In an opinion article published by the Bristol Herald Courier on October 28, 2014, the author, Daniel Lasris, encouraged voters to vote “no” on Amendment 1 on Election Day in Tennessee. This constitutional amendment, which is under great scrutiny by the media, gives the state government more power to regulate abortions in the state. Abortion rights in the state are already legal and in fact, constitutional. This amendment can do nothing to criminalize abortion. It does seem to give the state seemingly limitless power to regulate abortion procedures and the facilities in which they are performed (almost all medical procedures and facilities are already regulated). Regardless, Mr. Lasris’ argument is that certain Christian activists have misinformed the public therefore, voters should vote negative on the amendment.
He listed three evidences that a Christian writer had used “scare tactics” to misinform voters. They are IS, breast cancer link, and a deity caused earthquake.
I’m not sure that I understand what he means by the first evidence, IS. It may or may not be a “scare tactic”.
Whether or not God passed judgment on California for abortion, I can’t say. I can say that it’s probably not a good idea to attribute natural disasters to God, presupposing that he is pouring out his wrath on a particular geographic location. Who knows? I would say that the Christian writer in question may actually believe what he claims but he is probably also employing scare tactics to change peoples minds on the issue.
Regarding the claim that abortion has been linked to breast cancer, Mr. Lasris makes the statement that, “you cannot be at risk for breast cancer or any other cancer by having an abortion” and this is a “scare tactic” as well. It may very well be the intention of the Christian Mr. Lasris rebuts, to scare people into voting no, but it is not true that there is no link between breast cancer and abortion. Here is just one such study on abortion and breast cancer. This issue is undecided but recent studies indicate some common trajectories between breast cancer and abortions. Scare tactic? Maybe.
Mr. Lasris’ article is full of his usual ad hominem attacks such as assuming that pro-lifers will “not be there for” a baby once it is born. He lists the many children who are “starving, in poverty, and dying each day from illness that were genetic abnormalities”. I wonder, in this particular attack, is Mr. Lasris suggesting, as does his hero Richard Dawkins, that it is immoral to not abort Down Syndrome children?
I would like to concentrate on one idea that is left out of Mr. Lasris’ article. It’s not miscarriages, theism, illegal abortions, or pro-life extremism. Abortion is not a Christian/non-Christian issue. It is a human rights issue. The last statement Mr. Lasris makes before he says to “vote no”, he writes: “It does not matter what you believe, but the fact of the matter is no one has the right to make decisions for a pregnant woman. It is her right and her decision only!” This statement highlights the right question about abortion.
Assuming that he is referring to a woman’s right to choose to abort her unborn child, I would have to agree with Mr. Lasris…ON ONE CONDITION. A woman has the right to kill the life that is inside of her IF AND ONLY IF the life inside her is NOT a human person. Otherwise, if that life is a human person, abortion is killing a human person. A mother has no right to kill that human person. Greg Koukl puts it this way: If the unborn is not a human person, then no justification for abortion is necessary. If the unborn is a human person, no justification for abortion is adequate. There is no way out of the idea that if that thing inside of a woman that we refer to as an unborn child is in fact an unborn child, then it is immoral to kill it. If that is true then the question ought never be how the child (human person) came to be, how far it has developed, or what size it is. None of those would be the right question to ask about abortion.
If the unborn is a human person, it matters not if it is a zygote (name which refers to a stage of development of a human person, similar to toddler). If the unborn is a human person, it matters not whether it has certain physical characteristics like breathing or a heart or self-awareness. Lots of people are missing any number of physical abilities or features, are they not human? If the unborn is a human person, it matters not that he/she is a product of rape, etc. There are lots of people who have been born that are products of improper sexual relationships or despicable immoral acts. Should we kill them?
Maybe your argument is that the unborn child is not human until it is born and self-sufficient. Let me ask you, what is it about the few inches traveled in the birth canal that changes a person significantly? Does the geographical location of the child make it a person, or not? I don’t believe it does. If it doesn’t, then there is no difference in killing an unborn child and a child that is outside of the womb, no matter the age of the child. How old are you? Were you ever an unborn child?
The truth is, I am most certainly for a woman’s right to choose, especially when it comes to her health and her own body. But, the thing is this; whatever it is inside of a woman when she is pregnant is alive, at least in a biological sense. A woman has the right to kill that living organism as long as it’s not a human person. If it is, none of the scare tactics (red herrings) used by Mr. Lasris justify the intentional killing of it. Mr. Lasris, as well as the rest of us, need to ask the right question about abortion.