and sterile. As long as there is no blood and gore, we stomach it just fine.

    But friends, think it through. Think long and hard. What is the difference? Do we want to say that “sacrificing a life” is ok as long as it’s clean and quiet and helps out a struggling person not struggle as much?

    3. She makes the case that the reason the baby is worth sacrificing is because it’s “non-autonomous”. But again, an infant is the last thing from autonomous. Any parent can quickly bring you up to speed on that fact. As I drag my butt out of bed at 2am to feed that screaming child it is quite clear that this kid is not autonomous. Simply put, someone will have to feed and cloth this child and protect it from the elements or it will most certainly die. You would think that autonomy would be a horrible basis on which to”sacrifice” the unborn baby. Evidently it’s not. So again, why not the 12-week-old too?

    Friends, don’t say that we can’t go there as a culture. This woman is simply a little more thought and a few more paragraphs away from leading us to quiet, quick, and sterile infanticide. I’m not being alarmist. Just stating a logical fact. She is petitioning her pro-choice friends to be consistent and to not fear the language of “life”. Do they know where this consistency logically leads?

  11. James Harold Thomas January 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    The usual inconsistency we see in the pro-abortionist’s arguments is only there because of God’s common grace. They usually stick their fingers in their ears and tell themselves “it’s not a person, it’s not a person, it’s not a person” until they believe it, because their heart tells them it’s wrong. When their heart becomes as black and callous as Williams’ is, then it is evidence that God has (at least for now) removed some of His restraint on the extent of their sin. One description of this is by the apostle Paul: “God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity”.

    Right now, this attitude is not common. Most pro-aborts seem to keep fighting the truth of the personhood of the unborn. But if this “it’s a person but I don’t care” attitude starts taking hold, God help us all.

  12. Eric Pline January 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    If you have 40 minutes, please listen to this message on life. Even if your not a Christian, listen to the argument.

  13. Evelyn Grebe January 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    Why would a woman not be willing to give her baby up for adoption if she cannot support it. There are people wanting babies who are unable to conceive. And, there are many women who regret, after having an abortion, that they did this. Think about it!!!!!

  14. Anna January 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    OK, another question: do you believe abortion should be permitted to save a mother’s life? If so, why?

    • Denny Burk January 24, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

      Yes. The standard pro-life position is that all life should be protected from conception to natural death. If a mother’s life is at stake, it is permissible to try and save her even if the unintended effect of doing so causes harm to the unborn child she’s carrying. The intention must be to save a life, not to destroy one.

      • Anna January 24, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

        Why should saving the mother’s life come first, rather than prolonging the pregnancy as long as possible to save the baby instead?

    • Daryl Little January 24, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      Anna,

      No. The mother’s life is not more valuable or sacred than the babies.

      It is honourable to give up ones life, not to steal another’s life.

      • Anna January 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

        Legally (not morally) speaking – should abortion be banned even to save a mother’s life?

        • Daryl Little January 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

          I think so. It’s one thing, as Denny mentioned, for a baby to dies accidentally in the attempt to save the mom.
          It seems to me a very different thing to purposely kill the baby.

  15. steve hays January 24, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    Incidentally, prolifers need to avoid the trap of letting abortionists frame the debate. For instance, abortionists leave it all up to the mother, then turn around and blame prolifers for burdening the mother, as if we singled her out. But, of course, prolifers don’t think the mother has sole responsibility. Minimally, the father shares equal responsibility for the child’s well-being. And in the extended family culture of the Bible, responsibilities would be wider.

  16. Kelley Kimble January 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    True story: one day, a pregnant woman (who already had children) came into an emergency room at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix AZ. She was in crisis: blood pressure dangerously high, in critical condition. The decision was made to terminate the pregnancy. As a result, the bishop of the Phoenix diocese revoked the “Catholic” standing of the hospital, and action was also taken against a nun who was involved in the decision. In this particular case, the choices were to either let the woman and the unborn child both die, which would also leave her other children motherless, or terminate the pregnancy and treat the illness. Sometimes these painful situations arise. If I were faced with the choice of saving my only daughter’s life, or losing both my only child and her unborn child, it’s a no-brainer. It would hurt, but I know what I would choose.

    • John M. Harris January 26, 2013 at 11:54 am #

      The Margaret McBride case is simple, they should not have performed the abortion. They should have treated the mother and done their best to save the child in spite of treating the mother. In stead, they killed the child because the child might have died from the mother’s treatment. The abortion was not the mother’s treatment. It was wrong and unethical.

