By Clinton Wilcox
You may have heard by now that there’s a children’s book written by Mary Walling Blackburn called Sister Apple, Sister Pig. It’s a children’s book about abortion. A book about a very adult topic written to children that you wouldn’t yet talk to about the event that preceded the abortion (the birds and the bees, and all that). You can find the book for free at the link provided, though at free the book is still highly overpriced.
Mary Walling Blackburn is apparently an assistant professor of art at United Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts. Right off the bat, this woman has no business teaching at a Christian university or any school affiliated with it. Our Lord has some very harsh things to say about those who engage in or support the sacrifice of children. And according to The Blaze, Blackburn wrote this book to “[play] chicken with the anti-choice people.”
The book follows Lee, a three year old child who has been told that his mother had an abortion. But it’s okay, because if she had kept his sister, she wouldn’t be able to spend all that time with Lee, and might not have enough money to feed them.
One of the major problems with this book is that the author seems to admit that the boy’s sister was a full human being. She didn’t try to justify it because the boy wasn’t really a “person” (as some like Michael Tooley or Peter Singer would do), and she didn’t try to justify it because of bodily rights (as Judith Jarvis Thomson would do).
His parents even convinced him that it’s okay because now they can spend all that time with him, and anyway his sister has stuck around now as a ghost (which is certainly against Christian theology). So Blackburn essentially is using a three-year-old child to illustrate why abortion is okay.
The problem with these reasons (which any adult should realize) is that they work equally well to justify killing infants. These reasons would have worked equally well if they had waited until Lee’s sister was one year old before killing her. In fact, these reasons work equally well to justify killing Lee if another child that is more appealing to his parents comes around.
Even worse, Lee’s father affirms his reasons for his mother’s abortion. Here’s what Lee says to his father:
“I’m not sad that my sister is a ghost! If you kept my sister, you would be tired, and sad, and mad!…Because we would be wild and loud and sometimes we would fight. Mama might be scared that she could not buy enough food for us. Mama might not have enough time to read to me, to paint me with me, to play with me, to talk with me…”
So Lee is scared, most of all, that his mom won’t have time for him. He spends the least amount of time on the only reason that might at least make an abortion understandable (which is not the same thing as justifiable), that she worried about having enough money to feed them. And what does Papa say in return? “Lee, you have some good reasons to not have a sister right here, right now.”
His dad actually affirms his reasons for his mother’s abortion. Of course Lee is okay with it. His parents told him a flat-out lie, that his sister is still hanging around as a ghost (so she’s not really gone), and he affirms that his own selfish desires for his mother’s time are good reasons for the abortion. Parents are supposed to teach their children how to be moral people. Children need to learn that selfishness isn’t right, and that the world doesn’t always (or usually) go the way we want it to. That’s life. Instead, the father is (perhaps unknowingly) instilling a sense into his son that he can take advantage of people to get what he wants. That’s what his mom did with his sister, anyway. And again, these reasons work equally well to kill his sister as an infant.
And of course, there’s the fact that while these reasons may work not to have any children, as was mentioned so often in this book, they already had a child. These reasons might be good reasons not to conceive another child, but once a child is already here, you can’t just kill the child because he/she is inconvenient.
I tried to Google search for pro-choice blogs that might have gotten wind of this book and given their thoughts on it. I couldn’t find any that even mentioned it (perhaps they don’t think it important enough to talk about). But if I were pro-choice, I would seriously take issue with the point of view expressed in this book, and the very fact that Blackburn is attempting to talk about this subject with young children.
Editor’s note. This appeared at lti-blog.blogspot.com.