Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Hartline

7/25/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 smörgåsbord 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'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Malinformed much? Ninety percent of your information now comes from just 6 media sources Watch

Image of Small media outlets are consumed by the large, limiting the variety of expression.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Have you ever tried to describe something, but lacked the vocabulary to do it? This is the concept behind Newspeak, a fictional language in George Orwell's 1984. Orwell proposed that by limiting expression, thought itself could be limited. Today, as media companies ... continue reading


Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage struck down Watch

Image of The Virginia case, Bostic v. Rainey, was brought by two same-sex couples. Fourteen thousand gay couples also were certified as a class for the suit.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a dramatic reversal of a voter-based 2006 decision, U.S. appeals court this week struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, the latest in a string of court rulings to back gay marriage. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit ... continue reading


Archbishop Chaput Speaks at the Napa Institute Conference on Pope Francis and Economic Justice

Image of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is one of the preeminent Churchmen of our age. He offers a prophetic voice for this important time. He not only grasps and articulates Catholic Social Doctrine well, he also understands the real treasure we have been given in this Pope who took the name Francis. I believe that his insights into Pope Francis need to be read by as many people as possible.

By Catholic Online

In matters of economic justice, Francis' concerns are the same as Benedict's and John Paul II's and Pius XI's and Leo XIII's. He understands economic matters through the lens of Church teaching in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Like his ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


Bridget of Sweden, Marriage and Family, and the Need for Canonized Married Saints Watch

Image of St Bridget of Sweden, her husband Ulf, and all the modern Popes call Christian married couples to become the 'Sweet and Smiling Face of the Church' in this age. This is an age which is desperately in need of all kinds of saints. I suggest we particularly need examples of married, canonized Saints. That is precisely because this is an age where faithful marriage is now counter-cultural. We need examples of men and women who not only embraced it in Christ, but lived it as a but a path to heroic virtue.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The clear teaching of the Bible, the Christian tradition and the re-emphasis of the last Council in the Catholic Church, the Second Vatican Council, make clear - we are ALL called to holiness in life. That  is what the Catholic Church regularly refers to as ... continue reading


Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Obama demands that illegals be allowed to enter U.S. Watch

Image of Tens of thousands of illegal, unaccompanied minors have flooded into the United States since 2014 began, often escaping violence in war torn Central American countries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's administration is considering whether or not it will allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras and other war-torn Central American states to enter into the United States illegally and without crossing into the country ... continue reading


Are you ready for the next dust bowl? California is! Watch

Image of A new study suggests that the Colorado River Basin is rapidly running out of water, which may be disastrous for the seven states it supplies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a report published by the American space agency and the University of California, the water crisis that is punishing the southwestern United States is likely to worsen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The report found that the prime source of water ... continue reading


PLAGUE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: Mayflies descend on Wisconsin Watch

Image of When summer arrives, Mayflies take flight and proceed to mate before immediately going back to the water to lay eggs and die.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a plague of Biblical proportions. Ugly mayflies have descended on the state of Wisconsin, covering up exterior services like so much black, metallic dust. Photos coming out of Wisconsin is sure to send viewers itching - so beware of some of the sights in ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops Decry Obama's LGBT executive order as imprudent act of religious discrimination Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have been strong in their condemnation of President Obama's legislation on LGBT employees. "Today's ... 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, Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
10 A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me to be ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
2 rescue me from evil-doers, from men of violence ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-46
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2014 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... 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