Devil’s Advocate

William Saletan has a devastating article at Slate arguing that the pro life movement can’t really believe abortion is murder.  Saletan points to recent cases where women were sentenced to death or long prison terms for hiring hitmen to kill their adult children:

Hiring someone to kill your adult son or daughter is different from hiring a doctor to terminate your pregnancy. But you can also see familiar themes. Sometimes a woman seeks an abortion because she thinks the child would break up her relationship, destroy her marriage, or ruin her life. Sometimes she worries that the father won’t support the child financially and that without his help, she can’t afford to raise the baby. Sometimes she’s in a new relationship with a man who doesn’t want some other guy’s kid in the picture, so she gets rid of it. Pro-lifers often describe these situations as abortions for “convenience.”

Still, pro-lifers say the woman must not be punished.

He points out that all of the excuses pro lifers offer for women who abort their children are made by women who kill their adult children, but in those cases we hold women accountable anyway.  He argues that the pro life movement treats abortion differently because they don’t really believe it is murder:

If pro-lifers shrink from this conclusion—if they continue to make excuses for women who procure abortions while rejecting the same excuses for women who procure the deaths of their born children—then there’s only one logical explanation: They don’t really believe abortion is morally equivalent to killing a person. They sense that something about abortion— the fetus’s limited development, or its location inside the woman’s body, or the moral seriousness of weighing parenthood before you’ve actually taken it on —mitigates the gravity of the deed and the culpability of the procurer.

In their rebukes of Trump, you can see signs that pro-lifers share his doubt. Officially, the National Right to Life Committee asserts, “The baby living in her mother is as distinct and unique a separate person/human being as I am from you. This human being, as we all do, has the unalienable right to life and deserves full protection under the law.” But in its reply to Trump, the NRLC stressed that it “has long opposed the imposition of penalties on the woman on whom an abortion is attempted or performed.” The woman on whom an abortion is attempted. Apparently, the NRLC forgot that abortion, as an act of termination, is aimed at the supposedly distinct baby, not at the woman.

Kasich, Moore, and the Susan B. Anthony List committed the same slip, describing women, not their babies, as the victims who “receive” and “undergo” abortions. Never mind that the woman pays to have the baby killed and leaves the clinic alive…

That’s how you talk when you know, somewhere in your brain, that abortion is a medical procedure, that the woman is the primary patient, and that the physical and moral relationship between her and her fetus is complicated.

Saletan’s conclusion is an obvious one.  Even though this isn’t the real reason for the pro life movement’s bizarre inconsistency on the issue, most people will come to the same conclusion.

This will be as devastating for the pro life movement’s credibility as the recent series of sting videos on Planned Parenthood were to the pro abortion movement.  It may ultimately end up being even more damaging.  Women and men who are on the fence on abortion will see the pro life movement itself acting in contradiction to what they say they believe, and this fits perfectly with the argument that opposing abortion is really just about restricting the freedoms of women.  Moreover, the pro life position that women who seek abortions are merely victims offers women a pre-made rationalization for what they already want to do.  The Serpent couldn’t hatch a better plan to comfort women into believing that abortion isn’t that big a deal after all.

This entry was posted in Abortion, Dr. Russell Moore, Rationalization Hamster, Traditional Conservatives, Turning a blind eye. Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to Devil’s Advocate

  1. Pingback: Devil’s Advocate – Manosphere.com

  2. The Question says:

    “Moreover, the pro life position that women who seek abortions are merely victims offers women a pre-made rationalization for what they already want to do.”

    This is key not just to abortion, but to all other sorts of problems we face in society where women are de facto presumed to be victims. Hookup culture is a great example. It could end tomorrow if the Church told the young men in the congregation not to marry nonvirgins except under special circumstances. It sends an indirect message to the girls that they’ll be held accountable for their behavior and offers no pre-made rationalization that will work.

    People make bad life choices when they know there won’t be consequences. The worst way to get behavior to stop is to treat the people engaging in it like victims.

  3. Cane Caldo says:

    Saletan’s conclusion (pro-lifers don’t believe abortion is murder) is an obvious one. Even though this isn’t the real reason for the pro life movement’s bizarre inconsistency on the issue, most people will come to the same conclusion.

    I’m inclined to agree with Saletan. As you wrote in a comment yesterday:

    If you read both of (Doug Wilson’s) articles on the topic, it is clear that Wilson sees abortion as a unique category of crime.

    For the category of abortion to be unique crime, it must be exclusive of murder. Even manslaughter usually brings a punitive response.

    Perhaps the closest term would be babeslaughter.

  4. Abolt says:

    I agree with the article. However, I think another reason for the Pro-Life inconsistency is that they believe that if they pushed the logical consequence of punishing women they would NEVER make any headway in getting abortion restriction made into law. I can understand that as a matter of strategy.

  5. desiderian says:

    “This will be as devastating for the pro life movement’s credibility”

    This is true, but ultimately irrelevant. Abortion will remain the law of the land (and a sacrament of progressivism) as long as it remains an effective means of suppressing the black population without having to think about suppressing the black population.

  6. “if they pushed the logical consequence of punishing women they would NEVER make any headway in getting abortion restriction made into law. I can understand that as a matter of strategy.” – The problem with the end around strategy is that the center will not hold. If the perecption is that the “pro-life” people do not really believe it is murder then basically the issue is over and lost. If it is not murder it is not an issue. It is a medical procedure.

  7. mmaier2112 says:

    Abortion must be a favorite sin for Satan. It IS the woman’s choice. Whether she punches it or stabs it or chemically kills it, that baby is a goner if the mother wants it dead enough. The fact that it can be done secretly, before she shows and anyone else can tell must be delicious for him. A soul-crushing deed she’s ashamed to share and stains her entire life afterwards… what a mess.

  8. The Old Sarge says:

    Oddly enough, the only Church I’m aware of that penalizes women for having abortions is the LDS Church. IIRC, a woman can (theoretically) be excommunicated for it. But I’m no expert.

