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    by Phil Erwin

    “It’s a helluva thing, killin’ a man. You take away all he’s got… an’ all he’s ever gonna have.”
    – Clint Eastwood as William Munny, Unforgiven

    Eastwood’s film depicts a vile-when-drunk lawbreaker, “William Munny,” dispatching five or six adults in a gunfight with ease, and with absolutely no remorse. We feel almost a mesmerized revulsion at the cold-focused, utterly hollow way that he “takes away all they have, and all they’re ever gonna have.” It’s a brilliant cinematic portrayal of the very worst of human behaviors.

    The Munny character is frighteningly well-suited to killing – “Killin’s all I’ve ever been good at.” It could be argued that the United States, as a society, has raised Munny’s casual bloodthirst to a barbaric pinnacle. According to our own CDC, since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision our so-called “healthcare practitioners” have eliminated, by means of abortion, more than sixty million humans. Wiped ‘em out. Prevented them from ever walking the face of the Earth.

    If the make-believe cinematic slaughter of humans can horrify us, why are we so nonchalant about the very real eradication of tens of millions of infant humans?

    Why is it so easy for some of us to just step over that little speed bump, with maybe a quick recitation of the Left’s deliberately untruthful mantra: “My body, my choice!”

    We’ve endured a push-me-pull-you abortion debate ever since the Supreme Court made its monumentally stupid and clearly wrong judgment that abortion is a “right” handed down by the framers of the Constitution and subsequent “Bill of Rights,” which together defined a collection of civil rights to be guaranteed to Americans.

    I wonder whether, at the time those documents were being drafted, there was even a single person on the continent worrying about a “right” to abortion.

    But nine old white guys wearing the robes in the ‘Seventies went early-Woke, and decided to make sure there was a ready legal path for terminating infant life.

    And for more than fifty years, our politics have been tainted by a damn-near-unsolvable argument over whether abortion is healthcare, or murder.

    Well, here’s a clue: It’s both!

    Abortion quite clearly is a medical procedure that affects the health of a prospective mother (sometimes even for the worse!) It also ends the life of what might be called an “incipient human.” (A human fetus obviously has human DNA, and if it survives the process we call “birth,” it exits as a live human being. A tiny one, and pretty useless and demanding for a while, to be sure; but a human being nonetheless. Once that youngster takes its first breath and squanders it on squalling, it qualifies as an addition to the census – a new Citizen, with all the rights guaranteed by the Constitution to the rest of us.

    The legal/philosophical squabble is about the nine or so months it takes to incubate that child.

    That incubation traditionally takes place within the body of another human being. And though medical science has tried to provide an alternative method – one that doesn’t require the accommodation of a “birthing person” – there’s still a period of several months between conception and birth that requires an actual human female to handle the job.

    So the controversy begins at the moment of conception, and ends when a fetus can be sustained outside the womb.

    Any abortion-related argument about “When does Life actually begin?” and “When does the fetus become a human being?” really are pointless. It is known that life begins at the moment of fertilization. It’s obvious, it’s logically inescapable, it’s scientifically clear as a bell – Hell, its even been filmed! And a human fetus is just that: Human. Right from the very moment of conception.

    That is what the DNA says.

    As to the other end of the viability spectrum, that is subject to change. It used to be almost nine months, but advances in medical technology have dropped that to around the 24th week. Before that point, a fetus could logically be considered a parasite in a woman’s body. (It can’t exist without the mother providing it warmth and nutrients. And it takes those things from her, whether that endangers her health or not.) So whatever legal and social objections might be raised against her choosing to end that arrangement, the woman certainly would seem to have the majority-stockholder role. During that several-month period, “My body, my choice” seems an obvious and legally sensible rule.

    What is not so clear, though, is not a medical matter, but a spiritual one: When does a fetus gain a soul?

    That, really, is the question that divides the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life camps.

    The Pro-Choice crowd really doesn’t bother with this question. Perhaps they are atheists or agnostics, and don’t subscribe to the notion that a “soul” is what really makes us “human.” For them, killing a fetus is OK because that fetus has not yet become human. It hasn’t somehow “absorbed” humanity by living (something which they apparently think happens by osmosis, or some other unidentified mechanism.) So ending that fetal life is no more inhumane than, say, stepping on an ant.

