As you have probably already heard, Kate Middleton is pregnant. Her offspring will be third in line for the British throne. The media have been abuzz with the news. In fact, I would say that they have been downright obsessive about it.
With all this coverage, I just have one question. Why is it that I have yet to hear or read anyone refer to her unborn child as the “royal fetus”? Oh, I’m sure someone has used the term “fetus,” but it seems to me that the preferred term is “royal baby” or “child,” even though the Duchess of Cambridge is in the very early stages of pregnancy (e.g., NY Times, Washington Post, ABC News, CNN).
Could it be that we reserve the terms “baby” and “child” for unborn babies that are wanted and prefer the term “fetus” for unborn babies that are not? This is not an unwanted pregnancy but a wanted pregnancy. And the feeling is shared not only by the royal parents but by almost every person in the English speaking world. Since this is to be a royal birth to one of the most glamorous couples on the planet, almost every person on said planet is in eager expectation of this baby.
What is the difference between this “royal baby” and the unborn child in the womb of a mother in the waiting room of an abortion clinic? There’s no intrinsic difference in terms of their humanity. The only difference is that one is wanted and the other is not. Thus, the one gets the status of “baby” and the other is euphemized as a fetus, blastocyst, or blob of cells.
Most people have not pondered the fact that their language about the unborn is shaped less by the personhood of the unborn than by whether or not the baby is wanted. Is there any other class of people whose personhood depends solely on whether or not they are wanted?
Our language often reveals fundamental truths about the way we view the world. In this case, the way we speak of the unborn reveals whether or not we view them as a part of the human community with an unalienable right to life. Obviously, the world has agreed to call Kate Middleton’s unborn child a “baby.” Why wouldn’t we do the same for every other unborn child? Could it be that such terminology would imply a moral monstrosity that we are unwilling to face?
James Harold Thomas
“Thus, the one gets the status of “baby” and the other is euphemized as a fetus, blastocyst, or blob of cells.”
Don’t forget “parasite.”
Excellent observation. Human life is thus defined as how desired the baby is by the mother. Disgusting.
You are so right Eric K, if it is desired and convient then it is a baby, a life, a human, if not convient, it is disposable. How sad the human race has become…
The hypocrisy of liberals never ceases to astound me.
Sad to know a persons desire is the final determiner.
Well, I’m not sure if it’s necessarily hypocrisy. I think there’s something going on at a more fundamental level. For people who don’t believe that human value is derived from God it probably makes sense that they get to decide who is valuable and who is not. If they don’t want a baby then that baby has no value.
I believe there are some blatant assumptions made both in this article and your response to it. This one “observation” by this one author doesn’t speak for anyone but him nor does it point to “hypocrisy of liberals” in any plausible or factual manner.
Really Caryn? And who do you speak for? Are you really saying the author’s point has no value, because he speaks only for himself? What then, is the value of anything that has ever been written? I’m pretty sure he is speaking for more than a few of us. Also, did you think you were discounting his point of view by saying he makes “blatant assumptions?” The tenure of the article is to ask people to think through something that has clearly happened. He is sharing his perspective, and it is quite reasonable, as any thinking person can see. How in the world can you say his point is not plausible? Of course it’s plausible. Good grief. The guy keeps his point simple, doesn’t even get into the issue really, just makes one simple and obvious point, asks people to think about what it might mean, and still you can’t even consider it. Why do you bother reading anything you don’t already agree with?
Well said, Mark Ford. Caryn, in standard liberal fashion, has made allegations completely void of specifics. Namely, “blatant assumptions,” and her last sentence as a whole, in which she failed to go into much-needed detail. If you’re going to pick an article apart, pick it apart and show why you’re right and the article is wrong, or you’re going to look like you have no solid reasons other than your own misguided beliefs. An explanation appended to her last comment might’ve made her argument stronger – then again, probably not.
Over 4,000 abortions are performed every day. After having a baby of my own I can’t imagine how the average American is okay with crushing the skull of an unborn baby. I did a bit of research on this yesterday in response to this picture:
A perfectly healthy baby was born still in the sac, which the doctors had to break, and yet minutes before it could have legally still been aborted.
This article provided some insight into how this would have been done, which made me feel sick. http://www.abortionfacts.com/literature/literature_9312ha.asp
Let’s call abortion what it is; child sacrifice to the god of comfort and convenience.
It’s true that abortion is horrific, and parents who have never lived in the depths of contemplating that choice often feel appaled that any “mother” could do such a thing. But let’s not forget that any woman who finds within herself the ability to follow through on voluntarily terminating the life of her pre-born baby is a woman whose hurt, fear, emotional/physical scarring, and life circumstances cannot be understood by others looking in from outside. Let’s compassionately come alongside women who are broken, and in doing so, help them see the value of BOTH lives at stake: theirs and their babies’.
