By Fr. Frank A. Pavone
If anyone tells you the baby in the womb is not a baby, that person may as
well tell you the earth is flat.
Pro-lifers have heard the out-of-date, unscientific assertion "It's not a
baby" for many years. People who say this ought to be asked when are they going
to catch up with the times. These are the days of fetoscopy and fetal surgery.
Of course we know when life begins. And we know that the earth is not flat.
But now those who promote abortion say something even worse than "The earth
is flat." They now essentially say, "The earth is flat if you think it's flat,
and it's round if you think it's round. Decide for yourself." Whether the baby
in the womb is a baby or not really doesn’t matter to them, because its fate
will depend on the mother's choice. Period. If it's a baby, well, so what?
The value that baby has depends on the value the mother decides to give it.
If she decides to abort the child, that is fine. If she doesn't even consider it
a child, that's her right too. Don't tell her how to think. If she thinks the
earth is flat, it's flat for her.
This is the mentality we are dealing with. It was clearly expressed to me one
day when I was protesting abortion in a city in the South. Among those holding
up their "Keep Abortion Legal" signs was a man with a sign that said, "Keep
Baby-Killing Legal." He told me that he supports abortion and wants to be honest
about what he is supporting. Abortion, he said, kills a baby, but that is no
reason to stop it. The value of the baby depends on the mother's choice.
Pro-lifers need to understand that this is how a growing number of
pro-abortion people think. How does one deal with this attitude? A few things
must be pointed out to such people.
- People's decisions don't determine reality. I cannot even decide the
weather. It should be even clearer that the moral value of a life cannot
depend on my choice.
- If the value of others' lives does depend on my choice, then all people
are not equal. But our country was founded on the teaching that all people are
equal, and that the weak should be protected from the strong.
- If the value of a life depends on my choice, then so does the value of a
lot of other things. If a mother can decide to kill her own child, then she
can also decide to beat her own child, or cut off the child's hand, or torture
the child. If, furthermore, a child's life depends on choice, then so does a
house, a car, and a bank account. If baby-killing can be legal, why not car
theft and bank robbery? "But those things are illegal," someone will say. So
what? If the value of a life depends on my choice, so does the value of a law.
The law has value if I say it does. Abortion is OK if I say it is. The earth
is flat if I say it is.
It should be clear from this line of reasoning that the pro-abortion
mentality turns civilization upside down, and produces a chaos that the
pro-abortion people themselves will not want. The difference between them and
us, of course, is that we see that more chaos necessarily follows in the wake of
abortion. They say it follows only if they think it does.