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 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More U.S.

Violent riot erupts at Trump rally in New Mexico Watch

Image of Unsurprisingly, a Trump rally erupted into a riot in New Mexico (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Protesters at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's New Mexico rally erupted in violent acts including the attempted stoning of police, glass bottles thrown at mounted units and their horses, burning shirts and more. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Record-breaking 38,000 illegal aliens apprehended in the month of April Watch

Image of April 2016 reaches new record for illegal alien apprehensions.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Illegal aliens continue to surge into the United States from the Southwest U.S. border, leading the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) units to announce record-breaking apprehensions in April, 2016. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the U.S. ... continue reading


Edward Nero, arresting officer of Freddie Gray, NOT GUILTY. Will Baltimore erupt once more? Watch

Image of Officer Edward Nero arrives at court. Nero has been acquitted of crimes in the death of Freddie Gray.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The arresting officer in the Freddie Gray case, Edward Nero, has been declared "not guilty" by the judge in his criminal trial. Now, the community waits to see if violence will erupt or if the streets will remain quiet. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Officer ... continue reading


Tell Me About the Trinity: Honoring Jerry and Plumbing the Mystery of God Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

'The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Father Daniel Berrigan's Pro-Life Activism Watch

Image of Fr. Daniel Berrigan

By Fr Frank Pavone

Father Berrigan was a radical figure who sent a total of almost seven years in prison.  What many don't realize though is that his activism extended beyond the anti-war movement and into the anti-abortion movement. Believing in what he called a consistent ... continue reading


Law allows persons to sue if you don't use the correct pronoun out of 58 to describe a person's sexual identity Watch

Image of We're going to need a lot more restrooms.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Under a new law, businesses in New York will be fined if they don't use a person's preferred pronoun when referring to them. This especially becomes a problem when it is understood there are at least 58 possible pronouns with at least five grammatical variations ... continue reading


Science fiction? Feds discover the 'Grocery List,' post tweets to promote new technology Watch

Image of After millions of dollars in federal spending, government scientists have discovered the grocery list technology. Where would we be without such courageous efforts?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Federal Government has discovered the grocery list technology. This unlock apparently occurred recently as the Department of Agriculture sent encouraging, rapid-fire tweets to the public about how to use this remarkable new advancement. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Texas to build own version of Ft. Knox, is secession next? Watch

Image of Texas is bringing home its gold.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Texas is taking another step to becoming an independent Republic by recalling its gold and other precious metals home. A private company is planning to construct a bullion depository south of Houston, creating a virtual Ft. Knox for the state. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


We Need a New Pentecost and Whatever Happened to those Charismatic Catholics? Watch

Image of The fire of Pentecost

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I am one of countless thousands upon thousands whose life was profoundly changed by an experience, an encounter, with the Holy Spirit decades ago. I am old enough to remember when we who had this encounter were sometimes  called Pentecostal Catholics. That ... continue reading


The Obama Department of (In) Justice Takes on North Carolina, Civil Rights, and Sexual Difference Watch

Image of Federal Attorney General Loretta Lynch and North Carolina Governor McCrory

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If you rely on the main stream media for your news reports, you will not hear the truth of what is really happening in North Carolina. Much of the media uses Orwellian newspeak in its reports and has degenerated into a propaganda wing of the current ... 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, First Peter 1:18-25
18 For you know that the price of your ransom from the futile way of life ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
12 Praise Yahweh, Jerusalem, Zion, praise your God.13 For he ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:32-45
32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem; Jesus was walking on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 25th, 2016 Image

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
May 25: It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical ... Read More