A fetus is simply a scientific term for an early stage of life. It is not incorrect to use the term, however, I agree that the pro-aborts are calculating that fetus does not equal baby in the minds of most people; but it should. That is, we should raise awareness of what the term fetus means so that it cannot be used to hide behind.
I think that reflecting on people’s language use in such cases reveals some important truths about the nature of personhood, truths that might help to hone our arguments against abortion.
I think you’re playing off of an assumption of your own. Is the public aware of the difference between baby and fetus? Your assumption manifests in a discourse that assumes the American public is ignorant of the inherent difference between baby/child & fetus.
Also, do recall that baby, child, and fetus all have very different definitions according to with whom you are speaking to. It would be interesting to note, that if you had pursued this from a non-ethnocentric, media literate, point of view, that analyzed the multiple palimpselestical layers of this issue, that you may have come to a different conclusion, or even you may have reworked your initial argument.
I think you are missing the point of the post and it’s hard for me to understand the point of your comment. Philosophy major?
1. While both fetuses and newborns are human beings, they cannot be said to be ‘persons’ in the morally relevant sense of having the capacity to attribute value to their lives.
2. Morally speaking, you cannot harm something that does not have value.
3. ‘Possible persons’ (in the sense of (1)) cannot be harmed in the sense of (2) because their lives do not yet have value.
4. (3) can be qualified when the ‘potential person’ is valued by an actual person. Actions effecting this potential person therefore have the possibility of effecting actual persons and causing actual harm.
Conclusion: Until a newborn or fetus becomes a ‘person’ in the morally relevant sense, ending its life can only cause harm insofar as the newborn or fetus is valued by an actual person. Should the persistence of this ‘potential person’ cause more harm to actual persons than ending its life, then ending the life of this ‘potential person’ is morally acceptable.
That is the basic argument put forth to justify so-called “After Birth Abortions” in the journal published article of the same name. Notice that the first premise argues that there is no moral relevance to a child that has value – the child not valued is not, according to the argument, a person (in the morally relevant sense). Premise four explains that the non-person child gains moral relevance once an “actual person” (a human being that is valued) considers the child valuable.
What I’m showing here is that this isn’t new. What Mr. Burke has noticed is something that pro-abortion advocates have been putting forward for years and people have bought it. A wanted child is valuable and an unwanted child is not valuable (or the other way around: a valuable child is wanted and a not valuable child is not wanted).
Combine that terrible argument with the fact the pro-abortion advocates use language to dehumanize the unborn child and you have justification for the way that so many can eagerly await the “royal baby” so early in gestation and at the same time dismiss the “fetus” in the abortion clinic (and, if we follow the slope down, all the way to the point that the above argument endorses).
It’s all terribly arbitrary and horribly inconsistent, of course. What sort of mourning would there be if the royal couple miscarried or aborted? What injustice would be decried? After all, hundreds of thousands (at least) of “actual persons” believe the royal baby to be valuable.
The Nazi’s called the Jews “rats.” The Hutu’s called the Tutsi’s “cockroaches.” We, in our modern calloused sensibilities, call babies “fetus’s.” Funny how when we feel the need to kill people on this planet we always simultaneously feel the need to look at that human being and call it something else. This is very telling of our conscience. Are we really all so willing to hop in the same boat with the Nazi’s and Hutu’s? I hope not.
I don’t understand this logic behind saying that a life has not intrinsic valuable apart from the appreciation of the lives that came before it. Would this same person then turn around and say this sort of thing to the child in a group home, who is there through no fault of their own, because their parents didn’t love them enough to take care of them? Would they recommend suicide in this case to the teenager? At what point in a persons life is their value able to be beheld by its owner? That is one rabbit hole for sure.. Should we go and have a doctor “put down” the Alzheimer’s patient in the nursing home because the person that his family knew and loved isn’t really there anymore?
No one has the right to take away the humanity of another. Under social contract, we all have unalienable rights; the most fundamental of those being the right to life. And our rights under social contract are only as valid as our respect of the whole of society. If I were to come to you and violate your right to own property without fear of someone coming and forcibly taking it from you and come to you and stealing it away, then I forfeit my right to own property without fear of someone taking it from me and I have to pay restitution. If I degrade your humanity and violate your right to live and I come and I murder you, then degrade my own humanity and forfeit my right to live. My rights are only as valid as my respect of yours; that is the basic fundamental social contract.
It is said in the East that the totality of your morality is determined by how you treat those who have not power over you. It is used as a rationale over there for vegetarianism, but it always reminds me of the abortion issue. After all who is more vulnerable, and has less of a voice than a baby? By degrading the humanity of the innocent and by murdering them, we only degrade our own humanity and murder our own innocence. The sad thing is here is that the casualties are not just innocent babies, but our own innocence and humanity.
