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July 17, 2012
Huffington Post: Life Is Sacred (So Let's Support Abortion)
Writing at the Huffington Post, George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling take lying and propaganda to dizzying heights.
To begin, Lakoff and Wehling cite a New York Times report that suggests "morning-after pills" probably don't prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman's uterus. From this one report by one newspaper, they conclude, "In short, morning-after pills do not operate on fertilized eggs at all." [Emphasis added] Wow.
Lakoff and Wehling then whine that it's been six weeks (yes, six weeks) since that report was made public, yet Republicans (and the Catholic Church) remain silent. So, "The point is clear. The truth doesn't matter."
To demonstrate this point, Lakoff observes that "conservatives against abortion [are] not in favor of guaranteed prenatal or postnatal care for mothers and children." He adds that "conservatives against such policies do not care about the well-being of the babies at all." Wrong.
Defined correctly, human rights are negative rights; for example, the right not to be killed, the right not to be abducted, the right not to be robbed, and so on. Furthermore, even liberal constitutional law experts acknowledge the widely-held view that "the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties -- rights that restrain the government -- and not a creator of affirmative rights to government services." In other words, the right to life is not a right to government services that sustain life. Really, this isn't that difficult, George.
Thankfully, Lakoff and Wehling then reveal the hidden agenda of pro-life advocates. "The issue," they disclose, "really has been control -- who controls reproduction, men or women?" Good to know. I shouldn't even bother mentioning that more women are pro-life than pro-choice on abortion.
"To establish that control," they continue, "both conservative Republicans and the Catholic Church propose taking a metaphor literally, that A Fertilized Egg Is A Person. Taking the metaphor literally allows for the claim that preventing abortions constitutes saving lives."
I confess, this particular statement puzzles me. I have no idea whether it's propaganda or just plain ignorance. Rest assured, though, George and Elisabeth, the science of embryology has proven that human life begins at fertilization. Therefore, preventing abortions still constitutes saving lives, even if those lives aren't legally recognized as persons.
In scientific terms, a human zygote is a human life, as is a human embryo and human fetus. Moreover, human life is the only fact-based definition of the word person.
Now, at this point, Lakoff and Wehling finally state their main complaint: Republicans are proposing constitutional protections for prenatal life.
Don't worry, though, a detailed "to do" list is provided by the Huffington Post writers to help progressives counter this pro-life policy. First, "Never use the Cells Are People metaphor, even in arguing against conservative policy." And second, "Never use the term baby or unborn child to refer to a blastocyst, embryo, or fetus."
I sure hope George and Elisabeth don't stumble upon the Mayo Clinic site. Horrors abound. Under the subheading "Find out how your baby grows and develops during the first trimester," the Mayo Clinic says, "You're pregnant. Congratulations! You'll undoubtedly spend the months ahead wondering how your baby is growing and developing. What does your baby look like? How big is he or she? When will you feel the first kick?" [Emphasis added]
Turns out zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are babies. (Shhh.)
Next, Lakoff and Wehling advise, "Stop using the term abortion." Instead, the desired term is "development prevention."
I have to agree whole-heatedly with this point. When promoting the killing of innocent human life, it's best to avoid unpleasant language.
Also, progressives are strongly advised to avoid using the expressions "partial birth abortion" and "morning-after pill." Why? Because such language "does not adequately communicate the moral values that underlie progressive policy."
Actually, such language communicates the values of progressives quite accurately.
And finally, Lakoff and Wehling lecture that "protecting human life is one of the moral mandates of government." Of course, they don't mean all human life. Rather, they mean only the human life that qualifies for protection under their values. Indeed, to eliminate the possibility of a misunderstanding, they list those fortunate enough to deserve protection. Seriously.
Where have we seen this before?
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