Would you support a “pro-life” bill that banned the killing of all unborn children except those born to parents who are Hindus? After all, only 0.6% of the U.S. population is Hindu, so we’re talking about saving almost 99% of the babies here. Who wouldn’t sacrifice the 0.6% to save the 99%? Don’t the needs of the many out-weigh the needs of the few, or the one? Shouldn’t we save as many as we can?
Or maybe we should put forth “pro-life” legislation that protects all children except those born to Muslims? After all, they’re only 0.9% of the U.S. population, and represent a worldview whose radical elements we’ve been at war with for over a decade. Why not protect the 99% here?
Better yet, if you’re going to leave anyone unprotected to “save as many babies as you can” why not target the Jewish people? No people group has been more targeted for extinction throughout human history than the Jews, so there’s certainly precedent for it. There are whole sectors of the globe that would support us doing so as we speak. And the Jewish people represent less than 2% of the U.S. population, so we could still save 98% of the babies.
This all sounds utterly preposterous, doesn’t it? Nobody in the pro-life movement in their right mind would propose such a thing, would they?
Except many in the pro-life movement already have.
Simply substitute “children conceived via rape and incest” for “Hindu” or “Muslim” or “Jewish” and it’s the exact same exception many in the pro-life movement have put forth time and time again. They use arguments like “why wouldn’t you sacrifice the 1% to save the 99%” to justify it. The question itself admits we’re sacrificing something. So what is it we’re sacrificing? We’re sacrificing innocent human life in the name of political expediency, that’s what we’re sacrificing. I’m no Socrates, but sacrificing the sanctity of life to preserve the sanctity of life sounds to me like an absurdity with no basis in logic.
That all sounds well and good to some when you’re talking about kids conceived in rape and incest. Kids conservative talk radio superstar Sean Hannity refers to as “evil seed.” Kids that Ann Coulter, who wrote a national best-seller called Demonic that chastised the Democrats for promoting a culture of death, doesn’t mind killing.
Obviously nobody would publicly propose not protecting life by law on the basis of someone’s religious belief. Even if they thought such a thing they wouldn’t dare say so publicly because of the obvious and deserved backlash that would ensue. So when the pro-life movement publicly says we’re not going to protect life by law on the basis of the way it was conceived, what we’re really saying is that particular life isn’t sacred.
If you bow to public opinion polls that say children conceived in rape or incest aren’t worthy of being protected, then you are tacitly admitting not all life is sacred yourself. For if the public was in favor of protecting every child other than the one named you, something tells me you’d fight public pressure and not succumb to it if it were your life on the line.
Furthermore, if we agree that not all life is sacred and worthy of protection, then we aren’t really arguing a pro-life position. We’re really arguing the Planned Parenthood position, which is “make every child a wanted child.” Let’s face it, nobody wants a child conceived in rape or incest up front, because that means you had to suffer through something heinous to conceive that child you wouldn’t even wish upon your worst enemy.
But after that child is conceived, why would we execute the child for the crimes of his/her parents? The only justification for doing so is that you really don’t believe all life is sacred, but that life conceived in certain circumstances is unwanted so killing it is an option. Therefore, is it any wonder why after 40 years we have been unable to shut down the child killing industry once and for all when not even those who are “pro-life” are of one mind on whether all life is worthy of protection?
Case in point: if you get elected and try standing for the right to life for all of God’s children, including those conceived in rape or incest, you may get criticized by the pro-life movement itself.
We can certainly agree or disagree with one another tactically about how much incrementalism is practical, and how too much incrementalism at times works against our stated strategy of working to eventually end all child-killing in America. But this is not that debate. This is a debate of principle.
When we say we’re willing not to protect children conceived in rape or incest, we’re agreeing with the child killing industry’s core vision that we mere mortals – not the Creator – determine who’s worthy to live and who’s worthless enough to be targeted for extinction. Make no mistake, when we consent to the execution of certain children because of how they were conceived we are not promoting the imago dei. And the only reason a society would turn away from the horrific selfishness of child sacrifice to the altar of personal convenience is its belief in the imago dei.
Just as a bloodied, bruised, and battered Christ on the Cross testifies to what it takes to bring redemption to a world so fallen it would execute its own Savior, so does the hope of a new life brought forth in the tragedy of rape or incest testify to the potential for meaning and redemption in such unspeakable suffering.
If you really want society to protect all life then start making the case that all life is worthy of protection.