When the Cure is worse than the Disease

You have to feel for this bloke. He’s about my age, and I can say that my worst nightmare would be to know that Alzheimers is breathing down your neck and there’s nothing you can do about it. It is a fear that I sometimes experience in those moments when my memory is particularly vague, or when I find myself wandering around the home looking for where I placed my keys… but that is probably just the early onset of old age.

I must also say that when I read about his decision that this genetic disease “‘stops with me, that’s it”, I thought: You poor brave bastard. I grieve for you in your decision not to have children because of your concern that they might have to endure such suffering (or rather their families – dementia is a disease in which the person who has it does not suffer as much as the people who care for them) – even if such suffering might come after at least half a life-time of normality. I respected his decision. I understood his statement that “I would feel so guilty if I passed this thing on.”

I was grieved for his wife too. I don’t know how young she is, but surely she too thought when she married him that they would be able to look forward to raising a family. Instead she now has to plan for looking after her husband.

But then I read this:

They are trying, so far unsuccessfully, to have children through IVF. A technique called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD, can be used to screen out embryos carrying the bad gene.

Oh dear.

My eight year old daughter, on hearing me explain this story to my wife, quoted Dr Suess: “A person’s a person no matter how small.”

So, we now live in a society where it is seen as ethically unacceptable to bear a child who might (even almost certainly might) have a genetic disease which leads to dementia in the second half of their life, but it is perfectly okay to destroy (ie. end the life of) an embryonic human being who is found to have the genes that will lead to this condition.

I will mention here a fact that came to my attention recently. A student of a local Catholic Secondary College brought home an exercise from her science class in which the class was learning about the genetic causes of Down’s Syndrome. The class was asked to read a newspaper article which bemoaned the fact that despite the availability of pre-natal screening, few expectant mothers were availing themselves of this technology, and hence there were many children being born with the disease who could have been eliminated before birth (that wasn’t, of course, how the article put it, but that is what it said).

The exercise ended, after asking a number of questions about chromozones and what not: “Why is it a good idea that all expectant women have pre-natal testing?

When did we cross this line, folks, when the unthinkable became thinkable?

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57 responses to “When the Cure is worse than the Disease

  1. David we crossed the line when abortion became normal. When doctors fought for the “right” of the woman to vacate her womb of the “contents of conception”. We crossed the line when women decided that “Its my body and I will do what I want with it and I dont want this “thing.” We crossed the line when partial birth abortion was introduced (changed the goal posts of abortion) and very few (except those who work in pro life) really cried out against it. We crossed the line when abortion became legal and a woman’s right only. Fathers have no rights to their child and most of the fathers agreed. We crossed the line when we legalised abortion to 40 weeks, that is, we legalised infantcide. So crossing the line for foetal abnormality should come as no surprise.
    So David we shouldnt be surprised at the line crossing. The slippery slope has been highly polished and is very slippery its easy to get to the bottom fast.
    Anne

  2. Peregrinus

    I doubt that there’s ever been a time when the unthinkable wasn’t thinkable.

    The truth is not that we were more virtuous a hundred years ago; it’s that we didn’t have the technologies of prenatal diagnosis that we have today. And, if we have had them, we didn’t have the safe (to the mother) abortion technologies that we have today. Abortions were fairly dangerous procedures.

    We still had abortions, of coures. Not as many, but I remain to be convinced that that was because of superior moral standards, rather than technical and economic factors. And of course in the past we had much higher rates of things we consider unthinkable today, like infant exposure, child murder and child prostitution.

    If there’s one think Christians should know, it’s that our fallen nature means that we are prone not only to thinking the unthinkable, but do it as well, if we can.

    • But this is something more than abortion – it is, to use your own example, more like infant exposure. But it is worse still – it is done (on the one hand) in the name of preventing suffering of children and (on the other) in the name of getting what I want no matter what the cost!

    • I agree that in all ages mankind is fallen, however:

      And of course in the past we had much higher rates of things we consider unthinkable today, like infant exposure, child murder and child prostitution.

      There would have been less of all these things in Christian countries than in the pagan countries which preceded them though.

      I’d suggest that as The Gospel has less influence in a society, these practices and similar are going to occur more often than when The Gospel had more influence.

  3. Pere safe abortions? for whom? ask the child being aborted if it feels safe?
    I read an article where the founder of ultrasound technology went to his death a sad man because his invention was meant to help babies rather than kill them. And since when is it imperative that abortions be safe for women? abortion made safe so that if a woman wants to kill her child its done in a nice and safe place? Yeah right!!
    I am reminded of one of our infamous Victorian abortionists who said in press “the woman is my only patient” the child she was carrying didnt come into his equeation. Idiot man!!