  9. Novaseeker says:

    In part it is being done that way out of a sense of political pragmatism. It may very well be that this pragmatism has resulted in some restrictions succeeding legislatively in some states, the idea being that if the intent of any of those restrictions was to punish women directly for violating them, they would not have passed, because any kind of censure on women is socially extremely unpopular. That could be.

    But it also undermines the overall pro-life argument and buys into the pro-choice argument. There are pro-choice people, for example, who claim that they dislike abortion as a choice, but that the matter is “complicated” and “private” for the woman, and that calling it a killing that is always wrong/illegal, is terribly unfair for a woman who is going through a rough time, is confused, and is facing a complex situation. That’s pretty much the same argument you see among pro-lifers when it comes to sanctioning the woman who procures an abortion (although they express it somewhat differently), which means that they both see the issue as too complex, from the women’s point of view, to justify a criminal sanction. The only difference then becomes one between the pro-choice idea, which focuses entirely on the woman and the “complexity” of the situation, and the pro-life idea which sidesteps that issue but punishes abortion providers. The strength of the prolife position becomes substantially undermined by this, precisely because it is agreeing with a significant part of the pro-choice position, and specifically the part of the pro-choice position that makes many people pro-choice, even if they personally dislike abortion. Saletan is exaggerating a bit here, but not much — by lining up this way, the pro-life movement isn’t being consistent, which opens it up to being attacked for not really believing what it says it does. Again, I think they are trying to be pragmatic and not come out as “misogynist meanies who want to put women who are in a very tough spot in jail”, but the price of this is a real weakening of the movement.

    Of course, in my mind, this is mostly academic, because overturning Roe is not happening anytime soon, so what you are looking at in the rather long meantime on this issue is what we have seen to date: states that are more pro-life in attitude enacting various kinds of restrictions and playing judicial roulette to see what the federal courts will let them get away with under Roe and Casey. None of these restrictions will involve totally outlawing abortion, which was Chris Matthews’ premise when he asked the question. That hypothetical is just that — a hypothetical, and one which isn’t going to transpire anytime soon.

  10. Suppose a mainstream women-fearing GOP male genuinely believes abortion is murder before considering the implication that the aborting mother, as a murderer, ought to be punished. On some visceral level he anticipates and abhors female disapproval, so when prompted, he denies that aborting mothers are to be punished and then keeps his mind away from processing the straightforward argument based on the premises (1) abortion is murder, (2) aborting mothers are complicit in abortion, (3) murderers ought to be punished, and therefore (4) aborting mothers ought to be punished.

    We could hold that such a man is driven by his women-fearing sensibilities to drop his belief in (1), but this wouldn’t truly reflect the man’s mind. He would still affirm (1) vehemently when asked and offer all the typical arguments for it. That his women-fearing sensibilities drove him to lose belief in (1) is only slightly likelier than that they drove him to lose belief in (2) or (3). If he lost (or never formed) some belief as a result of his women-fearing sensibilities, it would be the inference that (1)-(3) entail (4), not his belief in (1).

    But even that may be false. A very likely scenario is that he truly believes in all of the above and yet, notwithstanding these beliefs, he is too weak-willed to overcome his women-fearing emotions and actually assert (4) in polite company.

    It’s not entirely clear whether we should articulate it as emotions causing unbelief or emotions causing some level of dissimulation despite belief, but if it’s the former then the denied belief is probably the inference from (1)-(3) to (4), not his belief in (1)-(3). Of course it all can vary from person to person.

  11. Damn Crackers says:

    Feminism/Socialism does something that 2000 years of Christianity couldn’t do (with the exception of Charlemagne?) France has outlawed the buying of sex:

    http://www.france24.com/en/20160406-france-prostitution-law-sex-workers-divided

  12. Jim says:

    All Slate is doing is exposing the hypocrisy (not that they’re one to talk) of the pussified gynocentrists on the Right. “Men” on both the Right and Left are pussies who always give a pass to women when they commit crimes. Look at the people on death row. How many more men than women get put to death for the same crime? When a father murders his 5 kids he’s some evil satanic monster that should have all of his body parts ripped out. Meanwhile when a woman the poor snowflake has mental problems or “suffering” PMS or some other horseshit.

    Pussified male Christians need to take a lesson from God (see Lot, his wife and what happened to her when she disobeyed God. Did God hesitate? Not for a second). He didn’t and doesn’t grant pussy passes. Read your Bible. It’s not hard. How don’t care how hard she cries and screams to get sympathy. Grow a little balls. Jeez.

  13. Darwinian Arminian says:

    @TheQuestion
    This is key not just to abortion, but to all other sorts of problems we face in society where women are de facto presumed to be victims. Hookup culture is a great example. It could end tomorrow if the Church told the young men in the congregation not to marry nonvirgins except under special circumstances.

    Damn right on this. Abortion is just the latest phase of female misbehavior that the church can’t bring itself to condemn because the perpetrators are women. And there’s a long parade of other sins behind it that they helped to give Biblical approval to as well.

    Here’s one example I heard a little while back from good old Russell Moore. He hosted a Q & A session in which churches across America would ask for advice on ethical dilemmas they were facing in their congregation. On this occasion he’d gotten an interesting query: A pastor of a rural church had a female member who was single, claimed to be a virgin, and felt she’d been called to be a mother — but didn’t have a husband, or any prospects either. So she went to the pastor and his church elders and told them that she was now planning to have an IVF procedure done, which would allow her to have a child without fornicating to get it. The pastor and the elders counseled her not to, pointing out that she’d still be bringing a child into the world that she couldn’t provide with a father. She chose to ignore them . . . and now she was pregnant. The pastor wanted Russell Moore to advise him on what he should do now. Should there be church discipline? Should she be kicked out of the congregation over her act of rebelliousness and selfishness?

    Or . . . none of the above? If you know Moore (and the rest of the modern church) you can guess what option he chose:

    “She went ahead and she disregarded the church’s counsel, the pastor’s counsel, and she became impregnated having this baby. So, what do you do? Now, I understand also the tension that these pastors feel because you are trying to think well, if we celebrate this are we now incentivizing other people to create families outside of wedlock without mother and father? But I think that that sort of misses the point here . . .