Ben Stevens (@benwstevens)
I’m glad somebody got around to this. The idea just cross my mind yesterday. I dare say “Aborting the King” would be out of the question! Nice piece.
Credit where credit is due… I believe this line of reasoning first originated with the folks at “Archbishop Cranmer.” Looks like the Brits have beat us again.
At the closing ceremony for the London Olympics Gary Barlow sang with Take That, about a week after his wife had a late miscarriage with their fourth child. Someone made an inappropriate joke (which I can’t remember) on Twitter, which lead one well-known stand-up comedian to talk about the issue of grief after miscarriage. He did so very movingly, talking about bereavement, and how very painful it is to lose a child through miscarriage. (I believe his wife also experienced a traumatic late miscarriage).
His article was very moving and passionate – but one line went seemingly unnoticed. His main point was that Mrs Barlow had lost a child, and who wouldn’t grieve? This child’s life, said the comedian in all seriousness, began when the Barlows decided to keep it rather than terminate it.
I am still gobsmacked at the folly and wickedness behind those words.
How can a group be anti-choice (pro-life) yet pro-death (pro-war pro-death penalty) The morality is lacking to say the least.
I thank God for Psalm 139 I will pray the Royals come to love this chapter in the word of God
Do you really not see the difference between a) murdering an innocent child, and b) defending a country from its enemies who wish it and its citizens harm?
This is not to justify all wars that politicians may start. But the idea that there is a obvious and undeniable moral equivalence between these two situations is… breathtaking.
Bob Ward – In response to Jah-Roam Milliscone who wonders how someone can be pro-life (against abortion) but willing to kill in the case of war or punishing a murderer with the death penalty. The crucial element is innocence. The baby in the womb has not deliberately murdered anyone nor has the baby bombed cities, sunk ships or any other act of aggressive warfare. That’s how. Moral people do not slaughter the innocent but they do punish the guilty.
Mr. Burk: Someone added the words “Your comment is awaiting moderation” to my comment. What does that mean.
It just means that your comment won’t go public until I approve it. Thanks for reading and taking time to comment!
Well said, Bob Ward.
What do you think the response would be if the Royal Couple chose to abort this baby? Taking into consideration your thoughts on wanted vs unwanted pregnancy (which I agree with), how do you think the adoring subjects royalty would respond to that choice? Would there be moral outrage? I believe there is a possibility that there would be. My thought is that because so many people want this baby to be born, it would then heighten the moral nature of choosing not to carry and have it.
That’s a great point. It’s a thought experiment that would disgust most people, but then that’s the point, isn’t it?
When you grow a uterus and are capable of pregnancy; when you are poor in a third world country with no way to feed the children you already have; when you are in an abusive home where a family member rapes you, then you can have a voice in this debate. I am so weary of white men dictating morality. (And please don’t respond with how the church can fix all of those problems. If you can fix poverty, abuse, and misogyny – go ahead. No one is stopping you.)
Angela, you are missing the fundamental moral question that I am pressing here. What is the moral status of the unborn? Are they persons with an unalienable right to life? Or are they not persons for whom we should have no concern? Terms like “baby” and “child” suggest the former, while terms like “fetus” and “blastocyst” suggest the latter. On what grounds do you exclude the unborn from the human community?
All the fundamental moral questions in the world are not going to prevent women from having abortions, unfortunately. This is what you and other people in the United States and the world over do not understand. I am against abortion, absolutely, and I believe that it is an abhorrent practice as a woman, as a mother and as a former child. BUT these are not the kind of articles or opinions that will help a woman choose to keep her baby, and this is what people like you and other white men in the evangelical movement simply do not understand. You think you win the argument, but you keep losing the lives, first you lose the women’s lives then you lose their babies lives with these words of judgment and cynicism. How many anti-abortion presidential years have their been since Roe. vs. Wade? 24 I believe.. How many years have Republicans controlled the House and Senate since Roe vs. Wade? ENOUGH – and yet the law hasn’t changed.
When will you realize that winning the argument over morality doesn’t win you the baby’s life? When will you realize that losing the argument over morality doesn’t win you the life either?
It only takes winning the woman – that’s what wins you the life.. and that is what you, Albert Mohler and every other white evangelical man fails to do at every turn by your rhetoric that is totally and completely unfriendly toward women because you simply do not understand. So go ahead. Keep writing your blog posts. Keep having your opinions.. and best wishes in saving those babies.
You are wrong. First, this is not just a female issue but a human issue and your rhetoric does nothing but divide. We will all answer for this issue and we all do what we can in our own way. Some of us use writing as a part of what we do. Your argument is basically, “saying something about it hasn’t fixed it thus far, so why don’t you just shut up.” But if that is your case then why don’t you shut up yourself (I mean, really, to reply to a blog with several paragraphs to say that writing your opinion doesn’t fix anything? Um, hypocrisy?).
