Wednesday, March 21, 2007

All or Nothing Gets You Nothing

Many pro-life South Carolinians are aware of a group called Columbia Christians for Life (CCL) which spends the majority of its email messages attacking state and national pro-life organizations. Their email update on March 21 opposing the ultrasound legislation that passed the SC House 91-23 demands a response.
It [the ultrasound bill] may reduce abortions, but it will also prolong the practice of "legalized" ABORTION. In the 34-year battle to end abortion, it is yet another strategic and moral error, adopting the incrementalist approach to reducing the number of abortions, while distracting the pro-life community efforts and resources from the proper focus on ending abortion.
As even the well-meaning people of CCL acknowledge, this law will most likely reduce abortions, perhaps saving as many as 1000 or more lives per year. But they would rather build their campaign to completely end abortion on the bodies of those babies than save the ones they can while continuing to fight for a total ban.

CCL argues that Roe vs. Wade allows a total ban on abortions if the state recognizes babies as persons under the law. Obviously, the Supreme Court stands as the decider of all laws, as it has long ago usurped that role from the legislature. So the decision on that law, as the outcome of any challenge to Roe, will depend on the composition of the Court--at least until a state is willing to defy its unconstitutional authority--but that's another issue.

Some of the CCL literature indicates that the total abortion ban they desire would have no exception to save the life of the mother. While we may soon be able to surgically move ectopic fetuses to the uterus and save their lives, right now an ectopic baby will die. Condemning the mother to death as well is immoral and anti-life. Even if, in some rare instance, a choice must be made between the life of the mother and the life of the baby, the baby's life has no greater moral value than the mother's.

In the nine years that a total ban has been pushed in SC, pro-life organizations and citizens have lobbied the legislature to pass laws that restrict abortion, cutting in approximately half the number of babies murdered annually.

Meanwhile the all-or-nothing crowd has achieved nothing. That's the problem with demanding all or nothing. You usually get nothing. As CCL recognizes, the danger of the incremental approach is that you forget your destination.

So let's stick with an all-or-something approach instead. We can continue winning incremental victories and saving babies every day, and one day we will win the full victory.

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