    • Matthias

      I have been away luxuriating in the Blue mountains. Anne the founder of ultra sound was Ian Donald a Protestant,humble Christian and a great man. As a student midwife at the Mercy maternity,I was able to get a hold of his book ‘practical obstetric problems’ .He was a professor of midwifery at Glasgow. He makes the point on page 29 that the Abortion Act ‘was an attempt to provide safeguards against wanton and indiscriminate abortion ….but these were doomed to failure because of the breadth of interpretation which could be applied to the ACT”.ie abortion on demand,and asa contraceptive.
      A Scottish nurse i know worked with him and called him a lovely Christian man

  4. Peregrinus

    Pere safe abortions? for whom? ask the child being aborted if it feels safe?

    I did specify safe for the mother, Anne. Obviously it’s not safe for the child, but I didn’t think I needed to point that out.

    I read an article where the founder of ultrasound technology went to his death a sad man because his invention was meant to help babies rather than kill them. And since when is it imperative that abortions be safe for women? abortion made safe so that if a woman wants to kill her child its done in a nice and safe place? Yeah right!!

    I didn’t say that it was imperative that abortions be safe for women. I observed that, as a matter of fact, abortions have become safer for women, and that this is probably connected to women’s greater willingness to have recourse to abortion, and society’s greater toleration of that. I don’t really see why this observation should provoke sneering and derision.

    • “observed that, as a matter of fact, abortions have become safer for women, and that this is probably connected to women’s greater willingness to have recourse to abortion, and society’s greater toleration of that.” So its become safer because the abortionists have had much experience (millions per annum) at killing infants in the womb and thus made the procedure “safer” for women. Wow! How advanced has our medical profession become!! Its interesting today vivisection is illegal but human abattoirs thrive. Gee we have, as a society, advanced havent we?

      Anne

      • Peregrinus

        So its become safer because the abortionists have had much experience (millions per annum) at killing infants in the womb and thus made the procedure “safer” for women. Wow! How advanced has our medical profession become!!

        Other way around. Abortion became safer for the same reason that childbirth became safer; improved surgical procedures and diagnostic techniques. And [i]because[/i] abortion became safer, women were more ready to have recourse to it, and more ready to challenge those who would seek to prevent them. With results that we all know about.

        Technical advances are neither good nor bad in themselves. You can use gunpowder to make fireworks or bombs; you can use antisepsis for a safe delivery or a “safe” abortion. But the flip side of that is that you can’t have the possibility of a safe delivery without also creating the possibility of a “safe” abortion.

        My point is that in the past it was not primarily the law which prevented women from having abortions; it was the medical issues and the social attitudes. The law played a comparatively minor role. Now that medical issues and social attitudes are no longer doing that, the pro-life campaign has focussed to a large extent on the law – with, it has to be said, dismal results.

        I think at this stage we need to recognise that we can never go back to a world in which large numbers of women want to have abortions but are prevented by law from doing so. The truth is we never really lived in such world. And today abortion, like adultery and heresy, has moved into the area where, whatever we may think of the morality of those engaged in the practice, as a society we are not generally prepared to use the criminal law against them. I really don’t see any realistic possibility that this is going to change.

        The world we need to build, then, is one in which we don’t have large numbers of women who want abortions. Women, and the communities in which they live, need to opt for life. That’s not going to be easy to bring about, but I don’t think we’re likely to make progress in the required direction by sneering at developments in medical science.

      • Of course, it’s not really all that safe for the mother either.

  5. Tony

    Given Anne’s reaction I enter this with trepidation.

    So, we now live in a society where it is seen as ethically unacceptable to bear a child who might (even almost certainly might) have a genetic disease which leads to dementia in the second half of their life, but it is perfectly okay to destroy (ie. end the life of) an embryonic human being who is found to have the genes that will lead to this condition.

    This observation is only of value if ‘society’ does ‘see’ and embryo as a ‘human being’.

    To me it is just another example of how the ‘framers’ of the abortion discourse do it in ways that contribute to making that discourse intractable.

    • Tony I believe that society does see an “embryo” (baby) as a human being but the same society has been bamboozled by feminist lobby (with its loud strident voice) that a woman has the “right” to decide whether she wants to carry this “parasite” (as “woman” has called her child) or not. It seems that “woman” today is “lord-ess of her body and a child is only a child when SHE wants it. It loses its humanity when she wants to further her career and a child inconveniently attaches it self to her. It loses its humanity when a new car is more important, or the trip or big wedding (and dress wont fit). etc.
      The “wanted ness” factor which the feminist brigade have pushed for has meant death sentence to infants in the womb.
      Did you expect different from me Tony?
      Anne

      • Tony

        Anne,

        I have no ‘expectations’ of you. I don’t know you.

        However, the way you reacted to Pere’s observations illustrates just how intractable the issue becomes when those making the loudest noises — on both sides — are simply not interested in communicating.