Look, it isn’t that we don’t get some of your point. You are right that a blog isn’t going to solve this issue by itself. But the fact is that headway has been made, and it has been made partly because people are more educated about the gestation process and what abortion really is… and people have begun to realize that, for the most part, abortion on demand is simply not defensible. Some of that has happened because people are “talking” about it. You can’t just tell us to shut up because we are white evangelical men. It would be one thing if this article was purposefully mean or horribly distasteful, but it certainly is not.
The last time I checked, this is a free country, even for white, evangelical men. It’s our country, too. You say, “Go ahead and write your blogs.” Thanks for your permission. We will do just that… and more… and we will do what we can in the field of ideas, because ideas have consequences, and whether you believe it or not, it is still possible to convince people of the truth.
Mark, I’ve written more about my thoughts on abortion (including what I think men can do about it): http://dailybreadandbutter.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/abortion-women-men-and-babies-a-post-about-the-2012-elections/
In my experience, many of those most vocal about abortion on a political and legal level are doing rather a lot to help women on the ground. However, their work on the ground goes under-reported or unrecognized, leaving the impression that they see legal and political battles as the entire war, when in reality it is only a small part in their understanding.
I believe that a struggle for our culture’s mind and moral imagination is very important. We should not abandon this battle merely because it isn’t the whole war.
Also, the issue of abortion extends far more widely than just the choice of individual women. It brings into play issues of what we are prepared to sanction as a culture, medical ethics, our phenomenology of children, male promiscuity, fatherhood, healthcare systems, marriage culture, the relationship between sex and procreation, etc., etc. We need a public debate about these issues, issues that are not just narrowly focused on women’s choices about their bodies. The attempt to restrict the debate to this is one of the ploys of the pro-choice lobby and should be recognized for what it is.
Thanks for your thoughtful and well-reasoned response. I appreciate it. I agree with your points, but I still think when it comes to the topic of saving the lives of unborn babies, we will save more lives to sensitively have this conversation with women who are considering abortion. But you’re right that the broader topics you mentioned do still need to be addressed.
While we are talking about stereotypes why don’t we get down to it and talk about the black men in America who are serial sperm donors, having children by several different mothers and leaving them to fend for themselves? Why don’t we talk about the black man who makes his women have abortion after abortion? Once a woman has been left alone with one or two children I bet she is much more likely to abort numbers 3 and 4. Why do you think so many abortion clinics are in predominately poor black neighborhoods? A black fetus in this country is probably more likely to be aborted than born. That’s not just abortion that’s genocide. We need to change the pattern of thinking of the black man in this country!
I think that it might be helpful not to racialize this debate. Britain has many similar problems, but with a white underclass. The key issues here are less to do with skin colour and more to do with social breakdown, loss of positive masculinities (as men emasculated by unemployment and government control and provision turn to such things as crime and promiscuity to prove their masculinity), alienation from a wider society that often dismisses or despises them, hopelessness, lack of support structures within communities themselves, the demise of institution such as marriage and the family, abandonment of faith, etc., etc.
The root problems here should not merely be laid at the feet of those within such communities. The glorification of the impulses of capitalism, sexual freedom, social engineering, and government control among the upper classes have a lot to answer for here.
“It only takes winning the woman – that’s what wins you the life”
Excellent point Devi. May all men somehow understand this!
I’m so glad that all white males are the same. Since we are stereotyping, by your comments, I’ll just assume that all non-white non-American women make ignorant statements (I don’t really believe that, but at least you can see how absurd this sounds!).
Devi, I am a white woman. And I cannot agree with you. My grandmother killed her sister performing an abortion on her. Now most would say that proves the point that abortion should be legal so as to make it safe. But I say NO. The tragedy is that whether the mother lives or dies, the baby almost always dies. I say “almost always” because believe it or not some babies survive abortion. Watch the movie October Baby and see if it doesn’t give you a different perspective. I believe it is easier for a girl to complete a pregnancy (no matter how she got pregnant) and deliver her baby than to rip it from her body. If she does not want or cannot provide for her child, there are many people who desperately want a child but cannot have one of their own. I also was an unwanted child and yet I am very glad abortion was not legal then, because my mother would have chosen that.
Because you are a white male, and you have a moral soapbox, you think you get to stand on it and trumpet your opinion and expect women to just follow it? You don’t seem to understand that it isn’t your place to tell a woman what she can and cannot do. Instead of fighting against abortion, try fighting for safe sex, family planning, abstinence. When you, the right-wing white men deciding public policy, and the christian community as a whole that think abortion is wrong, start fighting for other solutions to problems like this, your opinions may start to carry more weight.
