by Roger Resler
I hate to disagree with a fellow conservative and I find it especially distasteful to do so publicly, but there are times when the points being made are too significant to remain silent. Tomi Lahren is a prominent, smart, up-and-coming conservative commentator who was let-go from The Blaze – at least from what I can tell – primarily over her pro-choice views. To me – and many other conservatives – the term “pro-choice conservative” is about as oxymoronish as is the term: “reasonable liberal.”
Regardless of any possible incongruity, otherwise staunchly conservative Tomi makes no bones about being proudly pro-choice, and in a recent Fox Nation post, she does so enthusiastically. I have no reason to doubt Tomi’s sincerity and so I’m hoping that she might actually be open to reasonable dialogue on this issue – if not with me, at least with the many prominent conservatives who disagree with her. One of my great frustrations in attempting to dialogue with most pro-choice proponents is that it quickly becomes apparent that an honest exchange of ideas based on rational facts is simply not possible, because, as most conservatives understand, liberalism is not based on reason, it’s based on emotion. And make no mistake about it, abortion freedom is an inherently liberal idea; not conservative.
Unfortunately, Tomi seems completely unaware that the pro-choice talking points she parrots follow the liberal stick-with-emotions game plan she otherwise effectively confronts on a daily basis. So let’s take a deeper look…
Alabama’s new abortion ban is too restrictive and will not reduce abortions. It will just make them more unsafe.
I’m sure I’m going to get a lot of heat from fellow conservatives on this stance, but so be it.
Yes, Tomi, you are going to get a lot of heat for expressing these views because you are pretty much parroting liberal, pro-choice ideology. It would be naive to expect silence from conservatives. But if your views are correct, they should stand the scrutiny regardless of where the criticism is coming from. The notion that Alabama’s new abortion law is “too restrictive” is certainly a matter of subjective opinion, but the idea that it will not reduce abortions is a truth claim that can either be supported by evidence or falsified. I notice you present little to no evidence.
Later in your article you allege that “Countries with strict abortion laws have higher abortion rates according to a study by the Guttmacher Institute.” The Guttmacher Institute is hardly an objective source of information so I would take their findings with a heavy dose of skepticism. But even if what you allege is actually true one would be hard-pressed to explain the alleged phenomenon. Do laws against murder actually drive up the murder rate? I doubt it. But even if that unlikely scenario turned out to be true should we then conclude that the most rational response would be to do away with laws against murder? Would we expect the murder rate to drop if we suddenly stopped prosecuting people for murder? Doesn’t seem very rational.
Abortion should never be celebrated, glorified or encouraged as a form of lazy birth control.
Here we agree, but I would like to delve into why we agree. Why should abortion never be celebrated? As I’m sure you’re well aware there are radical groups out there who actually do celebrate their abortions. No doubt they are extreme, but at the very least, it would appear they actually believe their own propaganda. They apparently actually believe that an unborn human is truly something on the level of a tumor. If they’re right about that (very crucial point of disagreement) then why shouldn’t they celebrate their abortions?
Of course, I think you and I probably agree – at least at some point in human development – that the unborn human is simply not on the level of a tumor. There is value to unborn human life simply by virtue of the fact that it’s alive and human. Not to mention that we ALL began as unborn humans. That – I suspect – is why you agree with me that “Abortion should never be celebrated, glorified or encouraged as a form of lazy birth control.”
But if we can agree on that much, then – I’m sorry Tomi – the rest of your arguments break down.
If the pro-life movement really wants to support women to ultimately choose life when making the most difficult decision they’ve ever had to make, do you really think a government mandate is the way to do it?
Of course I agree with you that – in most cases – less government is better government. But we simply can’t take that logic to the extreme. No government is chaos. There is a place for some government. Again, I think that’s pretty obvious when it comes to laws against murder. Most people agree that laws against murder are a necessary element to a civilized society. Unfortunately, there are people who do commit murder. And they still do so – and try to get away with it – despite laws against murder with harsh sentences. But the crime of murder is so egregious, we still – as a society – agree that such laws are necessary.
