The Language of Absurdism in the Abortion Industry

In Greek mythology there was a King named Sisyphus who – as a form of punishment- was condemned to repeatedly roll a boulder up a hill only to watch it come back down. It was a lather, rinse, repeat type situation for him. The philosopher, Albert Camus, employs this mythological character in his book, The Myth of Sisyphus. In this work Camus explores the concept of absurdity as the simultaneous contradiction of the human quest for value, purpose, and meaning amid the human inability to find any. Philosopher Daniel Dennett describes this philosophy well:

Postmodernism, the school of ‘thought’ that proclaimed ‘There are no truths, only interpretations’ has largely played itself out in absurdity, but it has left behind a generation of academics in the humanities disabled by their distrust of the very idea of truth and their disrespect for evidence, settling for ‘conversations’ in which nobody is wrong and nothing can be confirmed, only asserted with whatever style you can muster.

We can see this philosophy take root in literature. In fact, the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett — one of the founders of the Theater of the Absurd —published his own absurdist work, Waiting for Godot, in 1952. The play is centered around two male characters who banter in nonsensical ways. There is no connection between their words and actions, they name objects however they feel — like calling a hand a foot and a foot a hand. One character is constantly taking his boots on and off throughout the play. Like Sisyphus, these men are condemned by their habitual actions.

For the average play-watching audience accustomed to a traditional story arc, it appears as if nothing is happening: no real plot, action, character development, climax, and resolution. The two men in Beckett’s play are unable to move or think — they aren’t even sure what day it is. All these two men do is wait. Who or what are they waiting for? They are waiting for Godot, believed by many literary scholars to represent God. Their waiting is marked by uncertainty. Will Godot come? Has he come and they’ve missed him? What should happen in the meantime? What’s the point of all the waiting? The curtain closes and Godot never comes; at least they think he never came. Of this they cannot even be sure.

Waiting for Godot is driven by a lack of truth — hence all the uncertainty. It is a play which denounces meaning and purpose in life, but the play itself cannot escape meaning and purpose. For the play’s very purpose is to show there is no meaning and purpose in the play, as well as in life. In Beckett’s created world there is no certain truth, so the next logical step leads to meaninglessness. And much like Beckett’s characters who contemplate suicide, meaninglessness leads to death.

Absurdity in Culture

The absurdist ideas presented in Waiting for Godot have continued to flourish in today’s culture. In a society where anything goes, where do we end up? Where do these ideas take us? If we accept this philosophy we have most likely rejected an eternal and objective standard of right and wrong —  we have no center, no reference point outside of ourselves. Thinking this way means there is no longer any objective truth that can be found or discerned in this world, instead we devise our own standards in accordance with our subjective desires. “To each his own,” “Live and let live,” are the mantras of our time.

With so many different ideas of right and wrong around us that appear contradictory at times, meaninglessness makes complete sense. Life is messy and doesn’t make sense; it can feel like punishment. Are we doomed to be Sisyphus all our lives? Will we ever stop waiting for Godot to come? Will he come? Has he come? Why bother with any quest for truth and meaning when personal responsibility feels hopeless?  Yet, this is exactly how our culture thinks and lives. Today we see Beckett’s characters playing out all around us; acting out their own absurdity devoid of truth and meaning. In a culture of absurdity death sprouts in many forms.

Cultural death can be found in one of the abortion industries strongest leaders: Planned Parenthood. Applying absurdism to abortion makes abortion seem right. In Beckett’s world where daily actions have no meaning, why not take away a life? (Our own or another.) Or even more mercifully, why not spare a life from the absurdity of a Sisyphus destiny?

Language Breakdown

In Waiting for Godot there is a breakdown of language due to a loss of meaning. This is why there is no true logical discussion in Beckett’s play. Once life is stripped of value and meaning it makes sense words would no longer have intrinsic value – words become arbitrary and subjective – and language becomes absurd.  We can even see this philosophy applied to the language utilized by Planned Parenthood. One way Planned Parenthood (perhaps unknowingly) attempts to extract meaning away from loaded abortion terms is through euphemisms. They have traded the word “death” for “termination”, “baby” for “fetus” or “embryo”, all the while leaving out the key word “human” in front of these terms.