Thomas, you accusing someone else of having a moral soapbox is priceless. Seriously!! Only you can have a soapbox? I don’t usually comment on these sites, but I can’t help myself this time because of all the non-sense that is being spewed about white males and right wing men not being able to have an opinion about something. Get over yourself! Why should their opinions be any less important than yours? Simply because you don’t agree with them? I don’t know how else to say it, but this kind of thinking is idiotic. Also, this blog was about abortion, not family planning, safe sex, etc. Should Denny Burk write about every issue under the sun everytime he writes a blog just so narrow-minded people like you won’t accuse him of focusing only on one issue? Just for the record, I am pro-choice.
And I am so weary of people who suggest that you can only have an opinion on something (even though they’ve missed the point of the opinion in the first place) if you’ve been there. I struggle to believe, Angela, that while you may have self-qualified on the first two points, you have not experienced both of the second points.
And I think you’ll find that a great sea of inhumankind is stopping good people from ‘fixing’ the problems you speak of. Otherwise, no-one would be stopping you either.
That said, I defend everyone’s right to free speech, even those who choose to try and subtly their racism.
Angela, I thought it was interesting when you said, “I am so weary of white men dictating morality” and that I should not be able to comment on whether abortion is “morally” wrong because I don’t have a uterus, etc. First, without reiterating everything Jason Bregg said so well, I am not sure when people, non-white and white, were not allowed to judge something to be morally wrong unless they had experienced that particular act. Where do you stop with that logic? I’m not going to make a list here because I’m pretty sure if you were honest you could, like most people, come with a personalized list of behaviours that you believe are morally wrong even though you have never done/experienced them. I’m not sure why abortion and the fact that white men think it is morally wrong makes abortion any different. But for argument sake, let’s just assume that I am not able to comment on abortion because I don’t have a uterus and because I am a white male from a first world country. Okay, that’s fine with me. I will, instead, leave it to all the women with uteruses who do in fact condemn it–there are plenty of them. But even so, I’m sure that if a human with a uterus thought abortion was wrong, you would find some other reason with her that would justify you telling her that she has no right to give her comment/opinion on abortion.
Another thing, just because I’m a man doesn’t mean I am not able to understand or be sensitive to the pressures of what a woman (third-world or not) is going through when she is considering having an abortion (e.g. having one after being raped). But that does not mean that I can conclude the action that she did was morally right, even if I have sympathy for her. There are other examples of morally wrong choices that I can understand why someone might commit them, but i still believe these acts are wrong. For example, I believe theft is wrong whether a CEO or poor person does it. Let’s say you have two people: a rich oil tycoon who steals simply to increase his billion dollar bank account, and a poor man without a job who steals money/food so his family will have food on the table. What both of these people did is still stealing and it is wrong. Of course I can understand the reason why the poor man chose to steal more than I can the rich oil tycoon. I would have sympathy for the poor guy, and I would want to help him out. It is the same with a woman who has been raped. I am not minimizing the pain and misery that she is going through, and yes, I can understand and sympathise with her if she chose to get an abortion, but that does not mean that I have to think abortion is now right because she is a rape victim, let alone make abortion legal for everyone now that she has been raped.
If were honest though, as Mr. Burk said, the real issue is that there is a pro-choice society that does not want to really talk about its fundamental position on abortion/personhood. It’s better for them to steer the conversation towards individual rights.The pro-choice movement knows that it would have a harder time convincing everyone that aborting babies just because you don’t want the little blob infringing on your life would not be as palatable to the general pubilc. So we have a whole society that loves to champion individual rights stories rather than the responsible adult stories. I would rather hear stories about mature individuals who sacrifice themselves for their children, rather than sacrifice their children for themselves.
I sense that you have experienced some if not all of the horrible circumstances you mentioned above. I am sorry and wish I could help. The truth is, we need real men who will love and care for their women and children, and yes, we do need their voice in this debate. The church has failed on many fronts, but if the followers of Jesus, men and women alike, will stand up and truly be His hands and feet, we can make a difference. My prayer for you is that you will experience His love through one of His children.
When you tell me that a woman’s life is destroyed by terrible events therefore she must destroy another life, I say baloney. Saying that one’s life is destroyed by her circumstances completely ignores the work of God in that person’s life. Can a life get so low that even God can’t help? NO! You are taking away the TRUTH that God has a much bigger plan for those lives than the mother or you can imagine. I’m disheartened to know that people have such a low opinion of what God can do, so little faith that you would rather see a baby aborted than wait to see what God will do. Of course as the church we need to be able to tell women in these circumstances just how powerful the Almighty is!
By the way, the mother’s life is not wonderful after an abortion either. There is the overwhelming, oppressive guilt and depression–whether she admits it or not. Two lives are damaged in an abortion.
Hey, my grandmother killed her sister performing an abortion on her. My mother would have aborted me and my younger brother if it had been legal and was never a loving mother. Do I get a right to an opinion?
