By Dave Andrusko
My apologies for arriving at this late. One (very good after the fact) excuse is that Mollie Hemingway has already written the definitive rebuttal.
For those who may not have followed what took place last week, in responding to criticism that he had doubts about global warming, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) was mocked as an ignorant rube by a pro-abortion blogger appearing in the Washington Post for saying the following:
“Let me give you a bit of settled science that they’ll never admit to. The science is settled, it’s not even a consensus, it is a unanimity, that human life begins at conception. So I hope the next time that someone wags their finger about science, they’ll ask one of these leaders on the left: ‘Do you agree with the consensus of scientists that say that human life begins at conception?’ I’d like to see someone ask that question.”
So, how in the world do you ridicule Rubio for stating the super-abundantly obvious? That there is “unanimity” that human life begins at conception? If you can make the time, please read Hemingway’s brilliant, A-Z debunking of the attack on Rubio.
What follows is shorter but I think hits most of the high points (Hemingway) and low points (the Washington Post’s Philip Bump and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists). There are a number of stratagems Bump employs to pretend to conclude that Rubio knows not of what he speaks. We’ll only talk about a couple.
The first is to choose only one witness: a representative from the rabidly pro-abortion ACOG, which is so in the tank for legal abortion it opposed the ban on partial-birth abortion.
(Quick sidebar. In 2010, writing for National Review Online, Shannen W. Coffin described how now-Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan [then in the nomination process] had played a pivotal while working for the Clinton Administration in devising a defense for his veto of a ban on partial-birth abortion. Suffice it to say, support from ACOG was hugely important. But “The problem is that the critical language of the ACOG statement was not drafted by scientists and doctors,” Coffin wrote. “Rather, it was inserted into ACOG’s policy statement at the suggestion of then–Clinton White House policy adviser Elena Kagan.” Partisan then, partisan before, partisan forever.)
Click here to read the May issue of
National Right to Life News,
the “pro-life newspaper of record.”
So, Step One, talk to only one source, one that is pro-abortion to the hilt.
Step Two, turn a question of science—of biology—into a philosophical discussion. How? Answer a different question.
Bump and ACOG wisely choose not to discuss whether there is “unanimity” that “human life begins at conception.” How could they?
Instead, as Hemingway explains so well, they talk about when “pregnancy”—not human life– begins. And that is, according to the ACOG rep, at implantation in the uterine wall.
Hemingway points out—with humor and insight—ACOG is answering a question of its own choosing: when “pregnancy” begins, not human life. (Anyone who’s ever debated abortion recognizes what’s going on.) Sen. Rubio was not talking about “pregnancy.”
This Bump/ACOG love fest illustrates the mother of all pro-abortion evasive tactics. Talk about anything but when human life begins. Talk about “pregnancy”; talk about a wholly imaginary distinction between “human life” and “biological life”; and talk about at what point it is after conception that this human life should be given legal protection, which pro-abortionists like to divert into a discussion about “personhood,” which IS a matter of philosophy.
Justice Blackmun established the matrix for dissembling: confuse/meld the issue of when human life begins (which is not in debate, contra ACOG) and when that human life is protected, which is what we’ve been debating the last 41 years.
And at that point in her rebuttal, Hemingway digs into that vast store of scientifically impeccable sources demonstrating that human life begins at conception. Very impressive and very much worth reading.
Hemingway concludes with an extensive overview of the pro-abortion plan to change the language. She observes
“Did you know that the definition of pregnancy was changed not long ago from beginning at ‘fertilization’ to beginning at ‘implantation’? Did you know that this was a political decision? Did you know that some groups have even tried to say that implantation is when ‘conception’ occurs, too?”
Conception=implantation? One of those groups peddling this nonsense was—surprise, surprise—ACOG.
One other point, drawing on a column by Jonah Goldberg. Calling in a wildly politicized organization like ACOG, he writes,
“to settle a politically fraught issue isn’t good journalism. It’s not even good opinion journalism. It’s simply handing the microphone off to a fellow partisan in a fight.’
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems as if it was only yesterday that when newspapers did explore controversies, they really did give both sides a more or less fair shake. But when ( as in Bump’s case) only one side is allowed to intone as if there is no other opinion—or when one side is given multiple responses to one for the other—what is the average reader to conclude? That there is only one opinion, or, at a minimum, only one about which a “consensus” exists.
You see this all the time in abortion-related controversies. There is no “other side” on specifics that might prove uncomfortable for abortion advocates and their allies.
No one (who counts) believes there is an association between an induced abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer. “Junk science.”
No one (who matters) believes there is physical, emotional, or psychological baggage that can and does plague a certain percentage of women who abort. Any problems/difficulties either last only a short time or were part of the woman’s makeup before she aborted.
And finally no one (of any account) could think that there exists a substantial body of medical and scientific evidence that unborn children can feel pain by 20 weeks after fertilization. And thus you can tear those kids limb from limb and they won’t feel a thing.
The point? The rule of the “expert” which always, always, always just so happens to coincide with the agenda of the Abortion Industry.
Again, if you have some time, please read “The Washington Post Is Super Confused About Where Babies Come From,” by Mollie Hemingway.