In the recent undercover filming of Planed Parenthood executives, we can see glimpses of Beckett’s characters engaging in absurdity through language. Planned Parenthood executives refer to baby body parts as “fetal tissue”. “Products” are the names given to the tiny human body parts up for bid on a sale ledger. Dr. Nucatola – the first exposed PP executive from the undercover videos – describes the crushing of a baby in an abortion procedure in an effort to retrieve intact body parts:

So then you’re just kind of cognizant of where you put your graspers, you try to intentionally go above and below the thorax, so that, you know, we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m going to basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact. And with the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex, because when it’s vertex presentation, you never have enough dilation at the beginning of the case, unless you have real, huge amount of dilation to deliver an intact calvarium. So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.” 

Dr. Nucatola calls a baby’s head a “calvarium”. She is using the same nonsensical jargon Beckett’s characters use, by naming things as she sees fit. Part of the reason pro-choice and pro-life advocates have a hard time engaging with one another is because – like Beckett’s characters – we can’t even agree on terms. Language is a barrier in this battle for the unborn.

The Objective Truth of the Resurrection

As Christians fighting for the unborn we must call the bluff and reveal the true playwright behind every action, word, and story: the God of truth. God has chosen to reveal himself to us primarily through the medium of language in his Word, so if the meaning of language is altered in anyway our perception of God radically changes. This is why objective truth is so important and such a counter-cultural idea today. Because the absurd language in Waiting for Godot is a threat to the foundation of our faith, which is based on the objective reality of God. He is the reference point for all of life, and he infuses purpose and meaning in the world through his main character, Jesus Christ.

Unlike Waiting for Godot, which doesn’t have a discernible climax, the climax in God’s play was when Jesus came to Earth as a man, lived a perfect life for us, died on a cross, and rose from the dead. Christ’s resurrection proved objective truth exists. Just like what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:14-19:

And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

Our faith is futile without the proven objective truth of Christ’s resurrection. If none of this is true, then like Paul says, we are of all people most to be pitied. Yet, unlike absurdist philosophy, Paul says in Christ we have hope beyond this life. We are not stuck in the futility of Beckett’s main characters or the punishment of Sisyphus. Eternity comes calling down upon all of our actions here on earth, including the killing of the unborn. Jesus came to abolish the meaninglessness of death and do away with the Becketts of our culture. Our Godot has already come, and of this we can be certain.

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Margaret Sanger, Adolf Hitler, and Jesus Christ

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the sci-fi film Gattaca. Back in the 90’s Ethan Hawke, Jude Law, and Uma Thurman were the main cast of characters who starred in a film about a future world ruled by genetic manipulation. Ethan Hawke’s character was conceived without genetic manipulation, thereby making him weaker than his brother, and deemed unfit by society at large. Hawke’s character seeks help from Jude Law’s character who has stronger DNA, but ironically is now wheelchair bound for the rest of his life.

The film poses poignant questions about the social philosophy of Eugenics, a philosophy concerned with improving the genetic quality of the human race. The practice of this philosophy purports either increased sexual reproduction rates of those with desirable genetic traits or the reduction of sexual reproduction for those with undesirable traits. This sounds as far-fetched as a futuristic sci-fi film, but the spirit of Eugenics is alive and well in our culture today.

Adolf Hitler

It was about 75 years ago an Austrian with a toothbrush mustache inspired millions to cry, “Heil Hitler!” Adolf Hitler practiced eugenics in many of his concentration camps. Hitler idolized the idea of an unadulterated purebred German people, but felt that his beloved Germany (though he was Austrian, go figure), had grown weak with mixed blood. For his vision to become a reality Hitler made Jews the scapegoat. Considering Hitler’s ideology, it’s not shocking that not all concentration camp deaths were Jewish people. The great German cleansing that Hitler foresaw had to include Nazi Eugenics practices, which meant getting rid of physically and mentally disabled people. This was executed through either death or sterilization of people who were arbitrarily deemed “unfit” to live.