        • On this topic Tony I communicate a lot and not in a favoured way.
          Anne

          • To step in here, Tony, I am afraid the issue WILL always be intractable, because those of us who oppose this madness cannot but call it what it is by its very nature, and those who promote and favour this act cannot but hide at all costs that very same true nature. If that is “intractable” and “not interested in communicating”, well, there you go.

            • Tony

              Sorry David ‘… well, there you go’ doesn’t cut it. I believe it is a cop out.

              I know that good people have a different view about abortion. I can’t represent that view because I don’t hold it. I don’t even pretend to understand it, but that doesn’t mean I accept that the issue is intractable.

              The issue, perhaps for a generation or more, has been framed by people who believe they ‘can’t help but’ use language that makes the issue intractable.

              And what has this process achieved? A slow, sustainable liberalisation of abortion laws. So the question is, who benefits by this form of discourse? Unborn children? Apparently not.

              • Tom

                It’s probably a bit of a stretch to suggest that the form of the discourse is what has stopped the defense of unborn children.

                Rather what we have seen is an increasing divorce from action and responsibility. Technology, and various other social forms have slowly lead us to a situation where now, more than ever, we can avoid the consequences of our actions. (There was an article in first things last month or the month before about how modern abortion rights have essentially freed men from ANY legal or social responsibility to their children; their childrens lives are entirely the responsibility of the mother – since she is the one who decided whether or not to abort)

                Abortion, and current social attitudes about sexuality were expected and spelt out in Humanae Vitae. Everyone criticised the Pope for his view on contraception; but the reality is if we disconnect the consequence of sex from sex itself (that is, if we remove the possibility of procreation from the procreative act) then we have begun to strike at our concept of life.

                The notion of what is human is fundamentally connected to where humans come from. The liberalisation of abortion has not come from the discourse on abortion; it has come from the rejection of the sacredness of sex, and the consequence that the product of sex, life, is sacred.

                You are correct, good people can have different opinions about abortion – this does not however exclude the possibility that one of those opinions is wrong. If we as a society are committed to true, honest, rational discourse, then we must be prepared to forsake our opinions if they can be properly demonstrated to be wrong.

                If people refuse to reject abortion because of a desire to retain the freedom from consequence that it affords, then they are no longer interested in rational discouse; they are interested in being children.

  6. Tom

    Ehhhhhh – I’m not generally in favour of New Natural Law however George raises a very compelling point in his Clash of Orthodoxies…

    p1/ If we give any human a right to life, then it is arbitrary to not give all humans a right to life.

    p2/ If we define an adult with full mental, bodily and social capacities as human, then it is arbitrary to define those with the same potentialities as inhuman.

    c1/ Therefore, any attempt to define an embryo, fetus or child at any stage of development as non-human is arbitrary; the line is drawn without reason (that is, a reasonable defense of the line), because if the definition of human is to be acceptable then it must include everyone of the member of homo sapiens.

    c2/ Therefore Abortion is Murder (and should justly be prohibited).

    Now, one could possibly make a separate case for preventing the legal prohibition of abortion on the grounds of a system of Just Laws. This is not, however, nor has it ever been the position of any pro-abortionist.

    Tony, its true what you say, the framers of the debate can lead to difficulties in the argument – and without trying to sound rude, but this is because the pro-abortion side of the argument is incoherent.

    In so far as a human is an individual substance of a rational nature, and as a society we give humans the right to life (that is humans have a right not to be murdered), then abortion is murder. No-one has yet conceived of a definition of being human that still manages to defend the right to life of the living, without also defending the soon-to-be-ex-utero’s right to life.

    It doesn’t matter that fetus’ or embryo’s cannot at present form preferences, be self-aware, etc. Their potentiality is that of a rational nature; their teleology is self-awareness or preferences or whatever facet of intelligibility whichever de rigeour pro-abortionist chooses to acknowledge.

    Now, one could say ‘an abortionist may say the same right back – my position is incoherent’ but my position is not; and quite specifically I can make this claim safely – because pro-abortionists do not make this claim. The claim of pro-abortionists is not that pro-lifers are incoherent, its that they do not give sufficient weight to the rights of mother/father/society in general/expectations etc. etc. Thus rather than being incoherent, I am simply misogynistic, or imperial, or bourgeois or whatever.

    That being said, I would rather be a misogynist, imperious or bourgeois than utterly depraved and incoherent. But the reality is i’m not; these terms are generally used as terms of abuse, rather than terms of true intellectual argument. It’s why serious feminists like Wollstonecraft were anti-abortionist. All the most sensible feminists understood that the true virtue of women was not what made them the same as men, but what made them truly distinct from men.

    Back to the original point Tony, if people are willing to sacrifice coherence, then the argument becomes impossible because you are now dealing with people that literally will not listen to reason. It’s not a question of the ‘framers of the debate making the discourse intractable’ it’s a question of people being willing to sacrifice rationality and coherence in order to defend a position (which is utterly irrational anyway).

