Sunday Livestream 9:45a, 10:45, 3:30pm

The Immoral Thinking of Abortionists

Posted by Matt Postiff July 31, 2015 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Society 

Over at AEI Idea's public policy blog, I wrote in a comment:

I think this would be a good Venn diagram:

Circle 1: People who say unborn babies are not people but rather are tissue masses or somesuch.

Circle 2: People who sell human body parts like kidneys, brains, spinal cords, livers, and the like from aborted fetuses.

Overlap: People who don't have a great need for intellectual consistency.

If the unborn children are not babies, it would seem that they shouldn’t have all the normal people body parts. If it looks like a person, shouldn’t you think its a person?

A respondent named Bob replied:

Nonesense. So if I grow a liver in the lab that liver is a person? If I choose to be an organ donor I’m not a person? If dead people donate their bones and tissue for treatments they weren’t people? You’re ignoring the reality that people can and do donate tissue and organs all the time, and in some cases their family decides for them. You’re also conflating partially developed with actually developed. Is a blastocyst of 300 cells a person? That’s ridiculous. By that standard scratching your nose is a virtual genocide. I’m not saying it’s trivial to draw the line between mass of unviable tissue and potential human that has consciousness, but science isn’t completely ignorant either. And whether the tissue resulting from abortion should be used is a question of squeamishness, not ethics. Is it somehow more moral to throw aborted tissue in the garbage than to use it for something productive? Hardly.

There are a few obvious logical and moral flaws in what Bob has written.

Hi Bob, not nonsense. You've missed the point. In reply to your questions/points:

About livers grown in a lab: that is obviously not a person. I'm talking about a pie dish with all the baby's body parts dissected in it, not a liver in isolation from any other living tissue. You find all the body parts in that pie dish, and if they weren't chopped up like mince meat and hacked out of their mother’s womb, they would still be alive and in a few weeks or months would be born as a healthy baby. I'm all for growing a liver or heart or lung in a lab and transplanting it into a person to save a life, as long as doing so does not kill another life in the process.

About organ donation: if you choose to be an organ donor, that is wonderful. But notice the huge difference in three ways. First of all, you voluntarily choose to donate a part of your body. You may implement the donation after you are dead, say from a traumatic brain injury. You cannot give your organs before you are dead in that situation. Or, some make donations of themselves while they are alive. For instance, sometimes people donate a partial liver, or a kidney. In abortion, the "donation" is not voluntary by the donor.

Second, in the living donor case, the donation does not kill the person, if all goes well. The abortion does kill the subject.

Third, neither your nor your family can legally be compensated for donations. In Planned Parenthood's abortion situation, they are compensated. So, the baby does not voluntarily choose to donate, it loses its life, and another organization (PP) is being compensated for it.

To your question about a blastocyst of 300 cells: it is of the homo sapiens variety and it is alive. So, it is not so ridiculous to suggest it is a person. What else would you call it? You cannot convince anyone that it is another species, or that it is dead. It has all the qualities of a living human organism at that stage of its development, just like a 3 month old has all the qualities of a human at that stage of development, and you have all the qualities of a human at your stage of development.

You admit that it is not trivial to draw the line. So I challenge you to go ahead and draw the line--just when does it become life? And are you willing to kill a living organism on the flimsy "it's not trivial" logic? Or on the "I'm flexible...I might be willing to draw the line as far out as sentience or viability"? I wish the infant had the luxury of such flexibility! Yes, I do believe that life begins at conception. You are willing to commit discrimination based on age and level of development. So what if a child is born without arms and legs? It is only partially developed. Do you think it is OK to kill it? Your pushback that I kill living organisms all the time when I was my hands with anti-bacterial soap is irrelevant. I don't kill a living human organism when I wash my hands. I am free as a human, and as a Christian, to end the life of a bacteria if it is harmful, or an animal if it is a pest, or an animal if I need food, and even a human if it is a case of justified homicide as in capital punishment or self defense because of a criminal act done against another human. I am justified in such acts, in the proper contexts, because God has permitted those acts. You have no justification for taking the life of an infant in the womb--God has not sanctioned that act.

Fourth, if all ethical questions reduced down to ones of squeamishness, we would do a lot more things that are sick and perverted than we even do now. It is far too simple-minded ethically to suggest that once we make the decision to kill a baby, it is no problem to decide to donate its tissue. Your final question presents the logical fallacy called a false dilemma. I don't have a choice only between throwing aborted tissue away or donating it. I can choose LIFE and have a baby! Both donating the tissue AND throwing it away are morally wrong, and they are sourced in a prior moral wrong: murder.

Bob's type of thinking is an example of how darkened the mind of the unbeliever is. I don't know Bob personally, but for my purpose this afternoon, he represents a whole class of people whose thinking is blinded by immorality and simply does not see things they way those things really are.

Perhaps I should spell out my initial Venn diagram comment to make it more clear? On the one hand, abortionists say that the unborn baby is not a human, it has no right to life, and it is of no consequence to remove it from the mother. But on the other hand, apparently they market the human body parts of those babies for medical researchers who want to purchase human body parts. Oh, but wait, it wasn't a human that we removed from the womb. How can we market its body parts as human if it really isn't human? Hmmmm. Maybe we'll just live with the intellectual inconsistency so we can get what we WANT—federal funding and financial proceeds from body part sales and fees for abortions, and free sex without any responsibility!

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