excluding and dividing people with labels

Henry Karlson, a contributor to Vox Nova, comments on some members of the anti-abortion movement he doesn't like:
I know many people who are pro-life who see that we must be pro-life in all aspects of our thought and culture, and that if you ignore life after the womb, which isn’t hidden, and find excuses to ignore it, it is obvious you will ignore what is also hidden. It’s why life at all stages must be protected. And aided. That which is more apparent has an effect and that which is hidden.

This is why I find many who are so-called pro-life are not; they are anti-abortion alone. They don’t know what it means to be pro-life. Their ability to shrug off death in front of them because it’s not in the womb is a disgrace.
It's an argument he's made many times before and in many different ways.

Where does he get the idea that, as a society, we “ignore life after the womb”? We certainly do not! Life at all stages after birth IS protected and aided by the law - in many respects!

Not advocating for a centrally planned health-care system is not “ignoring life after the womb”. Not advocating for a massive federal welfare system is not even close to “ignoring life after the womb.” Even less, could such advocates be considered, on the basis of their opposition to these programs, to be “anti-abortion alone”.

In my experience, and I suspect the experience of many others, people in the pro-life movement care about justice at all stages of life. It's just that - I don't know - most of them don't think Robin Hood is the greatest teacher of government and political philosophy.

Henry makes a very crass argument. Whether he intends it or not, his argument paints people who disagree with him, namely fellow Catholics and Christians, as somehow being enemies of the Gospel. Yuck.


James H said...

Great post. THis strawman gets old and it is indeed incorrect

Jay Anderson said...

What's most disgusting is to watch someone like Doug Kmiec adopt this same rhetoric in an attempt to justify his support for the pro-abort Obama by painting Obama as "a Catholic natural" who is somehow "more open to [pro-life] considerations", while portraying those in the pro-life movement with whom Kmiec once associated as a bunch of heartless culture warriors bent on political divisiveness.

That's right. According to Kmiec's "logic", Obama - who voted against protecting children born alive during botched abortions, has promised Planned Parenthood and NARAL that "On this fundamental issue [the so-called 'right' to abortion], I will not yield.", and who has promised that his first act as President would be to sign the "Freedom of Choice" Act, which would overturn all restrictions on abortion in every state and the federal government, including bans on partial-birth abortion - is the Catholic natural who is more open to pro-life considerations than those of us who seek full protection for the unborn in law (while at the same time supporting public and private efforts to aid women in crisis pregnancy situations - contrary to Kmiec's either/or assertions, most of us know how to walk and chew gum at the same time).

SB said...

Henry's consistent use of pro-choice talking points is puzzling indeed, as is his choice to reserve most of his condemnation for the pro-life side of the abortion issue rather than the pro-choice side.

Even worse, did you see that he actually claims that reversing Roe at the present would make the abortion rate go up? He's the only person in the world who has ever suggested that banning or restricting a practice in some states would make the overall rate go up. I can't think why anyone would say something so absurd, unless he's just desperately grasping at anything that would justify voting for Democrats who want to keep Roe in place.

Zachary said...

jh and all: thanks!

Jay: I like this: "contrary to Kmiec's either/or assertions, most of us know how to walk and chew gum at the same time."

sb: I noticed that particular comment - and how he conveniently avoided responding to your accurate criticism. That's one of the things that's frustrating about the internet - people can ignore an argument they cannot answer.

I think you're right when you say they will say anything to justify voting for Democrats..after all, Republicans are evil and support the corporate war on the working class, unjust war and torture.

I'd just wish they'd come out and say this rather than claim to argue from some politically-neutral, transcendent place. Along with all the other problems with their arguments, it's annoying many of the Vox Nova contributors pretend to have no dog in the fight.

Anonymous said...

"Their ability to shrug off death in front of them because it’s not in the womb is a disgrace."

Translation: "I'm a Leftie, and I am not going to give any credit to pro-lifers because most of them are on the Right, and I hate the Right."

If it is up to people like Karlson abortion will remain legal forever. They would sooner eat ground glass than vote for pro-life candidates who are conservative.