Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Welcome to the Slaughterhouse: How Pro-Life Are You, Really?

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." George Washington
Welcome to the Slaughterhouse, America!!
By Nicholas Meyeres

Both terms "pro-life" as well as "pro-choice" are loaded terms. “Pro-life” advocates are typically also pro-death penalty, pro-military action and sometimes war even if it results in the death of countless innocents, and not vegans. “Pro-choice” advocates similarly are generally not for the choice of the father to have a say even though he was clearly involved, or the fetus who will eventually have a voice if left to grow. These individuals are, in essence, “pro-women-only-having-a-say” no matter what the cost because they claim that it is their “right” because it is their body.

And though there are still questions about where life begins, the point is a point of one person’s rights VS another person’s rights and should be considered on a case by case scenario as far as I a concerned. For instance- if the mother’s life is in danger- the mother should be saved without question. That is to say, if the baby will likely not survive, as well. However, this argument is largely invalid because of technological advances lately.

To use abortion as a means of birth control is simply unacceptable. For the government to mandate that tax payers fund abortion is also equally unacceptable. But the Morning After Pill should be allowed, and perhaps abortion should even be available before a beating heart is heard. Having said that, sexual education is key, and we should be free to teach it in conjunction with abstinence programs and proper birth control usage. Both sides need a say in this issue, but we need to be realistic that human beings have sexual urges and desires that are often difficult to suppress. For that reason, while I personally feel that abortion is a poor choice- it is currently a choice. The law doesn’t necessarily need to be repealed, but it surely needs to be amended greatly.

And as far as that law is concerned:

Even if Roe v Wade was overturned tonight, it would just send the issue right back to the states, so the argument is fairly moot on both sides at the end of the day. After all, the only thing the Supreme Court ruling did years ago was to say that individual states couldn't ban first trimester abortions, but they are free to regulate anything beyond that.
Even before 1973, somewhere around 15 states allowed legal abortion already. That being the case, the ONLY way abortion would be illegal in all 50 states is if a Constitutional amendment were passed. And let's be intellectually honest, the chances of that happening are exceptionally slim.
As a result, I feel we should stop perpetuating the myth that women can or will lose their "rights" under ANY president. The hyperbole is simply out of control at this point, and is nothing but a scare tactic to make women buy into the false narrative that republicans somehow hate them because they also support the lives of the unborn.

But regardless of where one stands on the issue of abortion, it is none of the Federal government’s business. If you stab someone to death, it is murder. As a result, you are typically charged with a STATE offense of murder. And if it is not murder, then the Feds similarly don’t need to be involved because no crime is ever committed.

However, as the Declaration of Independence states, we all have “certain unalienable rights, among these is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…” Which leads me to believe that even the unborn have those same rights, as well. Of course, the debate is open-ended since we have yet to come to a consensus of what first constitutes “life”.

Either way, the essence of the issue for me is one of hypocrisy first and foremost. The terms need to be changed to reflect a more realistic and less propagandist connotation before the debate can ever continue in an honest and straight forward fashion. “Pro-life” should become “anti-abortion"; and the term “pro-choice” should simply become “pro-abortion”. You are either for it or against it with few exceptions. Only at that point can the conversation continue honestly.

As for assisted suicide- while I agree up to a point on the issue (after all, I would probably wouldn't want to live like that, either)- I disagree on the procedure for the sake of my own personal integrity.

Fetuses have no say in their death. Animals don't, either. Nor do inmates on death row who may or may not be innocent, and who may be able to yet be rehabilitated. But a competent, sane persons with the ability to make proper choices do. 

To put that burden on anyone else but the person wanting to die- whether that person be a doctor or a family member- is simply beyond the pale of what anyone should ever ask of another person. In other words, if you can't commit the act yourself, you probably shouldn't ask anyone else to do your dirty work for you. In the event that an individual can't act for themselves because of some debilitating disease; they usually know what's coming, and should probably have ended their own lives before they ever get to that point if that is really what they choose to do. It sounds cold, but it is true as far as I see it.

That all being the case, sanctioned murder should never be allowed in a civilized society. And no matter what we decide to call it- that is exactly what it is.

Which brings me to stem cells research. This is a relatively controversial topic today because it is a relatively new issue and because it is a commonly misunderstood one at that. Stem cell research and pro-abortion do not necessarily go hand in hand as some have contended. After all, fetal stem cells are not the only stem cells available to science. All humans (fetal to adult) contain stem cells that may be harvested for research.

Embryonic stem cells are taken from a developing embryo at the “blastocyst stage”, destroying the embryo- a developing human life anti-abortionists contend. Adult stem cells, on the other hand, are found in all tissues of the growing human being and, according to latest reports, also have the potential to transform themselves into practically all other cell types, or revert to being stem cells with greater reproductive capacity. Besides, embryonic stem cells have not yet been used for even one therapy, while adult stem cells have been successfully used in numerous patients, including for cardiac infarction (the death of some of the heart tissue).

The choice is clear on this point of view. When you have an adult who is capable of making proper choices about the usage of their bodies vs a life form that is not (much like vivisection), there should be no debate at all. Adult stem cell usage should be pursued. Embryonic stem cells should not.

And the death penalty? In a nut shell, capital punishment does not deter crime, and the death penalty is uncivilized in theory and unfair and inequitable in practice. While the debate of where life begins is still in question, death is exact. And when the state has control over a person’s very life-force they MUST be certain of every fact. Sadly, they rarely are. People are fallible and corrupt by nature, and even if one innocent person is put to death on death row it is one too many. The government should hold no dominion over the life or death of ANYONE without their consent no matter what the context.

Furthermore, capital punishment is cruel and unusual, and murder demonstrates a lack of respect for human life- period. For this very reason, murder is abhorrent on any level, and any policy of state-authorized killings is therefore immoral government-sanctioned murder. Not to mention, capital punishment denies due process of law, and also violates the constitutional guarantee of the equal protection of those laws. Not to mention, executions send society the unmistakable message that human life no longer deserves respect when it is useful to take it and that homicide is legitimate when deemed justified by pragmatic means.

After all, reliance on the death penalty obscures the true causes of crime and distracts attention from the social measures that effectively contribute to its control. Plus, capital punishment simply wastes resources. It squanders the time and energy of courts, prosecuting attorneys, defense counsel, juries, and courtroom and correctional personnel- not to mention it is much more expensive than to put a prisoner in prison. And frankly, if you are in favor of “true” punishment- the death penalty lets a murderer off the hook with much more ease than without suffering for their crime.

Simply put, a decent and humane society does not deliberately kill ANY living being no matter who pulls the proverbial trigger, or for whatever reason. Life is life, plain and simple. And if you indeed choose to call yourself such, you must live that principle all the way across the board lest you prove your hypocrisy true. You simply can not pick and choose your convictions like candy from a candy store, and expect to remain credible.

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