END THE SILENT SECOND HOLOCAUST
Terminate Abortion, not Pregnancy
Published: December 14, 2015. Refresh this page for latest version.
Concepts, terminology, and language (c) 2015 Vincent Frank De Benedetto. Use permitted with no changes and full name and website attribution.
Abortion refers to the killing of a human organism or being at any stage of growth prior to birth, starting at conception, whether emergent, referring to a general initial stage of growth when the organism remains tiny, even miniscule, or obvious, when these tiny brothers and sisters are so developed that we readily identify them as "babies."
One of my first courses at Seton Hall University was Introduction to Political Science, and in that class I learned that one of the first objectives and promises of the state to its citizens is the protection of life. I can't help but recall this in my continuing acquaintance with, and self-education on, the issue of abortion.
Abortion is legal in roughly 3/4 of the world. Thus, as the mass murder of a group of human beings of monumental number was suffered by humanity at the hands of the Nazis about seventy years ago, roughly the same kind of phenomenon is occurring around the world now, including the United States, except in far greater numbers. In other words, there is a second holocaust occurring. It is happening right now, this minute, one minute ago, and one minute hence. Roughly 42 million abortions, that's 42 million brothers and sisters in our human family killed, are performed each year globally according to the Population Reference Bureau. As you read this, at this moment, one or more brothers and sisters are being killed deep in a womb, using one of several grisly methods. Emerging humans of every age and stage are being killed, including many with a level of development, and physical characteristics, suggesting, if not clearly denoting them as early babies. The images would shock you, which is why I ultimately recommend seeing, looking, more than talking and discussing, in attempting to negotiate this problem for yourself, and your society.
Pictured below is an eight week old embryo; in plain English, a very young and tiny brother or sister in our human family!
That's you and me that you're looking at!
Abortion is not a matter of the government telling women what to do. In fact, the entity in question is not the government at all, it's the state, which is the entity ultimately controlled by us, the entire populace, and with whom we enter into the social contract. The first and overriding purpose, and promise to citizens, of the social contract is to protect their lives. This promise extends to all humans, not just those outside the womb.
The mandate to prevent abortion, then, is not about the government, it's about the state, a conceptual entity that supersedes any particular government, and our relationship with, and to, this entity and the mutuality thereto.
Another way to view this is that in denying abortion it's not the government telling women what to do, it is, we would hope, a shared social consensus by our society.
Similarly, neither is it a matter of a patriarchy or a patriarchal tendency telling women what to do, as discussed, below.
Moreover, all these kinds of arguments are abstractions, obfuscating the reality that for every moment abortion remains legal, thousands of emergent humans are sucked out of their mother's womb with a vacuum device, starved of required growth chemicals through use of the abortion pill, or chemically soaked in salt or another termination agent until they are dead, and then pulled out of the womb with special forceps. In some cases the fetus is extracted from the womb before the individual is dead.
Senator Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for United States president for 2016, has referred to the great difficulty and weight of the decision as to whether to abort or not. But Senator Sanders concludes that it must be the decision of the mother. Senator Sanders is absolutely incorrect, however: the decision regarding whether to abort is not difficult at all. It's as easy as proverbial pie--you just don't do it. You simply don't pull a developing human being from their mother's body, their growth environment. In other words, you don't kill another human being. No civilized society would permit this.
Abortion is not a necessary evil--its worse: it's an unnecessary evil.
If male was the gender that became pregnant, not female, and thus men were the group claiming control over their own bodies in regard to abortion, my opinion would be unchanged, precisely what it is now, for this issue has nothing to do with control, whether deliberate or inadvertent, of a gender-specific group. The issue is that we simply cannot have a society that permits the killing of emerging humans in the womb, beings that within weeks of conception are plainly recognizable as human, and within months are clearly recognizable as, and indeed are, babies.
Any society that permits such killing of its most vulnerable humans, especially given that in the overwhelming majority of cases it isn't absolutely necessary, is a patently immoral one, presuming that its citizens consider murder, or at least unnecessary killing, immoral.
