But it has happened before in recent years, and now it has happened again in Worcester, Massachusetts. Boston.com reports on the crime, writing,
Julie Corey, 35, had lived with her parents for several months over the last year before returning to Worcester and telling acquaintances she was pregnant.
Police believe that Corey never gave birth, that she may have faked her pregnancy, and that the newborn girl she was showing off last weekend was really the daughter of Darlene Haynes, a 23-year-old mother of three who had been eight months pregnant before she was found dead in her Worcester home on Monday [7/27], her child ripped from her womb.
The profound evil inherent in Corey's crime is self-evident and needs no elaboration. Yet the larger issues this event raises certainly warrant such.
The most perilous place you can be today is inside a womb, as your life hinges on the most arbitrary of standards, unencumbered by logic or reason. And no matter where you stand on the abortion issue, this is indisputable. After all, it's not just that so many cannot decide when human life begins; it's that they act as if it begins at different times depending on the situation.
For example, no one would now be allowed to kill Haynes' eight-month-old baby — or a child born prematurely after five months. Yet an abortionist may legally murder a child at either of those stages, or any other, as long as the child is inside the womb. Can even a proponent of abortion say that this makes sense? The right to life is preeminent, and if human rights are at the mercy of location, then it seems as if Kim Jong-il, Raul Castro, and every other tyrant have just been given a handy argument. After all, people may enjoy more rights in the United States, but this isn't North Korea or Cuba. If 10 inches from the womb can be the difference between life and death, then 10,000 miles can certainly be.
It is not only location that determines whether the child will be thought human, but also who his executioner happens to be. For example, there have been many cases in which a man was charged with a double murder for killing a pregnant woman. Yet, if that woman had decided to kill the baby herself, it would suddenly be an "unviable tissue mass." Does this make any sense? If you're pro-abortion, I would like to ask you how you reconcile these contradictions in our laws. Clearly, a fair-minded person — regardless of where he stands on abortion — must admit that we haven't settled this issue as a society at all. All we have done is avoid inconvenient questions with convenient laws.
And using convenience as a yardstick certainly isn't unprecedented. In fact, Clark University philosophy professor Michael Pakaluk tells us of a very interesting precedent in his essay "Questions for Pro-Choice People," writing:
Does the following seem to you a reasonable statement of the pro-choice view?:
If each person will only agree to mind his own business, and leave his neighbors alone, there will be peace forever between us.... I am now speaking of rights under the constitution [sic], and not of moral or religious rights.... It is for women to decide ... the moral and religious right of the abortion question for themselves within their own limits.... I repeat that the principle is the right of each woman to decide this abortion question for herself, to have an abortion or not, as she chooses, and it does not become a pro-lifer, or anybody else, to tell her she has no conscience, that she is living in a state of iniquity.... We have enough objects of charity at home, and it is our duty to take care of our own poor, and our own suffering, before we go abroad to intermeddle with other people's business.
Pakaluk then explains how he formulated the above argument, saying, "I arrived at that quotation by taking one of Stephen Douglas's defenses of slavery, and substituting 'abortion' for 'slavery'; 'woman' for 'state'; and 'a pro-lifer' for 'Mr. Lincoln.'" And a little later the professor asks abortion proponents a question that begs to be answered:
"Doesn't the similarity between your defense of abortion, and Douglas' defense of slavery, bother you in any way? Does it raise in your mind any suspicions at all that you might just be on the wrong side?"
Note how Douglas, the pro-slavery advocate, emphasized that he was "now speaking of rights under the constitution [sic], and not of moral or religious rights" — just like today's abortion proponents. Of course, other than acknowledging defeat, Douglas had no other recourse. It's very difficult to argue for an immoral practice in the moral realm with any success, so he had to resort to a legalistic argument — just like today's abortion proponents.
Yet, today's abortion defenders have one advantage (although, to be precise, nothing that helps us perpetuate a fallacy is good for us, even if we don't realize it at the moment) pro-slavery people never enjoyed: a thoroughly relativistic society. That is to say, today right and wrong are often fancied to be a matter of opinion.
This matters for a very simple reason. If people believe in Moral Truth, they will understand that morality is something real, something originating beyond man, something non-negotiable. It then follows that, far from subordinating it to a discussion of man's law, the latter must in fact be subject to morality. Man's law must reflect God's law, or it simply isn't good law.
Once believing that there is no Truth, however, it follows that "morality" is merely values and values are opinion. And what will determine opinion? Well, without any objective moral reality to refer to, the only yardstick we have available is emotion. Sure, it may be the consensus feelings of the collective, but it's emotion nonetheless. And, of course, it is a most mercurial master, changing with the wind. Emotion also doesn't care about logic or reason, it doesn't care about ideas, it doesn't care about inconsistency. It just cares about what pleases, and it preaches "If it feels good, do it." And one thing that certainly feels good is convenience.
Another implication of atheism is that in the absence of God's law, man's law becomes the only law. In light of this, is it any wonder that today's secularists get lost in a sea of legalistic arguments? Man's law may not be much when divorced from morality, but at least it's real to the modern man, whereas God's law is just imaginary.
Of course, the most logical argument in favor of abortion is in fact derived from atheistic philosophy. To wit: if we have no souls, we are then merely organic robots, and human life then can be no more sacred than that of a fly. This, not to mention the fact that if right and wrong don't really exist in an absolute sense, abortion cannot be wrong. It's atheism taken to its logical conclusion, and to thoroughly integrate the idea into your mind and heart is to be, I believe, a sociopath. After all, how can you have a conscience if there is nothing to be conscientious about?
But to accept atheism and all its implications thoroughly is also to devalue your own life; it is to render values meaningless and life without meaning. It is to unmoor man completely from morality, so that only might can make right. All you can then do is hope that you are the mightiest — or, at least, not too inconvenient.