But if we were to apply the same type of pro-choice reasoning you are using to justify the elimination (or at least the liberalization) of abortion laws, then we could only conclude that laws against murder obviously don’t stop people from committing murder so what good are they? Well for one thing, they most certainly act as a deterrent. Do we know for sure whether the existence of anti-murder laws save the lives of humans who would otherwise be murdered? While we may not empirically know the answer, common sense alone suggests the deterrent factor is real. Beyond that, however, even if anti-murder laws didn’t stop a single murder, it would be a serious mistake to do away with them for the simple reason that a law says we – as a society – agree that this act is immoral and shouldn’t be allowed. We are drawing a moral line in the sand. That some people choose to cross the line does not make the act morally acceptable.
That brings me to this new Alabama complete abortion ban. It provides an exception only for the life of the mother. It provides no exceptions for rape or incest. That’s radical.
It’s only radical if you disagree that an unborn human life has value. This is the question that everything hinges on. How much is one human life worth? Should ANYONE be allowed to kill another (innocent) living human? And if so, under what conditions? I am pro-capital punishment, which is why I add the qualifier “innocent.” I believe the death-penalty is appropriate in some circumstances. I also believe that soldiers defending this country have a moral right to kill other living humans in combat. But those exceptions are radically different from the general idea that it is simply immoral to intentionally kill innocent human life. So the Alabama law is only radical if unborn human life is somehow worth less than human life outside the womb. Are you prepared to make that case?
In support of your claim you fall back on the typical liberal appeal to emotions through anecdote:
One of my good friends is a Texas police detective in the division on crimes against children. She’s handled cases involving girls as young as 9-years-old who are impregnated as a result of rape or incest.
Alabama, are you really going to mandate that a 9-year-old child must have her rapists’ baby? Doesn’t that seem a little extreme to you?
Of course this type of argument is used precisely because it is effective. And it’s effective because of its sheer emotional appeal. It says literally nothing about whether ANY human should be allowed to kill another innocent human, and, if so, under what circumstances. Instead it focuses on the most extreme case imaginable and uses the implied response to impose an emotionally derived standard on the vast majority of other cases that do not involve such extreme conditions.
Does your extreme scenario hold up after birth? Should it be legal for a 9 year-old mother who was raped to hire someone to kill her born child? I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t extend your logic that far. So then what is the key moral difference? At some point you must believe that unborn human life is worth considerably less than born human life. Why?
But for the sake of discussion, let’s indulge your anecdotal appeal to emotion and consider the extremely unlikely potential scenario that a 9 year-old in Alabama is raped, becomes pregnant and is denied an abortion because of the “radical” Alabama abortion law. How, in your opinion, do we “fix” the law? Should we specifically allow an exception for 9 year-olds? Of course not; it would have to be more broad than that, wouldn’t it? So where do we draw the line? 10 year old’s. 11?
And this, of course, is the problem. The only “solution” to “fix” the law is a complete exception for anyone who is raped. So the result then is that we are saying – as a society – it’s wrong to kill unborn human life, unless you were raped. It is at least possible to defend that position morally. In my opinion, it’s at least something that is worthy of honest debate. But in this case, the state of Alabama already had that debate and concluded that in their state, they believe it is wrong to kill unborn human life, period, except in cases where the mother’s life is threatened by continuing the pregnancy. I think that’s also a reasonable position to hold. It’s not radical and shouldn’t be characterized as such.
Is that what we want in Alabama or anywhere in the United States? Do we want women to resort to their own unsafe methods or travel to other countries to have it done?
Does that really do anything for the pro-life movement, for women, for people in general?
No, it doesn’t.
Again, Tomi, it should be easy to see that this logic totally breaks down if we can simply agree that unborn human life is as valuable as born human life. And if we can’t agree on that, then that’s where we need to have the debate.
You can be pro-life and believe government bans are not the solution.
What happened to safe, legal, and rare?
“Safe, legal and rare” was a mantra created and propagated by liberals until they began to see the inherent contradiction. From the pro-life point of view, no abortion is safe for the unborn human. And if the unborn aren’t alive, or aren’t human, then why should abortions be rare?
That you suggest government bans on abortion are not the solution implies that at some basic level you do not accept that an unborn human is as valuable as a born human – because I’m pretty sure you’re fine with government bans on murder.
The great thing about the conservative movement is that we welcome differences of opinion, or at least we should.
I agree, there should be room for legitimate differences of opinion within the conservative movement but when it comes to the debate over policy that either allows or restricts the destruction of human life, it would seem reasonable that – at the very least – we could agree to err in favor of life.