Can the Pro-Life Movement Stop “After-Birth” Abortion?

Of all liberal publications, Slate recently came out with a sense of shock over many in the academic left pushing for “after-birth” abortion.  

“ comes the academic left with an even crazier idea: after-birth abortion.

No, I didn’t make this up. “Partial-birth abortion” is a term invented by pro-lifers. But “after-birth abortion” is a term invented by two philosophers, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva. In the Journal of Medical Ethics, they propose:

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[W]hen circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible. … [W]e propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide,’ to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus … rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk.

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

Predictably, the article has sparked outrage. Last week, Reps. [score]Joe Pitts[/score], R-Pa., and [score]Christopher Smith[/score], R-N.J., denounced it on the House floor. But it isn’t pro-lifers who should worry about the Giubilini-Minerva proposal. It’s pro-choicers. The case for “after-birth abortion” draws a logical path from common pro-choice assumptions to infanticide. It challenges us, implicitly and explicitly, to explain why, if abortion is permissible, infanticide isn’t.”

Why has the left been able to advance as far as they have when it comes to abortion? I thought we were winning hearts and minds when it comes to the argument on abortion.  In many cases we have changed hearts and minds.  But, why has the left been able to advance so far on the political front?  Why is “after-birth” abortion even given room to breathe?  The truth is National Right To Life and elected Republicans have not truly taken the fight to baby killers.  Embracing abortion exceptions has allowed the pro death movement to continue to metastasize. 

For a generation the pro-life industry – I call it an industry because in many quarters it long ago sadly ceased being a movement – has offered this false choice to pro-life voters and activists in America every election cycle. It has told them they have to put up with a certain amount of innocent babies being slaughtered from “pro-life with exceptions” Republicans to win elections, because the Democrats will just kill them all. Nonetheless, the killing continues no matter who wins.

Yet what kind of father would consent to the killing of even one of his children in such circumstances? Would the father who consented to such a heinous exchange be celebrated as a hero for saving two of his children, or considered a heel for not risking his own life to save the lives of his own children first? Wouldn’t a good father recognize that as an American he possesses the God-given right to self defense? Therefore, he does everything he can – including lethal force if necessary – to try and save all of his children.

Where the rubber met the road on what elected Republicans are willing to do to protect the child killing industry is their last omnibus bill to fund Planned Parenthood in light of the Planned Parenthood video scandals. Here’s what Republicans were willing to do to keep Planned Parenthood funded.

Here’s the bait and switch.  GOP leadership is planning to take the conservative good will on the use of budget reconciliation and use it for de-funding Planned Parenthood.  To most people, it sounds like they are using “the budget process” to defund the notorious slaughter house.  But in reality, they will merely put a voluntary bill on Obama’s desk to veto while sending the must-pass budget bill to his desk without the rider de-funding Planned Parenthood.  They have already violated House protocol by establishing a rule to bring up such a budget bill on a moment’s notice.

The reality is Republicans don’t want to fight for anything.  Yesterday, they spooked their members with trumped up polling data showing how the public would blame them for a shutdown.

What is really sad about this strategy is that the Republican Party – with their maniacal fear of a government shutdown under any and every circumstance – has completely disenfranchised the people of their last tool to redress their grievances through their elected representatives.  They have collectively nullified the power of the purse.

What makes it even more worse, after elected Republicans vote to fund criminal organizations like Planned Parenthood, they get warm embraces and awards from the Evangelical community.

This week, the newly-formed Evangelicals for Life, an apparent joint venture between Focus on the Family and the ERLC, threw a mutual back-slapping party at a nice expensive hotel in DC. David Platt was in the house instead of discipling people at his church. There was “worship” music instead of mourning and wailing. They got “equipped” and “inspired” to… vote pro-life and that’s about it, if recent history is any indication. It’s a treadmill, going nowhere. But wait, there’s more to it!

