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When It Comes To The Abortion Debate, There Is No 'Rational Middle


Asking proponents on either side of the abortion debate to find a "rational middle" ground is, by definition, irrational.


The magazine Newsweek recently published an article on America’s abortion wars.

The author, Kurt Eichenwald, promises that he is going to deliver a proposal that could end the debate once and for all.

The reader is almost immediately disappointed, as the piece starts off with this gem:

I am opposed to abortion. I believe women have the right to choose.

Eichenwald assures us that this isn’t a contradiction, and while that may technically be true, I’m not sure there is a quicker way to lose credibility than to state belief in one thing and then immediately begin advocating for something else.

The obvious question that arises is why Mr. Eichenwald opposes abortion in the first place? There are a number of reasons to oppose abortion, but clearly the most common is the recognition that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being, and we therefore ought to oppose it. Most of the reasons that people oppose abortion personally and morally are the same reasons they ought to oppose it legally as well.

Anti-abortion activists protest at site of proposed Planned Parenthood. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

It’s true that not everything that is morally impermissible ought to be made illegal. For example, having an extramarital affair is not illegal, yet it is morally reprehensible. But abortion is different in that it takes the life of an innocent human being. Our laws protect against taking such life from another and thus, abortion ought to be made illegal.

In any case, this is an absurd way to start an article. That said, it doesn’t get much better from there. The piece is full of logical errors, nonsensical hypotheticals, arguments that have been repeatedly debunked, reckless references, pseudo-moral imperatives, and calls for the reader to support bigger government, increased taxes, more laws, and Obamacare.

The piece claims that poverty is the issue that most directly leads to the highest incidence of abortion. While he may be technically correct about this particular point, it’s clear that the highest incidence of abortion comes from the fact that countless people who have no interest in pregnancy continue to engage in sexual activity. This is a pretty uncomfortable fact, and I get it. As I’ve recently pointed out, liberals like to pretend like they have created some great chasm between sex and babies, but the sheer number of abortions each year proves that is bogus.

Few things are more perplexing to me than producing almost 4,000 words on unwanted pregnancy without a single mention of the very act that leads to pregnancy in the first place. Containing only a passing mention of rape, the piece is otherwise devoid of any mention of sexual activity.

Throughout the piece, he calls pro-life advocates liars, hypocrites, and ignoramuses. Despite the fact that he implied a fair article, at least one commentator has noted that the piece is extremely one-sided.

Then there’s this:

"Decades of listening to activists scream at each other proves that answers will never come from them. Instead, the rational middle has to examine the hypocrisy and flaws in the activists’ positions and finally bring this war to an end."

The “rational middle”? Just to be helpful:

rational: adj; based on or in accordance with reason or logic; sensible; having sound judgment.

What exactly would that look like in the abortion debate?

One woman believes she has the answer, and it comes down to this: “trust women.”

While I appreciate this sentiment, it’s clear that this would still lead to abortions which, again, should be illegal. The biggest problem with this idea is that it supposes there is no right or wrong choice. In the case of abortion, however, there is a right choice and a wrong choice. I wouldn’t “trust” a woman who was driving to get an abortion any more than I would “trust” my best friend if he handed me a suicide note and told me he was heading to a bridge. When it comes to innocent human life, our job is to protect it at all times, regardless of whether someone “thinks” he or she is making the best choice.

Further, there are stories, stories, and more stories from women who thought they were making the best choice, but later realized they had made a life-taking mistake. Maybe if somebody had stepped up and encouraged them to protect the innocent life growing inside them, it would have prevented a significant amount of guilt and remorse.

A pro-choice rally on Capitol Hill, July 11, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

It is clear that when it comes to the abortion debate, there is no “rational middle”. This seems like just another attempt by liberal America to find a gray area where there isn’t one. Look at this from either side:

Pro-life advocates: We realize that abortion is the taking of innocent life, but we also must accept that it should sometimes be okay, especially if a woman thinks it is the best decision.

Pro-abortion advocates: We believe that a woman should have complete autonomy over her body and that nobody but her should be able to make a decision regarding her unborn child. However, in some cases, we will recognize the humanity of the unborn and cede that the woman does not have complete autonomy over her body, and thus, abortion should not be allowed during those times.

Are either of those sensible? Are either of those built on sound logic? Of course not, and that’s the rub. There is no “rational middle” in the abortion debate because to move to the middle from either side is, by definition, irrational. If a person believes abortion is the taking of innocent life, it is irrational to condone or even permit the behavior at all, ever. The law should protect innocent life, not allow its destruction. If another person believes that abortion is morally permissible, it is irrational to condone any restrictions on it.

Eichenwald is asking us to compromise truth when it comes to life itself. He is almost implying that neither side of the debate is correct, and that both sides’ arguments should be respected. But his point is morally confounding - the argument that aborting babies is permissible is wrong. Taking innocent life is wrong, and while the people on that side of the debate ought to be respected, their argument is easily dismissed.

His request is not altogether different than when Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton outrageously suggested that pro-life advocates should change their beliefs in order to better accommodate abortion.

Compromise? Change our beliefs? To be clear, when truth and moral soundness are on our side, we should absolutely not compromise or change our beliefs, despite what any liberal-leaning journalist or presidential candidate tries to tell us. Rather, those of us who defend against the taking of innocent life should hold to our position with the vigor of a people working to save the lives of millions of defenseless people.

That, clearly, would be the rational thing to do.

Feature Image: Shutterstock

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