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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

You’re glad I’m here? by Nick D'Angelo

Pro-Choice Student: Are you still pro-life in cases of rape?

Nick: Yes, I don’t see the crimes of a father as justification for abortion.

Pro-Choice Student: The kid is just going to be a painful reminder for the mother and detrimental to society.

Nick: Well, I was conceived in date-rape.

Pro-Choice Student: Oh….Well, I’m glad you’re here.

I have heard it multiple times in various situations, “Oh…I’m glad you’re here.”  This comes immediately after I’ve shared with someone who professes a pro-choice stance, using rape or another hard case as their silver bullet; that I was conceived in date-rape. The statement has always confused and bothered me, and here are 5 reasons why.

1: First of all, it is not a matter of “here” vs “there”; it is a matter of alive or killed in my most vulnerable state.

This common word choice is a symptom of the hedging done to preserve the moral superiority assertion within the argument. If the arguer wishes to maintain the status of loving people, and for that reason advocating abortion, they must somehow provide exemptions and softened word choice when dealing with me, a person to be aborted under their paradigm, in front of them.

2: You are not actually glad I’m here but feel socially awkward saying disparaging comments to someone in front of you.

I suppose I appreciate the pretense but I think a far more important conversation would be had without it. Are you not glad I’m here because I disagree with you on this very sensitive subject?
I understand how one could become defensive with such topics but I think this attitude stands directly against the culture of tolerance my opposition tends to preach. Please have a real conversation with me, let me know your honest reservations and genuine concerns; personal and societal growth can’t occur without it.

3: You are truly glad I’m alive because of the condition of my life.

This is rather subjective and wholly inconsistent with the rest of the pro-choice rhetoric. The rape exception is used to highlight the struggles both the mother and child may have as a product of the conception circumstances: financial, emotional, legal, social, educational and boundless others. Therefore, what makes me valuable? Is it because I graduated college that I am valuable to you? Is it because of the wonderful relationship I have with my mother? Is it because I am an employed contributor to society? Is it because I am not a felon? Valuing a life based on such arbitrary and subjective conditions ultimately states that I only matter if _____ is true. Are you willing to say that I’m valuable because I fit your criteria instead of having inherent worth? Are you willing to tell others the opposite?

 4: You are truly glad I’m alive but still hold the stance that abortion is a woman’s choice by right.

If you are pro-choice: The expression of happiness/gladness in this situation, if not affected by the conditional reasoning in #3, implies preference. If you are happy I am alive, you would therefore be unhappy if I was aborted. If abortion is therefore the morally inferior or at least less preferred choice, why would you openly support the inferior choice? What about the choice to abort when gender selection is the reasoning, is that choice still valid and absolute? The defense that abortion is an absolute right, and an owed choice, is flawed in its framing; choices are always present but consequences, however, are not. Something that is illegal can still be perpetrated, but the justice system has structured consequences to reduce the frequency and magnitude of a given transgression. Laws inherently speak to the “right” action in a given condition. If abortion is the inferior option, why is the law not obligated to match such sentiments?  

If you are pro-life: I have only seen this as the trepidation to preach or “push” your beliefs upon another person for fear of impropriety or extremism. If instead of pregnant women in cars going to Planned Parenthood, you saw mothers walking their 2 year olds in and leaving alone, I believe your fears of speaking out and asserting your beliefs would be given proper perspective in such issues of life and death.

5: You are truly glad I’m alive because I am human and therefore inherently valuable, unlike the preborn.

Ultimately every discussion boils down to this decision. Are the pre-born human and when, if at all, is abortion permitted? The most typical line for personhood is birth and this is faulted because it cannot be applied. It does not require being human to exit a birth canal upon fulfillment of gestation, no uniquely human trait is found therein. Terminology such as embryo and fetus along with the small size and number of cells existent at the time are used to exhibit development as the qualifier. Fetus and embryo were never intended to designate something or someone as sub-human, it is a mere development/age association akin to child, teen etc. Even application of development, be it age or physical condition cannot be evenly applied across the pre-born or the born. If enforced, many people would lose their right to life by simply not meeting the qualifications set forth by others. The only undeniable facet of personhood is genetic makeup, and this is established upon conception. Any other qualifying factor for one being human cannot be evenly applied with any significance or without discrimination based on an arbitrary and superficial line.

We must all thoroughly consider the full and even application of the ideologies we espouse. I hope these conversations can be had, for they are desperately needed. Please do so civilly, but also full of honesty and passion.

Human life is inherently valuable and deserves protection, I beg you to fight for it.

My name is Nicholas Charles D’Angelo, and my mother chose life for me.