“What is the difference between this “royal baby” and the unborn child in the womb of a mother in the waiting room of an abortion clinic? There’s no intrinsic difference in terms of their humanity.”
Well there kind of is a difference in terms of their humanity. An unwanted baby about to be aborted no longer has a humanity. Its being killed, sadly. A baby that is wanted will actually have a humanity.
Lou Ellen Markovitch
We pray for all pregnant women to choose life. We love you and your babies and are here to help you. Contact us challenge us.
These links were shared by a facebook friend. Some media outlets are in fact using the phrase “Royal fetus.”
I think it’s only fair to point out that folks are in fact using the phraseology.
Yeah, we already talked about it above.
Ah. Got it. My fault. Didn’t read all the comments.
Thank you for bringing out the absurdity of our equivocations on ethical issues. Playing the ostrich simply doesn’t change the facts. All human life must be seen as the valuable gift of the Master Creator: we are fearfully and wonderfully made. What a treasure we are to Him, and what great potentials are embedded in every life! Who knows what answers for a future generation might be destroyed along with that unborn child queued up for destruction!
The word “fetus” is simply a Latin word for baby, and in medical terms describes the growing baby in the womb once it has passed the embryo stage. (An embryo is still developing its basic form and function, the fetus looks like what it is, a baby). There is nothing inherently wrong with calling a fetus a fetus, the word does not diminish the status of the child within; it is just that English speakers generally do not use the clinical term when announcing a pregnancy to the world. Rather we use it when we want to evade what the word actually means.
I have heard it said that every child should result from a wanted pregnancy. And yet, pregnancies do happen whether wanted initially or not, and I can attest that if the parents give themselves some time to come to terms with that reality, the child that is brought to term and born is every bit as much loved and treasured regardless of whether the pregnancy was planned or not planned. I love all my children, each one uniquely, and I cannot imagine life without them, even though none of my pregnancies were scheduled to fit into my life. Love creates the opportunity to expand one’s life, rather than the other way around.
What if this unborn baby is found to have some genetic deformity that would cause it to be unable to live outside the womb and according to known science will die at birth? What would the princess do? In many, if not most, cases the parents choose to abort the baby so they will not have to go through the tragedy of birthing a doomed child. I’m sure the public outcry against this would be horrendous because this baby is already wanted by so many millions of people. How could she kill the king or queen? In the case of private citizens the baby is wanted by only a handful of family members thus lessening its value. Those family members, not wanting the parents and fetus to suffer, will probably support the decision. I submit that even the number of people who “know” the baby, even a wanted one, makes a difference in its intrinsic value too.
Very well put and very truthful! Thank you!
Every child is ‘wanted’. Not always by the woman carrying it but often by parents waiting to adopt. As proud “grammy” to a precious adopted granddaughter I praise God for the couragious choice her birth mother took in giving her life. And yes, adoption is a ‘choice’ but those who profess ‘pro-choice’ fail to focus on the choice of adoption.
From now on, I’m referring to it as the Royal Fetus. This sounds much better than baby.
Semantic gymnastics are a necessary tool for the abortion trade, just as they have been throughout history for rationalizing other heinous acts against humanity. The great irony is the guilty make it sound as if they are the humane ones. Typically there is an argument made which pits “us” against “them” so “tough choices” must be made. The choices naturally favor the powerful over the weak. I believe the most demeaning term I’ve heard with regard to the developing child in the human womb is “intrauterine contents.” A Nazi favorite was “useless eaters” for those undesirables they wished to eradicate. Not much of a stretch to grasp the horrific similarities of such terms and with the advent of nationalized health care about to descend upon us it’s reasonable to presume terms such as “death panels” will soon become too familiar in our health care lexicon. Advanced directives, while seemingly innocuous, can easily grease the lid off a Pandora’s Box of troubling documents that may come to haunt us down the road. Sure, we all want to die with dignity, but I for one want to know those making my end of life decisions are doing so from a place that truly has my best interests (expressed or not) in play. Surely, erring on the side of life is the only standard to cling to lest we plunge deeper into the abyss of a world where our “utility” is determined by some devilish cost/benefit calculation authored by the tyrant of the day. President Lincoln understood well the importance of codifying our common equality under the law for anything less would be subject to the political (and ethical) winds of time. Calling the newest Royal a fetus or baby may seem trivial to some but when you pull back the semantic curtain the writing on the wall is ready to redefine any of us who fall from favor with the ruling party. “Ask not for whom the bell tolls” has never been more applicable.