Hitler ordered Action T4, which was the name given post-war to a program of forced euthanasia in wartime Germany. Under this program roughly 70,000 people were killed at various psychiatric hospitals in Germany and Austria. Part of this program was even dedicated to killing children with physical and mental illness. These “unfit” children were registered, and doctors and midwives were required to report all cases of newborns with disabilities. Reports were then assessed by a panel of medical experts, three of whom must give their approval before a child could be killed. Action T4 was the social experiment that paved the way for the technology and practice toward Hitler’s “Final Solution” of killing the Jews.

Margaret Sanger

Before Hitler was busy cleansing Germany, Margaret Sanger founded the American Birth Control League, which was later called Planned Parenthood.  Like Hitler, Sanger was an advocate of the Eugenics movement. More specifically, Sanger advocated for the reduction of sexual reproduction and sterilization of people with undesired traits or economic conditions. Though Sanger’s ideology expressed itself differently than Hitler’s ideological practices, there are many similarities. Sanger had the same arbitrary assessment of who she deemed “unfit” for life, and she supported sterilization as a way to control this population of people with undesirable genetic or economic dispositions. This ideology continues today, but unlike Hitler’s Action T4, Sanger’s Planned Parenthood has lived on to kill undesirable children.

Today pregnant women can receive a genetic screening to determine their child’s chance for physical or mental defects. We have changed the terms from “unfit” or “undesirables” to not having “quality of life.” We might not kill our children in the toddler stage as the Nazi’s did, but we harbor the same beliefs when we kill them in the womb. The same spirit of Eugenics in Hitler’s ideology is alive in us today when we kill our undesirable children. If we don’t want a child with down syndrome or spina bifida then we can subject them to our personal Action T4 by snuffing out their un-lived life. The world of Gattaca is at our doorstep, because we already believe some are genetically more fit than others – and we are already doing something about it.

Jesus Christ

Yet, there is one who came before Hitler and Sanger who loved the undesirables: Jesus Christ. According to Isaiah 53:2, Jesus was undesirable as well:

“For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”

The undesirable God-man welcomed, healed, and dined with the undesirable outcasts of society. He didn’t stop there – but like the paralytic man lowered through the roof – he came to forgive our sins. Because we are among the undesirables whom – in our sin and filth – Jesus loved and chose for himself. We deserved for our lives to be snuffed out by God, but instead he provided a way of salvation through Jesus. He did not deal with us as our sins deserved. Jesus came to redeem the cultural belief in Eugenics, not by sacrificing undesirable children, but by sacrificing himself.

The Genesis of the Abortion Industry

Every event is part of a story within a larger story, and that larger story has ancient roots.

In his beautiful creation, God created the first man, and from him created the first woman. The first man, Adam, was designed to lead his wife and the rest of creation in glorifying his creator, and was entrusted with the task of providing for and protecting God’s world.

The first woman, Eve, was designed to joyfully support and strengthen her husband in fulfilling his roles, while according to the meaning of her name, becoming the mother of all the living.

God designed these distinctions into man and woman. They are not arbitrary, but wired deeply into our very beings. When God looked at his plan for man and woman in complementarian harmony, behold, it was very good.

Yet, Adam and Eve, the first couple designed to bear fruit and multiply small replicas of God’s image were the ones who introduced death…

Read more at DesiringGod.org >>

3 Societal Reactions to the Planned Parenthood Videos

The recent Planned Parenthood exposure is resulting in outrage and placidity. Pro-life Christians are riled up to voice and action, while mainstream media and cultural majority are eerily silent. We are lulled to sleep by the chirping of crickets just like with the Gosnell trial. Abortion has never been a yawning matter for the torture of the unborn or their tormented mothers.

