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 March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More U.S.

Cardinal Egan, hero of 9/11, dies at 82 Watch

Image of Cardinal Egan was a heroic man who spoke the truth, no matter what the consequences. May he rest in peace.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cardinal Egan of New York has died. Egan, 82, passed away yesterday afternoon in New York as a result of cardiac arrest. Cardinal Egan is well regarded in New York, particularly after his work in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


On the Growing Calls to Put the Death Penalty to Death and the Right to Life Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I applaud the joint editorial of America magazine, the National Catholic Register, the National Catholic Reporter and Our Sunday Visitor, in standing together in opposition to the death penalty. How about another editorial from the four, opened up to many more ... continue reading


FEDS VS. THE STATE: Who will win in Alabama standoff? Watch

Image of Some civil rights marchers have rejected any comparison between the quest to redefine marriage as a genderless union and the quest by black Americans to obtain their full civil rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Homosexual equivalency advocates liken Alabama's defiance of federal authorities on same sex marriage to a similar stance during the civil rights movement of the 1960's. The Alabama Supreme Court has made itself an outlier in the judicial march legalizing ... continue reading


Remembering Father Alfred Kunz: A Murder Unsolved Watch

Image of I try not to think of how his life ended any more. Rather, I try to remember how he lived. That is because, as a Catholic, I realize how short our lives are. We all will come to an end...sooner or later. What really matters is what we do, in keeping with God's plan, while we are here on this planet. Father Alfred Kunz knew that. He knew why he was here on earth and he made an eternal difference.

By Matt C. Abbott

In the early morning of March 4, 1998, Father Alfred Kunz, a priest and canon lawyer of the Diocese of Madison, Wis., was found brutally murdered in his parish school, St. Michael's, in Dane, Wis. His throat had been slashed. To date-17 years later-the murder ... continue reading


Saved by a sea lion! Suicide leaper from San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge loves to counsel others Watch

Image of Kevin Hines later spoke to a man who had been on the bridge that day. The man informed him that the underwater creature was not a shark - but a sea lion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thirty-three-year-old Kevin Hines was at one time a suicidal teenager who battled mental illness. It first dawned on him that his life served some sort of purpose when in one of his several suicide attempts, he threw himself off the Golden Gate Bridge in San ... continue reading


PM Netanyahu's Clarion Call Watch

Image of Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015, President Obama, his staff, and many Democrats in Congress boycotted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu speech.

By Adele M. Gill

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015, as President Obama, his staff, and many Democrats in Congress boycotted his speech, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu sounded a trumpet, a clarion call, for World peace. The message he delivered was cogent and clear: Peace and unity for all ... continue reading


Standing ground: Alabama Supreme Court halts same sex marriages Watch

Image of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has issued opinions saying the probate judges didn't have to heed the federal court rulings to marry gay couples, appeared to be absent from the decision. His name was neither in the concur or dissent portion of the order.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The State of Alabama remains adamantly opposed to same sex marriages. The Supreme Court of Alabama has since ordered all the state's probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The decision is just the latest in a growing legal battle ... continue reading


WHY has heroin overdose deaths in the U.S. quadrupled over the past 15 years? Watch

Image of Heroin overdose death most rapidly in the Midwest, the report said. No explanation was given from the report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Once considered the lowest a person could fall, heroin deaths and addiction have quadrupled over the past 15 years. Death rates from heroin overdoses have nearly quadrupled since 2000 to reach 2.7 per 100,000 people in 2013. The National Center for Health ... continue reading


Has Obama destroyed 60 years of friendship? U.S.-Israeli relations frayed after dismissive comments from President Obama Watch

Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before a joint session of Congress on March 3.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In his dramatic, and controversial, speech before the U.S. Congress, Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the proposed agreement between the U.S. and Iran was "a bad deal" which would not hinder Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


What is she hiding? Hillary Clinton refused to use government email address while Secretary of State Watch

Image of Hillary Clinton did not use an official government email address while she was Secretary of State, potentially violating a law regarding open and free access to official documents.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Potential 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton may have shot herself in the foot; it has been revealed that as Secretary of State, Clinton used a personal email address for official government business, which may be a crime. LOS ANGELES, CA ... 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, Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-18
3 Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21
16 He called down famine on the land, he took away ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
33 'Listen to another parable. There was a man, a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 6th, 2015 Image

St. Colette
March 6: Colette was the daughter of a carpenter named DeBoilet at Corby ... 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