    Not to be pugnacious, but in a true spirit of rational discourse Tony, I invite you to demonstrate a position that is pro-abortion, that does not hold a fundamental contradiction. I feel at least reasonably certain that I can demonstrate in philosophical terms that any such position fails on its own merits.

    (NB: Wont accept a position that says even living, fully rational and developed adults can be murdered if it suits us; someone who has disregarded the basic good of life is beyond rational discourse: Basic good here is defined as a good known in itself [per se nota] and indemonstrable [indemonstrabilia].)

    PS. Schutz if you be the arbiter, and you wish the debate to cease I will bow out.

    • No, no, Tom, by all means, keep going. This is good stuff. You have answered Tony very well. I said it shorter (see above), but you said it better. The communication is bound to be intractable when one side uses arguements that incoherant and refuse to call a thing what it is.

      For the rest of our readers, the “George” Tom refers to is “Clash Of Orthodoxies: Law Religion & Morality In Crisis” by Robert P. George. See here: http://www.amazon.com/Clash-Orthodoxies-Religion-Morality-Crisis/dp/1882926625

      • The communication is bound to be intractable when one side uses arguements that incoherant and refuse to call a thing what it is.

        Exactly.

        It also helps to remember that the pro-choice lobbyists are liars.

        And that the MSM are pro-abortion.

        Add that to the selfishness of fallen human beings in a society that says selfishness is just ducky and you’ll find it hard to decrease the number of abortions.

  7. This story is atrocious.

    • Tom

      Then you will like this quote Louise, from St. Bernard of Clairvaux…

      “Some seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge: that is curiosity. Others seek knowledge that they may themselves be known: that is vanity. But there are still others who seek knowledge in order to serve and edify others, and that is charity.”

      (And the addendum from J. Budziszewski)
      The times are dark, and darkening. If ever there was a time for Christian philosophers to exercise such charity, it is now.

      [The Line Through The Heart, 2009, Wilmington USA, pg 22]

      We must engage with the world; we must stand before the world as thinkers and as defenders of the truth. I argued above that the pro-abortion position is a position that is only held together by irrationality. If St Bernard is correct, then our task is clear.

      • Just to be perfectly clear, Tom, are you criticising my remark?

        It is quite true that we must use reason as best as we can and as often as we can in the pro-life cause. However, people such as Peter Kreeft have been doing exactly this for a long time, yet there has been no great shift to the pro-life cause.

        It is not actually possible to reason with people who do not wish to be reasonable themselves. Most pro-choicers are in this camp. That’s the first thing we’re up against.

        That doesn’t mean we should stop trying to communicate with them in a variety of ways, but given that we’re talking about the deliberate killing of human beings, I think we’re more than justified in getting passionate about it. Not only that, but given what we’re fighting for, I’d suggest that always being cool, calm and collected is likely to be counter-productive.

        You set out a very good and logical argument above and you know what the standard pro-choice responses would be?

        1. At the extreme, the response would be “F*** you!” (and the rest)

        2. In the middle, the response would be any one of the following:

        a. you don’t care about babies after they’re born
        b. pro-life nuts kill abortionists
        c. we can’t force women to have babies – what are you – some kind of barbarian?
        d. any amount of mish-mashed guff totally unrelated to your elegant argument.

        • Tom

          I was not criticising you at all; just found a quote that I read about 15 minutes before I read your comment and thought you might like it 🙂 Also that, the atrocity of the story, rather than forcing us to react purely with passion, calls for us to respond more forcefully – we must respond with a fight – to marshal ourselves, to prepare to meet with those who consider life in the womb worthless.

          The very first thing I would say is that abortionists are not, quite specifically NOT pro-choice. The term pro-choice as they ascribe it is utter nonsense; if they are pro anything they are pro-abortion, or pro-death. To be pro-choice means to think merely that people have choices. This is true, I am not trying to take away anyone’s choice, and in point of fact, I cannot. People always retain choice, that’s why we have morality – without choice morality is meaningless. Rather we are discussing what the right choice is. To the rest of your arguments (replying in number)

          1. Be reasonable; you swearing at me is not an argument, and you know it. If you are right, show me how you are right.

          2a. But I do care about babies after they are born. Just because life is difficult does not make it worthless; study is hard, but still worthwhile. Work is hard, and still worthwhile. The worthiness of any of these tasks is never immediately apparent; we have to understand the rewards later. Just the same with being a parent: it is hard, harder than most of the other things you will do in your life, but its rewards are just as, if not more fulfilling than any of these other tasks. It is your baby, and is your responsibility, and if this is not something you can accept, do not kill, put your child up for adoption.

