Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Hartline

1/18/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The line is very simple, very absolute: the child in the womb is a human person from the moment of conception and has the right to live.

For too many people, outlawing abortion from conception onward is just too demanding a position to take. They don't really like abortion, but they want more flexibility than "no abortion, ever."  So they find a more comfortable line to draw. Some destruction of human life has to be allowed, just not too much. That's where some political conservatives want to take the pro-life effort, and we have to refuse to go there.

Highlights

By Jennifer Hartline

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/18/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Chicks on the Right, abortion, contraception, conservatives, Jennifer Hartline


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - If the Chicks on the Right had their way, people like me would leave the conservative tent because any position on abortion that doesn't allow some room for some abortions under some circumstances is too extreme, too unrealistic, too whatever. 

They contend that Conservatism needs a makeover and I need to step aside and let the modern, moderate conservatives take over the message and the mechanics.

They want to draw a more reasonable line.  And sad to say, judging from the truckload of affirmative comments to their recent post, they're not alone.  My husband calls it politics for politics' sake. 

The Chicks will be happy to hear that I'll be glad to shed the conservative label.  It's pretty meaningless now.  I suppose it makes some distinction between me and a hard-left abortion-on-demand, nanny-government liberal, but that's about all it does.  It doesn't encompass what I really believe, or what is really right. (I'm simply Catholic; a la Christ and His Church, not a la Pelosi and Biden.)

One of the Chicks, Mockarena, says that while she doesn't dispute the science of when life begins, she has drawn her abortion line at a beating heart, or about 21 days past conception.  From that point on, she says abortion is wrong.  Before then, it's not a problem and should be allowed, and in fact, encouraged through the use of Plan B/Morning After pills and widespread contraception.  This would be a victory for conservatives, she claims, and would achieve the goal of reducing abortions in America.  This is realistic, and that's where we should be putting our efforts, says she.  Those who disagree with her are unreasonable, extreme, and hurting the conservative cause.

To Mockarena, I have to ask one question:  What makes your line any less arbitrary than the line the pro-abortionists have drawn?  Their line is the moment after delivery when the cord is cut.  Why is your line any better?

It's really all about finding the line that makes us most comfortable.  The line we feel lets us have the best of both sides of the thing we're debating.  (As if abortion has a good side...)  The line where a desirable-enough outcome is achieved, even if it isn't the truly moral or just outcome.

How much killing can we get away with without getting bloody?  How much killing can we stomach and still sleep at night?  How much power can we assert over another one who is powerless without seeming like a big bully, or tyrant, or heartless abuser ourselves? 

How can we cheat a little and still be reputable?  How can we have what we want without making the difficult sacrifice?  How far can we push that line before we actually have to do the right thing?

Abortion is wrong.  Period.  Full stop.

Many conservatives will say they agree with me.  But like Mockarena, then they'll want to continue... "but we have to face reality.  Abortion is legal, after all, and we're not going to turn back the clock. So shouldn't we concentrate our efforts on making abortion as rare and undesirable as possible?  Shouldn't we focus on reducing the number of abortions by championing contraception, including the Morning After pill?  After all, women who've been raped or had unprotected sex should get emergency contraception immediately.  Then they won't need a real abortion later."

(Allow me to introduce you to Kathleen Sebelius, Cecile Richards, and Sandra Fluke.  I think you'll all get along swimmingly.)

If more contraception was the key to fewer abortions, then more bars ought to be the solution to drunk-driving.

I'm not sure conservatives who make this argument are interested in justice or in what's genuinely right or even factual. (First they need to stop getting their information from the Guttmacher Institute.)  Perhaps they're more interested in comfort, compromise, and popularity.  They're interested in politics. 

But abortion is not a political issue.  It's the ultimate human rights issue; the true test of society's morality and justice.  People who can utter the word "need" in relation to abortion have not yet grasped what it's all about.  When is there ever a need to kill a child??

It's about only one thing: the humanity of the child in the womb.  It's about recognizing that humanity even when it's inconvenient to us and cramps our style; even when it alters our plans.

But admittedly, that's a demanding position to take.  That's an all-or-nothing hill to die on, pardon the pun, and for too many people, that's asking too much.  They don't really like abortion, and they don't want to be lumped in with radical pro-abortionists, but they also want more flexibility than "no abortion, ever, period."

So they draw their comfortable lines at their acceptable limit of destruction. They'll tolerate this much, but no more, because after that it becomes wrong somehow that it wasn't wrong before.  Why?  Well, just because they said so. On this side of the line, it feels okay.  On the other side of the line, it seems wrong, so that's the end of it. To hell with logic, science, and even morality if it disagrees with the line they've drawn. To hell with you if your line is different from theirs.

Trouble is, the line means nothing to the human souls being snuffed out.  It's of little comfort to the human person being flushed away. 

We might be able to live with the line we've drawn, but it's still killing them.

But since their faces can't haunt us; their unformed bodies aren't buried; since they didn't suffer pain; since they were never aware of themselves and we were barely aware of them; their names were never known to us; their futures not even imagined... we think their loss doesn't matter.  We think their absence is meaningless and the responsibility for their deaths won't be laid at our feet for eternity.

