Okay, so I’ve heard some pretty crazy pro-abortion sentiment in my time, but I think that Lynn Beisner’s opinion piece that has just been published in the UK guardian might just take pro-choice crazy to a whole other level.
Basically she starts her piece by bemoaning the personal stories of people who were conceived into difficult situations, and who say that they are grateful that their mother chose to carry them to term rather than to end their life before birth with an abortion.
She slams such stories as being nothing more than emotional blackmail – and then immediately goes on to tell her own emotionally charged story of hardship, stating that instead of being grateful for being born, she actually wishes her mother had aborted her before she was born.
So while it’s emotional blackmail to use a moving story of family hardship and personal tragedy in order to back up a pro-life position, apparently it’s perfectly acceptable to use a moving story of family hardship and personal tragedy in order to back up a pro-choice position.
Anyway, now that I’ve pointed out this glaring and totally unjustified double standard which hangs over Beisner’s entire opinion piece, let’s look more closely at some of the other logical inconsistencies that it contains.
“If we want to keep our reproductive rights, we must be willing to tell our stories, to be willing and able to say, “I love my life, but I wish my mother had aborted me.”
Um, yeah, I’m gonna need to go ahead and start by saying that I don’t generally believe people when they tell me that they “love” their life, but also wish that they were dead.
Maybe on planet pro-choice those two completely polar opposite sentiments can go together, but not here on earth (damn you commonsense for restricting our human freedom like that!)
“An abortion would have absolutely been better for my mother. An abortion would have made it more likely that she would finish high school and get a college education.”
Yep, OR she could have also carried you to term and then returned to her high school education later on, OR she could have aborted you and then gone back to high school only to drop out of high school subsequently for some other reason.
I’m hearing a lot of false dichotomy and totally unknowable ‘what if’ type scenarios here.
“At college in the late 1960s, it seems likely she would have found feminism or psychology or something that would have helped her overcome her childhood trauma and pick better partners.”
I’m sorry, but you haven’t actually presented any solid evidence as to why there would be any logical reason to assume that she would discover, or then even want to pursue either of these options. Why wouldn’t she have discovered horticulture studies, or a degree in theology?
And how does being a feminist or a student of psychology help one to ‘pick better partners’?
There are plenty of intelligent and well educated people in both of these areas who still have all sorts of horror stories about the partners they have chosen. Suggesting that studying feminism or psychology is a protector against bad relationships is about as valid as suggesting that studying carpentry will protect you from making bad financial investments.
“She would have been better prepared when she had children.”
Once again I am forced to ask ‘upon what exactly are you basing your totally unknowable assumptions here?’
If the stories of women who have actually experienced post-abortion grief are to be believed, then having an abortion could have just as easily created serious difficulties in regards to any future children that Beisner’s mother had gone on to have.
“If nothing else, getting an abortion would have saved her from plunging into poverty. She likely would have stayed in the same socioeconomic strata as her parents and grandparents who were professors.”
Once again, yet more totally unsubstantiated and completely unprovable assumptions – assumptions which obviously suit Beisner’s pro-abortion narrative, but are still totally unknowable and therefore really quite irrelevant.
If I am to accept these assumptions, I must first accept the totally illogical notion that carrying a child to term was the only possible way that her mother could have ever found herself in financial hardship or loss. Whose to say that Beisner’s mother wouldn’t have had an abortion, got an education and a career, and then gone on to make a totally imprudent financial investment that cost her all of her financial wealth and social standing?
“I wish she had aborted me because I love her and want what is best for her.”
Let’s put this another way to show you just how illogical and inhuman this sentiment actually is: ‘I wish she had strangled me as an infant because I love her and want what is best for her’, or: ‘I wish she had killed me when I was a more emotionally demanding and financially draining teenager, because I love her and want what is best for her’.