          2b. And pro-abortion become so pro-death they want to kill young children. Clearly, the ‘nutter’ position is not a reasonable one, and neither of us thinks the other belongs to that position. Let us return to reasonableness.

          2c. I do not force women to have babies, any more than I force women to breathe. It is part of the natural order of being human that the procreative act procreates, just as it is part of the act of breathing to sustain breath. We are talking here about the moral rightness of the act of killing children; if you do not wish to have children, it seems that you should not have sex. To pretend the two are not connected is like pretending that breathing doesn’t necessarily oxygenate my blood.

          2d. To any and all unrelated mish-mashed guff I say – let us remember the point! Do you imagine that inside the womb of a mother there is a cockroach? Or a rat? Or some other creature that you would stamp out of existence? Do you imagine YOUR life started as anything other than human? That you somehow gained your humanity at a certain point post-conception? That it would make no more moral difference to your life or your families life if you had been extinguished before the start?

          The last point is rhetorical, but I am just trying to demonstrate that a repeated call to remember that what we are dealing with is not ‘academic’ or ‘intellectual’. Unborn babies are HUMANS – in every respect and in every way. To treat them otherwise is to be irrational, and our (that is the pro-life camp) best argument is to repeatedly call attention to the fact that this is the case. They are human inside the womb, just as we were in the womb at one point, and human as well.

          We are not trying to determine the fate of a morally insignificant being – rather we are dealing with a being loaded with moral significance.

          • Louise

            Hi Tom. I’m just briefly acknowledging your good remarks here. (I’ve been offline for a few days).

            Regards,

  8. Tony

    Tom,

    In some ways the St Bernard quote is exactly what I’m getting at.

    I’m not suggesting for one minute that we surrender or compromise the rationality of our views. What I see in terms of the abortion debate (more so in the US I think) is a debate that is polarized as a kind of ‘culture war’ benchmark.

    There are warriors on both sides who argue vociferously and demonise their opponents.

    In the meantime what you might call the ‘middle ground’ has shifted towards a more liberal view of abortion.

    In this context it is very hard to hear the calm rational arguments that have been presented in this string.

  9. Susan Peterson

    Unless you really think you will change their minds by talking, I don’t see much point in trying to communicate with people who think abortion is ever acceptable. I don’t want to communicate with them, only to defeat them.

    I don’t regard anyone with this view as “a good person.” They may have some good qualities. And none of us is really “a good person,” anyway.
    But in so far as they approve abortion, there is something wrong with their character. Would we worry about ‘communicating’ with those who approved any of the other great slaughters of groups of human beings in human history?

    This is NOT a subject on which good people can disagree.
    Susan Peterson

  10. Susan Peterson

    And no one pointed out that that little exercise about Down’s Sydrome and how all women should have prenatal testing so they can find out and abort their Down’s babies….came home from a
    Catholic school. Someone should call and write to the school principal and complain. If the school is attached to a parish, someone should call and write to the pastor. And someone should write to the Bishop. A Catholic school should not be doing this.
    Susan Peterson

    • Tom

      The problem Susan, is (for want of the word good, let us use reasonable) reasonable people can agree with abortion. Mostly because of ill-education (they have been raised by parents who have told them abortion is acceptable) – these people CAN be talked to. Someone who has just been taught something untrue from their childhood (if they have also been taught that an illogical idea is one that ought to be reappraised) can be talked to and convinced that Abortion is unacceptable, and evil.

      If someone believes in abortion because of a depraved ideology the problem is much worse; and I think this seems to be the experience of most people here. I would take a guess that I am the youngest of the commentators on this blog (at 25), and as a result, most of my discussions about these topics have been with people my own age.

      It’s not too often that I encounter people who are utterly depraved in their ideology and think abortion is a right to be held at all costs, otherwise women are being simply abused and mistreated, or that a fetus/embryo is an ‘infection’ or an ‘illness’ (which are completely counter-intuitive concepts anyway).

      It’s the previous generation that tends to hold this view. Feminism is slowly petering out in my generation; and my generation, if they have been taught about the virtue of good thinking or argument, will usually be prepared to say maybe abortion shouldn’t be a right.

      Not to wish anyone here any ill, but it will be an interesting question of what happens to abortion when the current adult generation dies – while we lose many good people (present company), we will also lose the hangers on from the sexual revolution.

      Of course that will leave us with my generation, who, being raised by a generation from the sexual revolution may well just turn out to be utterly disordered.

      Still, I don’t think it is impossible to discuss abortion rights with people, even people who are radically hostile to such discussion. There must be some common ground from which to discuss.

      What is even better is, the staggering, staggering medical and statistical data that is in agreement with us, such as the increased instance of depression in post abortion women and the sheer physiological damage an abortion actually does.

