Bryan is currently travelling in Europe, catching up with his many friends in the pro-life movement over there, speaking at their events, encouraging them and learning more himself. While he’s away I’ll be looking after things here at BryanKemper.com, keeping y’all up to date with new developments in our fight for life – as well as writing some articles to challenge you and get you thinking. Bryan will also be posting from time to time – when he can find some internet, to update us on his travels. Below is my first article which asks – what is the most rational pro-abortion position? – Andy, Prolife NZ
In late 2010 our friends in Canada started a pro-life group named Pro-Life Dal at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. So far they’ve run one information table, and on 8 March, their first big event, a public debate on abortion. “Pro-abortion activists sought, unsuccessfully, to disrupt the debate by ripping down ads, setting off stink-bombs, and covering the ceiling with helium balloons featuring pro-abortion slogans,” reports LifeSiteNews. “Representing the pro-life side of the debate was Stephanie Gray, co-founder and executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform [Warning: Graphic]. Facing Gray was Dr. Mark Mercer, chairperson of the philosophy department at Halifax’s St. Mary’s University, who has in the past won the ire of pro-abortion activists for defending the rights of pro-lifers to express their opinions on university campuses.”
This is a very important point. The vast majority of pro-abortion activists wish that the pro-life side of the argument should not be heard. This is very simply because they are painfully aware that their own arguments are inferior. Proponents of legal child-killing who are open to debate, and are prepared to work through arguments logically and reasonably are few and far between. The article continues,
“While Gray argued that the unborn should be protected in law because abortion is the violent killing of innocent human life, Mercer argued that there is nothing ethically troubling about abortion, at one point suggesting that a baby isn’t a “person” until around 18 months of age.”
This outrageous and evil position is nothing new. In 2006, bioethicist eugenicist Peter Singer was asked what he thought about killing a disabled newborn baby. He answered,
“Yes, if that was in the best interests of the baby and of the family as a whole. Many people find this shocking, yet they support a woman’s right to have an abortion… From the point of view of ethics rather than the law, there is no sharp distinction between the foetus and the newborn baby.”
Singer and Mercer are dead right. There is no ethical distinction between killing a pre-born child and a child that has been born. The article continues,
“We have a nasty history as human beings of denying our fellow human beings the right to live because we divorce the concept of human and person as to treat them as two separate things,” [Gray] said.
She said the criteria used to define personhood come down to non-essential differences – namely size, level of development, environment, and dependency – and that these criteria are constantly changing for an individual. “Human is an objective term that we can determine scientifically,” she explained. “Person is a philosophical or legal term which has had a changing definition throughout history.”
“Our humanity, our right to life, should be based on that which is unchanging, which is our human nature – rather than that which is changing, which is our functions and abilities,” she added.
Above, Gray makes a powerful point that I would definitely encourage you to read over again. An individual’s right to life must never be based on their abilities or attributes, but rather on their innate humanity. The LifeSiteNews article continues,
“The most vocal pro-abortion voices at the event were obviously displeased with Mercer’s presentation, slamming him in the open forum at the end of the evening. “You didn’t even attempt to make any arguments that would convince anybody of anything,” said one activist. “You did not represent the pro-choice position at all.”
Notice the reason that the pro-abortion people in the audience were upset with Mercer. It wasn’t because his arguments were faulty, but rather that his arguments were not convincing. Why weren’t they convincing? Because it is impossible to logically and rationally defend the murder of an innocent pre-born child.
Though inviting them to e-mail him better arguments, Mercer nevertheless defended his view as the only cogent approach. He dismissed arguments based on “women’s struggle for equality” saying that that they fail to address the “moral status of the fetus,” and disagreed with approaches that claim a woman’s “right to choose” outweighs the unborn child’s “right to life,” saying that these only come into conflict in a “narrow range of cases,” such as rape.”
Mercer’s approach is indeed the only consistent approach to defending the killing of pre-born children. He acknowledges that bandying round slogans about women’s equality or a woman’s right to choose are irrelevant to the abortion debate. His accusers acurately condemned him for “not representing the pro-choice position at all”. This is because pro-choice rehetoric relies on emotion, lies, and avoiding the real issue – the fact that abortion stops a beating heart.
The “pro-choice position” is nothing more than an ultimately futile excercise in defending the indefensible “pro-abortion position”. Mercer is prepared to side-step the smoke and mirrors and tackle the issue of child killing head on.
Dr. Mark Mercer supports legal child killing – the greatest social injustice of our time – and I could not disagree with him more strongly on his defence of such evil. However I congratulate him that he is at least consistent in his standpoint on child killing.