The Gosnell trail awakened our society to what goes on behind closed doors of abortions: the corruption, the brutality, the money mongering, and the reality of the bloody procedures breeding death. We finally saw some dust, but then it was quickly swept under the rug. Well, here we are again. More dust and more sweeping. 

Here are 3 “sweeping” reactions to the Planned Parenthood video from media sources and society at large:

1.) Apathy

I once wrote a persuasive essay about philosophy and abortion in a Journalistic Essay course in college. Not only did my Professor have to read it, but the entire class had to read it and give feedback. When copies of my essay were passed around the room students reacted differently than when other essays were passed around. The air was thick with guilty silence. No one rushed to share their feedback first, and everyone was delicately avoiding sharing opinions and judgements. There were obvious looks of pain etched on some of their faces.

I think they knew.

They knew truth was being proclaimed in a classroom, and it was an affront to their apathy in voice and action.

We are a culture that idolizes tolerance, which in our culture today, means you can’t disagree with someone’s beliefs or decisions. You have to accept everything and everyone or else you are committing the ultimate sin of intolerance and bigotry. What I felt in that college classroom were students afraid to voice anything about the content of my essay, only the form. These cultural idols have silenced us into apathy.

John Piper speaks to this lack of concern and care:

I took an abortionist out to lunch once, prepared to give him ten reasons why the unborn are human beings. He stopped me, and said, “I know that. We are killing children.” I was stunned. He said, “It’s simply a matter of justice for women. It would be a greater evil to deny women the equal right of reproductive freedom.”

Some in our society know, but they just don’t care. They would rather worship the cultural gods of tolerance, women’s rights, and sexual freedom.

2.) Ignorance

There are some in our society who don’t want to know — who don’t want to think. When I was a counselor at a crisis pregnancy center I asked one woman considering an abortion if she had done any research. Her response was that she saw scary images online, but ultimately tried not to think about it.

Many people want to be ignorant about this issue. The recent video exposure is just one of the dust bunnies we don’t clean up, but hide under the rug. The real issues are not brought into the light, but shrouded in darkness. The abortion issue is avoided, because ultimately it mirrors us; it reveals the darkness of hidden sins we all feel at home with.

Albert Mohler unveils the desire for ignorance from a reporter at Cosmopolitan magazine:

“Writing at Cosmopolitan magazine, abortion supporter Robin Marty said that she had seen the video. Then she said, “Now, frankly, I’m just going to yawn.”

Later in her own essay she stated: “I shuddered when listening to the discussion of how the fetus can be removed, and the idea of a ‘menu’ of fetal tissue and organs that could be procured depending on the gestational age of the pregnancies being terminated and the number of patients who consent to donating is one I hope I never have to encounter again.”

3.)Denial

Many people in our society try to suppress the truth. If we can’t be ignorant and apathetic, then we can lie to ourselves. We lie to ourselves by saying right and wrong are relative, but the internet and social media makes it clear we have strong personal views of right and wrong.

The famous Oxford professor and writer, C.S. Lewis, wrote a book titled Mere Christianity. This atheist turned Christian philosophizes in his writing about right and wrong as a clue to the meaning of the universe. Lewis appeals in chapter one to the law of human nature. He talks about quarrels.

Everyone says things like, “How’d you like it if anyone did the same to you?  “That’s my seat, I was there first”-  “Leave him alone, he isn’t doing you any harm” —  “Why should you shove in first?”  “Give me a bit of your orange, I gave you a bit of mine” — “Come on, you promised.”

Lewis says in all of these statements we are appealing to some kind of standard of behavior, which we expect others to follow.  The old philosophers would call this the Law of Nature, meaning the law of human nature, and how we are all governed by an internal law that shows us right and wrong. This is the human idea of decent behavior, which was thought to be obvious to everyone, but we have rejected this type of thought in today’s culture.

