Call a life, a life: Decoding the Zika debateSeptember 8, 2016
Right now in Congress, Representatives and Senators are debating funding to fight the Zika virus. This is legislation we need, and the mere fact we are in September without the funding displays the problem when politics gets in the way of people.
That’s right, we’re not talking about a virus or mosquitoes, we’re talking about people. We are talking about pregnant women and their babies. But some politicians would have us think we are not talking about people.
The hold up in the legislation is Planned Parenthood. Republicans want to prevent taxpayer money in the bill from going to abortion clinics. Democrats call this a “poison pill.” Senator Dick Durbin spoke on the Senate floor yesterday, and watch how he phrases the issue:
He just said Planned Parenthood is delivering a good because it allows women who face a pregnancy to “delay” that pregnancy so they wouldn’t give birth to a child with serious problems.
Let’s be clear here. Once a pregnancy has begun, you cannot just delay it. If you interrupt it, you end it. Its called termination for a reason. Senator Durbin is playing word games with abortion. Telling women you can just “delay” a pregnancy without consequences is a lie.
Push aside the political language. The Zika virus has cracked open our conscience about pro-life questions. We are talking about lives. And some are saying that infected babies have lives that are not worth living. See this piece titled, Is terminating a late-term Zika fetus euthanasia?
This law professor argues here that abortion for any reason at any point in pregnancy is morally justified but that so too is euthanasia, read: infanticide.
She says, “Therefore, unlike the case of Down syndrome, when the parents may be choosing abortion despite the fact that a Down syndrome child would be happy and glad to be alive, the decision to terminate the life of a Zika-infected fetus is arguably in the best interests of the fetus itself. Stated differently, it may be that an abortion will spare not only the parents but their child a life that is, in some sense, not worth living. (emphasis added)
Maybe you agree that a Zika infected life is not worth living. What about a pre-born life infected with something else? What about a life of marginal intelligence? What about a baby who is imperfect in some other way? When we start measuring the dignity of someone’s life based on physical attributes, intelligence or anticipated benefit (or burden) to society, where do we stop and who decides?
We need to be prepared to call out this language. Last week, we spoke with March for Life Director Jeanne Mancini and Georgia Life Alliance Director Kristina Twitty. Listen to that show here.
Kristina Twitty addressed this type of talk: “If someone’s inability to speak for themselves or function anymore becomes the measure that we measure someone’s humanity by we start to lose a grip on what is ethical in so many situations.”
“You can get so much light if you start with the premise that every human being is made in the image of God and precious in His sight. There will never be another one like him. There will never be another one like her. And each person has an impact on someone.”
Jeanne Mancini reminds us the pro-life movement in the US is strong, even if out of step with our Supreme Court or some politicians. Even with the Zika virus confronting the public, a recent Maris poll showed eight in ten Americans support abortion restrictions and would limit abortion to the first trimester. Sixty-two percent of that number identify as “pro-choice.”
As we head into the 2016 election, Jeanne notes, it is so important to understand where our political parties stand on abortion. The Democratic Party platform — meaning the official party position— is to do away with the Hyde Amendment, which has been in place since the 1970s and prevents taxpayer funding from supporting abortion. The Democratic platform is uncompromisingly pro-choice.
The Republican Party, conversely, adopted its strongest pro-life platform ever, condemning abortion and its primary provider, Planned Parenthood. The new platform calls for an end to taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and a ban on the use of aborted babies’ body parts in research. These additions strengthened the platform that already supports a human life amendment to the Constitution, recognizing unborn babies as human beings with equal rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. It also opposes taxpayer funding for abortions and groups that do abortions.
Yes, the choice is yours.
As we walk into the voting booth in 2016 and beyond, we need to be wise and to do that, be equipped with the facts. Decode politician speak and unearth the truth beneath.