      More than all the statistical and physiological evidence however, is that we have the advantage of being right; people’s natures cry out against this evil – no-one seriously doubts the wickedness of killing an innocent person. Their conscience screams against the act, and the actor must inevitably shirk, or have his resolve hardened by something overpowering (passion, fear, alcohol, drugs etc.).

      In order to kill an innocent person who is UTTERLY defenseless is depraved, and no pro-abortionist thinks otherwise. Why else do their arguments all rest on the ‘rights of the mother’. Even when they call an embryo or fetus an ‘invader’ or ‘infection’, they say so in relation to the mother; its about protecting the mother. They do this, because they know full well, no-one will give any credence to the call that the baby is an infection, or illness, and deserves to be destroyed in its own right. Anyone who suggests such wickedness will balk at the idea.

      It is the single most powerful tool we have to debate with; to draw the focus again and again to the utter defenselessness and humanity of the baby inside the womb. As Schutz’ daughter said ‘a person’s a person no matter how small’. Reminding people, even hardened abortion lobbyists, of this is the most effective weapon in the arsenal – people who seriously hold to abortion CAN be argued with. They should be argued with. Otherwise this depravity will continue.

      You’re right, the example that has happened in a Catholic school is terrible – but it is also the state of the Church today. I went to a Catholic School; one of the prestigious independent Catholic Schools in Sydney – I was also taught to use contraception. Catholic Schools are running seriously low on any good resources they can use to combat this tide, mostly because there aren’t enough serious Catholics who teach who can hold all the positions at Catholic Schools. If the teachers haven’t been properly formed, and they think abortion/contraception is acceptable, then why would they teach differently? I don’t intend to get into a debate about the state of Catholic Education – but just to point out that we can argue with pro-abortionists, and that we have the weapons to do so. The single best book I’ve read, which is not overly philosophical (but still serious in its philosophy) or written in obtuse language is J. Budziszewski’s “What We Can’t Not Know” – if you want some ideas on how to argue the pro-life side, this is an excellent excellent book.

  11. Tony

    I don’t want to communicate with them, only to defeat them.

    Brevity is the soul of wit and this says in so few words what concerns me about the abortion ‘debate’.

    • It shouldnt concern you Tony it should be what you would want too, isnt it?
      Defeating of this death culture mentality?
      Defeating the lies which have been promulgated in the last 40 years. Defeating and silencing the voices which have changed tghe woman’s magnificent role (mother) into one in which it has become a burden.
      Defeating the voices which have convinced society that an infant in the womb is not “human” and therefore it became possible to abort up to birth.
      Defeating the voices which have called partial birth abortion “good” (cranial crushing to kill the child)
      Defeating the voices which have demanded death to children and to the future.
      Tony this should be what should be concerning you and not the kind of debate that it is.
      There is no debate to be had in regard to abortion.
      Abortion means the killing (legal or illegal) of a human person. It is infanticide and nothing less.
      Anne

      • Indeed. It would be like having a debate about the merits or otherwise of paedophilia (which currently seems to be about the only thing left that nearly everyone agrees on).

        Have we noticed anyone “debating” paedophilia?

        • Tony

          OK Anne and Louise, no ‘debates’, no ‘communication’ just ‘defeating’.

          How do we go about that?

          • become a loud voice for life. Call abortion what it is the killing of a baby. Never use the same language that the pro aborts use. dont sanitise the procedure. Abortion means the killing of a pre born infant.
            Speak about the lifelong wounds to the mother, father society. speak loudly about the pain experienced by the woman. Be descriptive about the pain the baby endures and the pain the mother endures for the term of her life.
            Be vocal at every opportunity about the wrong ness of abortion. challenge every pro abort and their ethos and become INVOLVED FOR LIFE.
            Anne

            • Tony

              In other words Anne, more of the same.

              A few vocal people SHOUTING at each other — fiercely determined not to communicate — while, in the middle somewhere, people are alienated from the war and there is a movement towards more tolerance of abortion.

              It’s a great tactic. Everything is black and white. You not only push aside those who are pro-choice, but anyone who doesn’t agree with your way of doing things because, in your eyes, they’re just as bad.

              • Tony, there cannot be coloured or grey in relation to abortion. surely you see that. Surely there is no time when abortion is good or negotiable.
                Surely there is no common ground on this matter. We pro lifers have no common ground with pro aborts. No matter how hard we try to find common ground there is none because the discussion always involves a dead pre born child of whatever gestation. The end result is always the same. dead baby. What is there to discuss?
                I am not even bringing in religion I am saying that always the result is a dead child.
                Anne

                • Tony

                  There is grey Anne. There is the majority of people who are neither solidly pro-choice or pro-life.

                  In the ‘if you’re not with us, you’re against us’ atmosphere generated by the zealots on both sides, the possibility of common ground is, indeed, not possible.

