Dear Pro-Choice, Do Know Your Historical Neighbors?

by Hector Guthrie

The debate over abortion hinges on one major point: is the fetus a human or not? If the fetus is a human then it has human rights; such as the right to life, and therefore, the government has a responsibility to ensure that its right to life is not taken. It can justifiably make any law protecting that human’s right to life. If the fetus is a human then there is no debate about abortion because it becomes synonyms with homicide. On the other hand, if the fetus is not a human life, then it follows that it does not posses the human right to life. Therefore, no right to life would be infringed during an abortion.

This means that pro-life ideologues seek to establish that the fetus is a human life, while pro-choice ideologues must establish that the fetus is not a human life. The synonymous term for the pro-choice approach is the dehumanization of the fetus. The dehumanization argument is the only argument that pro-choice ideologues should pursue throughout debate and discussion. Truthfully, it’s their only argument for abortion – abortion cannot be murder because what is ended is not a human life.

The dehumanization approach has been used before – to justify some of the ugliest parts of history. We do not need to go far to find its use. Turn back the clock only a few years and see that the charters and creeds of Islamic terrorist organizations use the dehumanization argument to justify attacks on their victims. They see other groups of people as sub-human, less deserving of life or freedom because they aren’t as human as the terrorists.

Wind the clock back several decades and you find the dehumanization argument used to justify the Holocaust. Nazi Germany performed ethnic cleansing of populations in its own country as well as those it controlled. It sold the idea to its people that genocide was perfectly fine because those being rounded up were sub-human. They dehumanized their targets which in turn eased the moral conscious of its citizens. After all, it is not the murder of a human life if that being was never fully human.

Go back another hundred years and find that dehumanization justified the Atlantic slave trade. Operators of the slave trade invoked this idea to justify the withholding of human rights to blacks because they argued that blacks weren’t human in the same sense as they were. They couldn’t be taking away their right to liberty because they were sub-human and therefore did not lay claim on human rights.

Each of these historic cases used the dehumanization argument to justify its actions. In fact, the dehumanization argument was the best and only argument they ever had. What was being committed historically was often considered legal and it was always the moral argument that proved to be the most compelling counter force. Morals justify why slavery, genocide, and terrorism are all evil. Historically speaking, the dehumanization argument has never withstood the test of time and is the sole justification of several historical tragedies.

Pro-choice ideologues need to reflect on their argument and the company it kept. To be clear, I’m not equating women who participated in abortions to slave owners, Nazis, or terrorists. I am however, comparing the justification for their actions and urging pro-choice ideologues to consider the history of their justification. By choosing to rely on the dehumanization argument, pro-choice ideologues have placed themselves in the historical neighborhood of slave owners, Nazis, and terrorists. Finding oneself in that neighborhood should serve as a wakeup call. Pro-choice ideologues need to rethink their argument and understand that this justification will most likely not age well.


Hector Guthrie is a world traveler and politically involved citizen.

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c e voigtsberger

Let’s first clear the air about where I stand politically. I am so conservative I make Genghis Khan look like a Hubert Humphrey liberal. That said, can anyone at all remember how many women turned up in E.R.s with sepsis or punctured and mutilated uteruses, or peritonitis or other serious or fatal damage to their organs due to abortions performed by some butcher in a back alley office before Row v Wade?

In my view the drive to once again outlaw safe abortion is the same drive to outlaw illegal drugs. It is trying to tell somebody else how to live their life. It is doomed to failure. You cannot legislate personal morality.

As with the war on demon rum, the war on drugs has failed miserably, causing far worse situations that have eroded our Bill of Rights more than any other single action of government. We didn’t have face-masked, black-clad ninja wannabes armed to the teeth with suppressed fully automatic weapons serving arrest warrants on some 70 year-old man in the middle of the night for a non-violent civil infraction before the war on drugs. We didn’t have seizure of personal property and real estate without trial by law enforcement departments in order to enrich their budget. Traffic fines paid to the judge and arresting officer were declared illegal back in the 50s and good riddance. That’s just to name a couple of the infringements on personal liberty that have resulted from the so-called war on drugs.

Should a druggie be allowed to drive on the highways? Fly airplanes? Operate on people? Sit on the judicial bench? Enforce the law? Absolutely not. But as long as they confine their drug habit to the solitude of their home and don’t endanger other folks, I don’t really care if they remain stoned out of their minds 24/7/365. If their drug/alcohol/abortion problem endangers or infringes on the safety or quiet enjoyment of life of others, then the law should step in and ameliorate that situation, but otherwise it is not the government’s business.

Should government funds be used to pay for abortions? Absolutely not. Just as government funds should not be used to pay for alcohol or recreational drugs. Actually, government funds should not be used to provide any sort of medical treatment in my opinion. I can’t find a single place where such expenditure is called out in the Constitution.

If you don’t approve of abortion, don’t get one. Just like alcohol or drugs, if you don’t approve, don’t use them. But unless such use interferes with your quiet enjoyment of life, it’s really none of your business how much alcohol or drugs or how many abortions your neighbor uses or has. Stop butting into other people’s private lives.