Limitations of Language
Though a writer, in this case I must say stop using language, because in this case it's being used to obfuscate, ala' phrases like “reproductive rights.” If society grants the "right" to kill, en masse, the most vulnerable humans among us, this is a society that's in big trouble. As our global society is, today: whether the taking of life by individual killers as happens every other day now in America, or by organized groups like ISIS as happens regularly around the globe, the world today is characterized by a wholesale disregard for human life. The perceived right to kill the yet-born is easily seen as part of this disregard. All of it must end.
Moreover, an equivocal or ambiguous aspect of the use of language regarding abortion is that the phrase reproductive rights, while referring to the right to elect for abortion or not (the so-called "right to choose"), and noble-sounding to some, actually obscures the reality that abortion, if chosen, is not about reproduction, but the termination of reproduction. So the noble, just, and magniloquent-sounding phrase "reproductive rights" at first blush can be very misleading. Bear this in mind in terms of the subtle effect that language may be having on you, as you attempt to negotiate this critical human, indeed literally existential, issue.
In studying an issue always pay close attention to language, for it is a potent weapon in the hands of those skilled in wielding it.
In terms of my own advocacy of any issue, I don't recommend that language be used as a weapon, but simply used accurately, honestly, and fairly, such that the ideas, themselves, can make their own argument, and rise or fall on their own terms.
Course of Development
In general terms, as I understand it so far, a human life follows the following course:
Fertilized egg (i.e. "zygote"), to a small initial grouping of human cells that have grown (i.e. "blastocyst"), to a being that, while tiny, is clearly starting to appear human (i.e. "embryo"), to a progressively larger and more developed being that is clearly a human being (i.e. "fetus,") to a fully and readily recognizable infant human, called a "baby." There is no difference between the human being just after birth, outside the womb, and that same human being just before, inside the womb.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines zygote as a:
"fertilized egg cell that results from the union of a female gamete (egg, or ovum) with a male gamete (sperm). In the embryonic development of humans and other animals, the zygote stage is brief and is followed by cleavage, when the single cell becomes subdivided into smaller cells."
The zygote represents the first stage in the development of a genetically unique organism. The zygote is endowed with genes from two parents, and thus it is...carrying two sets of chromosomes.... The zygote contains all the essential factors for development... that...exist solely as an encoded set of instructions..."
WiseGeek.com, a knowledge site that I find consistently accurate and authoritative (far better than eHow.com, which I do not recommend) defines blastocyst as:
"A blastocyst is a cellular mass that forms early in the process of embryo development in mammals. In humans, this stage of embryogenesis occurs five days after fertilization, when there are fewer than 100 cells in the mass. At this stage of development, the embryo has not yet implanted in the uterus."
In other words, again according to WiseGeek.com:
"A blastocyst is a fertilized egg which has divided, but still contains few than 100 cells." [sic]
The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines embryo as:
"...the unborn child until the end of the seventh week following conception; from the eighth week the unborn child is called a fetus."
Pro-abortion advocates will sometimes argue that in the blastocyst stage the entity is simply "a clump of cells." Yes, at that stage the human is in a very early stage of development and can be taken as a "clump of cells"--if one wishes to view a nascent and emergent human life so carelessly and disrespectfully.
Even so, though arguably a "clump of cells," it's a clump of human cells, of this there can be no disagreement, that after starting as an egg from a human woman and being fertilized by the sperm of a human man, has begun its process of human development. This is why it's a clump of cells--it's beginning to grow.
...into a human!
Moreover, it is generally only a woman desiring an abortion, or those attempting to similarly persuade her, who will elect to dismiss the being inside her in its very early stage of growth as merely a "clump of cells." Women electing to remain pregnant and conceive their child are more inclined to experience and enjoy a critical difference in perspective, understanding and viewing the cellular organism inside her as the beginning of life--her baby's life.
It can't one day be a clump of cells so insignificant and irrelevant that it can be readily terminated, simply because the mother doesn't want to be pregnant, while five years later when the mother is ready to be pregnant this same entity is suddenly no longer merely a clump of cells--in fact this phrase would be a insult coming from any non-family member--but is now lovingly considered instead "my baby," "the start of my baby," or some similarly loving phrase and notion clearly indicating reverence and attachment.