What Beisner is trying to suggest here is that:
a) a dead child is better for a mother because a live one incurs financial and other costs
b) wishing yourself dead is an act of love
The first proposition is quite clearly full of all sorts of flaws. Firstly, it strips human existence of its intrinsic value and instead reduces it to little more than a cost/benefit analysis where human worth can be negotiated away based on someone else’s wants, needs and desires.
Secondly, it assumes something that can never actually be known – that a mother would be better off if her child was terminated before birth. How could such an assumption ever be tested for accuracy, let alone even be remotely known for certain?
The second proposition is far more troubling, and it suggests an extremely unhealthy psychological state, and a worrying lack of healthy self-image on the part of Beisner. Basically she has weighed her life against the life of her mother and then deemed that her life has no value in relation to her mother’s existence, and that it would be okay for her to be killed if this would bring some benefit to her mother.
“Abortion would have been a better option for me.”
Once again I am forced to ask ‘how could anyone ever possibly know such a thing?’
And if abortion would have been a better option for you, then doesn’t it also logically follow that any form of killing you that would have resulted in benefit to your mother would have also been a better option for you? So if your mother would have benefited from killing you as an infant, a pre-schooler, or a teenager, then wouldn’t this have also been a far better option for you?
“If you believe what reproductive scientists tell us, that I was nothing more than a conglomeration of cells, then there was nothing lost.”
Ah yes, now this is the point where Beisner starts to move into proffering typical pro-choice slogans that aren’t actually supported by evidence or sound logic.
Exactly which reproductive scientists tell us that a fetus is nothing more than a conglomeration of cells, or that it is nothing? Embryology text books certainly don’t refer to human beginnings in terms such as this, and later fetal development – the point at which the majority of abortions actually take place – is definitely not spoken of in this way either.
So, exactly which scientists is Beisner referring to here?
And while we’re at it, if a fetus is ‘nothing more than a conglomeration of cells’, then so is an infant, a teenager, or an adult – in fact, we’re all just a conglomeration of cells when it comes down to it. All Beisner is describing here is the material make-up of the fetus (it’s a group of cells), but this doesn’t tell us anything about the nature of what the fetus actually is or whether it is a moral subject with the inalienable right to life.
A fully matured potato is also a collection of cells, as is an adult chicken, but that fact doesn’t tell us anything about whether or not they are moral subjects with rights.
So calling a living entity a ‘conglomeration of cells’ doesn’t actually provide any moral or ethical justification for Beisner’s pro-abortion ideology.
“I could have experienced no consciousness or pain.”
And neither does a sleeping person, or someone in a coma, or someone who is sedated, but that doesn’t mean it would be ethically right to kill them.
Once again, while this might be convenient slogan rhetoric for the pro-choice movement, it provides no ethical justification whatsoever for the act of killing unborn human beings.
Beisner does realize that killing someone who isn’t aware that they are being killed, or that killing someone who can’t feel the pain of their death can still be an unethical act of homicide right?
“But even if you discount science and believe I had consciousness and could experience pain at six gestational weeks, I would chose the brief pain or fear of an abortion over the decades of suffering I endured.”
Okay, so what ‘science’ was that again? Beisner still hasn’t actually stated which ‘science’ she is referring to with her suggestion that a fetus is nothing more than a ‘conglomeration of cells’ and that ‘nothing is lost’.
Also, why has she chosen ‘six gestational weeks’ as the magic point of reference here? Most abortions in this country don’t take place until around the 10 – 12 week mark.
Once again, her sentiment of ‘I would choose the brief pain or fear of an abortion over the decades of suffering’ should be something that gives us pause to worry about her current emotional and psychological well being – what she is effectively saying here is that she believes her life has no intrinsic worth, and that human value is found only in an ability to experience more pleasure than pain in life, and that it our worth, or lack of, is decided by others.
It is also quite clear that she is no longer in the state of hardship that she was earlier in her life (she goes on to state this very fact later in the piece), yet here she still states that she believes that she would be better offer dead than presently alive.