Over 20 years ago I attended a debate on abortion between Phyliss Schafly and a professor at San Jose State University. Schafly did a fantastic job of representing the pro-life position. It was very interesting to me to hear women in the audience who talked about their pregnancies. Nobody in the audience disagreed that the nature of what these women were carrying was the same, but those who wanted what they were carrying referred to them as children, while those who chose to abort them called them fetuses, or something other than persons. As you noted in this article, how people refer to what they are carrying in their wombs is based on whether the woman wants it or not.
Well, ‘Fetus’ is a name more observed by science, and ‘baby’ by society. I’m sure the doctors will call it a fetus whatever the case, because it’s more accurate.
I also think that in the case of unwanted pregnancy the name ‘Fetus’ is used to desensitize the parents of the fetus, so it doesn’t feel as much like murder, which it is often is thought as, although it is not.
We could also call it ‘Embryo’ or ‘Zygote’
The choice of language is based on the potentiality of the foetus, not just its current status. This is not a reflection on the value of a wanted foetus over and unwanted foetus. An unwanted foetus will only ever be a foetus, it will never be a baby so of course it is unreasonable to call it a baby. A wanted foetus on the other hand, has the potential to become a baby. When it is visible to the world it will be a baby. What the mother is looking forward to is holding a baby. So it makes sense that the choice of language will project forward to this.
How can people justify being against abortion on the grounds of all life being sacred yet still condone the death penalty? What gives humans the right to judge over another person’s life even if he has killed another? Won’t anyone (whether an unborn child or a murderer) be judged by God when their time comes? Either life is sacred all the time or it is not, pick one.
I am re-posting Bob Ward’s response to your question about pro-life versus the death penalty for criminals and death in war. I think Bob did an excellent job defining the difference.
Bob Ward – In response to Jah-Roam Milliscone who wonders how someone can be pro-life (against abortion) but willing to kill in the case of war or punishing a murderer with the death penalty. The crucial element is innocence. The baby in the womb has not deliberately murdered anyone nor has the baby bombed cities, sunk ships or any other act of aggressive warfare. That’s how. Moral people do not slaughter the innocent but they do punish the guilty.
I have read Bob’s post but it does not justify why people would have the right to judge over anyone’s life. Not even that of a killer. I’m not saying abortion is moral, I’m saying killing is immoral and it’s hypocritical to say it’s ok to kill in one case but not in the other.
I believe it was Ronald Reagan who said “I’ve noticed that all of those who are pro-choice have been born”. I know what the choice would be if all the “fetuses” could voice their opinion.
Is the opinion of a foetus inside a rape victim worth more than that of the rape victim who wants an abortion? Also foetuses have no opinion since they have no consciousness. It just pains me that you’d apparently rather have a foetus become a child in (sometimes) horrible circumstances than admit that the matter of abortion being right or not is not absolute.
Allan, survival is the opinion of the fetus. Have you ever watched an ultrasound as a baby is aborted? You cannot say that is just a blob of tissue if you have seen it. Read my other post about abortion and convenience for the mother/versus the “mother’s health”.
A fetus IS a child, only a very young child. And yes, abortion is wrong, and that’s absolute. I have told many abortion minded women that I will gladly adopt that child if she will only choose life. Sadly, most of these women choose abortion because they’ve been led to believe it is their only choice.
I wish there were more people like you who actually want to help these women and their children. It seems to me that a lot of people (not necessarily on this website) have an attitude of ‘just have the child and deal with it’. All they seem to care about is the fact that abortion shouldn’t take place regardless the consequences.
However, even if you consider a foetus a child, what about when the child has a horrible disease and won’t survive long? Should we put the mother through the ordeal of pregnancy and birth knowing the child will never survive? (Just a theoretical example, curious about your opinion).
It’s very interesting you should ask this question, Allan, because tomorrow is the day a dear friend of mine is scheduled to deliver her full term baby. This baby has anencephaly (a condition where there is no brain present and the baby will not live more than an hour or two after birth). This condition was diagnosed around 20 weeks of pregnancy. She was offered an abortion at that point because there is no chance of survival apart from a miracle. She and her husband refused an abortion, choosing instead to place their lives and the life of this baby in God’s hands. It has been an extremely difficult journey for them, but I wish you could hear her testimony of God’s grace and how He has carried them through. God has no favorites, He can and will do that for you and anyone who asks! He LOVES us and has unlimited resources and power available!
“Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you!” Jeremiah 32:17
Heidi, praying for your friends and their baby. Only God knows why things like this happen, but I know they will never regret their decision to go on with the pregnancy. Many who choose abortion do regret their decision later.
I respect your and your friends’ choices and beliefs and wish you the very best for the future. It just somehow saddens me that your God would let bad things happen to some while good things happen to others. Would he not want you to take control of your own life and shape it as you see fit? After all he gave us the ability to do so, right?
I do not wish to go into a debate about religion, but I’m afraid I can’t participate in a debate in which the main arguments are ‘because God said so’ or ‘it is God’s will’ without attacking your beliefs (which I do not wish to do). I was just wondering one thing (if I may). Why do you think your friends chose to have prenatal tests done on the child if they were going to ignore anything that came up?