    . . . You know, the stigma being removed from single motherhood isn’t really something that we ought to lament because the stigma never really kept single motherhood from happening; instead, the stigma often drove single mothers into isolation, and sometimes that isolation in recent years was the isolation of the abortion clinic.

    So, I don’t think this church ought to take any action that is going to even unintentionally signal that we see the life of this child as being a bad thing. This child did not choose the circumstances of his or her birth, and this child is created and made in the image of God. God knit this child together in the womb. And so, they should receive this child with joy and with thanksgiving, even though they didn’t approve of the means that the mom went through in order to conceive her. The mom is not here in a situation of some kind of ongoing unrepentant sin. She is not in some sort of sexual relationship. She is not involved in fornication. She made what I think is a really bad decision, but now the decision has been made. And so, what do we do? We welcome in those mothers and their children who need the support of the rest of the body of Christ.”

    The link for Moore is here: http://www.russellmoore.com/2015/01/29/questions-ethics-how-should-local-church-leaders-respond-to-a-single-woman-who-had-a-child-through-ivf/

    I predict that in 20 years the church won’t even be able to manage enough testicular fortitude to simply say that abortion is wrong and leave it at that. Because even that little might still make a woman feel bad about doing it — and that would be a far greater wrong.

  14. Wilson says:

    What if hitmen were legal, easily available, and free?

  15. Opus says:

    A long time ago I joined a newly-made organisation of lawyers formed for the purpose of defending the unborn. I attended the inaugural meeting in a rather desirable apartment near The Inns of Court. All attendees were, I seem to recall, male. It was suggested – though not to be repeated as to its provenance – that if we really thought abortion was bad, conscience thus decreed that we should take the law into our own hands. I attended no further meeting and allowed my membership to lapse by effluxion of time.

    Most lawyers see anti-abortion activism as Misogyny; most lawyers are irredeemably blue-pill.

  16. innocentbystanderboston says:

    The Darwinian Armenian’s Virgin-IVF story made me fell very very sad.

    “God” played absolutely NO PART in the creation of that child. It was pure…. science. And science is amoral.

  17. Bob Wallace says:

    There are very good reasons both the Greeks and Hebrews thought women brought evil into the world.

  18. Scott says:

    It may reveal my ignorance, but I was unaware that the official pro life position was to never punish the mother until Trump “misspoke.”

    I just assumed they wanted everyone involved to be sanctioned somehow.

  19. Novaseeker says:

    “God” played absolutely NO PART in the creation of that child. It was pure…. science. And science is amoral.

    If you look at what he said more closely, I think his reasoning applies more broadly. If, for example, she *had* fornicated, and a child resulted, provided she wasn’t living in unrepentant sin (i.e., still fornicating and/or shacking up), she would be accepted all the same. Hence his happiness about the removal of any stigma for single mothers (almost all of whom conceived their children by means other than through an IVF procedure).

    It’s about having one’s cake and eating it, too. You get to say you are against fornication (of course!), but at the same time don’t offend any woman (or men, for that matter) by actually shaming or doing anything other than condoning the results of that fornication.

    Of course, that sin is not unforgivable. But by basically removing all stigma, and treating single mothers the same as mothers who conceived in a moral way, you’re diluting sexual morality substantially, and tacitly approving fornication, while paying lip service to its unmorality. It’s the “perfect way” to split the baby on the issue, pardon the pun — you can officially condemn the act (which everyone expects you to do), but tacitly accept/approve it by refusing to stigmatize its results. That way you don’t piss off women, and they don’t stop coming to your church, but you retain plausible deniability if someone accuses you of being morally soft, because you can always say “Hey, I was clear that fornication is a sin!”.

    For a pastor, it’s a win/win, it seems to me.

  20. Novaseeker says:

    I just assumed they wanted everyone involved to be sanctioned somehow.

    It became the approach post-Roe, again to avoid the “meanie” label.

    My understanding is that the laws that Roe made unconstitutional did, in fact, call for sanctions against the mother, at least in some states.

  21. innocentbystanderboston says:

    It may reveal my ignorance, but I was unaware that the official pro life position was to never punish the mother until Trump “misspoke.”

    The way the pro-life movement works effectively at getting “women” to join their cause, is to argue that there are TWO victims: the murdered unborn child and #2) the mother who (of course) did what she did (obviously) because she didn’t feel like she had any choice. It HAS to be that way. There can be no other way since too few women would join if the mother shares ANY responsibility in the murder..

    To say that there is only one victim and to call the mother a murderer, the pro-life movement risks alienating women (as a whole) because they believe the gender “sticks together” on this in wanting to protect women from ANY sort of penalty/repercussions as a result of their sin. The belief here is that the natural state of women (in general) is the belief in feminism. And feminism would stipulate, no penalty and no shame for the mother who knowingly murders her own in the womb.

  22. Pathfinderlight says:

    All this means is that it is better to unapologetically hold an internally consistent moral code that is unpopular. Then when the point and shriek begins, use shaming tactics to call the other side horrible human beings. It’s a distasteful way to communicate, but hasn’t legal abortion gone on long enough?

  23. Anonymous Reader says:

    Novaseeker
    But by basically removing all stigma, and treating single mothers the same as mothers who conceived in a moral way, you’re diluting sexual morality substantially, and tacitly approving fornication, while paying lip service to its unmorality.

    By the way, the same effect is seen in those churches that choose to include single mothers in the category of “widows”, as in “the church has a work day to help winterize the houses of widows (and single mothers)”. It takes a word – widow – with a clear meaning and makes it fuzzy in order to not embarass babymommas.

    Moore’s rationalization is pretty much par for the course. One irony – no matter how much men like him supplicate and even pedestalize babymommas, the feminists will still be hating them as part of teh “patriarchy” and thus Oppressors of Women. It’s almost as though these men keep failing fitness tests, or something.

  24. innocentbystanderboston says:

    It’s a distasteful way to communicate, but hasn’t legal abortion gone on long enough?

    You and I think it has gone on long enough. Far too long, actually. But women… don’t. They want it to go on…. forever.

