Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Hartline

1/18/2013 (3 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 (3 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'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More U.S.

No Phony Truces in the Battle to Block Most Anti-Life, Liberal Court in a Generation

Image of The United States Supreme Court

By J. Kenneth Blackwell

While much of our attention is on the Presidential race, the looming battle over a Supreme Court nomination merits no less attention.  The battle lines are clear in this nomination and the future of the Court and our Constitutional principles are at ... continue reading


Fr Frank Pavone - Amoris Laetitia: Pope Francis' Encouraging Roadmap for Families Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

By Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

Amoris Laetitia is a timely and loving exhortation for families towards genuine charity that begins within the nuclear family. It can be described as a new road-map for a culture that has taken a sad and tragic detour. The Joy of Love recognizes women's ... continue reading


Catherine of Siena: We Need Saints for this Missionary Age Watch

Image of Today, in the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar, we commemorate one of the greatest women saints of Christian history, Catherine of Siena.  While praying at Peter's tomb, she experienced the great weight of the Church fall on her shoulders.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Father, raise up women like Catherine of Siena for this new missionary age of your Church. Women who are so in love with you, and so conformed to the Image of your Son, they can do for your Church in this hour, what she did in her own. Saints are a gift for the ... continue reading


Christian student shockingly dropped from master's program for practicing religious rights Watch

Image of Andrew Cash was discriminated against for practicing his religious rights (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Andrew Cash practiced his religious rights at Missouri State University - and was dismissed from the master's program in counseling as a result. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic News Agency, Cash was referring same-sex couples to another ... continue reading


Not a newsflash, U.S. government authorized use of propaganda on American people...in 2013. Here's who to blame Watch

Image of Obama signed the amendment into law in 2013.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Does the news seem a little too pro-American to you? Does it seem reporters pull punches and that the real issues are ignored? Perhaps that's the result of a quiet change to the law that took place in 2013. A law banning the use of government propaganda on the American ... continue reading


The cost of incarceration: What can we do? Watch

Image of What can we do about overpopulated prisons and ex-cons' ability to find work (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)?

By Matt Hadro (CNA)

Experts from across the political spectrum are calling for criminal justice reform, as a new White House report shows the human and economic costs of the current justice system. Washington D.C. (CNA) - "This is a singular moment in one of the most challenging issues ... continue reading


Sickening portrayal of Jesus pinned to a dartboard presented as art in university library Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An appalling portrayal of Jesus plastered to a dartboard was posted up as artwork inside the Art Library at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The "art piece," titled "Vitruvian Man," shows Jesus nailed to the dartboard ... continue reading


Which bathroom should you use? And why is this a question? Watch

Image of Figuring out which restroom to use isn't supposed to be a dilemma.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The American people are seemingly obsessed with public restrooms these days and precisely how people use the potty. The fear is being stoked by concerns that individuals who "self-identify" as the opposite sex, will take advantage of liberal policies and assault ... continue reading


Prayer Is the Path to Real Freedom Watch

Image of Prayer is the lifeline of a Christian

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Jesus said to his disciples: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. CHESAPEAKE, VA. ... continue reading


Why is Obama now sending 250 MORE troops to Syria? Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack Obama will be sending more troops to the Middle East.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

U.S. President Barack Obama announced 250 more special operations forces are to be deployed to Syria within the next few weeks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  Obama stated: "Just as I approved additional support for Iraqi forces against ISIL, I've decided to ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 15:1-2, 22-29
1 Then some men came down from Judaea and taught the brothers, 'Unless ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
2 Then the earth will acknowledge your ways, and all nations your power ... Read More

Gospel, John 14:23-29
23 Jesus replied: Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my Father ... Read More

Reading 2, Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23
10 In the spirit, he carried me to the top of a very high mountain, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 1st, 2016 Image

St. Marculf
May 1: Marculf is also known as Marcoul. He was born at ... Read More