Make up your mind. Your "clump of cells" is one or the other: insubstantial and irrelevant enough to kill, or, human, substantial, and actualizing enough not only to retain and nurture--but to give birth to a short time later as a human being. It can't be both, and to try to consider it so is disingenuous and obfuscating.
It's my Party and I'll do What I Want to
What of the notion, assertion, and indeed claim by some women that abortion involves their body, which they and they alone must control? "It's my right," they assert.
Women certainly can and indeed must control their own bodies and reproduction, and if they are diligent in their approach to birth control they are exercising such control.
Additionally, yes, women should have the right to control their own body. However, the little fact conveniently ignored or unrealized is that once pregnant, a second body is now present--and it's not the mother's. Since this second body and its imminent life cannot initially pronounce its own interests and preferences, as no child can, another human being must intercede on its behalf—and killing it is an obviously unacceptable intervention.
Moreover, insofar as women want to control their own bodies, they can--by electing to avoid sex that can find them impregnated. And by making proper use of birth control. Women can and should control their bodies before electing to have intercourse.
I also note that in our socio-medical history one doesn't always have control of one's body. This same pro-"choice" woman who rails against someone else controlling her body, would likely thank the stars above that, when she's rolled into the Emergency Room on a stretcher at her local hospital after suffering a car crash, there will be not merely one person "controlling her body," but an entire medical team in explicit "control" of her body to save her. Shall she remain in sole "control" of her body, then?
She'd likely agree that there are times when remaining in sole control of one's body may be inappropriate or inadvisable. "But," she may protest, "In your example there's an emergency, so of course I'd give up control of my body for a period of time."
"Really?" I'd counter, "How would you characterize the emergency?"
"My life is in danger!" she'd likely reply, aghast.
"Yes, I agree--and so is the life of the emerging human that you want the right to kill."
Not a Baby
Advocates of abortion often argue that the being in the womb is "not a baby." Below is a graphic, with actual photos of yet-born humans, along with standard pro-abortion arguments. Every single argument is easily countered; some of those counter-arguments are present here, at this website. I'll simply say for now that it's true that neither a fertilized egg, nor an initially developing human ("blastocyst"), nor a more developed being that, though tiny, possesses some basic human characteristics and is starting to appear human ("embryo"), nor the being undergoing the initial stage of post-embryonic development ("fetus") is a baby, as such. But through all of these growth stages the organism is clearly still a developing human life, what else could it be, which, during its later stages of fetal development looks alarmingly like what it essentially is at that point--a baby.
As clearly implied by the graphic below, this group of pro-abortion advocates, and likely others, are arguing that one minute before birth a fetus is not a baby, while one minute afterward, it is. This is obviously absurd.
#1, above, is confused and problematic for several reasons, and factually incorrect. The entire enumerated statement confuses the fetus with the blastocyst. It is a blastocyst that might be disrespectfully and inappropriately considered a clump of cells--not a fetus. In fact, "fetus" refers to the last stage of growth and development of the emerging human, when it is most decidedly not just an undifferentiated cell grouping, but a recognizable human being. So these young misguided brothers and sisters, look how determined they appear in their photo, have it wrong within the first two sentences of their very first enumerated point, #1 above. Right out of the starting gate they don't know what the hell they are talking about.
Enumerated point #1 also asserts, incorrectly, that the life, "aliveness," or living character of the fetus is no different than the living character of any other cell in a woman's body. This is obviously a ridiculous and short-sighted view. The cells that comprise the blastocyst are qualitatively different than any other cell in a woman's body, because this particular grouping of cells, blastocyst cells, comprise the formation of another human being. The intellectual mediocrity behind such a view is striking.
