The Line We Can Live With? Just a Little Abortion, Please

16 Jan

at Catholic Online

If the Chicks on the Right had their way, people like me would leave the conservative tent because any position on abortion that doesn’t allow some room for some abortions under some circumstances is too extreme, too unrealistic, too whatever. Conservatism needs a makeover and I need to step aside and let the modern, moderate conservatives take over the message and the mechanics.

My husband calls it politics for politics’ sake.

They want to draw a more reasonable line. And sad to say, judging from the truckload of affirmative comments to their recent post, they’re not alone.

The Chicks will be happy to hear that I’ll be glad to shed the conservative label. It’s pretty meaningless now. I suppose it makes some distinction between me and a hard-left abortion-on-demand, nanny-government liberal, but that’s about all it does. It doesn’t encompass what I really believe, or what is really right. (I’m simply Catholic; a la Christ and His Church, not a la Pelosi and Biden.)


One of the Chicks, Mockarena, says that while she doesn’t dispute the science of when life begins, she has drawn her abortion line at a beating heart, or about 21 days past conception. From that point on, she says abortion is wrong. Before then, it’s not a problem and should be allowed, and in fact, encouraged through the use of Plan B/Morning After pills and widespread contraception. This would be a victory for conservatives, she claims, and would achieve the goal of reducing abortions in America. This is realistic, and that’s where we should be putting our efforts, says she. Those who disagree with her are unreasonable, extreme, and hurting the conservative cause.

To Mockarena, I have to ask one question: What makes your line any less arbitrary than the line the pro-abortionists have drawn? Their line is the moment after delivery when the cord is cut. Why is your line any better?

It’s really all about finding the line that makes us most comfortable. The line we feel lets us have the best of both sides of the thing we’re debating. (As if abortion has a good side…) The line where a desirable-enough outcome is achieved, even if it isn’t the truly moral or just outcome.

How much killing can we get away with without getting bloody? How much killing can we stomach and still sleep at night? How much power can we assert over another one who is powerless without seeming like a big bully, or tyrant, or heartless abuser ourselves?

How can we cheat a little and still be reputable? How can we have what we want without making the difficult sacrifice? How far can we push that line before we actually have to do the right thing?

Abortion is wrong. Period. Full stop.

Many conservatives will say they agree with me. But like Mockarena, then they’ll want to continue… “but we have to face reality. Abortion is legal, after all, and we’re not going to turn back the clock. So shouldn’t we concentrate our efforts on making abortion as rare and undesirable as possible? Shouldn’t we focus on reducing the number of abortions by championing contraception, including the Morning After pill? After all, women who’ve been raped or had unprotected sex should get emergency contraception immediately. Then they won’t need a real abortion later.”

(Allow me to introduce you to Kathleen Sebelius, Cecile Richards, and Sandra Fluke. I think you’ll all get along swimmingly.)

If more contraception was the key to fewer abortions, then more bars ought to be the solution to drunk-driving.

I’m not sure conservatives who make this argument are interested in justice or in what’s genuinely right or even factual. (First they need to stop getting their information from the Guttmacher Institute.) Perhaps they’re more interested in comfort, compromise, and popularity. They’re interested in politics.

But abortion is not a political issue. It’s the ultimate human rights issue; the true test of society’s morality and justice. People who can utter the word “need” in relation to abortion have not yet grasped what it’s all about. When is there ever a need to kill a child??

It’s about only one thing: the humanity of the child in the womb. It’s about recognizing that humanity even when it’s inconvenient to us and cramps our style; even when it alters our plans.

But admittedly, that’s a demanding position to take. That’s an all-or-nothing hill to die on, pardon the pun, and for too many people, that’s asking too much. They don’t really like abortion, and they don’t want to be lumped in with radical pro-abortionists, but they also want more flexibility than “no abortion, ever, period.”

So they draw their comfortable lines at their acceptable limit of destruction. They’ll tolerate this much, but no more, because after that it becomes wrong somehow that it wasn’t wrong before. Why? Well, just because they said so. On this side of the line, it feels okay. On the other side of the line, it seems wrong, so that’s the end of it. To hell with logic, science, and even morality if it disagrees with the line they’ve drawn. To hell with you if your line is different from theirs.

Trouble is, the line means nothing to the human souls being snuffed out. It’s of little comfort to the human person being flushed away.

We might be able to live with the line we’ve drawn, but it’s still killing them.

But since their faces can’t haunt us; their unformed bodies aren’t buried; since they didn’t suffer pain; since they were never aware of themselves and we were barely aware of them; their names were never known to us; their futures not even imagined… we think their loss doesn’t matter. We think their absence is meaningless and the responsibility for their deaths won’t be laid at our feet for eternity.

We are wrong to think so. We are no better than punk bullies picking on someone who is a bother to us in the present moment. We are self-anointed gods who believe we have authority over life and death, including someone else’s life and death. We are slave owners once again and the child in the womb is our property, so we think.