    And they vote. And they won’t be shamed by you (or anyone.)

  25. Easttexasfatboy says:

    Abortion is murder. Anyone who has read the Bible clearly understands that. This is why the vengeance of the Lord is coming. Satan is quite well aware of this.

  26. Darwinian Arminian says:

    @Novaseeker
    It’s about having one’s cake and eating it, too. You get to say you are against fornication (of course!), but at the same time don’t offend any woman (or men, for that matter) by actually shaming or doing anything other than condoning the results of that fornication.

    I would say that this is half true — the church doesn’t want to offend the women. It can get away with offending the men far more easily (Roissy’s Fundamental Premise holds true in the sanctuary as well) and it won’t hesitate to do so. But the tricky part for the church is that it can get away with offending only the men, and if in condemning the men you occasionally have some of that blame spill over onto the women’s side — well, that just won’t do.

    The solution that most of them seem to find for this is what you see playing out now in the whole brouhaha over whether women should be punished for having an abortion. It comes with their newfound premise that both men and women are affected by sin, in that men commit sin and women are victims of sin. This allows them to punish the same crime in men that they’ll show grace to in the women. And the bonus to this is that it lets them maintain the veneer of faithfulness to the Bible, because a church that acts this way can still say that they affirm both God’s law and God’s grace — with the men receiving the full measure of God’s law and the women getting the whole of God’s grace.

    The Baptist preacher Matt Schmucker sums this approach up pretty well (when dealing with another sin, premarital sex):

    “We do not want a brother standing at the altar on his wedding day looking at his beautiful bride only to imagine behind her the boys and men who took advantage of her and robbed her of the trust and confidence that she now needs for her husband. We do not want a sister standing at the altar on her wedding day looking at her handsome groom only to imagine behind him a string of relationships with girls and women he failed to honor, and knowing that images in his head from pornography use and past flings may stick with him for a long time.”

    Link here: http://www.boundless.org/relationships/2006/physical-intimacy-and-the-single-man

    Got that? When the bride fornicates, it’s because the men she was with were evil, and when the groom does, it’s because he is evil. So here’s the $64,000 question: What does the church do when the woman sins, feels no guilt or any need to repent for it, and there’s no man present that they can blame for “leading her astray?”

    Tick tock, preachers . . . . . . .

  27. innocentbystanderboston says:

    So here’s the $64,000 question: What does the church do when the woman sins, feels no guilt or any need to repent for it, and there’s no man present that they can blame for “leading her astray?”

    The question you are asking is moot. It is a non-starter, a unicorn farting a rainbow. There is ALWAYS a man somewhere along the way that can be blamed (in someway) for “leading her astray.” They may have a difficult time finding one, but there is.

    Remember, the cardinal virtue here is that women are not moral agents. Of course they are never responsible. It is never their fault. It is always “his” fault (whoever he may be.) You have to keep reminding yourself of that.

  28. OKRickety says:

    Here is part of a press release by the National Right to Life Committee on March 30, 2016 (emphasis mine):

    The following statement may be attributed to National Right to Life President Carol Tobias:

    The National Right to Life Committee unequivocally opposes the killing of innocent unborn children and works unceasingly to have them protected in law. Unborn children and their mothers are victims in an abortion. In adopting statutes prohibiting the performance of abortions, National Right to Life has long opposed the imposition of penalties on the woman on whom an abortion is attempted or performed. Rather, penalties should be imposed against any abortionist who would take the life of an unborn child in defiance of statutes prohibiting abortions. National Right to Life-backed state and federal legislation, such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Dismemberment Abortion Ban, is targeted at stopping abortionists.

  29. Squib Load says:

    The problem with the abortion = murder argument is that humans have always regarded a miscarriage or stillborn birth differently than a death. Likely a holdover going back to antiquity, when pregnancy was dangerous and unpredictable. Still is in much of the world.

    I think pro-lifers have a losing hand. Their problem is deeper than pro-choice voters and feminists. The bigger problem is human history is simply uncooperative to the pro-life view. Historically, life was brutal. Fetuses had a dismal survival rate, as did infants. Something about this shaped our views at a very basic level.

  30. Got that? When the bride fornicates, it’s because the men she was with were evil, and when the groom does, it’s because he is evil.

    Ahem,…

    http://therationalmale.com/2016/04/04/damaged-goods/

  31. innocentbystanderboston says:

    I wonder who Carol Tobias would say is the abortionist that faces penalties if the same pregnant woman consumes a Plan-B pill to flush out the fertilized “zygote” or (if too late as it is now attached to the uterus) an RU-486?

  32. Jg says:

    @Damn Crackers
    considering that new french prostitution law, consent laws, abortion on demand, manspreading, debunked pay gap, etc,etc, it all just so surreal. Essentially, in the coming years, whatever a woman says goes. Facts, reality, reason be damned.

    Watching how feminist are slowly remaking the world to suit themselves, is like watching a car wreck in slow motion and just waiting for the boom!

    Unfortunately, at the center of that boom, will be lives, hopes and freedom of most men.

  33. Novaseeker says:

    The solution that most of them seem to find for this is what you see playing out now in the whole brouhaha over whether women should be punished for having an abortion. It comes with their newfound premise that both men and women are affected by sin, in that men commit sin and women are victims of sin. This allows them to punish the same crime in men that they’ll show grace to in the women.

    Yes, that’s true — the whole thing is just rotten to the core at this point.

  34. The Question says:

    Curmudgeons and cynics of the world rejoice.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CfYMWAIUIAEIaOK.jpg:large

    This is why we shouldn’t expect the abortion issue to go away. The Cucky McCuckersens at RNC are convinced the key to victory is placating the ladyees and worshiping at the altar of the divine Strong Independent Woman idol. The DNC and triggered Progressives will always bring it back to the same question they asked Herr Trumpfuehrer.

    Abortion will stay to keep the libs happy and allow pro-life groups to keep getting those big donation checks.