While the blastocyst is a grouping of cells, the fetus, marked approximately by the eighth week of development, takes on clearly human characteristics. And the fact of the function of fetal progenitor of the blastocyst (i.e. the fact that it is the blastocyst that the fetus has developed from), elevates the blastocyst in importance. This organismic entity that is "...nothing but a clump of cells..." according, at least, to the particular group of abortion advocates responsible for the pro-abortion circular, above, resolves in actuality to a key elemental driver of early human development. See the fetus pictured, above. Once these characteristics appear, there is simply no mistaking what this organism is--a human being. Another human being besides its mother; another with a body and life apart from its mother. Though its mother temporarily remains its developmental bridge, the new being has its own eyes, ears, feet, spine, and other organs and attributes, thus making it impossible, save ideological exclusion, to mistake what this creature is in zoological classification. As a new and separate being, the socio-existential rules regarding how one human being comports itself in relation to another apply. The first of which rules states, of course, that one human being shall not kill another.
We might make the simple, commonsense argument that if we're unsure as to whether any of the initial stages of human development enjoyed by the organism in question make it human or not, we should simply, and obviously, err on the side of caution, by making the assumption that it is life, rather than making the assumption in the negative, which would then justify killing it.
Pro-abortion advocates should also apply the universals test that Philosophy teaches: would you want the ethic of abortion, which is that killing is acceptable as long as you decide to do it for reasons you consider satisfactory, applied to other areas of life? For example, what if your husband, or even your next-door neighbor, could decide if you should be killed, based on their convenience or set of reasons? Based on the ethic of abortion, why shouldn’t they?
This is essentially the power that we are handing over to individual women in keeping abortion legal.
The abortion industry is an ugly business and in recent months this has become clear, if not transparent. The reality of fetuses harvested to sell their body parts has come to light, for example, along with many other repulsive patterns and individual incidents surrounding the killing of pre-born, or unborn, brothers and sisters. The argument is made that abortions are not being performed to supply fetal tissue, but since they're being performed anyway we may as well use them. The obvious response to this is simply to assert the notion in law that the use of human parts constitutes, or is akin to, rotten fruit from a poisonous tree. The poisonous tree, obviously, is the abortion.
Visit LifeNews.com and browse the various articles of even the last two months and see what I mean. But don't do it on a full stomach--it's not pleasant. Life News comes from an explicitly religious perspective, which I don't, but its publishers and supporters are dedicated to eliminating the scourge of abortion, which I am. I find their resources and reporting on this "issue" invaluable. I place the word issue in quotations because I don't think that mass-murder of literally the most vulnerable humans on the planet is an "issue." More like genocide.
So visit their site or find and utilize similar resources. While not initially pleasant, it must be done. Which is simply to say that when humans hurt humans, especially when humans hurt particularly vulnerable humans, and most especially when humans hurt large numbers of particularly vulnerable humans, we cannot fail to act. We're all brothers and sisters in one human family, and we must nurture and protect each other. We're all brothers and sisters, this includes those humans outside the womb, as well, obviously, as those humans inside the womb. Why would it exclude them? I personally also consider physically deceased humans part of our human family, as well.
To this writer: if you are, were, or are about to be born as human--you are a member of our One Human Family.
Moreover, each of us came from a womb. None of us would have wanted to be aborted. Thus, the aborted? They are us. When you kill a human embryo, or fetus, you metaphorically and symbolically kill--yourself.
So, with diligence, persistence, resolution, and creativity, though nonviolently: take action immediately. And remember that the sisters seeking abortions and the brothers and sisters providing them are not the enemy. They are members of our human family just as are the yet-born; they are simply fatally misguided brothers and sisters. We must love them whilst, and as, we love our yet-born family kin.
Regarding violence perpetrated upon abortion clinics and providers, remember brothers and sisters: as critical as it is to eliminate abortion, if we harm providers because we think the circumstance requires it, we become them--because this is precisely their rationale and justification for their performance of abortion.
Reframing the language of this debate is necessary for clarity and resolution. Here are the terms the use of which I recommend a sharp de-emphasis of, followed by an initial suggestion for more accurate, or certainly more morally appropriate, replacement terminology:
So this Thing You're Killing has a Heart
Most abortions are performed during the first trimester, in other words during the first three months of pregnancy. However, some are performed later. Of these, Planned Parenthood states:.