These are the sentiments of someone caught in some sort of tragic fatalism that is without hope, or belief in positive future possibilities or positive current realities – this is totally contrary to the kind of beliefs that normal human beings would actually comprehend about life, even in spite of past sufferings.
“An abortion would have been best for me because there is no way that my love-starved, trauma-addled mother could have ever put me up for adoption. It was either abortion or raising me herself, and she was in no position to raise a child. She had suffered a traumatic brain injury, witnessed and experienced severe domestic violence, and while she was in grade school she was raped by a stranger and her mother committed suicide. She was severely depressed and suicidal, had an extremely poor support system, was experiencing an unplanned pregnancy that resulted from coercive sex, and she was so young that her brain was still undeveloped.
With that constellation of factors, there was a very high statistical probability that my mother would be an abusive parent, that we would spend the rest of our lives in crushing poverty, and that we would both be highly vulnerable to predatory organisations and men. And that is exactly what happened. She abused me, beating me viciously and often. We lived in bone-crushing poverty, and our little family became a magnet for predatory men and organisations. My mother found minimal support in a small church, and became involved with the pastor who was undeniably schizophrenic, narcissistic and sadistic. The abuse I endured was compounded by deprivation. Before the age of 14, I had never been to a sleepover, been allowed to talk to a friend on the phone, eaten in a restaurant, watched a television show, listened to the radio, read a non-Christian book, or even worn a pair of jeans.”
Once again, not only could all of these things also be used to justify the killing of a child at ANY stage of their life (i.e. as an infant, as a teenager, etc), but they can also be resolved without any need for an abortion – by way of authentic expressions of care from familial, community and social support agencies.
Saying that abortion is the only way out of such a scenario is not only completely disconnected from reality, but it also shows, once again, a totally fatalistic view of the human experience – one where we are nothing but solitary creatures doomed to a life of meaninglessness and suffering if any hardship should ever befall us.
All I can say is thank God that William Booth, Peter Benenson or Augusto and Michaela Odone never embraced such a frightening and hopeless ideology about human existence.
“If this were an anti-choice story, this is the part where I would tell you how I overcame great odds and my life now has special meaning. I would ask you to affirm that, of course, you are happy I was born, and that the world would be a darker, poorer place without me.
It is true that in the past 12 years, I have been able to rise above the circumstances of my birth and build a life that I truly love.”
Hold on, so with one breath you imply that you are about to tell us that your life has NO “special meaning” or happiness, and that you haven’t overcome great odds, etc, but in the very next sentence you state that you have risen “above the circumstances” of your birth and you now have a life that you “truly love”!
Does Beisner not see how totally illogical and contradictory these two statements actually are?
And does she not see how the fact that she has managed to overcome the difficult hardships of her early life, and subsequently flourished into a life of meaning and happiness actually completely and utterly undermines her primary thesis that abortion is the only possible solution to a life of suffering and unhappiness?!
These brief couple of sentences completely change the entire nature of her argument, because what she is now suggesting is that even if a person is able to overcome hardships early in life, and then build a life of happiness and meaning for themselves, they would still be better off dead.
This isn’t just farcical, it’s perversely insane.
“But no one should have to make such a Herculean struggle for simple normalcy. Even given the happiness and success I now enjoy, if I could go back in time and make the choice for my mother, it would be abortion.”
So exactly who is it that says that no one should have to overcome adversity in life in order to achieve basic human happiness?
This statement is not at all consistent with normal human experience, where we all instinctively understand that enduring suffering and hardship and then overcoming it is actually something profoundly life-altering and enriching – she seems to be suggesting here that only an easy life is a life that can have meaning, yet instinctively we understand the exact opposite to be true in life.
And yet again Beisner states that she would rather be dead than actually be participating in the life of meaning and happiness that she now enjoys.
No folks, these are not the thought processes of a person with a normal healthy psychology – they are the sentiments of someone who has a very warped perspective on life, and who clearly sees no ultimate good in their own existence.
