Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Hartline

1/18/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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

For too many people, outlawing abortion from conception onward is just too demanding a position to take. They don't really like abortion, but they want more flexibility than "no abortion, ever."  So they find a more comfortable line to draw. Some destruction of human life has to be allowed, just not too much. That's where some political conservatives want to take the pro-life effort, and we have to refuse to go there.

Highlights

By Jennifer Hartline

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/18/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Chicks on the Right, abortion, contraception, conservatives, Jennifer Hartline


WASHINGTON, D.C. (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. 

They contend that Conservatism needs a makeover and I need to step aside and let the modern, moderate conservatives take over the message and the mechanics.

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.  My husband calls it politics for politics' sake. 

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.

-----

Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and homeschooling mother of three children, with another in the womb.  She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.  Visit her online at Wake Up, Deborah!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Rick Santorum Announces His Candidacy saying - It is Time to Take Back America Watch

Image of Rick and Karen Santorum

By Keith A Fournier

There is something which many in the main stream U.S. media do not know, here it is - not many people are listening to them anymore. However, they will listen to this song. And, they will understand it. The sentiment it captures will encourage the heart of a ... continue reading


Baltimore bloodshed continues with unbelievable violence over the holiday weekend Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

May has proved to be the most dangerous and deadliest month Baltimore has witnessed in more than 50 years. There were more than two dozen shootings over the Memorial Day weekend alone; city police have never been busier. Community leaders hope the members will come ... continue reading


BACKWASH: California water officials consider repurposing sewage into drinking water Watch

Image of Unlike non-potable reuse, where treated sewage is used to irrigate crops, parks or golf courses - direct potable reuse takes treated sewage effluent and purifies it so it can be used as drinking water.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it's "doable," few people in California are actually voicing any enthusiasm. Stricken by a crippling drought, water officials are going through some highly popular alternatives - and repurposing sewage water into drinking water is one of them. LOS ... continue reading


Gallup poll shows that one in four Americans not gay Watch

Image of Only 3.8 percent of Americans self-identify as gay, lesbian or transsexual.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Gay rights movements continue to disrupt society and political life, poll reveals that gay and lesbians are not as common in the United States as previously perceived. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new Gallup poll conducted in early May has revealed that ... continue reading


World's oldest woman reaches 116-years-old! Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

World's oldest woman, Jeralean Talley has added another year to her life - the world declared she turned 116 last weekend. Talley and her family, friends, the Inkster mayor and Congressman Conyers, delivered a message from President Barack Obama, celebrating her ... continue reading


The mystery behind brains discovered in the streets of St. Lawrence County Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How would you react if you unexpectedly and inexplicably found nine brains on the side of the road while on your early morning run? Like most people, you may find yourself shocked and completely clueless on the origins of the brains. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Died in Service. Thank Those who Serve. Pray For the Nation Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I am always drawn to these words of Jesus on Memorial Day weekend, - No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. (John 15:13) Military service which leads to laying one's life down is certainly an expression of this kind of heroic ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Chaplains - A Reminder that We Are One Nation Under God Watch

Image of

By Fr. Randy Sly

The work of our chaplains extends much farther than the post chapel. They labor on land, at sea and in the air. There are 1.4 million Catholics in the military; wherever they are stationed, the chaplain is there. These chaplains can be found bringing Jesus Christ to ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Honor Our Nation with Heroic Sacrifice Watch

Image of Thank you, to every man and woman who has fought and is currently fighting for our homeland.  Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure I and my children can sleep safely tonight.  I love and appreciate you and I pray God's blessing on you and your families.  Godspeed, and come home soon.

By Jennifer Hartline

Thank you, to every man and woman who has fought and is currently fighting for our homeland.  Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure I and my children can sleep safely tonight.  I love and appreciate you and I pray God's blessing on you ... continue reading


MASSIVE OIL SPILL: Santa Barbara declares state of emergency over massive oil spill in Pacific Ocean Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

About 9 miles of the Pacific ocean, across a popular spot on the California coast, was damaged after a pipeline leaked massive amounts of oil in the water earlier this week.     MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to officials, up to ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 42:15-25
15 Next, I shall remind you of the works of the Lord, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:46-52
46 They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 28th, 2015 Image

Bl. Margaret Pole
May 28: Martyr of England. She was born Margaret Plantagenet, the niece ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter