Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Hartline

7/25/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Harris-Perry has taken the occasion to point out to us the illogic and the hypocrisy of our own reactions and our society's treatment of the child in the womb, though that isn't what she meant to do.

We really do gush over the desired child of royalty in one breath and scream for the "termination" of the unwanted-es in the next breath. We feel totally justified in demanding the 'right" to choose whether this child lives or that one dies. We actually do believe that our feelings grant life and that our choice is what makes a baby a baby versus "insentient tissue". The child in the womb has no intrinsic value to us, only subjective value determined by exterior circumstances and desires, and the ultimate barometer, our feelings.

His Royal Highness, Prince George

His Royal Highness, Prince George

Highlights

By Jennifer Hartline

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/25/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC, abortion, Kate and William, Duchess of Cambridge, baby bump, Jennifer Hartline


WASHINGTON, D.C.
(Catholic Online) - MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry has a wacky theory for us that she believes should be the determining criteria for human life.  LIFE itself, it's very beginnings, depends on the feelings of another person (whose life, I assume, depends upon the feelings of another person, and so on, and so on...). Life cannot be said to exist based on science or logic or genuine knowledge or even common sense, but on feelings.

As the world celebrates the birth of the new prince in England (Welcome, Prince George!), it is ironic to reflect on how the headlines and all the press around the world have always referred to the Duchess's baby as just that, a baby. Not a fetus, never an embryo, never a clump of cells taking up residence in her uterus, certainly never an intruder.

The world has correctly identified the baby as a baby and granted the baby the respect and humanity he has always deserved.  Why? Because the parents are royalty? Because they're wealthy? Because they're stylish and beautiful? Maybe. Those are lousy reasons to recognize the obvious, but reasons still.

Harris-Perry has taken the occasion to point out to us the illogic and the hypocrisy of our own reactions and our society's treatment of the child in the womb, though that isn't what she meant to do. She's making her case for the necessity and validity of abortion, but she actually does a good job of exposing how empty, selfish, and absurd is the entire premise.

She starts by contrasting the fairytale experience of William and Kate with other, more problematic experiences, and opines that, "When a pregnancy is wanted, by the mother and father, their family, their community, even their country, it is easy to think of the bump as a baby. But not every pregnancy is a fairytale. There are other stories. An ultrasound reveals serious birth defects; a child is raped and becomes pregnant; another baby would jeopardize a mother's ability to feed her living children; a woman decides she does not want a child at all; these are different pregnancies." 

"They are reminders that an unwanted pregnancy can be biologically the same as a wanted one. But the experience can be entirely different."

She goes on, "Eggs are fertilized. Embryos implant. Cells divide and multiply. Fetuses grow. But when does life begin? I submit the answer depends an awful lot on the feeling of the parents. A powerful feeling - but not science."

(Before I continue, it must be said: 1. Yes, it's quite easy to think of the bump as a baby because it is, in fact, a baby. 2. Birth defects, even serious ones, do not justify ripping a baby to pieces. 3. The child in the womb is also a mother's living child.)

Pregnancy is not a condition that happens apart from a baby. That seems so obvious as to be dopey to even say, yet Harris-Perry repeats the idea -- indeed the theme the abortion industry loves -- that it's the experience of pregnancy that matters, and whether it's good or bad determines the value of the "bump".

Hogwash. The condition of pregnancy is a gigantic smörgĺsbord of possible experiences, good, bad, and ugly, but that doesn't mean diddley in relation to the inherent value of the baby. I've had four children so I speak with great authority and depth of experience. I know very well that pregnancy is not all roses and lollipops.

Here comes the most politically-incorrect thing you'll ever hear: How a woman feels about pregnancy is utterly and totally irrelevant to the fact that there is a baby in her womb. Her feelings matter very much indeed, because she matters, but her feelings have nothing whatsoever to do with the humanity of the child in her womb. She cannot feel the baby into life or into nothingness.

She does not determine the child's worth or value based on her feelings. Her feelings do not grant humanity to a "clump of cells." Her feelings, whether negative or positive, do not affect the personhood of the child one iota. The child IS a human being, period. Feelings have nothing to do with it.

Harris-Perry's entire argument is the absurd idea that if a woman has a good experience of pregnancy and wants her child, then because she feels happy about it, her "bump" is indeed a baby. If her experience is not good and she feels negatively about it, then her "bump" is not a baby. More than that, life has not actually begun because her feelings have not granted it.

First, it strikes me as incredibly insulting because it just plays into the old sexist stereotype that everything women do is based on feelings, and women are incapable of thinking rationally and employing logic and sound reasoning. So much for using our heads, girls. And forget about science, right? Women just react emotionally to everything!

Second, speaking of science, I thought it was Christians who were supposedly anti-science! Forget human biology -- in Harris-Perry's magical and incoherent world, women just feel life into existence and presto!  -- bumps become babies!!  Wow!  Again, it's insulting to tell women that things aren't real if they don't want them to be real. Facts are not obliterated by feelings. And the power to grant and create life is thankfully not at the whim of women's emotions.

Harris-Perry really held up the mirror, though, and her crazy, self-serving remarks are an accurate reflection of our depraved times. We really do gush over the desired child of royalty in one breath and scream for the "termination" of the unwanted-es in the next breath. We feel totally justified in demanding the 'right" to choose whether this child lives or that one dies. We actually do believe that our feelings grant life and that our choice is what makes a baby a baby versus "insentient tissue". The child in the womb has no intrinsic value to us, only subjective value determined by exterior circumstances and desires, and the ultimate barometer, our feelings.

The child in the womb of a Duchess is celebrated and protected and called a baby. The child in the womb of a college student is called a threat to her future and killed. The child in the womb of an unwilling mother is called an unwelcome intruder and a parasite and killed. The child in the womb of a poor minority mother is considered a thief stealing food and resources from the family and killed. The child conceived in rape couldn't possibly be considered anything but vulgar and is killed.

In every case, the child is the same -- a human person. Circumstances and feelings are irrelevant to that fact. The difference is our response. We can't have it both ways. If Kate's baby has always been a baby, then so is every baby in every mother's womb.

I realize that for centuries the birth of a royal baby has been met with lavish celebration while the birth of a poor child, a sick child, an "imperfect" child born to a less-than-picturesque family is either ignored or met with open disdain. God Himself came to this world a poor child, born among livestock because no one would give His mother a room. This foolish world continues to miss the miracle unless it comes wrapped in style and beauty.

The current mixed conduct toward expectant mothers and their babies is not a new phenomenon. Even our disregard for the child in the womb is nothing new in human history. Abortion is not a modern invention. It's an old, old evil. Living in a society where it is legal and sanctioned by the positive law of the land, however, is what makes our time so barbaric and grotesque.

That we have elevated abortion to the status of a "right" and tried to confer on it moral credibility is what makes us so-called civilized and enlightened people so depraved. And in our technologically-advanced world, with our knowledge of the human body and the window we have into the womb, we have absolutely no excuse for our selfish and hideous insistence that the child is not fully human, not a person, not a baby.

If we ever hope to achieve a nation where the children of poor families are given the same consideration as those of the rich; where babies of every race are treated with equal respect; where mothers, in every circumstance, are given the help, support, and protection they need and deserve, then we must start at square one. And square one is this: It is not a choice, but a child, and the child in the womb is a human person who has the right to live and be born. Period.

Only when that is settled and non-negotiable can we finally put all our energy where it belongs, and then the frightened young mother, or the overwhelmed mother, or the distraught mother, or the poor mother will not feel they're left to their own devices without support.

Yes, the experience of pregnancy can be anything from joyful to terrifying and everything in between. It can be a dizzying mix of emotions and physical challenges. But whatever the experience, the humanity of the child in the womb is an unchanging fact. Whether that makes anyone feel glad, sad or mad is simply immaterial.

-----

Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and homeschooling mother of four children. 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 16:1-10
1 From there he went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra, where there was a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth,2 ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:18-21
18 If the world hates you, you must realise that it hated me before it ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 30th, 2016 Image

St. Pius V, Pope
April 30: Pope from 1566-1572 and one of the foremost ... Read More