Abortion – The Positive Side of Wendy Davis’ Attempted Changes to the Definitions in the Abortion Argument
A couple of weeks ago, Wendy Davis announced at a campaign stop at the University of Texas that she is “Pro-Life.” She went on to say that her definition of “Pro-Life” had to do with the feeding and educating of the children that had been already born. She went on to say that she cared about life and that she has a record for fighting for life. Then, in the same breath, she said that she was fighting for and going to continue to fight for a woman’s health. To a lot of us, this was disingenuous, since one of the principle parts of the abortion bill that she filibustered against had everything to do with protecting the woman’s health from less than qualified medical providers.
The good news is that like a bucket of cold water being thrown on a sleeping teenager (no, I have never had to do that to my son), Wendy’s misappropriation of the “Pro-Life” moniker acted as a wakeup call to me. It should be a wakeup call to others who feel about abortion like I do. I am now awakened and will share with others a couple of ideas on we can and should respond to this chicanery.
PART 1 – I am Pro-Life and I am Pro-Rights.
First, if I had been one of the early leaders of the Pro-Life movement, I would not have defined the argument of abortion in terms of being Pro-Life vs. Pro-Abortion. To me, starting the debate with just “it is a life” is giving up too much ground. Ab incunabulis et ab initio, the best argument should have assumed “life” and argued “rights.” Specifically, I would have begun the argument with the statement, “[s]ince we know that life begins at conception, we must discuss when the natural rights of the baby attach.” By taking the position that natural rights attach at conception, we add another layer that our opponents have to refute. I would have then continued the debate by arguing that America’s foundational document, the Declaration of Independence, recognizes that certain natural rights are existing separate and apart from the rights that mankind grants to one another. At least initially, a natural rights argument will throw off the opposition and they will be forced to defend their position that a baby’s natural rights do not attach at birth. Further, a rights argument will further splinter the anti-rights crowd since some who favor abortion rights do not support late term abortion. With a rights argument, you will push the proponent of the abortionists into specifically saying at what point they believe the baby acquires those rights. I would love to see the anti-rights crowd debate this one openly.
As a Pro-Life/Pro-Rights person, I urge others that in the future when discussing abortion with those who favor abortion to ask the question, “When do natural rights attach to a baby and why do you feel that way?” Such a question has the effect of taking the focus off of the woman and on to the baby.