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Why it is Impossible to Talk to Pro-Life Zealots About Abortion

right to life

In the post, Why I Hate Jesus, I wrote four sentences about abortion. Here’s what I said:

This Jesus, no matter the circumstance, demands that a woman carry her fetus to term. Child of a rapist, afflicted with a serious birth defect, the product of incest or a one night stand? It matters not. This Jesus is pro-life.

That’s it.

Yesterday, a man who I assume is an Evangelical Christian left the following comment (which he later deleted) about these four sentences:

I would argue with you on only one point. You say this “Jesus” is pro-life and demands that a child be carried to full-term, regardless of handicap or disability of the child. Another man argued for only perfect babies being born. His name was Adolf Hitler. If you weren’t a “perfect” child, you were put in a hospital by your very own parents, and “caring” doctors would look over you, until it was time for you to get clean. They brought you to a shower room where you undressed, were hurded [sic] into a room full of shower heads and…. given the Nazi history…. You know the rest. “Loving” parents? “Caring” doctors? Throw away babies that are “damaged” goods, and what? Throw away children who are? Throw away teens who are? Throw away adults who are? After all, it’s for the “greater good” of society.

I’m sorry, but as an autistic child whose mother was told, “put him in the loony bin”, I take offense at that. My mother refused, and she raised me, gave me the best care, put me in the best special ed program she could find. Today I am a college graduate with a computer science degree, a successful career, a wife and two children who are honor students. “Damaged” goods? Some people would challenge you on that.

If you can argue for abortion on the argument that the child is “defective”, then who is safe? Are you? Could you crash your car tomorrow, put your head through the windshield and be brain dead for the rest of your life? (a la Terri Scheivo [sic]?) Should they kill you then? What if you “recover” to the point where you have the mind of a 3rd grader, but still have all of your feelings, emotions, likes, tastes and hurts? Should they still kill you because you’re not “perfect”? Should they kill people over 70 because they’re not “productive” members of society anymore? Where does it end? How “perfect” does society have to be? Where does the quest for a perfect society’s interference with the individual right to life, liberty and persuit [sic] of happiness end?

You can like or hate Jesus given the hypocrisy of modern Christianity, which is a stench! But please dispense with your utopian, perfect society model of Karl Marx or Lenin or Hitler or whoever your favorite “wordly” philosopher is. While I may agree with you about the “modern” Jesus, I acknowledge that there is a Devil, and this philosophy comes straight from him out of the pits of Hell.

All I could do is sigh and shake my head.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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  1. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    The commenter is extrapolating from bad advice his mother was given, plus an evil government’s attempt to eradicate “imperfect” people, before the middle of the last century, to mean that all fetuses must be allowed to be born and the babies/children/teens/adults cared for, regardless of the financial situation of the pregnant person or the (lack of) government support for that baby/child/teen/adult.

    As far as the commenter goes, we now know that neurodivergent people do not per se have behavioral health issues, though trying to be a neurodivergent person in a neurotypical world is a challenge. Sure, some people are so radically neurodivergent that they have issues communicating and thinking clearly, but I haven’t met one of those people yet. I know several neurodivergent people, including my best friend, who manage most of the time, but it can be hard work for them. I honor that effort.

    But he doesn’t address the issue that it is a huge burden, based on other things happening in their lives, to be pregnant and carry a pregnancy to term. For others, it’s extremely dangerous. For still others, it will mean a life of extreme hardship for both child and parent, or put a child in danger of extended abuse. A fetus, especially in the first two trimesters, is not yet a person. Who should be the absolute and only arbiter of whether to extend the pregnancy beyond the second trimester? The pregnant person. Full stop.

    I also don’t object to third-trimester abortions when the pregnant person is in danger, or the fetus is so malformed that it will have a very short, painful life. By the third trimester, the pregnant person ought to have figured out whether they want to carry the pregnancy to term. But I also don’t think that the government ought to interfere with their access to abortion, no matter what the reason. We need the government to butt out of the issue.

  2. Avatar

    Sounds like this person has some anger issues to work out. Maybe was told he would be better off dead? Anyway, life is complicated, and a happy ending for one family might be a tragedy in another. He could just as easily been born to a mom who beat him for being different. It’s a crap shoot. There is no perfect solution. All we can do is let others make the best decisions they can.

    • Avatar
      Yulya Sevelova

      I know for a fact that Hitler outlawed abortion. He wanted German families to be large,so that Germany could be a great nation. All dictators do this, because they want huge populations for war, among other things. He did want those born with birth defects to be put down. He wasn’t shy about that. I myself would have been aborted,if there was Roe back in the day. I told both my parents that I wished that they had extra jobs to pay for that abortion,too ! Neither of them are alive today. I don’t celebrate my birthday, but I DO celebrate their exit days ! Oh yeah ! They were narcissistic and abusive, each in their own way. I don’t miss them at all. It was liberating when they passed,and those dates I do celebrate. I know a lot of people in that situation. Oops babies. So much for pro- birthers !

  3. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Hitler may well be the closest any human has come to being pure evil. That said, using him to rationalize a “pro-life” argument is a bit like using Pearl Harbor to rationalize a military action that would do nothing to make this country safer or more secure.

    A girl whose father, uncle or brother impregnated her is not a eugenicist if she has an abortion (indeed, if she can get one!) Nor is the young woman who knows she is not in a position to raise a child whether because her (or her partner’s) lack of financial, emotional or other resources. If anything, they are making the most responsible decision they can.

    While I, as a transgender woman, never had to make the decision to abort, I feel confident that I also was behaving as responsibly as I could in not wanting or having children. (It’s one of the reasons why my marriage didn’t last.) I had mental health issues, some of which, no doubt, had to do with trauma from some experiences early in my life and not having the language or other context and tools I needed in order to come to terms with who and what I am, Knowing all of that, I cannot judge anyone who has an abortion because she knows that she’s not ready to be (or, worse, does not want to be forced into being) a mother.

  4. Avatar

    One of my relatives had an anencephalic fetus during her 1st pregnancy. She was told by several doctors that the fetus would die – either it would die in uterus, or if the pregnancy continued to term, it would die soon after birth. My relative chose to have an abortion so that she could heal and reduce her own chances of health issues from the pregnancy. She went on to have 4 healthy children. Her Catholic family and her husband’s Catholic family had to reconcile this situation, and fortunately most were supportive of her choice. I guess this fellow who wrote to you would object to my relatives abortion? Not that it’s any if his business….

    I am sorry that he has been treated poorly. That sucks, and there’s no excuse for that. But he has no right to tell pregnant people what to do.

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Bruce Gerencser