Lewis would say we believe in this law whether we admit it or not: “If we do not believe in decent behavior, why should we be so anxious to make excuses for not having behaved decently? The truth is, we believe in decency so much — we feel the Rule of Law pressing on us so — that we cannot bear to face the fact that we are breaking it, and consequently we try to shift the responsibility.”

As we can see in Planned Parenthood’s PR defense, truth is relative, but it’s going to be hard to sweep this one away. The one standard they have weighing on them is the law. Man’s law, but most importantly God’s law. Our society can be apathetic, ignorant, and in denial, but as Christians we know this truth:

“For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king; he will save us.” — Isaiah 33:22

It’s a Girl Documentary

{This blog post contains affiliate links.}

In China and India, three of the worst words to hear at the birth of your child are, “It’s a Girl.” Why? In both cultures sons epitomize strength, blessing, and wealth. Daughters represent poverty.

The documentary opens with an Indian couple standing over a giant mound of dirt. Buried beneath the mound are 8 dead baby girls. The Indian woman says,

Women have the power to give life and the power to take it away.”

She would know. All 8 baby girls were killed by her hands as she pushed them into this world. She is just one person involved in this mass gendercide.

In India 1 out of 4 girls does not live past puberty. The mortality rate for girls, ages 1-5, is 50% higher than the mortality rate for boys. If baby girls survive pregnancy and birth, then there is the risk of surviving illness and disease. Many sick girls are neglected, because they are not valued as much as boys.

More than 100,000 women are murdered each year, because they fail to produce sons, or their husband and in-laws are not satisfied with the dowry. (A dowry is basically a large sum of money or possessions given as a gift from the parents of the bride to the grooms family.)

Women are a Commodity

One strong point the documentary makes is how greed is the basis for the dowry system, and in turn much of female feticide and infanticide. Women become commodities that you can casually dispose of, whether by inconvenienced parents who are greedy and don’t want to pay a dowry, or by husbands who are greedy for money through a dowry or through sons.

Many people in India go the less messy route, which is sex selective abortion. In 1994, Indian government outlawed this type of abortion, but cases are rarely investigated, there is no accountability, and these types of abortions are overlooked.

China and the One Child Policy

The Chinese government is very active in enforcing their regulations. This can be seen in the One Child Policy, which was established in 1979. (Rural families are allowed a 2nd child if the 1st child is a girl.) Enforcement of this policy is strict and harsh; violators are subject to forced abortion (up to 9 months) or forced sterilization. Crazy enough, these enforcers of the policy are called the Family Planning Police. Illegal children who have escaped the eyes of the Family Planning Police do not have citizenship and no future in China.

China boasts about their 30 year policy. They say they have prevented over 400 million lives in China. Greater than the entire U.S. population. This number can be broken down to 13 million abortions a year and 1,500 abortions an hour.

This fear of overpopulation and boy preference has resulted in 37 million more men than women in China. With not enough women to marry in China, the prostitution market has exploded, sex trafficking has increased, and child bride kidnapping is a regular occurrence. Every year 70,000 children are stolen from their parents.

The Indian woman from the beginning of the documentary hadn’t thought through the repercussions of taking away life. It can lead to many other evils and injustices.

America’s Common Ground with China

America, like China, has their own number of prevented lives. We just prevent them for different reasons: money, wrong timing, an accident, inconvenience, pressure, and the right of a woman’s choice. There are cases of infanticide in some American abortion clinics, cases of sex selective abortions with moms of multiples, and disposal of children with health problems through abortive means.

In America, we are our own family planning police. We take the lives of our own children (girl or boy.) We have our own mounds of dirt with skeletons buried beneath. Yet — unlike the Indian woman — in America we can’t even call what we destroy life. Hearing about these situations in China and India should appal us, but so should what is happening in America. It’s not just women’s rights here, it is also the right to life.

Where Have We Gone in our Thinking? Philosophy and Abortion Have a lot in Common

Her eyes stayed fixed on the pregnancy test. Two lines or one? The 4 minute timer seemed to be dragging the time with a ball and chain. As the time ticked on Tina and I talked about her possible pregnancy.

