An Honest and Horrifying Admission

There are two words to describe the recent Salon column by liberal writer Mary Williams: horrendous... and honest.

One of the main reasons I have been telling people in speeches, in writing, and on my radio program that I truly believe we are living in the midst of the generation that will end abortion in America is embodied in Williams' piece. The anti-life left can no longer hide behind some murky confusion of what's happening in the womb. They can no longer candy-coat what they condone. They can no longer pretend there is some great mystery to when human life begins.

Credit technology, but also credit a pro-life movement that, after forty years of frustrating attempts to chip away at our modern holocaust through regulating abortion, is finally getting around to forcing the only question that has ever mattered: what is conceived in the womb? If it's not human, there are no limits that should be placed upon the practice of abortion (except safety precautions and licensing for the medical personnel who will perform the dangerous and invasive procedure). But if it is human, then there is absolutely no justification that ever allows the intentional killing of that life. None.

Rape? Of course not -- we don't punish children for the sins of the father. Ever. Execute the rapist, save the innocent child.

Life of the mother? Read this slowly and carefully: there has never been, and there never will be a case where saving the mother's life requires the intentional killing of an innocent child in the womb. Now, there are extraordinarily sad and rare cases where carrying the child to term could be potentially life threatening. And in those tragic circumstances, a moral society will allow the removal of the child when it is absolutely necessary to save the woman's life... and then use all our technology and effort to save the life of the child as well. You never intentionally kill the baby. And why?

Because if that being in the womb is human, any justification offered for when or why it is acceptable to kill the child is ethically and constitutionally a case for legalizing murder. That is what the author of Roe, Supreme Court justice Harry Blackmun, understood when he wrote in the January 22, 1973 case, that if it were known the child in the womb is a human person, the case for abortion rights, "of course collapses." Yet that simple moral truth seems lost on today's abortion movement. In her pro-death screed, Mary Williams actually wrote these words:

"Here's the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal... And I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time -- even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing."

First, let's again note the intellectual dishonesty in her statement. Williams and her pro-abortion ilk are not putting "the life of a mother over the life of a fetus." They are putting the convenience and expediency of the mother over the life of a fetus. But beyond that, let's acknowledge Williams' surrender on the truth of what we've all known for a long time and only the most cowardly among us pretend that they don't know (see Barack Obama's infamous remark that, "Answering that question with any specificity is above my pay grade"): The word fetus, just like the words adolescent and toddler, doesn't refer to a nonhuman. It refers to a human at a particular stage of development.

And what liberals who advocate for the right to choose an abortion are saying is precisely what Williams admitted: they believe that some human beings -- particularly the less developed, the less wanted, the less convenient -- can be murdered at the whim of other human beings. Those innocent lives are "worth sacrificing." It's an honest confession, but equally horrifying, particularly because we've heard such suggestions before in human history, from the mouths of slave owners to the lips of Adolf Hitler himself.

So then, the lines are finally drawn clearly. On one side the belief that all human life is precious because of what it is -- an innocent being made in the image of God -- and therefore worthy of legal protection regardless of the circumstance. On the other side the belief that the value of human life is determined on a sliding scale of ability and convenience to others. I choose the former. Ms. Williams chooses the latter. The fate of our civilization is determined by which you choose.

Peter is a public high school government teacher and radio talk show host in central Indiana. Email, visit, or like him on Facebook.

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