Abortion: it’s a Hitler thing

Hitler, enjoying the article referenced below.

I happened today upon a charming little piece of work entitled “Why Defunding Planned Parenthood Will Bankrupt America.”  The gist of the article, which the author helpfully puts in bold letters, is that abortion will save us all money. Yes, folks, you heard it here: it’s much cheaper to kill human beings than to let them grow up and be a drain on society.

This is an argument I hear pretty often when talking to people about abortion. After I school them in basic biology so they have no choice but to stop telling me the embryo is not a separate human being, they fall back on utilitarian arguments, or what I like to call the Hitler Thing. “Crime has gone down since Roe v. Wade,” they’ll say. Or, “What would we do with all those babies?”

I usually reply with, “Well, you know, I don’t really have all the answers to crime or ‘overpopulation’ (by now it’s late and I don’t feel like getting into the fact that overpopulation is a myth). I don’t know that I can give you a simple prescription for how to make life better for human beings, but I know what the answer isn’t: killing the weakest and smallest human beings.”

I encourage you to read the article I mentioned so you can see the Hitler Thing at work. It sounds just as elegant and reasonable as Der Fuhrer’s “final solution” to the Jewish problem must have seemed to Germans in the 1930s. As a pro-life activist, don’t be tripped up by the utilitarian argument. Learn how to argue against it. Remind any anti-lifer who attempts to use the Hitler Thing on you that society exists for people, and not the other way around. Recommending we kill humans because there’s too much crime or not enough food is like burning down your house because you have termites, or sawing a few inches off your legs because your pants don’t fit.

Our president, the man we elected to the highest office in the nation, opposed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban of 2003. He didn’t vote against it because he wasn’t in Congress at the time, but in a speech to Planned Parenthood in 2007 he said:

Some people argue that the federal ban on abortion was just an isolated effort aimed at one medical procedure—that it’s not part of a concerted effort to roll back the hard-won rights of American women. That presumption is also wrong.

That’s it, you guys. I admit it. I oppose Partial Birth Abortion not because I have a problem with half-born babies being stabbed in the back of the neck with scissors so their brains can be sucked out with a vacuum, but because I can’t stand the idea of women having equal rights. You got me!

This is the kind of moral upside-downness that pervades our culture. In whatever passes for morality in Obama’s mind, denying women equal rights with men is a far worse than stabbing babies in the back of the neck with scissors, never mind that it is beyond me what “equal rights for women” has to do with abortion. Men don’t get pregnant, but if they did, I’d have a problem with them aborting their babies, too.

Until we as a culture recognize that abortion is inherently evil and must be prohibited, we have unfailing proof that our moral compass is pointed in the wrong direction. Many of the same people who sob their eyes out because gay couples can’t register at Macy’s have no problem with women killing their unborn children for any reason at all. This tells us there is something terribly wrong with our morals: namely, that as a nation we no longer have any.

  • Fayyazmuneer

    There are four pretty obvious conceptual inadequacies in what you say above.

    1) Whoever you are schooling in “basic biology” is clearly an idiot. First, if the status of what constitutes a human being really does depend on biology, it would be on far more than basic biology. The world, and science, really isn’t as simple as “basic.” Second, I would like to hear your basic biological argument, because in certain important ways, an embryo is clearly not a “separate” human being (i.e. the umbilical cord et al.).
    Moreover, if you are going to imply some sort of inalienable right to life (as I think you do), you need more than a basic biological argument. The doctrine of materialism (roughly, that matter is all there is to the world, and science is all there is to personhood), doesn’t give of metaphysical rights to life. Everything is up for grabs. If you think, then, that you can argue from basic biology to the fact of embryos being a seperate human being, you are wrong. Of course, if you do think there is more to life than the science (religion, perhaps, or even jus spirituality and the mystical), then basic biology isn’t going to get you anywhere in showing what being a human being consists in. Personally, I think what makes something  a human being is a philosophical issue, one that bears harder thinking about than you seem to have given it.

    2) Where does this “inherent evil” in abortion come from. I assume it comes from your belief in an absolutely inalienable right to life (if not, do correct me). Where does this inalienable right to life come from (bear in mind that an appeal to religion means that only religious people can agree with you). And if this inalienable right to life really trumps ALL OTHER RIGHTS (as it must do, if abortion is inherently evil. If the right to life wasn’t inalienable, there would be occasions where abortion isn’t inherently evil), you MUST also be against a) the death penalty including for terrorists, killers, etc, b) meat, because evolution (I hope you believe in evolution; the debate is over in an serious way if you don’t) shows that the line around humanity is fuzzily demarcated, and so the line between human and close to human is fuzzy. of course you may be opposed to these things, but I’d like to know if you are. If you are not, your position is philosophically incoherent.

    3) If society exists for people, so do social rules and norms exist for people. And if that is the case, what is right and wrong must derive from what people think it does, ie public morality. If that is the case, there can’t be an inherent evil (because right and wrong derive form social norms). Now I don’t think you think any of that. So be careful before resorting to cliche and soundbite, cause you end up in a big hole.

    4) You didn’t actually refute utilitarianism. You just deputised a particularly evil and distorted utilitarian logic as used by Hitler. Finer minds than you and I have support and oppose utilitarianism, and do so seriously. You disrespect all of them by vomiting the word Hitler a few times and dismissing what has been one of the dominant normative principles since the 1600s as evil.