“If the test is positive, what do you plan to do?” I asked.

“Oh I would have to get an abortion,” she replied.

“A lot of women come through our crisis pregnancy center without being informed or knowledgeable about the abortion procedure.  It’s a good idea to do your research and not be in the dark. Have you looked anything up online?”

“Yeah.”

“What’d you think?”

“It was kinda scary…but I try not to think about it.”

Tina did her homework and the fear blinded her. She made a decision right then; a decision to look away. Tina’s last statement is a reflection of our society — we try not to think.

To Think or Not to Think?

Not thinking is the easy road but thinking long and deliberately about important matters can be dangerous. In his Philosophy book, The Consequences of Ideas, R.C. Sproul harkens back to his college years, while working a summer job in 1959, when he met an interesting street sweeper. The summer job was in a hospital maintenance department where the street sweeper began to engage Sproul in philosophical ideas. Sproul was intrigued by a man whose occupation was sweeping driveways, but who was also knowledgeable in Sproul’s concentration in college.

This street sweeper was a philosophy Professor in Berlin during World War II. His ideas were at odds with Hitler’s Third Reich so he was removed from his position. When he spoke out against the Nazi’s his wife and children were arrested and executed; he escaped from Germany with one daughter. The philosophy Professor no longer taught philosophy, because it had destroyed his life.

Sproul said, “I was pushing a broom because I lived in a culture that sees little value in philosophy and gives scant esteem to those who pursue it. My friend was pushing a broom, on the other hand, because he came from a culture that gave great weight to philosophy. His family was destroyed because Hitler understood that ideas are dangerous. Hitler so feared the consequences of my friend’s ideas that he did everything possible to eliminate him — and his ideas.”

Do we as a nation give the same weight to Philosophy that Hitler did?  Where have we gone in our thinking as a culture? Are we so afraid of thinking? Is darkness a comfort to us?

Philosophy Then and Now

Philosophers of the past were concerned with finding truth; now post-modern thought tells us truth cannot be found (let alone if it even exists.) The tidal wave of post-modernism fueled by the idea of relativism has drowned our society in mud. In post-modernism, words no longer have any intrinsic value or meaning attached to them, and anything goes. To each his own. Live and let live is the mantra of our time.

Today everything is absurd and lacks meaning, such as in Samuel Beckett’s play, Waiting for Godot, where two men banter in nonsensical ways and where their physical actions do not match what they are saying. These two men are waiting for Godot (some literary scholars would say Beckett means God here) but he never comes. In a society where anything goes, where there is no right or wrong, where do we end up? Where do these ideas take us? If we accept post-modern relativist philosophies we have rejected any standard; we have no center, no reference point. Where there is only absurdity, and no meaning and truth, then death sprouts in many forms.

The Rule of Law

One man contends against the view of no truth and meaning. He contends with a world of no absolutes. The famous Oxford professor and writer, C.S. Lewis, wrote a book titled Mere Christianity. This atheist turned Christian philosophizes in his writing about right and wrong as a clue to the meaning of the universe. Lewis appeals in chapter one to the law of human nature. He talks about quarrels.

Everyone says things like, “How’d you like it if anyone did the same to you?  “That’s my seat, I was there first”-  “Leave him alone, he isn’t doing you any harm” —  “Why should you shove in first?”  “Give me a bit of your orange, I gave you a bit of mine” — “Come on, you promised.”

Lewis says in all of these statements we are appealing to some kind of standard of behavior, which we expect others to follow.  The old philosophers would call this the Law of Nature, meaning the law of human nature, and how we are all governed by an internal law that shows us right and wrong. This is the human idea of decent behavior, which was thought to be obvious to everyone, but we have rejected this type of thought in today’s culture.

Lewis would say we believe in this law whether we admit it or not: “If we do not believe in decent behavior, why should we be so anxious to make excuses for not having behaved decently? The truth is, we believe in decency so much — we feel the Rule of Law pressing on us so — that we cannot bear to face the fact that we are breaking it, and consequently we try to shift the responsibility.”

