America is not and should not be a secular society, but we do have a secular government. The idea of theocracy is horrifying to nearly all Americans on all sides of every political divide; as well it should be. Theocracy strips citizens of freedom and often of their decency.
Because of this, convincing the public that your political opposition is advocating laws which are theocratic in nature is the easiest way to win the battle of ideas. This is exactly what the abortion lobby has done.
The talking points of Planned Parenthood and NARAL have been wholly mainstreamed by the education system, Hollywood, and the news media. Their claim is that pro-life individuals seek to impose their religious views on the parents of a preborn child. Abortion supporters are the freedom fighters and pro-lifers are the theocrats. This could not possibly be further from the truth. In fact, the opposite is true.
In a debate with a pro-abortion individual, you will hear the following arguments:
“The child isn’t human until he or she can survive on their own.”
“The child isn’t human until he or she can feel pain.”
“The child isn’t human until he or she has brain activity.”
“The child isn’t human until he or she goes through the birth canal.”
“The child isn’t human until a few months after birth.”
These beliefs are all well and good for an individual to hold. This is a free country. But it’s important not to mistake these claims for science and instead call them what they are: philosophy and religion.
It is a scientific reality that conception was the beginning of all of our lives. The child, even in the earliest stages, meets every scientific requirement for being human (full set of human DNA) and every scientific requirement for being alive (metabolism and growth). It is objective fact that we have all been human and alive since the moment we were conceived. Anything added to the discussion beyond these basic truths is either religion or philosophy.
If one wishes to ascribe to a different set of beliefs from what science tells us about the pre-born, that’s fine. But you can’t impose that arbitrary, unscientific belief system on another human being in order to take their life away. No one may use their personal philosophy or religion to legally strip the human nature from someone who is scientifically human.
The pro-life position is not one of religious legalism. It is one of science and of basic human decency. One does not have to appeal to a higher power to say, “Hey, don’t dismember that preborn child.” It should be clear to everyone with a functioning conscience and a shred of attachment to scientific reality that dismembering a preborn child is terrifyingly immoral.
The pro-abortion position is one that requires a denial of scientific realities and a silencing of the conscience. It is a movement of dehumanization and violence. And despite its advocates accusing everyone else of being the religious legalists, the pro-abortion position is one of violently imposing arbitrary belief systems on innocent human beings, in violation of every rule of pluralism and tolerance.
James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.