  17. Paul Reed January 24, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    @Anna Perkins

    “What if a woman and her already-born child were matches for a kidney donation, and the child needed one. Would we say that the woman should be LEGALLY REQUIRED to donate that organ? If not, then why should a woman be legally required to use her body to sustain a unborn life?”

    So your analogy is partially right. It’s possible for a woman to expel a baby for her body and the baby to die without the mother’s body’s support. Therefore, I would agree that there’s not any real difference between denying support to the child and just outright killing it. So in that sense, your analogy works. I would agree with you here and not Daryl Little.

    Your analogy would be perfect if not for one major flaw: In pregnancy, the baby is dependent upon the woman because the woman put the baby in that situation. If the woman never had sex, the baby would not be in the position it’s in. I would change your analogy to say that the baby needs a kidney because of something the mother did.

    Here’s a better analogy: Imagine I’m a pilot and while you’re sleeping, I take you aboard my plane as a prank and take off flying. It turns out some defect in the plane prevents me from landing, but there is only one para-shoot. Should I have a legal obligation to give you that para-shoot and die if necessary? Yes. I put you in that situation, and I have an obligation to get you out.

    Anna, I have a question for you. Why can’t the government compel a woman to have a baby which is only 9 months long, but it can conscript a man into the armed forces where he may lose his life or limbs? If it’s within the government’s power to ask young men to lose their legs, I don’t think it should be such a big deal to ask women to experience the inconvenience of pregnancy.

    • Karen Cox January 27, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

      Your airplane analogy has one huge flaw — it is not possible for the fetus to survive if the pregnant woman dies, so your airplane either has to have two parachutes or none.

      More significantly, thank you for admitting that you think pregnancy is women’s punishment for having sex. If we weren’t such dirty sluts, we wouldn’t need any help, would we?

      • steve hays January 28, 2013 at 1:12 am #

        i) A comparison needn’t be analogous at all points, just the relevant point. You need to show why Reed’s comparison ought to be analogous in that respect.

        ii) Seems to me Paul Reed is assuming that woman are intelligent agents capable of anticipating the foreseeable consequences of their actions. Are you saying women lack the intellectual aptitude to connect sex and pregnancy?

        iii) Why do you characterize pregnancy as punishment? You yourself began life as a baby in your mother’s woman. Do you regard yourself as a punishment?

      • Paul Reed January 30, 2013 at 12:02 am #

        “it is not possible for the fetus to survive if the pregnant woman dies”

        Are you being serious? You’re saying it’s not possible for a baby to arrive alive and kill the mother in the process of birth?

  18. Kathy Pitkevits January 25, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    Wonder if she would have the same view if it were HER MOTHER who made that choice….oh yea, she wouldn’t be here to talk about it. God’s justice will prevail in the end.

  19. larrygeiger January 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    What if I want Mary Elizabeth Williams stuff. I’m bigger, stronger, faster and more valuable than Mary Elizabeth Williams so I’ll just go and put her down and take her stuff. No problem, right Mary Elizabeth Williams?

  20. John M. Harris January 26, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    This is simply evil. Saying that it is worth killing a human life for the convenience of another is called murder.

  21. J. Gary Ellison January 27, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    The self-contradictory phrase, “life worth sacrificing,” is a misuse of language to garner support for the argument. The concept of sacrifice is used to ennoble the concept, but the sacrifice of an animal involves the killing of it, so she speaks of the preborn as a life worth killing. One thing is sacrificed for the benefit of another, but the killing of the preborn is a denial of the worth the phrase pretends to recognize. In other words, how can she refer to the life of a preborn as a life worth killing when the only life she values is that of the one doing the killing. What she really means is that the life of the preborn is worthless in comparison with the life of the mother and can therefore be sacrificed for the mother’s convenience.

  22. Ray Nearhood January 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    It’s not a matter of “first” or “second” in terms of importance. It is a matter of lives saved.

    Take an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, for example. In this case there are two lives involved, the mother and the child. Neither is more important than the other, but both are at risk of dying if nothing is done. The options are: Do nothing, abort, or “something else.” So, what is the moral, ethical choice to make?

    In this case, there is no “something else” that can be done now. Perhaps with future medical advances this will be different, but as it is right now, a tubal pregnancy cannot be corrected. That option is out.

    That leaves us with do nothing or abort. The choice “do nothing” inevitably leads to the death of both the mother and the child within a few weeks.

    The choice to abort necessarily leads to the the death of the child but not the mother.

    In this case, the moral choice is to abort in order to save the life of the mother. It is not a good choice, but it is morally necessary in order to protect a life that can be protected.

  23. Jessica Shifflett Farrish January 29, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    The same argument made to go to war: Yes, this is human life, but it’s not as important human life as other human life.

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