Tina’s Choice

Could Tina’s choice to look away be a suffocation of the Law of Nature? Why would she feel the need to not think about it? Why did she choose to ignore the information she found, even though her emotional response was fear? I went on to explain to Tina the importance of her choice and the possible consequences.

I told her many women come into our crisis pregnancy center in a hurry to terminate the pregnancy with thoughts and emotions traveling at full speed. Many of these women come back to the center for post abortion counseling, because of the guilt and regret they feel for making their choice. I encouraged her to slow down in her thoughts and emotions and make sure she weighed her options. I encouraged her to research and think clearly and deliberately. We never fully realize how our choices today will affect us down the road.

What about Miscarriage?

I then shared a true story with Tina about my sister’s two miscarriages. My sister’s first miscarriage occurred 3 months into her pregnancy and the grief she felt was the same grief a mother would feel if her 3 year old child had died. Why is that? Because the maternal instinct falls into place once the woman knows she is pregnant. My sister had another miscarriage at 4 weeks and the grief was still present. Those in our society would mourn with my sister in both cases, because she wanted those babies.

What if my sister didn’t want either baby?  What if she went to an abortion clinic? Aside from the pro-life followers, most of society would not grieve the loss of the child once the woman chose the abortion route.  Is this a double standard? Are our beliefs concerning this issue based solely on a woman’s choice?

Liz Welch from Glamour magazine states a statistic in her article, Eight Women Share their Abortion Stories, that one out of three women will have an abortion by the time she’s 45. There are 1.37 million abortions per year and 3,700 a day in the United States and 1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child, and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient.)

If my sister was part of the 93% , then would we deem her choice right? If a woman wants her baby then abortion is wrong, but if the woman doesn’t want her baby then abortion is right? This train of thought can only be the by product of a world given over to relativism. A world where right and wrong is based upon each woman’s choice and desires. This is where we have gone in our thinking.

Injustice in the Abortion Clinic

What if an armed robber invaded my sister’s house and when confronted he beat her to the point where her unborn child died? We would stand in horror at the injustice.

If we think this is injustice, what happens in the abortion clinic? What happens in our philosophical ideas as a culture when we demand justice with an armed robber and mourn through a miscarriage, but we turn our heads and try not to think about what happens in the abortion clinics? We want to save the rainforest, we want to save trees, we want to protect animals lives, but what about developing human life?

We protect the life found in a turtle’s egg, what about a woman’s egg?  Again, where is the standard? Why is it being applied to animal and plant life but not human life?

Pro-Choice Thinking

Some attempt to make a defense for the subjective stance that has led to pro-choice thinking. Judith Jarvis Thompson is one such philosopher. In fact, Thompson gives an interesting analogy:

“But now let me ask you to imagine this. You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist’s circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own.

The director of the hospital now tells you, “Look, we’re sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you–we would never have permitted it if we had known. But still, they did it, and the violinist is now plugged into you. To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it’s only for nine months. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you.”

Is it morally incumbent on you to accede to this situation? No doubt it would be very nice of you if you did, a great kindness. But do you have to accede to it? What if it were not nine months, but nine years? Or longer still? What if the director of the hospital says. “Tough luck. I agree. but now you’ve got to stay in bed, with the violinist plugged into you, for the rest of your life. Because remember this. All persons have a right to life, and violinists are persons. Granted you have a right to decide what happens in and to your body, but a person’s right to life outweighs your right to decide what happens in and to your body. So you cannot ever be unplugged from him.” I imagine you would regard this as outrageous, which suggests that something really is wrong with that plausible-sounding argument I mentioned a moment ago.”

Thompson’s analogy breaks down too easily. The first problem lies in the idea of the violinist as being unconscious. Being unconscious has nothing to do with life being present or not. I could faint and be temporarily unconscious, but I would still be alive and I would hope no one would take my life just because I was unconscious.