Oklahoma Senator James Lankford, who gained notoriety and right-wing electoral gravitas as the longtime Director of what is probably the largest false conversion factory in the southern United States, is known to be a paragon of conservative values. A mainstay at prayer breakfasts and big shot churchianity political events, here is a man with the clout to call for immediate and total abolition of child sacrifice and push for it with real heft to actually inspire real action. Instead, well… that’s not exactly what happened.

James Lankford voted FOR the federal budget that would FULLY FUND Planned Parenthood. And then he got up on stage at the inaugural Evangelicals for Life and received their “Pro-Life Leader Award”.//

Steve Deace takes the being pro-life with exceptions argument and turns it on it’s head. 

I believe the killing continues because the Church of Jesus Christ in America is not outraged by it enough to make it stop, and one of the symptoms of our complacency are the scores of spineless “pro-life” politicians we continue to support.

For example, we have accepted the contradiction known as “pro-life with exceptions.” If someone is pro-life, how can there be exceptions? Imagine if you told your spouse before marriage you were “pro-fidelity with exceptions.” The only exception you’re asking for is a three-hour window on Thursday nights to get your adultery on. After all, there are 8,760 hours in a year and you’re only asking for less than 2% of them. Not to mention, your fiancé could choose to marry someone else, and they might be even worse and cheat on them even more if not all the time. Why not choose the lesser of two evils here?

No fiancé in her right mind would accept such a deal, but that’s just what we have accepted from the GOP.

I have interviewed several of these “pro-life with exceptions” Republican pretenders the past few years, and they always offer me the same kind of utilitarian justification for their lack of moral courage. So to test them I ask them when was the last time you introduced or fought for legislation that would save those 98% of the babies you claim to be for protecting?

To this day not a single one of them has provided me with an example. Furthermore, the pro-life industry tells us to vote for “Republican A” who is pro-life 98% of the time over “Democrat B” who is pro-life never. But if that Republican were really pro-life 98% of the time, wouldn’t he or she do everything they could to save the babies they claim they’re for saving? Where’s your “pro-life with exceptions” bill?

Then there’s the politician who says he believes “life begins at conception” but still allows for exceptions to kill. This one I take personally, because there are people in my own family line who are these so-called exceptions, so essentially these politicians are telling me to vote for them anyway despite the fact they’d support the killing of my loved ones. What’s more morally reprehensible than saying you agree that it’s a life but you should be allowed to kill it anyway? Besides, if that politician really thought life began at conception, would they really allow for its killing? What do we call people who extinguish life without cause? We call them murderers. So the only way these special kind of spineless politicians aren’t at least accessories to murder is if they think it’s justified to execute an innocent child for the crimes of his father.

What’s happened here is the pro-life industry has permitted the most pressing moral issue of this age to be co-opted for partisan political talking points. Their motivation for doing so only God knows, but we know that by allowing the cause of life to be co-opted like this for partisan political gain we have tragically become collaborators in the worst moral outrage of our time.

Thus the killing continues.

In short, we have surrendered the moral high ground and lost control of the language. Yes, there are polls that say a majority of the American people claim to be pro-life, but if you look internally at those polls you’ll find many of our fellow Americans can’t really define when life begins, nor do they think those that kill unborn children should be held criminally accountable for doing so.

In other words, we’re nothing but a cliché. Thus the killing continues.

Either abortion is murder or it is not.  By accepting the language of the left by pushing for “so called” pro-life legislation that gives exceptions to rape and incest, we are telling the baby killers that we really don’t believe abortion is murder.  Abortion Exceptions has bound the hands of the pro-life movement from advancing on the war for choosing life.  The Personhood movement is popular but has been rejected by the Republican Establishment and snubbed by National Right To Life. You wonder why the left is pushing for “after-birth” abortion and why they have the stones to do it.  It’s because they know their opposition is soft and weak, and deep down inside we haven’t provided the right message to truly stop the killing.

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