By Dave Andrusko
Nothing like a “progressive” professor of religious studies to give cover to an anti-life governor who has and will continue to veto any measure that provides the slightest protection to unborn children.
In this case, Rebecca Todd Peters is not only the author of “Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice,” she also authored a piece for the Charlotte Observer headlined, “The governor was right to veto a dangerous NC abortion bill.”
The governor is pro-abortion North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. The “dangerous” abortion bill he vetoed June 25th is HB453—Human Life Non-Discrimination Act/No Eugenics— which would prohibit abortionists from performing abortions if he knows a woman is seeking the abortion because of race, sex or a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
Pro-life Republicans are waiting for the appropriate moment to attempt to override Cooper’s veto, a hefty challenge.
To Peters, a professor of religious studies at Elon University in North Carolina, none of this about what you would think a “progressive” would find right up her alley: preventing an abortionist from taking the life of an unborn baby because the abortionist has been told the baby (most likely a girl) is the “wrong” sex, or the “wrong” color skin, or has been prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome
Naw, it’s all about (altogether now) “exploit[ing] the emotional legacy of eugenics in an attempt to stigmatize women who have abortions and bully opponents into falling in line with the bill.”
Worse yet (from her perspective), HB453 fails “to respect the moral agency of women as capable decision-makers.”
First, Peters defines “eugenics” in a manner that suits her argument. But a better—and more accurate—understanding is that eugenics is powered by a hatred of “imperfection”—in this case, a physical disability—and driven by sexism and racism.
In an opinion piece written for US News Grazie Pozo Christie wrote
Eugenics is the creation or selection of offspring with “desirable” traits, and the elimination of those that are deemed “deficient.” Aborting a child with Dwarfism or Down’s would certainly qualify as eugenic.
Or, we would add, aborting a girl, because she is a girl, or aborting a child, because he is the “wrong” color.
When we do everything in our power to detect the existence of a baby with a special need with the sole purpose of terminating him or her, we create a discriminatory culture, where only perfect humans may apply for entrance. This is a powerful obstacle against equality and acceptance of the disabled, which a just society must set as its first goal.
Second, I’m not sure I can think of a phrase more misused and abused than “moral agency.” It is one of the idioms you fill in with the contents to justify what you want to do.
Is a man who beats his wife exercising his “moral agency?” Is a blackmailer exercising his “moral agency” when he extorts money for his silence?
Prof. Peters would doubtless say something along the lines of “everyone knows” these actions are wrong (but why?). Or, this are examples of one person inflicting pain on another (but isn’t that exactly what happens to a defenseless unborn baby?).
Let us hope and pray that Republicans in North Carolina are able to sway a few Democrats by appealing to the better angels of their nature. Every abortion is an affront to justice, but discrimination-based abortions may be the worst of a hideous lot.