                  Again, has this atmosphere helped unborn children? Has it created a move towards less abortions?

                  It seems to me that the way the abortion ‘war’ is conducted has, for decades, been just fine by the pro-choice zealots. All they have to do is keep the issue ‘on the boil’ — and they can rely on pro-life zealots to help in that project — and over time the path of least resistance (more liberalisation) will apply.

                  That project looks to have no sign of ending anytime soon.

                  It seems you’re like those stereotypical Aussie tourists that make no effort to learn a foreign language (I mean, why would you?). Your solution to a lack of understanding is simple: speak louder.

                  • Tony I know three languages.
                    Tony lets all remain silent while the killing goes on. It will make the pro aborts not want to abort any more. Lets all sit down and discuss nicely the clean and sterile topic of abortion. Lets all over a beer speak about the sensitivities of both sides. Lets all not make loud noices after all its unproductive and its unsophisticated. etc etc etc.
                    Tony you need to be as you are and I need to do what I do and keep doing it. I personally have saved about 11 babies by my useless methods. How many have you?
                    Anne

                    • Tony

                      I have not suggested ‘keeping silent’ nor have I questioned anyone working at the ‘coalface’ of this issue: women considering abortion.

                      So you can distort my argument all you like and point to small victories (which are magnificent!), but my concern is with the way the bigger picture abortion issue is handled and that while the shouting’s been going on abortions are more numerous.

              • Tony I am not sure if this will work but if it does please watch the “color” and show me where there is common ground.
                Anne

        • Not really Louise because paedophilia involves children who can be seen they are not invible and there “non human” as according to Roe v Wade.
          Anne

  12. Tony have increased and will continue to increase because of apathy and “niceness” by the population who wants to “discuss” the issue.
    Tony abortion means killing children!! there should be a need to discuss anything. The reason for the millions of abortions pa is because “good people stay silent”
    Tony we cannot negotiate with pro aborts because we are negotiating about the killing of children. What is it you dont understand about this?
    Abortion means the killing of children!!! nothing else. If the same child was being smacked on the backside by its mother she would be arrested for child abuse, but the same child can be willed to be killed by the same mother and thats acceptable. Tony wake up!! there is and cannot be be common ground on this matter.
    The moment pro lifers sit at table we are compromising “Life”.
    Tony stop you practice of “debating” there is nothing to debate.Anne

  13. Tony

    Tony stop you practice of “debating” there is nothing to debate

    Done

  14. matthias

    Strewth ,i can only concur with all of the above. However i can remember speaking severely to a Doctor who was undertaking an abortion-all the Catholic nurses had left theatre and i was there,really not wanting to be but i was told-“all us Micks are leaving this one to you the lone Proddy”. great. So i had to set up,unscrub and then assist the anaesthetist. I said to the doctor- ‘i am really get sick and tired of being used as a contraceptive” “What do you mean “M’?” I mean Dr that she has been here 6 months ago. for the same operation .Do you give her counselling or tell her to perhaps not indulge??!!” very sheepishly “yes”.”Well it is not working”

    • Tony

      I’m not sure what you’re concurring with Matthias. There are 42 comments ‘above’.

    • Matthias, when its multiple abortions then we are talking about something else. Usually there is some other trauma underlying the abortions.
      But you are right, abortion has become another form of contraception. If at last minute change of mind then get rid of it. Now in Victoria it doesnt matter when one changes their mind there is enough time till a few minutes before birth. So long as head not visible then its not a baby and therefore abortable.
      And we are supposed to debate nicely arent we. We are supposed to negotiate and sit at same table. Bull……manure.
      Anne

      • Tony

        And we are supposed to debate nicely arent we. We are supposed to negotiate and sit at same table. Bull……manure

        Yes, we are. You are, for example, speaking ‘nicely’ to someone (Matthias) who was, apparently, had a part in an abortion.

        The bottom line is that I think we are to act as though dialogue is always possible.

        But Pope Paul VI expresses is much better than I in Ecclesiam Suam:

        81. Dialogue, therefore, is a recognized method of the apostolate. It is a way of making spiritual contact. It should however have the following characteristics:

        1) Clarity before all else; the dialogue demands that what is said should be intelligible. We can think of it as a kind of thought transfusion. It is an invitation to the exercise and development of the highest spiritual and mental powers a man possesses. This fact alone would suffice to make such dialogue rank among the greatest manifestations of human activity and culture. In order to satisfy this first requirement, all of us who feel the spur of the apostolate should examine closely the kind of speech we use. Is it easy to understand? Can it be grasped by ordinary people? Is it current idiom?

        2) Our dialogue must be accompanied by that meekness which Christ bade us learn from Himself: “Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” (56) It would indeed be a disgrace if our dialogue were marked by arrogance, the use of bared words or offensive bitterness. What gives it its authority is the fact that it affirms the truth, shares with others the gifts of charity, is itself an example of virtue, avoids peremptory language, makes no demands. It is peaceful, has no use for extreme methods, is patient under contradiction and inclines towards generosity.