In later second-trimester procedures, you may also need a shot through your abdomen to make sure that the fetus's heart stops before the procedure begins. Your health care provider will inject a numbing medication into or near your cervix. Medical instruments and a suction machine gently empty your uterus.
Oh--so the being to be killed has a heart? It seems to me that Planned Parenthood just acknowledged that the being in question is 1.) human and 2.) alive.
And, "Gently empty your uterus"? Empty it of what?
What--or whom--are we gently emptying from your uterus? Why do they omit specific mention or explanation of this?
I think that we all know the answer to these questions.
The group that created the graphic above appear to tie what they see as the emancipatory nature of abortion, to the endeavor for a larger human liberation. All things considered, does Humankind need a revolution?
It does. We, do. Humankind is in desperate need of a revolution of the interior, the heart, and the exterior, capitalism, which is the present global economic structure. Without a corresponding revolution of the latter, a revolution of the heart will necessarily be limited, because the normal operation of capitalism determines the character of the heart, and mind, in overwhelming measure. We effect a dual revolution or no revolution at all. If you find the just-mentioned notion "determines" too extensive and categorical, feel free to substitute the notion "influences." They are roughly equivalent notions, in terms of the reality of their effect. Notably, later in life Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., himself, became increasingly focused on economic matters, and recognized the need for a revolution of both the heart, and the economy, in asserting:
"...power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic."
-- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
An adult life lived under capitalism, in concert with even a brief exposure to the excessively violent and cruel events, especially as regards terrorism presently reported on the evening news, is all that most of us need, to illustrate the need for revolution. And we know that no established mainstream political party, notably including Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, and Green, can rectify the palette of social and economic problems caused by the twin evils of profit and ego, because these parties all advocate the continuation of capitalism, which is the problem in the first place. It's the problem in the first place because it generates just about every manner of social and economic, including environmental, ill through its normal operation.
We must have a revolution, albeit peaceful and democratic, to create a fundamentally new kind of society. But, in contradistinction to the perspective of the group, above, keeping abortion legal has absolutely nothing to do with such a change; it is neither required to preface a larger revolution, nor would a revolution necessarily subsume it. The right to abortion is not an existential or revolutionary right. It is not a right on par with the right of a people to declare their independence from an oppressor government, or the right to free speech, free movement, or a jury trial. And it will not, because it can not, serve any kind of emancipatory role for women. In fact, far from making abortion legal, making it illegal would be far closer to creation or preservation of an overarching human right, as only making it illegal assures the most revered and fundamental right of all: the right to live, to survive, to not to be killed by someone or something.
And turning women into killers, who misunderstand both the nature of the being temporarily existing within their bodies, and the real nature, and thus cause, of their own exploitation, reverts them and society back two spaces on the socio-existential chess board. Regarding women, specifically, an incorrect argument about abortion is a true source of their degradation as well as a counter-revolutionary phenomenon, because it does turn them into killers, and does obfuscate in their own minds who and what is actually causing their suffering. Women suffer for the same reasons that everyone suffers: their entire socio-economic environment exists and operates for, and according to, the rules of the accumulation of profit, as much as possible as fast as possible, and a corresponding phenomenon, human ego.
As revolutionaries, it is imperative that we understand the true cause of the pain and exploitation we are trying to overcome, and in the case of our sisters in our human family, an inability to secure the death of the emerging human inside them obviously has no bearing upon this pain.
The reasons that women sometimes feel that they want or need an abortion are relevant to why we need a revolution. Their reasons and point-of-view are often based on, and illustrate, the multiple dead-ends that capitalism permanently emplaces; for example, an impoverished woman becomes pregnant in her desperation to find something that she can "call her own," and that can define her in positive terms, which in fact is why some young women become pregnant, but discovers that she really can't afford maternal status, after all, financially or emotionally. So while the reasons for seeking an abortion can be relevant to acquisition of a revolutionary understanding of people and society, the legal right to actually obtain an abortion, is not, and has nothing to do with our revolutionary task.
Killing our tiny, vulnerable brothers and sisters in the womb, by definition cannot comprise an act of liberating us toward a more loving and human society.