  35. I remember a Cracked or Mad Magazine cartoon that showed a young boy tied to a stake and his mother standing there with a handgun telling him, “Sorry Billy, Mommy’s stand on abortion is retroactive.”. That pretty much says it all. The reaction must have been so tepid you can’t even find it on the web. But that’s the attitude. I said it a few hours back elsewhere, animal rights-positive women who protest my lobster pot think nothing of aborting the children in their own bellies. And of course, I am supposed to be all tolerant and understanding. Well I’m a mixed bag of feelings. I’m practical. If the sort of woman that would murder her baby live in her own damned womb does the deed, I figure, better that sort of woman doesn’t bring the baby her genes produced to term.

    In any case, the bitch isn’t breeding. Her type doesn’t help the gene pool in any case.

  36. Tarl says:

    Obviously the fetus sometimes commits the mortal sin of failing to make the pregnant woman haaaaapy, and then she has to stop being a servile doormat, throw a Godly Tantrum, and if necessary, evict the fetus from the womb if it refuses to listen to her stern but necessary act of submission. The pro-life movement simply needs to understand the complementarian model of pregnancy, in which the godly fetus does exactly what the woman wants or leaves the womb forthwith.

  37. Anonymous Reader says:

    While I don’t disagree with the conclusion you make about it not being insincerity but fear of losing approval, I think perhaps you misattribute at least some of the motivation. In the decades since Roe v. Wade, in the struggle over the popular consensus of the appropriateness of abortion, pro-life advocates have been beaten badly. Though I can’t point to any statistics proving this, it’s my feeling and understanding that things are finally on the upswing for the pro-life camp and we have more support than we have had in many years.
    This support has not been gained by the abortion is murder wing of the movement (which as a tactic has never been very successful), but rather by the compassionate and reasoned wing – those who point out the fallacies involved in dehumanizing fetuses and who advocate the provision of alternatives to abortion.
    This hesitancy to commit doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t believe that abortion is murder, but it’s a fear of losing this hard-won support that may lead many to balk at answering questions like these publicly.

  38. desiderian says:

    DA,

    “with the men receiving the full measure of God’s law and the women getting the whole of God’s grace.”

    This, this, a million times this.

    Since of course there can be no grace apart from the law (see Romans), God’s grace is denied to women too.

    The root of the problem is a misunderstanding/misteaching of sin and repentance.

  39. tz says:

    What happens when there is some opensource ultrasound and/or surgical instrument, or the classic “coat hanger” so that no doctor will be needed?

  40. greyghost says:

    Looks like some of us here are going to have to forget about finding a church. We are going to have to be a church. What’s that quote from Jesus for that guy to sell some of his stuff and get him an ar-15?

    The root of the problem is a misunderstanding/misteaching of sin and repentance.

    You are too kind. This shit is being done on purpose for worldly power. It is like living a bible story as it plays out. men of faith and elite/leaders that claim faith toss it aside for the worldliness of the feminist lift and the woman goes unchecked. Just as Adams sin was disobeying God and obeying his wife. Should have stuck with faith in God. Imagine the article from Slate if the pro-life as said punishing women for violation of law as relates to abortion should be done as it would be for any criminal act from any one.

  41. greyghost says:

    What happens when there is some opensource ultrasound and/or surgical instrument, or the classic “coat hanger” so that no doctor will be needed?

    I think there is already an over the counter after action kill pill you can buy at Walmart.

  42. Gunner Q says:

    Abolt @ 11:11 am:
    “However, I think another reason for the Pro-Life inconsistency is that they believe that if they pushed the logical consequence of punishing women they would NEVER make any headway in getting abortion restriction made into law. I can understand that as a matter of strategy.”

    Is it a strategy of deception or a strategy of preemptive compromise? Also, why are pro-lifers upset over Trump calling for punishing women who get abortions if they secretly believe he’s right? Care with words is one thing; rejecting an ally because he said what you’re afraid to is another.

    Anonymous Reader @ 5:37 pm:
    “This hesitancy to commit doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t believe that abortion is murder, but it’s a fear of losing this hard-won support that may lead many to balk at answering questions like these publicly.”

    I doubt women will start insisting on abortion over adoption if they hear somebody call for punishing the choice of abortion.

  43. Kevin says:

    Why is this devastating? It’s just dumb. A lefty is mocking his opponents for the amusement of his supporters. The rest is details. He is trying to undermine his enemies. Articles like this are written ever day. The purpose is to demoralize your opponents and excite your supporters. In this case the author wants anti- abortion people to be hurt so more people accept abortion and the pro-abortion people to become emboldened.

    We all know why pro-lifers hold their positions – its strategic (although the pastor post from yesterday was just sad and horrifying).

    The real question Darlock is why are you interesting in comforting the pro-abortion crowd by siding with them over this view. A view which would never become law anywhere ever in the democratic world.

    Let me provide a more subtle argument. If you show a picture of a fetus at every week and ask people when should abortion be legal everyone except for the most extremely religious will say that abortion should be legal in the early stages when what you see in actually just a clump of cells. However, a very rapidly you enter an area where only the most pro-abortion will say it should be allowed as the fetus now has a human baby appearance.

    If you beleive abortion is murder and women should be punished you must argue with the public that women should be punished for the loss of a few thousand cells – a view that is very extreme. So you have complicated your argument and ostracized the general population. By taking punishment out of equation you remove many of these issues and can take much more simple and popular views from which to grow the support.

    Salaten takes the strident view to discredit pro-life people to promote abortion. You take the strident “logically consistent” view to discredit pro-life people to highlight an unwillingness to punish women. In the end you join forces with the pro-abortion people and both feel morally superior, logically consistent. However, Salatens efforts are good for his strategy- he know the real reasons. Your, unless you are pro-abortion, are strategically counter productive and inept.

  44. Anonymous Reader says:

    Anonymous Reader says:
    April 6, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Please pick a different handle to post under. Thanks.

  45. Novaseeker says:

    Your, unless you are pro-abortion, are strategically counter productive and inept.