    For the Pro-Life camp, this perspective is wrong, barbaric, heartless and completely at odds with reality. They believe humans are endowed with a soul – the very essence of “human-ness” – at the moment of conception. They believe that a soul is as much a part of a human fetus as is the new heart that will eventually sustain it. In their eyes, “human-ness” actually precedes a fetal heartbeat by several weeks!

    But once a fetus reaches viability, other issues may bear on the “right” to abortion. (Does the father want the child? Are there serious health complications for either woman or child? Is it likely the child will be a ward of the State?) Once viable, the impact of abortion on people other than the mother suddenly has some weight. During that roughly 3-month interval of viability, many legal, ethical, practical and moral issues can collide and impinge upon a legal framework that is very poorly-prepared to adjudicate the resulting conflicts.

    Many people in so-called “Blue” states see this as strictly a legal question: Does a woman have sovereignty over her own body, or not? They believe she should, and so has the legal right to abort her “parasite” at any moment before birth.

    In “Red” states, child-making is much more of an ethical/moral/spiritual issue. Conservatives consider those little “parasites” as actual human babies long before the squalling starts. And they consider it a moral imperative to protect children. So abortion to them is morally repugnant, even to the point of being a “mortal sin.”

    Those two views are universes apart. There is no clear, workable way to resolve those views into a single legal framework that covers all possibilities and makes everyone happy with the result. The more you legally restrict abortion, the more fanatically the hyper-Left screams about it; while the more you make abortion common, unfettered and taxpayer-funded, the more people on the Right see it as a fundamental erosion of things that make America… well, America.

    So-called “Progressive Democrats” constantly work to alter the legal landscape of America in unassailable ways (that’s why they’re furious that SCOTUS is reconsidering their nation-altering “win” that Roe was.) Meanwhile, most of “middle America” senses a horrible legal affront to the American Republic is poised to disintegrate, and they’re waiting breathlessly to see whether the Trump-appointed trio of Conservative Justices have the clout (and the stones) to actually make it happen.

    Of course, the irresponsible Left has been incredibly busy lying to their zombie-like followers that the loss of Roe would mean an end to their “Constitutionally-guaranteed abortion rights.”

    The truth (which Conservative news sites explain while the Leftist news Media deliberately obscures) is that Roe was always a Constitutional error; and that reversing that legal blunder frees all of the states to make their own legal regulations on abortion, subject to and reflective of the beliefs and desires of their own voting constituencies.

    Just as the Founders envisioned when they wrote, debated, passed and signed the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    Those documents clearly state that any right not explicitly allocated to the Federal government is automatically and absolutely left up to the individual states and their People.

    Since the word “abortion” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution, there is no “Constitutional right” to abortion. Therefore, it should be Constitutionally left to the States, and their voters, to control.

    Once those Constitutional truths are clear, the controversy over Roe evaporates. It was always a judicial error. The Supreme Court probably had no business jumping into that morality fray, and has a legal responsibility to correct it.

    Anticipating that likely event, a number of states have already passed, or are working on passing, their own versions of what might be termed “abortion rights” bills. In Blue states, that means eliminating virtually all controls on abortion – even allowing it up to the moment of birth, and possibly for up to a month afterward! Conversely, Red states are busy enacting laws that make abortion either rare after the first weeks of pregnancy, or outright illegal. That may create a patchwork of legal rights and wrongs, but that is precisely the democratic Republic the Founders envisioned – each state shaping its laws and policies around the beliefs and desires of its own inhabitants!

    (Democrats decry that some states will ban abortion completely, forcing their residents to seek the procedure across state lines. Isn’t that just like states with “dry” counties, where residents must drive a bit farther for booze than they do for vegetables?)

    But even the correct Constitutional solution – leaving the states to define abortion rights – doesn’t address the fundamental issue lying at the very heart of the conflict, which is this: The aborting of a human fetus necessarily means ending a human life.

    In all other contexts, that qualifies as “homicide” – the killing of one human by another.

    It typically is considered a crime called “murder” – often given qualifying names such as “first degree,” “second degree” or “manslaughter” to signify murderous intent, planning, etc.; or “justifiable homicide” for an act of self-defense.

    But when it comes to abortion, the Left is adamant: Don’t you dare call it “murder”!

    It’s just a “medical procedure,” or “terminating a pregnancy”, or maybe “active family planning.” Above all, it is a woman exercising her Constitutional right to healthcare!