“The world would not be a darker or poorer place without me. Actually, in terms of contributions to the world, I am a net loss. Everything that I have done – including parenting, teaching, researching, and being a loving partner – could have been done as well, if not better by other people. Any positive contributions that I have made are completely offset by what it has cost society to help me overcome the disadvantages and injuries of my childhood to become a functional and contributing member of society.”
Once again, what we have here is even more unbalanced and inhuman sentiments about how she views her life, and her worth as a human being.
This kind of utilitarian calculation of your own existence is more like something that a cold and machine-like entity, something that is totally incapable of empathy and compassion, would state about the life of a human being. In fact, this sort of inhuman sentiment is more like the stuff you would expect to read in an Orwellian novel, rather than from a supposedly happy and well balanced individual describing their own life.
I think it’s also worth pointing out once again that Beisner can never actually know that the world would not be a poorer or darker place without her in it – this is actually totally illogical if you consider the fact that we would have been robbed of all of her positive and loving contributions and interactions with other members of the human community as a result of her being killed before birth.
She also seems to have completely missed the paradoxical fact that because of her former sufferings she is now in a unique place to be able to bring hope to others who are currently suffering through similar trials, yet the world would be robbed of this unique gift without her currently being present.
“It is not easy to say, “I wish my mother had aborted me.” The right would have us see abortion as women acting out of cowardice, selfishness, or convenience. But for many women, like my mother, abortion would be an inconvenient act of courage and selflessness.”
These final few sentences would have to be some of the most illogical in Beisner’s entire opinion piece.
Firstly, wouldn’t an abortion actually have been far more convenient for Beisner’s mother? Beisner actually devotes an earlier section of her column to giving us reasons why she thinks that abortion would have been more convenient for her mother, yet here she is claiming that it would have been an inconvenience.
And how could abortion be selfless if, as Beisner states earlier, putting her own interests first and having an abortion would have actually been beneficial for her mother?
And wouldn’t it also be correct to state that choosing to endure hardship in order to bring a child into this world is actually a far more courageous action then choosing to terminate the child in favor of an easier and more personally beneficial life (something that Beisner earlier suggested an abortion would have achieved for her mother).
See how utterly illogical and contradictory this section of Beisner’s opinion piece actually is?
“I am sad for both of us that she could not find the courage and selflessness.”
Beisner is sad that her mother couldn’t find it within herself to kill her while she was still very young?! Does anyone else not see how alarmingly disconnected from reality and human self-worth such a statement truly is?
“But my attitude is that as long as I am already here, I might as well do all I can to make the world a better place, to ease the suffering of others, and to experience love and life to its fullest.”
Hold on, so Beisner is trying to make the world a better place by advocating that other people just like her should be killed before they are born, and that this will make the world a better place?
No offense Ms Beisner, but I seriously doubt that too many people who have endured hardships (many of them far worse than yours too), which they have gone on to overcome in order to live a full and meaningful life, are going to be lining up to embrace your seriously twisted ideology which proclaims that they would be better off if they had been killed before birth.
I am sure that pro-choice advocates all over the globe will be fawning all over your opinion piece in the coming days and weeks, and many will be practically falling over themselves in the rush to elevate you to poster-girl status, but at the end of the day, such actions will prove just how deluded, disconnected from reality, and desperate the pro-choice camp have become in their pro-abortion mania.
You see, this piece is logically incoherent, contradictory and extremely dangerous in what it proclaims; that human beings have no intrinsic worth, and that only those people who will experience a good start in life have any value as human beings – while everyone who happens to experience suffering earlier in life, even if they have subsequently gone on to overcome that suffering, would be better off if they had been killed early in life.
Like I said folks, this isn’t the sentiment of a normal healthy human psychology, and if the pro-choice movement willingly embraces this schlock it will prove just how demented their ideology has truly become.
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