    What is the strategic goal? Reducing the number of abortions? If that’s the goal, then why worry about legal changes and restrictions? You can probably merely reduce the incidence of abortion in numerous other ways, none of which involve prohibition. I always thought the goal of the pro-life movement was prohibition because abortion is killing, not just reduction through restrictions. If you follow that approach with the idea that incremental restrictions can lead to greater ones in the future, I’d question your assumptions. It sounds to me like you simply have a reduced goal of not prohibition, but rather mere reduction — and, again, if that’s the goal, it may be better to abandon legislative efforts and focus on non-legislative efforts.

  46. Eidolon says:

    “A view which would never become law anywhere ever in the democratic world.”

    It appears from cursory googling that it’s true women were never punished for procuring abortions, but I’m getting pretty tired of this attitude. You know what’s “extreme” — a lot more so than punishing a person who procures a black market service? Pretending that a man is a pretty girl if he says he is. Guess which of these things is being successfully introduced into the “democratic world”?

    A big part of the reason why the right never wins is that its advocates don’t act like they really believe its causes — see Paul Ryan funding Planned Parenthood, for example. Is prohibition viable right now? No, but it never will be if even the advocates accept the pro-abortion perspective and worldview.

    The idea of people choosing whether they were men or women, or of granting marriage licenses to gay couples were unthinkable only 5-10 years ago. Why can’t things ever change that much on our side? They never will unless we believe in our righteous causes as fervently as those nutcases believe in their evil ones.

  47. desiderian says:

    “The real question Darlock is why are you interesting in comforting the pro-abortion crowd by siding with them over this view.”

    Bullshit. The pro-abortion crowd doesn’t believe that abortion is a sin. Dalrock does. He’s not siding with them. But you knew that.

    He’s criticizing the pro-Life side for misconceiving the nature of sin, a wider problem that undermines anything they, and ultimately we, might wish to accomplish.

    “Let me provide a more subtle argument.”

    No.

    Why would you make a bad faith argument, then expect good faith treatment in return? Do you take us for fools? suckers?

  48. desiderian says:

    “They never will unless we believe in our righteous causes as fervently as those nutcases believe in their evil ones.”

    Fervor might work.

    My money’s on simple integrity.

  49. Pathfinderlight says:

    @innocentbystanderboston
    And they vote. And they won’t be shamed by you (or anyone.)

    The mannosphere has shown that shaming works on women more than it does men, especially if it is the RIGHT men. It’s a visceral reaction, so they don’t really have much control over it. The current issue isn’t whether we CAN shame, but how we can survive the inevitable reaction. It’s more the white knights that are to blame here.

  50. Spike says:

    The last line sums it up best, Dalrock.
    Perhaps we have to ask the Christian manosphere (not the Church – they don’t have the stones) what Moses asked israel:

    “Who is on the LORD’s side?” (Exodus 32:26)

  51. PuffyJacket says:

    Cuckservatives just aren’t very bright. They grovel to women and STILL fail to make any progress on abortion whatsoever. Amazingly this does not give them pause.

    The Pro-Life movement will accomplish exactly nothing until it stops groveling to women and holds them accountable for their actions.

    Anything else is just more cuckservative obliviousness to the Overton Window.

  52. PuffyJacket says:

    Perhaps if Cuckservatives go down on bended knee and ask really, really nicely this time women might listen? It’s worth a shot, right?

  53. Pingback: Reference: Men Refusing To Marry Non-Virgins Won’t End The Hook-Up Culture | Donal Graeme

  54. Neguy says:

    @Kevin

    We all know why pro-lifers hold their positions – its strategic (although the pastor post from yesterday was just sad and horrifying).

    I might have been able to believe that until this latest flare-up. The reaction here isn’t about strategy, it’s visceral. They are actually angered that anyone would suggest punishing a woman for getting an abortion. They not only don’t want punishment, they explicitly say the woman is a victim. See statement from the National Right to Life above.

    I do think Dalrock misses one contributing factor on this: the desire to virtue signal by very publicly dumping on Trump. There’s a significant segment of Evangelicalism that is very turned off by him. As with refugees, BLM, privilege talk, etc., they see yet another opportunity to fly the Christian flag very high in way designed to make the world think they aren’t one of “those” Christians (think Kim Davis).

  55. tsotha says:

    It could end tomorrow if the Church told the young men in the congregation not to marry nonvirgins except under special circumstances. It sends an indirect message to the girls that they’ll be held accountable for their behavior and offers no pre-made rationalization that will work.

    That’s why the SJW harpies would descend on that church in a giant flock. You’d read articles about how “far right” it is, the IRS would revoke its tax exempt status and do a yearly audit. Ugly, blue-haired, topless women would parade around during services every Sunday with signs decrying “slut shaming”. And in the end, just like they always do, the church leadership would fold.

  56. Anon says:

    tsotha,

    Ugly, blue-haired, topless women

    The blue hairs are not merely on the head, mind you…. The horrors are greater than one realizes.

  57. OKRickety says:

    It could end tomorrow if the Church told the young men in the congregation not to marry nonvirgins except under special circumstances. It sends an indirect message to the girls that they’ll be held accountable for their behavior and offers no pre-made rationalization that will work.

    It might be more effective to go to the root cause (pun intended for the Aussies, Kiwis, etc.) of how those girls became non-virgins. They had sex outside of marriage. And there is no double standard — there are plenty of men who are non-virgins as well. The Church and all Christians need to be teaching that sex outside of marriage is sin (Oh, great, that will probably get Artisanal Toad started again.)

    If there was an expectation that both Christian men and women were unlikely to marry non-virgins, I woulld think it would motivate better behavior by all before marriage.

  58. Dave says:

    It is becoming increasingly clear that God will have to treat the modern Church exactly how He treated israel: bypass it and move on to work with those outside the church but willing to work with Him. What we have today is no longer the church of Jesus Christ but an abomination.

  59. desiderian says:

    “What we have today is no longer the church of Jesus Christ but an abomination.”

    In truth, it’s both. Always has been, since Jesus broke bread with the publicans and tax-collectors. If, like these women, you’re “offended” by being called a sinner, you’re doing it wrong.

