In the Sunday, March 18 Minneapolis Star Tribune column written by Bonnie Blodgett, she has condemned newspapers, the state of Texas and many of the religious people of this country and the rest of the world as being hypocrites. It seems from her statements that the only honest and intelligent people are Garry Trudeau, Margaret Sanger and Bonnie Blodgett. But rather than rant about either righteous hypocrisy or wanton immorality, stop for a moment and look at her arguments.
The least controversial point that Ms. Blodgett points out is the financial burden of the new law in Texas, “this costly and redundant add-on”. However, the only reason people oppose abortion is that they believe that abortion kills a baby. So please, let’s not confuse the issue with statements about the ‘economy’ of abortion; the issue is whether or not it is ending a life. And from a completely nonreligious point of view, prevention of pregnancy is a LOT cheaper than abortion. So if you think there is no God and want to argue about economy, then talk about preventing pregnancy.
In an astonishing statement she says, “The sonogram will tell the patient nothing she doesn’t know, unless she is mentally challenged, in which case she will be spared the indignity of the test, by Texas law, thus reducing the likelihood of a change of heart and sparing society the nuisance of an unwanted baby that also happens to be imperfect.”
The first astonishing point is that all of the women who have seen sonograms of their baby and changed their mind are declared ‘mentally challenged’. There are many thousands of them who would certainly not agree. Next is “spared the indignity of the test”. Virtually every woman who delivers a baby in the US willingly has several sonograms, even though there is no direct medical benefit from the procedure. Apparently, women who want their babies don’t experience indignity, or is it that women who don’t want their baby know it is wrong and want to see no reminders. Then final phrase is the pinnacle of cold hearted arrogance, “sparing society the nuisance of an unwanted baby that also happens to be imperfect”. Is Ms. Blodgett perfect? Should she have been aborted? A baby is a nuisance that can be disposed of like rubbish? This phrase sounds like something from doctor Mengele.
The real issue is her opinion, which she states as if it were a fact, “that cargo, by the way, is not a baby”. How Ms. Blodgett, a gardening writer, knows how to define when a baby becomes a baby is hard to understand.
Once again, let’s set aside the hyperbole. How is an embryo (or fetus or baby) different from a tumor? A tumor can grow to almost any size but it will never be anything but an unwanted growth; it has no soul. The baby was a human being as soon as the soul was given to the two bits of DNA merged in a single cell. It needs nine months of physical development to become the cute little baby that is protected by every level of secular government, but the soul was there when conception occurred. Ms. Blodgett cannot bring herself to use religious terms, so she says that the tiny bit of protoplasm is a “blueprint” of a person. In the religious world, that is called a soul. A blueprint will never grow into a building, no matter how much you try to nurture, feed or water it. It is no more a building than a birth certificate is a child.
To pick any other time for the soul to appear during the development of the physical body is arbitrary and capricious. Ms. Blodgett doesn’t say when she thinks the ‘cargo’ becomes a baby but some abortion supporters argue that it becomes a baby when it can live independently. A two year old child will absolutely die if not cared for by someone. Does anyone say killing a two year old is simply removing an unwanted growth? Steven Hawking would have died years ago if others had not given him constant care. Is it ok to kill him as well?
Nearly every person who holds a shred of religious faith, even most of those who support abortion, will say that the human being is different from all other life forms because humans have a soul. These are not the “religious zealots” that she condemns, but the vast majority of American citizens. If humans are different because they have a soul, then humanity is not defined by when a heart starts to beat or when consciousness occurs or when self-awareness occurs. It is defined by when a soul is given to a being and that event cannot be measured by science. It seems strange that God has told her when that happens but kept it secret from the rest of the world.
If Ms. Blodgett wants to avoid the hypocrisy that she rails against, she should admit that she is arguing for the right to decide when a person can be killed. Then the debates can focus on the real issue – when is it acceptable to kill? The most helpless are obviously the easiest to condemn to death. As Ms. Blodgett correctly points out, that unborn baby has no consciousness. It cannot mount a defense. It can’t even cry yet. So an argument to kill it is easy to make and exceedingly one-sided. The inconvenience or unhappiness of the expectant mother is given more value than an entire lifetime of another person.
A further hypocrisy implied in her column is the idea that abortion somehow makes stronger families. She stated “The prolife movement professes to be all about family but is doing its darnedest to exacerbate the very situation it deplores.” Just how does abortion help a family, by defining children as worthless? By relieving parents of all responsibility? The prolife movement is saying people should accept responsibility for the actions they have taken. If they created a baby, they should take care of that baby, or at least let it live so someone else can care for it.
And then, in an insult to any educated American, she states, “…undermining one of our most cherished constitutional protections against it – the separation of church and state”. Perhaps Ms. Blodgett should read the constitution before she paraphrases it. The First Amendment states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
This does not define the government as atheistic or anti religion, it says the government cannot define an official state religion nor restrict anyone’s right to practice their own religion. However, if the government is stating that an unborn child has no soul, then it is establishing a government religious principle. It is specifying that most of the people in the country cannot believe a part of their religion. It is making the government of the United States atheistic and in violation of its own constitution.
And last, I am really tired of hearing that prolife is caused by men controlling religion and government. Obviously, men did exclusively control church and state for most of history and still maintain more than an equal share of control. However, that does not mean that women opposed everything that men said. Today, the prolife groups are heavily weighted with women. In my personal experience there are significantly more women than men who are active in this area.
As her commentary approaches the end, she completely loses focus and rants about child labor, uterus envy, Rush Limbaugh and the high salaries of professional athletes. She is simply ranting like most extremists do, including Mr. Limbaugh. They are both extremists ranting about their own opinions with the only difference being that their opinions are diametrically opposed.
Then she finishes with a long rambling nonsensical statement, “How about women give up the fight in return for a new law that would require all those men who impregnate them and then quietly exit never to be heard from again to not only pay child support but salaries similar to those of professional athletes?”
Does she say that bad behavior on the part of a man justifies bad behavior by the woman? Is she saying that a human is worth a specific amount of money? Is she saying that the obscene salaries of professional athletes is a good thing?
Does a garden writer or a cartoonist have any better qualification or insight than a machinist or a programmer, or do they simply have better access to the public media? Ms. Blodgett is as far from providing a valuable or important opinion as Garry Trudeau. Her rambling rants serve no purpose other than giving her the satisfaction of ranting. Neither of them deserves the widespread attention that presence in published media provides.