We are wrong to think so.  We are no better than punk bullies picking on someone who is a bother to us in the present moment.  We are self-anointed gods who believe we have authority over life and death, including someone else's life and death.  We are slave owners once again and the child in the womb is our property, so we think.

The line is actually very simple, yet very absolute. 

The line is here: the child in the womb is a human person from the moment of conception, and has the right to live.

Any other line is purely an arbitrary one based on emotion, drawn in our own favor, while the child pays the price. 

The Abolitionists in the 1800's didn't settle for partially-freed slaves who were almost always recognized as persons, except under certain conditions at certain times. 

Neither should we who claim to be pro-life ever settle for any line that denies the humanity of the child in the womb in the early days and weeks of pregnancy, or at any time. To hell with politics.

Either we have the guts and the conviction to say the child is a human being at all times or we don't.

That's the line.  It's the only line that everyone can live with.

-----

Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and homeschooling mother of three children, with another in the womb.  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 October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More U.S.

Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas on the Synod on the Family: Duc in Altum

Image of Lorenzo Lotto's depiction of the Holy Family's rest on the flight into Egypt.

By Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.

Christians today in most parts of the world find themselves in a world much like the one inhabited by the first Christians - rampant sexual license, abortion, contraception, family break-down.  Those early Christians took a counter-cultural stance, echoing ... continue reading


(Video) Nina Pham's incredible goodbye will bring you to tears Watch

Image of Supporters of Nina Pham, the nurse who was infected with Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has released a video which shows the goodbye between Ebola-patient Nina Pham and her doctor, as she leaves Dallas for treatment in Maryland. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 26-year-old nurse was infected with Ebola after ... continue reading


(Video) South Carolina's shocking SHARKNADO! Watch

Image of A rare shark feeding frenzy was caught on video in North Carolina, as hundreds of sharks attacked a school of Blue Fish.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An amazing video has appeared on YouTube which shows 100 of sharks engaged in a feeding frenzy just feet from the shore in Cape Lookout, North Carolina. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The bizarre video was taken on October 9, but was not made public until ... continue reading


Fed takes in record of over $3 trillion in taxes Watch

Image of A Treasury Department report has revealed that the U.S. government has taken in a record amount of tax revenue for the 2014 fiscal year, at over $3 trillion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest Monthly Treasury Statement has showed that inflation-adjusted federal tax revenues and tax revenues have reached their highest point even as of the 2014 fiscal year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The inflation-adjusted tax revenue reached ... continue reading


James Robison: Turn In Your Sermons! Watch

Image of James and Betty Robison

By James Robison

The city of Houston has issued a wake up call to all freedom-loving Americans by ordering pastors to turn in their sermons and staff communications dealing with homosexuality, gender identity, and Mayor Annise Parker. You must hear the real message loud and clear ... continue reading


He doesn't even care anymore. Government draws in $3 trillion after numerous tax hikes Watch

Image of The U.S. government took in over $3 trillion dollars in taxes for fiscal year 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. government has collected a record amount of taxes for the 2014 fiscal year, topping $3 trillion in revenue for the first time in history, numbers from the Treasury Department revealed. The data also showed that this influx of cash has brought the current ... continue reading


Trying to win a Darwin Award? Man seen walking next to Ebola patient with clipboard for protection Watch

Image of Who is this man and why isn't he protected like the others?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Maybe he's trying to win a Darwin Award? The nation is aghast at a plainclothes man who appears to be coolly walking beside Ebola-infected nurse, Amber Vinson protected only by --a clipboard. Everyone else around him was dressed in a hazmat suit as she was placed ... continue reading


After two years it's back! Mysterious Air Force spaceship to land in California Watch

Image of The U.S. Air Force's X-37B, which is set to land at Vandenberg Air Force base on October 15, after nearly two years in orbit.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United States mysterious X-37B unmanned space plane is about to land after it has spent almost two years in orbit on a classified mission. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Air Force announced that the X-37B will land at Vandenberg Air Force Base in ... continue reading


Supreme Court trounces Texas rights in abortion bill battle Watch

Image of Supporters of the Texas anti-abortion bill which was passed back in July 2013.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The controversial anti-abortion law passed by Texas in 2013 that had shut down numerous unsafe and unsanitary abortion clinics is now being halted by order of the Supreme Court. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 6-3 order means that many abortion clinics that ... continue reading


U.S. doctor cured of Ebola gives blood to stricken Texan nurse Watch

Image of Twenty-six-year-old Nina Pham has been in quarantine since last week after catching the disease from

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With growing fears of Ebola ravaging the United States, an American doctor who contracted the disease - and survived, has donated some of his blood to Texas nurse, 26-year-old Nina Pham, who fell ill after treating an infected Liberian man. It's the third ... 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, Ephesians 2:1-10
1 And you were dead, through the crimes and the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:13-21
13 A man in the crowd said to him, 'Master, tell my ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 20th, 2014 Image

St. Paul of the Cross
October 20: St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of ... 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