  60. Dota says:

    It is becoming increasingly clear that God will have to treat the modern Church exactly how He treated israel: bypass it and move on to work with those outside the church but willing to work with Him.

    I keep wondering what it will take for Americans and Canadians to realize that their faith is under attack. One way to survive this assault could be to boycott churches and hold services in private residences that could serve the local community or neighborhood. Isn’t this how Christianity survived Roman persecution? Perhaps these same tactics are required today. The only way to fight back against our corrupt elites is to hit them in their wallets. Throw out your TVs, boycott the mass media and Churches.

  61. Jg says:

    So there is an article over at Daily Kos, meant to gain sympathy for women and the situation that might lead them to choose abortion :http://m.dailykos.com/story/2016/4/3/1509881/-I-used-a-hanger

    Maybe I am very wrong, but on reading, all I could perceive was, “me, me, me, me, me, me me,……”
    Sure there are a few sentences about the unfortunate situation of her babies, but even then, it’s mostly about how it made her feel.

    The driving force behind abortion is female selfishness and self-centeredness.

  62. Peter says:

    We can now see the “pro-life” movement as just another sleazy political ploy designed to create a bloc of voters for liberal politicians who are “conservative”. This explains why, after almost 50 years, the “pro-life” movement has been singularly unsuccessful – it has been corrupted from within by SJWs and their feminist/marxist allies. Good people such as Randall Terry have left to promote real change.

    A woman who has an abortion is a murderess, not a victim. At every step in the process she consents to killing her baby. And I do not believe for a moment that anyone believes in the “blob of fetal matter” argument, as other than a lying convenience. Women know they carry and bear babies, so anything claiming otherwise is an obvious disingenuous lie.

    Trump is amazing. He is single-handedly exposing the PC lies of politicians and their various movement whores, such as the “pro-life” movement. He is truly sent from God to show us the hideousness of real America and call us to either support real change back to God’s laws by electing him and supporting the rebirth of America, or her destruction as of Sodom & Gomorrah.

  63. Dave says:

    So there is an article over at Daily Kos, meant to gain sympathy for women and the situation that might lead them to choose abortion

    Barring a serious medical complication, there is virtually no reason for a woman to choose abortion.
    First, women don’t get pregnant just by walking down the street, or by shaking hands with someone. Pregnancy is not like the flu which someone can be infected with just by doing nothing other than being in the same vicinity as an infected person.
    To get pregnant, most women have to take deliberate, thoughtful steps. They need to engage in certain specific activities that are primarily designed to get them pregnant. In some cases, these activities must be repeatedly engaged in before they result in a pregnancy. Throughout history, there has been only one woman who has ever gotten pregnant without engaging in these activities.

    Showing sympathy for a woman who chooses abortion is like sympathizing with a man who decides to consume a 12 pack all by himself, then turn around and ask for sympathy for his drunken state.

  64. BubbaCluck says:

    “One way to survive this assault could be to boycott churches and hold services in private residences that could serve the local community or neighborhood. Isn’t this how Christianity survived Roman persecution? ”

    Catacombs will be making a comeback. Or the modern version, home churches. From everything I’ve read (USSR, China, etc), the persecuted church goes underground to survive.

  65. Looking Glass says:

    @BubbaCluck:

    The persecuted Church goes underground to thrive. That’s actually the historic cycle for Christianity. The plump rarely see a need for God.

  66. Boxer says:

    From everything I’ve read (USSR, China, etc), the persecuted church goes underground to survive.

    Protestant Christians have a huge advantage in this sort of guerrilla worship, as it has theoretical support in the text (Matthew 18) that isn’t available to adherents of other religions.

    I think to be truly effective in the present scenario, a serious man would have an authentic worship at home, with his family and perhaps a few other serious believers. He would also go out to the feminist community church to spread non-confrontational realtalk and siphon off serious people who are currently stuck in the established paradigm. This will be effective so long as the believer doesn’t give the feminists any of his money, and never volunteers any of his time, unless such activity is likely to bear fruit for the replacement church he is secretly working on.

    The most ambitious bros could also run a long con operation, pretending to be fully invested in the feminist church so that he could acquire a seat on its board of directors, whereupon he gums up the works and starts raising serious hell. Bear in mind that one has to be particularly confrontational to do this, so an antifragile lifestyle (self employment, a degree of wealth, etc.) is necessary to pull it off. It’d be funny to see it, though. Lots of these older churches are insanely wealthy, with 8 figure endowments all tax-free. You could do a lot of good with that kind of money.

    Boxer

  67. Easttexasfatboy says:

    Folks are being presented with choices. Abortion is demonic. Think about that. God says He will require Bloodguilt to be paid. Best be choosing wisely.

  68. innocentbystanderboston says:

    Lots of these older churches are insanely wealthy, with 8 figure endowments all tax-free. You could do a lot of good with that kind of money.

    Most of the oldest churches with the largest endowments only have very old people attending them. And those old people donate very little (never a tithe, more like 1%.) They use the endowment to keep the lights on is all. And the endowment “grows” in that when the old person “dies” they give a house or a car or whatever assets they have (assets they are not giving to their children), to the church. I saw this happen at the church I attended from age 15 to age 30. I was one of the only young people there amidst pews with nothing but old people, mostly donating peanuts, with an endowment funding the church that ONLY grew via death.

  69. Boxer says:

    Dear IBB:

    Most of the oldest churches with the largest endowments only have very old people attending them. And those old people donate very little (never a tithe, more like 1%.) They use the endowment to keep the lights on is all. And the endowment “grows” in that when the old person “dies” they give a house or a car or whatever assets they have (assets they are not giving to their children), to the church. I saw this happen at the church I attended from age 15 to age 30. I was one of the only young people there amidst pews with nothing but old people, mostly donating peanuts, with an endowment funding the church that ONLY grew via death.

    I’m sure that’s true in some cases. In others, not applicable. Example: one of the wealthiest corporations in one American state is an episcopal diocese, which sold off a bunch of its charity hospitals to HCA in the 1980s. There is a fabulous amount of money there that could start being used for social engineering.