        3) Confidence is also necessary; confidence not only in the power of one’s own words, but also in the good will of both parties to the dialogue. Hence dialogue promotes intimacy and friendship on both sides. It unites them in a mutual adherence to the Good, and thus excludes all self-seeking.

        4) Finally, the prudence of a teacher who is most careful to make allowances for the psychological and moral circumstances of his hearer, (57) particularly if he is a child, unprepared, suspicious or hostile. The person who speaks is always at pains to learn the sensitivities of his audience, and if reason demands it, he adapts himself and the manner of his presentation to the susceptibilities and the degree of intelligence of his hearers.

        82. In a dialogue conducted with this kind of foresight, truth is wedded to charity and understanding to love.

        How often are we called to this? ’70 X 70′ times is the current requirement I think.

        • Sorry Tony cant quote from any of my books (stored for about 4-6 weeks) for house renovations and repairs.
          Tony we have debated ad nauseum this issue. I wish I could remember it well but in Spe Salve Facti Sumus BXVI says something important about the victim and purpotrator not sitting at the same table (in after life) again sorry I cant recall the exact quote and I cant lay hands on the encyclical. I just remember the the sentence.
          I cannot dialogue with a pro abort because our beliefs (baby v bunch of cells) are so different. I cannot give in an inch and neither can a radical rpo abort.
          Anne

          • Tom

            But Anne,
            You can still dialogue with the radical pro abortionist – uncover their own dis ingenuity. If someone really thinks a baby is just a bunch of cells, then they think all humans are a bunch of cells. Which means a living, thinking, preference forming human has as little right to life as the unborn.

            This is patently not what the abortionist thinks. They think they, and those like them DO have rights. It is only through dialogue that one can point out that it is irrational not to extend those rights beyond their own group.

            I don’t mean to sit here and go through the various examples, just to point out generally that rational dialogue should always be our aim.

            The common ground here is not finding something about abortion that is agreed upon, but finding something about being reasonable that we agree upon.

            We agree that ideas that are given political force should be reasonable, and not incoherent. No-one thinks that welfare payments should be given to James Packer while being denied to a single mother living in poverty. Not because ‘it just is that way’ but because we recognise it as inherently irrational.

            This is why we must dialogue.

            • Tom please continue the dialogue no one suggests that dialogues cease however in my years and years and years of experience in this field dialogue with a pro abort ends up on the ground. Very often the pro abort will be so utterly convinced in their idea that rarely will the ideas change.
              You have seen the intransigence recently in the change of Victorian laws.
              Slowly stack the parliament with Emily’s list members, (this was said out loud Joan Kirner at the change of victorian law “we have waited and worked for years for this) until its possible to pass a law which says babies up to 40 weeks may be terminated with the signature of two “doctors” (abortionists).
              Tom will I dialogue with them? NO NO NO.
              You can please but I can’t I have to fight this battle as I see fit for me.
              The small “victories” Tony speaks about are important to me.
              Have a good day dialogueing.
              Anne

    • Arabella

      Matthias you wrote:
      “but I was told- ‘all us Micks are leaving this one to you the lone Proddy’.”

      Was this a Catholic hospital?

  15. Matthias

    Sorry Anne but the patient in question was not having the abortion for another trauma,purely because she had “made a mistake again”
    Tony ,i may have inferred being aggro ,but i was being very polite,as he was,but nevertheless he seemed to always be doing abortions on patients who had been with us before,if you get my drift

    • Matthias when I say another trauma, I dont mean an accident or something like that I mean past emotional traumas. Multiple abortion usually is a self punishment regime devised by the girl/woman for maximum pain. It can also be a cry for help.
      Multiple abortions always, always always is a sign of something very painful and unspoken and unresolved.
      Anne

      • Tony

        Anne,

        If what you’re saying is ‘I can’t dialogue with them’, that’s one thing. I make no judgement about that.

        If you’re saying, on the other hand, we (read: those who support a pro-life position) shouldn’t dialogue with them, then I take issue with you.

        I think we have to in terms of a fundamental Christian obligation and because it’s the only way to break the gridlock that is allowing for more liberalisation.

        Again, just for the sake of clarity, when I use the term ‘small victory’ I’m not ascribing a small value.

        • Tony you need to do as you see fit for you.
          My intimate knowledge of their (pro aborts) thought and behaviour ensures that I dont dialogue.
          My small victories were hard fought and battled for. One of those “victories” that I batted for, later was to become my precious God son and his sister likewise.
          Another of those victories comes to visit his “auntie Anne” (not real auntie) on his birthday.
          So my hard work has been beautiful.
          Anne