The second breakdown in the analogy is the assumption that the mother is helpless, because the Society of Music Lovers attached this person to her without her consent. This analogy might apply to the mentioned 1% of women who have abortions upon being raped, but what about the 93% who have an abortion due to inconvenience?

Most women are not helpless; they know unprotected sex will result in pregnancy and even protection is not always safe. Having sex, especially unprotected, will result in pregnancy. The point is some men and women are careless and then think they can wipe it all away with an abortion. Before the choice for an abortion the woman makes a choice to have sex (protected or unprotected.) The issue as human beings is that we don’t like to take the responsibility for our choices. Remember what Lewis said?

“The truth is, we believe in decency so much — we feel the Rule of Law pressing on us so — that we cannot bear to face the fact that we are breaking it, and consequently we try to shift the responsibility.”

Instead of saying the Society of Music’s Lovers tied this person to you, we should say: you tied this person to you! Now concerning the man with the fatal kidney disease — his blood is on your hands.

Behind the Mask of Abortion

Does this make sense to you? Maybe you are like Tina and decided to not think about it a long time ago. Why aren’t you thinking about it? The ancient philosopher Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”


Where are the great thinkers of our time? Are they too busy engaging in absurdity, and like Beckett’s characters they are waiting for something they already believe will never come?

You see there is a larger issue at stake in the abortion debate, something that is fundamental, and it’s philosophy. The issue is more than just saving unborn babies; it is a battle of ideas. The way we think directly correlates to how we live, whether we are aware of it or not. Behind every action and decision, from Hitler to today, is a way of thinking. Behind the mask of abortion is the face of relativistic philosophies.

Nightmare on Lancaster Avenue – The Gosnell Trial

3801 Lancaster Avenue. Only a few minutes drive from my house. At one time my husband lived in an upstairs apartment across the street from this building. For two years I tutored inner city children right down the street, not knowing about the women and children who died at 3801 Lancaster Avenue.

Eventually the local news covered the story. Dr. Kermit Gosnell was running an abortion clinic (Women’s Medical Society) at 3801 Lancaster Ave. An abortion clinic? More like a horror movie. FBI agents and detectives found barely conscious women in the waiting and recovery rooms. They found severed baby feet in jars of water, flea-ridden cats roaming around, cat feces on the stairs, and blood-stained walls, sheets, and chairs.

Gosnell became a millionaire by delivering live babies and then snipping their spine at the back of the neck. Many of these babies were illegal late term abortions. Many of the women were bodily harmed. Two women died. Despite the fact that they did inspections in the 90’s and received several complaints, the Pennsylvania Departments of State and Health and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health did nothing for 20 years. Gosnell is now on trial and charged with 8 counts of murder.

Film Project

Writer and director David Altrogge will be following the trial through his film project, 3801 Lancaster. His first 20 minute documentary introduces the background of the case and gives voice to the exploited patients. Be warned, there are some gruesome photos. Yet, the emotion, degradation, and horror Altrogge portrays in his short documentary is compelling.

The objective of the film project is to give voice to the women in this horror story, uncover the cover-up by state and local oversight agencies, make the public aware, and to make sure this horror story is not repeated. Altrogge recently appeared on Anderson Cooper who is one of the few media outlets to cover the Gosnell case. With abortion being such a controversial topic in our nation it’s no wonder we only hear the sound of silence.

Pro-Gosnell

After watching 3801 Lancaster, I’m surprised groups concerned with human rights, women’s rights,and pro-choice have not spoken up. What Gosnell did to these women was degrading: he tied them up, drugged them, and ultimately showed no concern for their well-being. What he did was not pro-choice; in fact they had no choice. One woman in the film changed her mind about having an abortion, but Gosnell beat her legs and yelled at her; she then woke up in recovery and not pregnant.

Gosnell was not pro-choice, but pro-Gosnell. He made $10,000 to $15,000 each abortion procedure. His choice was money.