    (Ooopps… That’s actually another “Constitutional right” that ain’t. But that’s another discussion…)

    Will we ever have actual consensus on whether, when and why abortion should be either legal/acceptable, or illegal/unacceptable?

    Well, maybe. But it requires convincing people to give up their fundamental emotional anchors on the topic, to recognize and accept things that really are clear and unequivocal; and then (and here’s the part that we don’t do well anymore) just be good Americans about the rest – listen to and try to understand the perspective of others, and give them space to be different than you.

    OK. So, what aspects of the abortion issue really are undeniable and unequivocal?

    1. An unborn fetus is human. That’s a fact of DNA. That some want legal clearance to kill it before birth puts them in the same boat as death-penalty supporters: Authorizing the government to terminate human life under legally-prescribed circumstances agreed to by the electorate. [Moral-quandry Alert: If you’re against the Death Penalty, you can’t reasonably be in support of abortion!]
    2. Until the moment when a fetus is actually capable of surviving outside of the mother’s womb, that fetus is also (arguably) a parasite within the mother’s body, representing a potential threat to the mother’s health, well-being and life. So she deserves either the loudest voice or full control over the decision to remove said parasite. This demands reasoned debate and legal clarity in each state as to when and how that decision is to be allowed, or banned, and who might legally be involved.
    3. Now there is even discussion about “post-birth abortion” – which by any standard of reasonableness would be considered “infanticide.” It is indisputably murder. So if it’s to be tolerated in some states, the reasons for that had better be unassailable and unavoidable. Otherwise, it is a barbarism that modern Americans ought never tolerate.

    Achieving these points of legal clarity within each state would go a long way toward minimizing the political and societal strife over the abortion issue. But it still leaves one piece of the puzzle not only unresolved, but entirely unaddressed. There is one aspect of abortion that I have never seen publicly considered, or even mentioned, which is this:

    Aborting a human fetus is not merely terminating the existence of a potential human being. It is eradicating the life of a completely unique human individual – one which has never existed on the planet, ever before, and which will never again have the chance to exist.

    Quoting a Twilight Zone character: “You think about that, now!”

    Each and every human fetus has utterly unique DNA – a biochemical blueprint to create an individual human who will never, ever – in the entire span of human history – ever be duplicated.

    Not once.

    This fact of DNA is true even for identical siblings. They begin life with identical DNA templates, but science has shown that within just days, their genomes begin to develop divergences that can be measured. So before the mother even knows she’s pregnant, she has not one, but two (or more) utterly unique individuals depending on her for their only chance to join society.

    This is something that the discussions about abortion never address. It is certainly something that is never explained to those women who are depending on Planned Parenthood to be good “healthcare providers.”

    Every fetus is a universe unto itself.

    And we have, as a country and a society, been responsible for eliminating more than sixty million such unique humans before they ever even saw the light of day.

    Much less cured cancer, or painted a masterpiece, or performed arias at the Met, or created a quantum technology, or…

    This fact should form the very foundation of every discussion about abortion. And yet it’s never even mentioned.

    To borrow from Eastwood’s “William Munny”: Abortion takes away all that a unique human being is ever gonna have, and all she is ever gonna accomplish. (And also, lest it be overlooked: All her progeny will ever accomplish.)

    That is a heavy societal price to pay for failing to successfully promote a little pre-sex caution, a little family-planning forethought.

    As a supposedly “advanced technological society,” you’d think we could do a little better than to just blithely accept the murder of sixty million of our own utterly unique fellow Citizens-to-be.

    I think a little societal shame is in order. How about you?

    Phil Erwin is an author, IT administrator and registered Independent living in Newbury Park. He would like to support some Democrat ideals, but he has a visceral hatred for Lies and Damn Lies (and is highly suspicious of Statistics.) That pretty much eliminates supporting most Democrats, and a bunch of Republicans to boot.

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    George Miller
    George Miller
    1 month ago

    I don’t agree with you on mother’s right to choose up until viability, but this is a great analysis of the most common viewpoints.

    David F Puu
    David F Puu
    1 month ago

    Excellent breakdown of the myriad number of facets.

    I really wish the abortion as birth control folks would be referred to as Pro Abortionists rather than pro choice. The real choice about whether to bear children should occur prior to intercourse and never post creation of new life.

    Jack F.
    Jack F.
    1 month ago
    Reply to  David F Puu

    Sounds about right, as a guy I’m sure you are okay with women not having a choice. According to the Bible life begins at the baby’s first breath.

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