The line is actually very simple, yet very absolute.
The line is here: the child in the womb is a human person from the moment of conception, and has the right to live.

Any other line is purely an arbitrary one based on emotion, drawn in our own favor, while the child pays the price.

The Abolitionists in the 1800’s didn’t settle for partially-freed slaves who were almost always recognized as persons, except under certain conditions at certain times.

Neither should we who claim to be pro-life ever settle for any line that denies the humanity of the child in the womb in the early days and weeks of pregnancy, or at any time. To hell with politics.

Either we have the guts and the conviction to say the child is a human being at all times or we don’t.

That’s the line. It’s the only line that everyone can live with.


Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , ,

7 responses to “The Line We Can Live With? Just a Little Abortion, Please

  1. Stacy Trasancos

    January 18, 2013 at 5:48 PM


    You said, “The only way to fix this problem is to take progress where we can get it, with small steps, which is what my entire post was based on.”

    No that is NOT what your post was based on. You said you moved the line on when life started. Jen did not misrepresent you at all.

    No one is against taking small steps. Heck, the pro-life movement HAS been taking small steps quite successfully for 40 years. If that’s all you’d said, no one would have disagreed. It was your disregard for scientific fact for the sake of politics that riled many people.

    • catholicmoxie

      January 18, 2013 at 5:49 PM

      And, I would add, the disregard for human life prior to 21 days.

  2. Mockarena

    January 18, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Since you were intent on putting words in my mouth and asking questions you seemingly didn’t truly want me to answer, I’m not sure if you’ll allow this response here…but thought I’d respond anyway.

    I appreciate your stance. However, your post and your stance will do exactly nothing, I repeat, NOTHING to stop abortions. I’d like to take reasonable steps that I think are realistic to dramatically reduce them, because I think that’s more practical than, for example, you writing a rant about how wrong you think I am.

    Will it help change hearts and minds (which is what is truly required if we want to eliminate abortions) for you to say sternly, “Abortion is wrong. Period. Full stop.”? Will that result in a turnover of Roe v Wade? Nope. The only way to fix this problem is to take progress where we can get it, with small steps, which is what my entire post was based on.

    So, for the sake of this argument, let’s just say you’re right. And honestly, I think you ARE right when you say abortion is wrong. But my point is, SAYING that isn’t solving the problem. Being convicted does not solve the problem. Saying abortion is wrong in all caps, or in bold type, does not solve the problem.

    And that’s the problem. You and others who choose to stand firm do so at the expense of making real progress. And that’s unfortunate, given that the end goal is the same – to stop abortions.

    • catholicmoxie

      January 18, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      Thanks for the response. I’m not quite sure what words you think I put in your mouth, though. Are you the only one who’s allowed to rant, as you say? I don’t think my article was a rant at all, but very reasonable.
      The problem is that you think being convicted does not solve the problem. What, then, is the point of convictions? The problem is precisely that we are willing to compromise principle, and not stand firmly convicted.

      I agree that hearts and minds must be changed, and the only one who will accomplish that is the Holy Spirit, in answer to a lot of prayer. In the meantime, you are also right that we have to do everything in our power to bring about the day when it will no longer be legal in our nation to kill the child in the womb. We cannot, however, decide that that child only deserves life and protection from a certain day or a certain stage of development. THAT is my point. The child is a human person from the moment of conception. You’re saying it ought to be okay to kill that child up until the 21st day. WRONG. If that child is a human person at day 21, then she is a human person at day 1 and it is WRONG to kill her.

      This kind of emotional, subjective compromise you’re insisting on is just the line you’re most comfortable with. It’s no different than the line the pro-abortionsts draw. It still destroys a human being.

      We need to be thoroughly convicted that Abortion is wrong. Period. Full stop. Only from there can we begin to achieve our goal of abolishing abortion forever by changing hearts and minds. First, we have to decide that the child in the womb will be protected without exception.
      You think my stance will do absolutely nothing. I do not agree. Compromising on the sanctity of human life will do nothing but undermine the fight for life. When it comes to what is morally right, there is no compromise. There’s no saying “Well we can kill this person under these conditions, but not under those conditions.” If abortion is wrong, then it is wrong always and everywhere under all circumstances. Period. You think that standing firm in what is right impedes “real progress”. I do not. I believe it is essential to real progress.

  3. Chuck

    January 17, 2013 at 6:32 AM

    Thank you for writing this.

    It amazes and saddens me that so many so called ‘Catholics’ and ‘Christians’ can continue to condone the abortion atrocity. You wrote it correctly when you said, “Abortion is wrong. Period. Full stop.”

    Maybe someday the compromisers will get it. I read a brilliant line once that said, “Compromise on matters of opinion….stand firm on matters of principle.” Not enough people stand firm anymore.

    “Abortion is wrong. Period. Full stop.”

    Stand firm!

  4. Dolce

    January 16, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    “Either we have the guts and the conviction to say the child is a human being at all times or we don’t.”

  5. darleneu

    January 16, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    God bless you.


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