    • oldmanbob

      I belive you are missing to point here.  We all know that killing is wrong even unbelivers say so.  We also cannot know based on science alone when life starts.  I know that God knows, and I know that I and all others will stand before Him  in the end.  I do not wish to risk being on the wrong side in killing a person.  To error on the side of life is by far better.  Are you so sure that you are willing to bet your life forever?  That is the bet your making.

    • .) Basic biology meaning – genetics – the science it’s self, as you mentioned is not simple, it is quite a complex but you can however talk about the basic fact that a human fetus is in fact human. Genetically this is correct, the DNA of a human fetus is human, we know that DNA determines what we are – that means that if an organism has human DNA then it is human. It is also a separate human being because of its DNA as well, its DNA is unique, and it is not the DNA of the mother’s. You would be able to identify them by their DNA alone as we know that every human has unique DNA. You also cannot have different DNA and be the same person. A fetus, as you have mentioned, is connected by and umbilical cord from which is receives nourishment to stay alive, this however means that they are physically connected yes, but they are still not genetically the same – they are genetically separate, if that term pleases you. That means that it needs care from other outside sources – as we all do. This is how all humans develop in the womb, we know this from the study of prenatal development, and this is a requirement for a human in the womb to stay alive. I would also have to ask about conjoined twins – are they the same person because they are connected? What then about identical twins, they even has the same DNA, but we still consider them 2 different and separate persons. The argument I think that you are making is one of bodily autonomy, because a fetus resides inside a woman’s body during this stage of development and because it is dependent on her body for care then they have not achieved personhood as can them be terminated at will. The pro-life argument is that the human fetus is genetically human and genetically separate. So the debate then is about genetics versus the “personhood”. Often pro-choice people will say that they are not human and that is not correct, they mean to say that they are not a person, in the metaphysical sense. So you are correct in saying that you need more than biology. The author I believe, is making the point that pro-choice are ignoring biology completely. If we as a society think that killing another human is wrong and we know that a human fetus is human – we have arrived at the main biology point. But as you pointed out you bring in the moral aspect. When you walk into the philosophical and the subjective you have left the realm of absolutes, so what do you do about that? As you suggested we have that debate and it is a valuable debate. This debate however has been had many a time – we have debated often what type of human is a person, who is fit and unfit humans. I myself wonder if with all this subjectiveness we can err on the side of caution and include everyone genetically human as a person. Also I wonder if it is too much to ask to have human rights that are more inclusive. If genetics is the objective can we not use that until we find something else? 2.) Humans have higher, abstract thinking we have developed morals, meaning good and bad. One could say that this is an evolutionary tool, even one that allows us to keep the survival of our species – we would not have many people left without killing one another being bad. Human exceptionally is something akin to man having dominion over the earth, meaning the smartest wins – which you can relate to abortion mentality. But again with evolution we see the propagation of one’s own species and genes – which abortion lies against (also the evolutionary tool of bonding and love) – so for humans to put their own species over another is evolutionarily correct but it does seem to stand against the pro-life ideas in the most consistent way, so I agree with you there. But if we are to give value to animals and not want to kill them we might want to stop killing our own first. Also under that definition we would also have to give plants the right to life as well because they are biologically alive, but it seems that you too draw the line somewhere. I feel that you are asking these questions not so much out of curiosity or understanding but trying to find inconsistencies and antagonize (you have been sure to assert you intellectual superiority). These are also the same questions and debate that are had about the abortion debate, though yours are worded with bigger words.Pro-life people vary on their stance on capital punishment – I think the term that would best suit the author is anti-abortion which is nested in the pro-life. I myself am against capital punishment; I see both abortion and the death penalty as fruits of the culture of death.3.) The author is making the point that society is for the people because it is made of people, meaning that it must also serve the people of the society. When people are made to serve a society then you have something artificial and impossible to maintain. You need to work with human nature (human nature also tends towards society, we are social creatures). Society must serve all of its members, we are a group working together and we must give up certain things for others. I can go many ways with this in the abortion debate. And public morality is determined by the people – a majority of Americans opposed abortion and believe it to morally wrong.4.) The author wasn’t trying to refute utilitarianism – not at all. You seem to have missed the point on this or perhaps you were trying to create a false one. The author was making a comparison about between the article that is referenced and the Hitler’s utilitarian solution. All philosophies and ideologies can and have been used for bad.

    • Anonymous

      Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of unalienable human rights, that is, if the human being exists, he has unalienable rights.

      Why is it that your intellect, the source of your great pride, will not be acknowledged by you as being part of an immortal soul? Or your free will, the right to choose between life and death, good and evil, or the freedom to consent to every order of civilization in the transcendent nature of an individual substance of a rational nature, the definition of a human being, brought into existence when the egg and the seed die and the two become one, a unique creation with its own DNA and with the ability to reason, smile, laugh and make music?
         The immortal human soul must first be denied as Hitler denied the humanity of the people he deprived of life as being unworthy of life. First, the Gypsies, because nobody liked the Gypsies any way, next, the homosexuals, because they were weird, next the cripple and insane, Only the Super Arians were allowed to live. It is interesting to note that the state arrogates to itself the right to choose for you and me and all others in Hitler’s time and in our time in Roe v. Wade, who gets to live and who gets to die. Is this not the violation of free will of the person?
      When you find a cat or dog or camel who can sing and dance and write music, then your utilitarian philosophy will have found another species beside homosapiens who reasons.