Gary McCaleb

“Early in life,” the architect Frank Lloyd Wright once said, “I had to choose between arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change.”

Thirty-four years after the tragic Roe v. Wade decision, the architects of infanticide see no reason to disguise the stunning arrogance of their position, either.

Despite abundant scientific evidence that human life begins at conception … for all the graphic photography and testimonials exposing the cold cruelty of abortion procedures … even in the face of polls that show a clear majority of Americans are horrified by partial-birth procedures …

… they continue to build a legal house of cards that defies not only the gravity of the subject, but their own humanity.

In doing so, they’ve cracked the philosophical foundation of the rule of law: the presumption that every defendant is innocent, until proven guilty. Under Roe v. Wade, an unborn child may be effectively found guilty despite the child’s evident innocence. No contrary evidence is admitted in the case. Yet the mandatory sentence for every “convicted” child is death.

The perennial case for the prosecution was reiterated last November by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) in an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court on the eve of its latest deliberations on the partial-birth issue. The brief offered three passionate justifications for the death sentence of abortion:

1. Outlawing partial-birth abortion would deny women access to the “best and safest health care,” and could have “serious adverse consequences.”

Of course, allowing an abortionist to do his work in the womb inevitably denies the “best and safest health care” to the unborn child – and ensures “serious adverse consequences.”

2. A federal law prohibiting partial-birth abortion “imposes one moral viewpoint on women, denying them personal dignity and equality.”

That “one moral viewpoint” is not, as might be presumed, some radical theocracy. It is, rather, the enduring idea that human life is intrinsically sacred – an endowment of our Creator, according to the Declaration of Independence.

And how, exactly, does killing an unborn child affirms one’s personal dignity? It certainly does nothing for the dignify of the child … and it is, prima facie, a violent denial of that unborn’s equal right to live and grow.

3. An anti-partial-birth abortion law would violate women’s “bodily integrity” … by denying them the right to an option they might choose for “deeply personal, moral, or religious reasons.”

Again, obviously, there is no violation of “bodily integrity” to compare with having your brains sucked out by a vacuum cleaner. Nor is there found on the books any law justifying homicide as long as it’s committed for “deeply personal, moral, or religious reasons.” (Hitler and the Aztecs had deeply personal and religious reasons, respectively, for slaughtering millions.)

At root, then the arguments of the NWLC come down to this: a woman’s life is innately more important than her child’s. That contention doesn’t just run counter to the teachings of most of the world’s religions – it runs counter to every nurturing instinct of the human heart.

On the other hand, self-interest is at the heart of every aspect of the so-called “pro-choice” movement, with its breathtakingly arrogant view that the emotional preferences and economic prosperity of a select few are more important than the lives of others.

It’s an arrogance that was unusually well quantified by the group of Duke, Dartmouth, Wellesley, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology economists who issued a paper on “Abortion and Selection” last April that found, among other things:

“… that lower costs of abortion led to improved outcomes in the birth cohort in the form of an increased likelihood of college graduation, lower rates of welfare use, and lower odds of being a single parent.”

In other words, “killing your baby can be your key to a successful life, and even a better society for all of us.” (Better living through RU 486?) That’s a view cherished by Chinese Communists, who no longer make much of a secret of the fact that they are doing a thriving business in human organs, harvested mostly from their own political prisoners.

A lot of people who don’t have a problem with abortion profess to be horrified by the Chinese organ market. But killing, maiming, and torture can come easily to governments that have spent decades endorsing abortion as a primary means of birth control.

Such atrocities come easy to a world grown comfortable with objectifying women and commoditizing persons … that is, determining the value of a human life not by its uniqueness and intrinsic worth, but whether it profits those in power over it.

A person with Terry Schiavo’s limitations couldn’t make a tangible enough contribution to the world to justify her existence to the Florida courts. A still fragile embryo just isn’t as demonstrably talented and beloved as, say, Michael J. Fox. Stem-cell enthusiasts assure us that, in these cases, the parts are more valuable than the whole.

And, of course, the extraordinary potential of an unborn baby is nothing compared to the would-be mother’s prospects for advancement in life. Can we really risk her emotional, social, and economic future when the problem is easily resolved by taking an innocent life?

No, our courts tell us, while so many Americans shrug. We’ve killed so many millions of them, now, that the once “honest arrogance” of abortion advocates has become America’s shameful, selfish complaisance to utter brutality.


Gary McCaleb

Gary McCaleb serves as Chief Solicitor and Executive Vice-President of Strategy Implementation for the Alliance Defense Fund at its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.