Once again I wish you and your friends much love and strength in these difficult times!
Allan, may I direct you to an article that I think may be helpful in your understanding of God and pain? I don’t pretend to understand God fully myself, but I have chosen to trust Him with my life. Sorry, I’m not sure how to make this link live:
A good book on this subject is “Can Man Live Without God?” by Dr. Ravi Zacharias
The 20 week ultrasound is standard prenatal care done to determine the size of the baby, date the pregnancy accurately, determine the sex of the baby, etc. Besides, my friends have been able to prepare themselves and their family for what will happen tomorrow.
Thank you for your love and concern!
In recent months, as I’ve thought about abortion a story of another royal pregnancy comes to my mind. Have you ever considered how much easier it would have been for King David and Bathsheba if they had aborted their baby? That baby would also have been heir to the throne, but the public would not have been so excited about that birth. The king could have covered up the adultery quietly and no one else had to know. When confronted, he could have firmly let Nathan know that it was none of his business–after all Bathsheba could choose what to do with her own body. Instead, the king decided to murder Bathsheba’s husband. David must have loved Bathsheba because he married her and their second child (Solomon) did become king. But oh how David (and I believe Bathsheba did as well) grieved and wept over his first son’s death. David after all was a man after God’s own heart and he repented.
In America, we’ve been sold on abortion under the guise of it being for the health of the mother. Really? We all know that, with the exception of a very few, abortion is a matter of convenience not the health of the mother. It makes it seem like more of a need when you throw in the “mother’s health” language. It is healthier in most cases for a woman to go ahead with the pregnancy and deliver the baby than to rip it from her body. Yes that is what abortion does — it RIPS it from her body. Unwanted “fetuses” are treated in the same way cancer is. In the minds of women sold on abortion, it must be removed — the sooner the better before it grows.
So you see King David (who seduced another man’s wife and tried to cover it up and eventually sent the man to his death) as a moral example because he did not abort his child? This is a man who would kill just to have his way with women! Yes, he repented, but only after being confronted by the prophet Nathan and even then he and his house were severely punished. What you’re saying is covering up adultery by murder is still better than abortion. I’m sure you’re a peaceful individual and would not commit such crimes, but just think about how moral king David actually was…
Also do you have proof saying it’s healthier for women to not get an abortion? I’m willing to support your claim as long as you have evidence.
Allan, I’m not glorifying King David’s actions, but if you believe the Bible at all you know that David was a major character in God’s story. Imperfect and definitely not a shining example of morality (which is defined as obeying God’s laws) much of the time. The bottom line is do we acknowledge sin as sin. And pro-choice people do not recognize abortion as the taking of a life at all . They try to justify it by comparing it to war or capital punishment. I don’t think war is always wrong. If done for selfish motives, yes war is wrong. However upholding a righteous cause is reason to go to war. God told people to go to war. (In fact, if David was at war like he should have been, he would not have been tempted by Bathsheba.) Self defense and protecting innocent life is also justification for killing. Do you think it is right or wise to allow violent people to roam freely in our communities? I don’t think so, and if you read the whole message in the Bible, you’ll see that God does allow (and even commands sometimes) for us to kill. The Bible says God doesn’t look at the outward appearances, but at the heart. He knew David’s heart and called him a man after God’s own heart. Who are we to question what God said about David’s heart? And there were consequences for his poor decisions. My original thoughts about David were just to point out that abortion would have been an easy “out” for him. I think he recognized the evil of taking an innocent life. His decision about Uriah, was not at all right, but perhaps he deceived himself. In his mind, he didn’t murder Uriah, because he didn’t actually commit the act himself, he only gave the order. So, he had to be confronted with his sin by Nathan. In my mind, that is what pro-life people are trying to do — point out the deception and proclaim that abortion really does end a life,
And God DID choose David to be the ancestor for the salvation of the world.
Thanks for your reply! It is clear that you have great faith in the bible and God, which is great, more power to you! As you may have assumed, I do not share such faith with you. Hence our arguments in this debate will most likely not convince the other unless either you or I change convictions. I do not wish to go into a debate on religion since I have experience with them turning spiteful in the past (not saying you would do this).
As an atheist I do not find logic in your scripture. As a Christian you will probably not find ‘morality’ in my reasoning. It’s a never-ending discussion that I do not want to start up here. I came here to learn about different opinions and that is what I did. I thank you and wish you the very best!
Very intersting tough. But does it really have to be the object of discussion? Royal fetus or royal baby, I don’t think there’s any much differrence.
Great article Denny. Shows the true hypocrisy in the PC media. All this talk about human rights and the most defenseless in society the unborn society allows to be butchered.