Maybe We Should Rethink this
If the sister contemplating abortion suddenly had a $1 million drop into her lap, thereby instantly reframing her entire existence for her, including the degree to which she could now liberate herself from patriarchal, statist (i.e governmental), or indeed any injurious force, and also received a bit of education as to what abortion actually is and does, and that there are alternatives such as adoption, I daresay that most such sisters would reverse course and opt against abortion, and would fairly readily find this new decision, this shift, the proper and obvious course. Which is to point, in decisive measure, to the reality of economics as a key factor in how people view the, and their, world, and thus the decisions that they feel to be appropriate. Karl Marx taught us this, but if he hadn't, surely someone else would have, for in the modern world it's a fairly obvious truth.
I advocate finally building the Brotherhood of Man, the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Humanity, if you prefer, especially in the latter day (i.e. now) in view of just how latter our day has become, given the rise of ISIS and other social elements and phenomena that are at once generated by, and themselves further generate and strengthen, a socio-economic dynamic that grows directly from, and in the context of, the fabric of an essentially nonloving global society. The group above that created the illustration, and those who advocate, perhaps stated best not "Communism," as they term it, whatever this label means in its various historical interpretations, but "commune-ism," which linguistic construction expresses in elevated form that which is its heart: a recast of society congruent with the ideas and ideals of the commune--the most potent and important of which, of course, is brotherly love (or in Greek, Agape, pron. "ugg AH pay").
If you agree with this, and you possess a clear and proper understanding of love, you have just announced your repudiation of abortion. Because if love is our overriding principle and thus, we'd presume, praxis, then we simply cannot take any chance that by aborting a living human organism we are injuring it. If there is even the chance that the human organism at any stage of its in vivo development is human, alive, is or even can be considered a brother or sister in our human family, or can feel any sort of pain or even discomfort, then generally speaking and in most cases we simply cannot permit its abortion, which is to say, its killing. Such a practice must then be explicitly and wholly repudiated for all yet-born human organisms, since if any of these criteria apply to one they can, and likely would, apply to all yet-born.
It is critical that we properly understand, or at least predicate, the meaning of human. For the task of human liberation suffers a distortion and practical reversal in proportion to our misunderstanding of either of these notions: human or liberation.
Not only must Commune-ist revolutionaries wholly repudiate abortion, but as ambassadors and symbolic guerilla fighters for the new love-oriented society, we must reject abortion more explicitly and categorically than anyone of conventional bourgeois morality. We're either blazing a path to the zenith of human peace, freedom, love, security, and actualization--or we're not.
Approach the formation of your view on abortion with the same fearless critical thinking that you must employ in all decision-making. Avoid tired, cliched, improperly crowdsourced, or superficially reasoned arguments, whether those of capitalism, communism, socialism, feminism, or any existing or proposed argument or body of thought.
"Vince, you're wrong."
"All your points are good--but all the considerations you mention are for the woman to consider. It's still ultimately her right to choose."
"No, I'm afraid that I'm not wrong."
"Because if we leave the decision to abort or not exclusively up to the woman, she may decide to abort, to kill the being, either in its emergent, or obvious, stage. If you've understood anything that I've written, it's that a society cannot permit the killing of its most vulnerable, defenseless, and innocent members."
"And by the way, not to complicate the conversation, but this does not mean that I also argue against capital punishment."
"Why not? Isn't that inconsistent?"
"No. The social relationships and dynamic are different in that kind of circumstance."
"I'd be pleased to, and I will. Stay tuned."
More to Say, Have You
There is obviously more to say on this problem of abortion. I have more to say and I'm sure that abortion advocates have more to say. But this is all that I can say, for now.
I provisionally recommend visiting the Abortion & Family Planning "Pick Your Issue" page at the important Brotherhood Of Man website, for further insight and information. The abortion content on this Issue page requires clarification.
A woman may feel that an abortion is her only, or best, option in a given circumstance. Even so, I bet she'd agree that this choice doesn't represent her better or best self.
These are the feet of a ten-week-old brother or sister who was aborted. You know--killed. Now mom can go on
Toward Wisdom & Love in our Global Society