    With the caveat that they aren’t supposed to directly lobby or meddle in political elections, these huge endowments could take out any sort of advertising or organize any type of charity they wanted. Imagine free legal help for divorcing men, or full page ads in the newspaper about the latest slut walk. Protestors who showed up at the church could be roughed up by hired security. The sky’s the limit. These positions are just waiting for a few committed brothers to do the leg work and get into them.

    Boxer

  70. Reluctant Neo says:

    What should our response be to an apparently repentant and remorseful woman who had an abortion? Suppose there is a testimony from a woman who got pregnant young and had an abortion. She talks about experiencing God’s grace when she repented. What would be your response?

  71. Gunner Q says:

    Reluctant Neo @ 2:34 pm:
    “She talks about experiencing God’s grace when she repented. What would be your response?”

    Public confession and renunciation of abortion, for which she takes FULL responsibility, then give her the opportunity to warn girls and other women about doing what she did. Or at least watch if she does. I personally would also demand she take a vow of social media silence, to keep the whispers away.

    A nunnery or equivalent would be a good idea.

  72. Kevin says:

    @Novaseeker
    In the current political environment I would hope 2 things could be achieved: a reduction i abortion and a perception in the majority of people that late abortion is abhorrent. I don’t think you can convince the majority of westerners that early abortion is a problem – the arguments are either too religious or too complex for most people to parse. I think fighting the extremes of abortion in legal ways can move towards achieving both goals. I think prohibition of late term abortions is a realistic goal but prohibition of early ones is not until there is a theocracy. As a lawyer (if I recall correctly) you probably understand better than I but over time I think changing the culture and law on late term abortions could lead to a rejection of Row vs Wade (which contains no real prohibitions) which would lead to legislatures getting to assert the peoples views. My assumptions may be wrong, but that is a strategy that looks possible.

    @Eidolon
    Personally, I don’t think your strategy is often successful politically. It can be religiously, and that’s why its more disappointing that Darlock is able to highlight purely religious leaders who take the position that women should never be punished. I don’t know why the right fails, but the reasons are complicated and I think have little to do with true belief and more to do with the public’s rapidly moving opinions toward worldiness and socialism. In order to win elections you must win a majority. I don’t think the libertarians or green party fail because they are not true believers or don’t act like they are – they fail because most people don’t care about what they are selling.

    @desidarian
    Dalrock can believe what he wants, but he is joining forces for practical purposes because he is joining the pro-abortion people in attacking, mocking, tearing down the people who actually fight in the trenches against abortion. I don’t know Dalrock, but I would safely guess he opposes abortion and thinks it is awful and the women who do it are awful. But I don’t think what he is doing practically helps achieve any progress against abortion politically. Thats clearly not his intent, but I am just pointing out what I think the practical results of his words are.

    Misconceiving the nature of sin does not impair progress against sin in the practical and political arena. Welfare reform was passed not because it is a sin for men to take from other men so they can sit around, but because the data demonstrated it was not improving the lives of the welfare recipients who were viewed as victims of the system. Laws against breaking and entering don’t have to detail the sin or understand the sin to assert by natural law that it is a violation of another mans right. Lots of good can be done without pure understanding of sin. If we get to the point where all those goals have been achieved and we are near to perfection and we need to have a “correct” understanding of sin to make progress that will be amazing. But we are not there yet.

    Finally, I don’t think I made a bad faith argument. I may have made that you perceive is wrong (maybe it is wrong), but bad faith suggests I am intentionally arguing falsely.

    @Neguy
    You might be right. The pastors unwilling to condemn are sad. However, because so few people think of a few cells as a “life” I am ok with even pro-life people not thinking those extremes are murder and actually believing the women are victims. They can do their work without having a true message (and frankly, my religious view is that abortion at some point does become murder, but I have a hard time imaging God judging a cold-blooded murdering drug dealer the same as a woman or male doctor who assists in killing a few cells that if left unimpeded would grow to adulthood. I am not Catholic but in my religion abortion is serious at every time point).

  73. The Tingler says:

    “Abortion isn’t murder because I shouldn’t be punished for having one.”

    Lib logic not even once.

  74. So to summarize: There are always TWO sinners involved in every sexual sin.

    1. Boys and men who took advantage of women, and robbed her of the trust and confidence that she now needs for her husband.

    and

    2. Girls and women that men failed to honor.

    Got that? Easy! For each sexual act there will always be TWO men at fault. Obviously.

  75. No matter how you slice it, put all the lipstick on the pig you want: A woman going to the “doctor” for an abortion is merely going to a hit man/woman. Only the target is different.

  76. Red Knight says:

    The same cowardly inconsistency by the pro-life movement is openly on display whenever an act of anti-abortion terrorism is committed. They say that there is no meaningful moral difference between killing an unborn child and a born human, and call abortion a modern holocaust. Yet, whenever someone sacrifices his liberty and possibly his life to stop it, they contort themselves in all kinds of ways to come up with arguments to condemn him. Arguments that they and everyone except extreme pacifists would see as utterly spurious if they were made against someone making the same kind of attack to stop the actual Holocaust.

  77. Boxer says:

    On topic, generally: watch and laugh as Ben Shapiro effortlessly reduces a feminist chucklehead to a state of embarrassing aporia…

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/03/28/shapiro-gets-into-tense-back-and-forth-with-pro-choice-student-demands-she-explain-when-life-begins/

    I’m not a political conservative and certainly I’m not Jewish, but I am a huge Ben Shapiro fan, and this is a good example of his oratory prowess.

  78. Kevin,

    You wrote: “I don’t think you can convince the majority of westerners that early abortion is a problem – the arguments are either too religious or too complex for most people to parse.”

    I disagree. The “life begins at conception” argument is neither religious nor complex. After conception and in the absence of misfortune, it takes a conscious effort to prevent the cluster of cells from becoming what we see on ultrasounds in late pregnancy. If that conscious effort is not murder, then it still strongly resembles murder. Like someone else said, women know they carry and bear babies.

    History was brutal, you’re right. But doesn’t modern concern about abortion represent moral progress? I think westerners could come around on abortion as they did on slavery and democracy.

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